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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time to put on the thinking hats

Many teachers don't even want to read these words, but... there are less than 3 weeks left before we have to report back to school! (Shriek of horror)

So it must be time to start dusting off those ideas and concepts for lessons and activities for the upcoming school year.

I want this to be an interactive post, so I hope I get lots of responses from loyal readers and newcomers alike. I'd like to know, what are one or two ideas that you have -- whether you've brainstormed them yourself or read about them somewhere else -- that you can't wait to implement in the 09/10 school year.

Here are two ideas that I want to try. I know that I read about them online, and I am very sorry to say that I cannot remember WHERE I read them so as to give credit where credit is due.

1) Making clocks that have some other pattern than counting by 1s. This could especially be used in conjunction with multiplication lessons, where instead of a clock reading 1-12, the numbers could be replaced with multiples of say, 4, so that it read 4,8,12...all the way to 48. I think that this would reinforce the multiplication concepts, certainly, but also give the kids a stronger understanding of the way to read an analog clock.

2) I want to have the kids write their own little story that explains a math procedure. For instance, when I talk about regrouping in subtraction -- borrowing -- I tell a little story as I go, about how the 2 can't subtract a 7, so he has to go next door and borrow one from his neighbor, OH, but the neighbor is a zero, so the ZERO has to go next door to borrow one from HIS neighbor... and so on, and so on. Maybe, with some work, the kids could write their own cute little way to remember how to borrow, or how to round, or how to put the correct quantity on top of the fraction.

There are a couple of things that I want to try. Now you jump in, and tell us all about things that YOU are looking forward to giving a shot.


Elaina Weaver said...

I am excited to try interactive notebooks this year. I plan to use them in both Science and World History. That is my big one that I have been focusing all summer. There are tons of websites if you want to research them for yourself.

Christy said...

i am working on a better way to work on summarization. The kids really seem to struggle with this concept - and it's a hard concept if you think about it!! One of the ideas I had was to use the twitter format. I don't use twitter myself, but the concept is simple...140 characters to get a point across. I am also kind of excited about a new way we are organizing world history this year that will allow us to spend more time on the 20th century.

Anonymous said...

I want to incorporate a daily world event. I don't know how much time we'll devote to this, but I want students to learn how to find news from the computer, magazines, newspaper, and even TV, and learn about things that are relevant beyond their narrow scope.

Melissa B. said...

I'm always in favor of writing across the curriculum. Why don't you have them illustrate their stories, too? To make it even more interactive, you could make a class set of all the stories/pictures, and the kids could each illustrate construction paper covers. Then punch holes, bind with yarn, an voila! Something they'll keep for a while, I'd say!

Mister Teacher said...

Great ideas! Please be sure to also tell us what you teach and where. For example, I teach 3rd grade math in Texas.

HappyChyck said...

I LOVE your math story idea!

I want my English students to podcast book reviews. No prob there. I'd like them to be linked to our library's website. Hope that can happen.

My really big idea though...publish our school newspaper online only--not just a PDF of a hard copy, either. We can publish news as it happens. I don't have all the kinks worked out, though, so I'm worried.

siobhan curious said...

I'll be asking my Travel Literature students to keep blogs as one of their major projects. I'm very nervous - it'll be my first foray into class blogging - but also excited. My main prep over the next couple of weeks will be putting together the blog guidelines and evaluation charts. I've been given some good pointers on how to run this activity:


I'd be grateful for more advice!

marie77 said...

I am going back to the classroom after 10 years working with parents. I am really excited and a little overwhelmed by all the web tools available! My school is a small rural school and technology is not used there yet. I am most excited about getting the school blog started and doing at least 1 on line collaborative project with a school in another country.