Saturday, March 22, 2014

Experimenting In Class

Dear Resume,

Inspired by comments on Twitter from the CUE Conference keynote by Dan Meyer about "perplexing" students as a way to help develop questioning and learning skills, I tried my hardest not to give them any answers yesterday. I was subbing in 3rd grade (the teacher gave me permission to deviate from her plans) and as we started the math lesson on likely, unlikely, certain, and impossible I skipped over the "we do" guided step. Did the vocabulary, discussed examples whole class involving the rainforests, then their weekend plans (certain most of them will watch movies and play video games all weekend; very unlikely any will read a book or get much exercise. But not impossible!) then I had them work with partners on problem #13 (1-12 were way too easy) while I worked with Special Ed and English Learners. (btw, how could we not have a very new/low ELA surrounded by students that speak his home language instead of in back row by behavior issue student?) Then the students shared solutions and explained how they worked through the problem, and asked their own questions about the problem and each others' answers.
I also snuck a little 4th grade standard in on them. Sat in on a 4/5 PD during my break last week and read through a new CCSS Language Arts unit sent down from the district about rewriting narratives from a different point of view. I grabbed Stuart Little and found where Stuart shot an arrow through Snowbell's ear to protect his little bird friend. We discussed why Stuart did it and how he felt (citing text evidence, of course) then listed what they thought Snowbell might have thought and felt about the situation. After recess was a Health lesson about resolving conflict so they wrote about a conflict, personal or made up, then rewrote it from the other person's point of view.

See what I did there? Common Core Standards, real world connections, student led inquiry, evidence driven answers, connections across content... get this man a classroom!

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