Sunday, April 15, 2018

Classroom Strategies

It's hard to beleive how much we have covered in this course in such a short amount of time. Over the course of the last two weeks, there has been a lot of different strategies presented in an aray of different formats on various topics. It's fun to see how one strategy works in was class can look completley different in another classs covering a different topic.

Looking at all the different startegies, I am not sure which one I would incorporate, because they all look like I can apply them at various times. However, there is one that I seem to be leaning more towards, and that's the quick write. Quick writes seems like a simple way in which I can gain an understanding of how well the students have begun to master the concepts being taught in class. I love to use Padlet for my quick writes. It allows the students to see what other students have written about and interact with them while giving me a quick climpst as to what what they are understainding.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Curriculum Evaltion

Recently in my American History class we began going over different aspects of World War 2. We have looked at how the allies started off by trying to appease Germany, but that was a huge failure in slowing German down. We then went on to examine what life was like in America during that time. Next we are going to look at the characteristics of those on both sides of the war. By the end of the lesson students will be able to identify different characteristics of those countries fighting in the war. Student will accomplish this through research and filling out a double bubble. Following the lesson, as a close, students will do a quick write, writing about that if the war would be taking place today what do they the United States be characterized as doing.

This lesson meets the criteria for a good curriculum as it meets the learning objectives and engages students a deeper understanding of the events as well as comparing them to the ideologies of different governments over a period of time.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Thinking Maps

It seems funny to see how things change over a period of time. Some times things are changed to make them more efficient or use full. Other times they change very little, this seems to be the case with Thinking Maps. For years I referred to these as Graphic Organizers, however, when in class that always seemed to be a challenge to roll off my tongue. It didn't seem like anything meaningful or engaging to the student. I do however, love the new terminology behind them calling them, Thinking Maps. To me it sets to the tone for what the student should be really expecting out of them. It allows the students to chunk information in more retainable pieces where they can later put all the pieces of the puzzle together and see what the whole picture looks like.

Not, knowing they are being called Thinking Maps, I have used several in my class. I have use the flow chart, showing the steps or progressions or events of a war (pic 1), I have used one to show the how different branches in gov't are broken down in my gov't class (pic 2) and have used them for causes affects of reconstruction (pic 3). I do have to admit, that it's nice to see where I have already begun using some of these techniques in my room, long before truly realizing what they were.

On that same note, I have been doing quick writes as well. I typically use them as an exit ticket in class. I have used them from having the students write about the biggest news event from the previous year has impacted their lives to how would the current president handle a stock market crash similar to the one in 1929. Both of these times I used Padlet to let my students posts and reply on others to generate an online discussion between the students.

Image result for thinking maps
Image result for thinking maps

Image result for thinking maps

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Instructional Strategies

It seems as the deeper into the digital age we go, the harder it is to get students into reading, and maybe even a greater challenge for our students to comprehend what they read. Even as adults we are bombarded with constant information, shortening our attention spans. The students I teach, and the students future teachers will teach, will have an enormous task getting students to understand the content we are wanting them to comprehend.

In the past I have used the RAFT model (Role Audience Format Topic) to not only help students to understand the content in which we have covered, but to push their critical thinking in ways they may not typically think. There were a couple of strategies that caught my attention that I would love to venture out and try. The Anticipation Guide seemed really intriguing to me. Getting the students to think on multiple levels of the same material goes a long ways into comprehending and applying the concepts being covered. The other strategies was the BDA. This allows the students to infer on what they know while at the same time proofing those statements right or wrong.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Frayer Model

One of the strategies I use on a regular basis in my classroom is the Frayer Model (pic 1 below). This gives the student an opportunity to analyze and visualize vocabulary words so they have a better understanding of the words modeled. This graphic organizer helps students to think about the word they are defining in four different areas; definition, it's characters, example and non-examples. I have modified it my classroom. First of all, I have them complete the model in Google Slides. I have students define the word, list fun facts of the word, use the word in a sentence and finally put a picture of it (pic 2 below).