Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teachin' Tuesdays...almost Wednesday

From last week's post: On my ever present quest to be a better teacher, and eventually segue into the role of librarian and resource teacher, I am interested in sharing teaching strategies that work well for me and, hopefully, learning from others out there what works well for them! To without further delay, here it is...Teachin' Tuesdays.

Whew!! It has been a day! Today is the one day in my schedule that I have no prep period, so I teach from 8:30 to 12:30, and then 1:00-2:30 straight. Yes, I know I have a one hour lunch and most jobs do not get that...but at most jobs people are allowed to get up and go pee whenever they want. I had to wait for 3 1/2 hours this morning!!!

I also taught my after school remedial class from 2:45-4:00, but ducked out early to go to a workshop from 4:00- 8:30 (where I won the book What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell!) . So, like I said, it has been a day....but a good day!

One of my former students came back to help in my classroom while he is on his exam break in Grade 9. High school students in Ontario have to complete 40 hours of community service as part of their diploma and many help out in former classes. P. typed a classroom library catalogue, marked 2 class sets of quizzes, wrote out the Olympic's sports schedule and created an Olympic bulletin board. It was nice to know the kids (or one kid) remember me after they leave my room.

Today's Teachin' Tuesday strategy is:

Graffiti Boards
I love this strategy and it is very simply incorporated into any subject area. I will describe how I used it today to help you get an idea of how it goes.

I asked to students to answer a few questions for homework based on three quotes from Chapter 2 of the book Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World. Today, when they arrived in class with their homework I divided them into 6 groups and gave each group one quote to focus on (2 groups per quote). They were given a piece of chart paper and coloured markers. I told them to create a "visual representation" of their ideas and responses. They could use words, pictures, symbols, colours, quotes anything they wanted to splash their ideas on the page. 

It's a great process to watch as they debate and attempt to choose which are the best words to describe their thoughts and ideas. They come up with great symbols and really powerful words to describe their thinking. I usually have them present their graffiti to the class as well so that the other students can see their thoughts on paper.

I have used this strategy in many lessons: as a pre-reading activity to see that they know about important themes or vocabulary, as a way to explain complex concepts from a social science lesson, and once even I had my class retell the 5 acts of MacBeth entirely in graffiti! It was awesome.

I will try to take some pictures of today's graffiti at school tomorrow and post it for all to see. Until then...goodnight!

P.S. If you want to read more, HERE is a Graffiti Wall lesson from www.readwritethink.org (a favourite site of mine!)

1 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

SB said...

thanks so much beth! another keeper for me! although I couldnt' get the one link to work on the site...

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe