Over the past few weeks, we posted a number of lesson plans teaching the young minds about The First Nations People. From clothing to transportation, food and religious beliefs, among a couple of others, we are now posting a final test to use with your students in correspondance to the lesson plans and worksheets. You will find that this test sums up all the important information that your students would have learned and should now know about The First Nations People. It will further allow you to see just how much they have learned and whether there are specific areas you may need to return to, to touch upon. Feel free to alter the test – add to it, remove, make any changes to better suit your students and class as a whole!
Right now we are working on the novel “Shakespeare’s Secret” by Elise Broach. It’s a great novel filled with Shakespearean/Elizabethan history, references, and intrigue…but that’s not really the topic of this post. As we read the novel, we work on various activities, one of which is chapter written responses. I’m not a fan of a bunch of short answer questions for each chapter or a chapter synopsis, as I’d prefer to give my students 1 or 2 “meatier” questions to work on…something that would involve higher order thinking, analysis, and application. The problem I have, however, is that a paragraph answer is too brief for this type of analysis, while a five paragraph essay is simply too long. My solution is a one page response, but my students have some trouble determining a main idea and finding supporting details. Since I love the P.E.E.L. framework, I’ve created a simple graphic organizer to help them layout their main idea, supporting details, and text-based evidence. As I explained in a previous post, instead of including the “L” as a link to the next paragraph, we use “L” as linking to a connection (text-to-text, -to-self, or -to-world) and my students tend to prefer “explanation” then “evidence” in their writing (and I agree with them).
So, simply click on the image below for the free printable. Students simply record their ideas in the chart and then write out their written response.
It’s December and the holiday season is approaching quickly. If we calculate (assuming your school closes on Dec 21), then all that is left are 15 school days! This is a crazy time, but also a fun time. Most of us will do many activities based on the holidays within our classroom. But have you considered social activism? This is a time that students can be easily drawn into the whole commercialization of the holidays. Students are caught up with what they want to get but we need to help them understand that this is a time for giving and caring as well. Most of the time, students and their parents are also wondering what they can purchase for you. You have heard of those AHA moments, and this is one of them! Students learn by example, and we could be the greatest example during this holiday season. Have a discussion with them about how important it is for you to help others. Why not ask them to avoid purchasing something for you (if they intended to) and utilized that money and donate it to help others. This could be done in many ways. Here are some suggestions:
1) As a class go to a food bank and volunteer your time. Students who were planning to purchase something for you can use those funds as donation, or could purchase non perishable items to bring along. This is great for students who would not normally be purchasing anything due to financial constraints or just do not do teacher gifts but still would like to help others.
2)There is an organization that helps with Gifts of Hope. There are gifts as little as $10 and if that is still too much students can pool their funds together. Visit the website www.plancanada.ca/givehope with your students and show them how something so small can create positive change in the world.
3) Visit a local nursing home and have students prepare songs to perform. Students can use their funds in order to subsidize transportation
4) Create a Holiday Hamper. This is a collaborative project where people donate food, clothing and other essential needs to a family in need. Your school Social Worker, Administration and local church can steer you in the right direction with proper information to ensure items are appropriate but still maintaining the privacy and dignity of the family.
What is important to remember is that all it takes is a small change to make a big difference! We are including a link to a fantastic video to generate discussion with your students and see that they too can make a difference! Click on the link below for the video. We would love to read about what you have done for others in your school, community and local areas. Wishing you a wonderful December!
Inferring is a difficult critical thinking skill that all readers need to develop in order to deepen their understanding of written literature. Scaffolding skills are essential in order for students to build their understanding. Utilizing picture books or illustrations will help build this essential skill. Furthermore, this strategy can easily be used for ELL students! Clicking on the image below will connect you to a lesson plan that can easily be used in the middle grades as well. Also, the lesson plan utilizes a fantastic book ”The Mysteries of Harris Burdock” by Chris Van Allsburg to be used for student practice!
This weeks Words to Live by Wednesdays brings you a few words to inspire, motivate and encourage your students in more ways then one. It always seems as though as we approach the Christmas Holidays, attitudes begin to change and with that, so do work and study habits, as well as, in class concentration! As a result, students forget about homework, forget to try and forget to do what they have to do such as handing in those last minute assignments or studying for a test. Today, we begin to remind students to keep on going…to keep trying….to continue doing their work and keeping up their good grades that they have been working hard towards! More to come within the next few weeks!
In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’re looking at some excellent digital resources for your classroom! There are so many great sites out there that would be beneficial to both teachers and students, but here are 12 that we can’t live without! Just click on each name to be brought to its website!
This is a classroom behaviour management tool that allows you to track each student in your class. You can either use the predefined behaviour categories or create your own. I have created the behaviour categories to match the learning skills we use on the Ontario Report Cards. I think it will be great to keep students on track (you can even set it so that it tracks group behaviour) and to help teachers with anecdotal comments. I’ve just begun using this app and so far, so good! I’ve downloaded the app for my iPhone, so it’s really convenient and easy to use!
So what is a “glog”? Well, according to Glogster, a glog is an interactive poster loaded with text, graphics, music, videos and more, while being a space to express emotions, ideas, and knowledge online. What I like about glogster is that it is great to watch…students will be captivated by the interactive, multi-media lessons making them much more engaged in learning.
I’ve already told you how much I love Wordle! Create word clouds about any topic. So easy to use!
According to their website, “Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.” Students can create a free account, choose the images that they would like, and then start writing a story, poem, comic, or anything else they’d like. Just like the photo and image prompts that are often used in creative writing, the digital images found here are a great springboard to help students get writing!
As Elita previously explained in a post, Gizmos are interactive online simulations for math and science topics. There are a variety of fun, engaging, and interactive activities on many different science and math topics, such as dividing fractions, predator-prey relationships, and genetics. The activities are scaffolded, so students work on increasingly difficult tasks to fully comprehend the concepts. Although it is not free, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, but you can always see if your school or school board is interested in obtaining a subscription for their teachers. Our school board has a subscription, so teachers and students are able to enjoy this great resource!
As Lisa has previously mentioned, Bitstrips is a great site to help your students create their own comics. So cool and the kids love it!
Oh, Pinterest, how I love you! We just love spending hours on Pinterest finding great ideas and resources for our classrooms! If you haven’t already, follow our boards!
This site allows you to create a digital binder of the your favourite web resources! Instead of adding them all to your Favourites, you can create various binders to keep track of sites and resources you love! You simply add the “LiveBinder It” tool to your browser toolbar and then surf the web like you normally do…when you come across a great resource, you can quickly and easily add it to one of your binders.
I’m going to start using Edmodo with my class very, very soon. It seems like a combination of Twitter and Facebook to me, since you can post pics, chat, vote, and send messages that are 140 characters or less. What I really like about it is the privacy…teachers sign up for a free account, students sign up for a free account, and then teachers provide their students with a code to join the group. This way, the classroom information and messages are kept private.
A great way to create cool, multi-media presentations! Simply sign up, login and begin adding in your information. You can add video or audio clips, images, websites, and other resources to your presentations. Why can’t I just use PowerPoint, you might be asking…well, Prezi makes the presentation so much nicer and more fluid as the ideas flow from one section to the next.
Love infographics? This site allows users to create their own infographics by choosing, selecting, dragging, dropping, and editing vhemes directly onto your canvas. This would be a great way for student to consolidate learning, create mind or concept maps, visual key concepts, and share their learning with their peers.
Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!