Below you will see some of the work done in my classroom. You will see how I give students a variety of learning activities that appeal to many different learning styles.
One of my favorite "getting-to-know-you" activities to do at the start of the year is the student silhouettes. Below are some examples. The students love creating and sharing these awesome individual representations of themselves!
Above, my students used the skill of visualization to draw and describe an image they saw clearly in their minds while reading Sarah, Plain and Tall.
Below, my students worked together to create this class-cover from Because of Winn Dixie. They had to discuss with those working around them how to line up their drawings so they would fit together. This was a great community building exercise that led to fantastic conversations. Additionally, as each student had a piece of the cover to create, each student had to create a summary for a piece of the book. Through working together, we created this wonderful piece of artwork and practiced summarizing skills to compile a class summary.
I try to get my students moving as much as possible across the curriculum.
Reader's Theater is something I often use in my classroom. It is a great way for students to practice fluency while enjoying reading. We love to practice and perform for other students!
I often have my students practice skits of various events in history as a way for them to connect to social studies lessons. For example, my students once acted out a trip across the ocean to experience what life was like for early explorers coming to America. We even ate lime slices to ward off Scurvy!
As much as possible, I will have my students demonstrate various scientific concepts through movement. For example, when learning about the solid, liquid and gas states of matter, my students acted as water in a cup, freezing (moving tightly together), melting (flowing around fluidly) and evaporating (moving around much further and more freely).
Below, my students are working on a dramatic exercise that involves critical thinking and working together outside on a hot spring day! The human knot!
My students respond so well to music in the classroom, that I incorporate it as much as possible. With this particular example, my students could understand how to find mean, median, mode and range, but remembering which is which was tricky, so I created this song to help them:
Our Mean, Median, Mode and Range Song
Mean, Mean: we add then divide.
Range, Range: subtract low from high.
Median, Median: the middle is your post.
Mode, Mode: your number occurs the most.
The thing I love most about presentations is that students retain 95% of the information they teach. They are easy to use across the curriculum and always use those Language Arts Speaking GLCEs. Farming in the Mid-West is not the most exciting subject to teach, so here I had my students help me out! They loved working together to research, create their posters and present what they learned.
The most common form of assessment I use in content areas such as math, science and social studies are exit cards. These provide me with a quick an easy assessment to guide my future lessons. They are a quick way to assess what my students have learned, and what they still need to learn, as well as how they feel about their knowledge of the subject at the end of each lesson.
I also take anecdotal notes as a quick and informal assessment to monitor my students' needs and progress in all content areas. I always have my clipboard handy for such notes.
"We have a test on this? I thought it was just for fun!"
-Nelson Elementary student of Mrs. Boone