Sunday, November 27, 2016

Seasonal Stuff

It snowed yesterday, the first snow of the season--at first some flurries, then later with greater volume. It didn't stick, but it did slush a bit. This is the view from my window:

The snow is an indication of the season. If that wasn't enough, when I came home this evening, they had put up the seasonal holiday display in my subway station!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Who is stronger?

Despite whatever has happened in the last day (about which, let me just say, we will some day become greater than this), I am determined to carry on. Along the lines of my last post--a look at an interesting lesson for fifth grade--I present an engaging lesson for sixth graders on the subject of comparative adjectives.

The students are The Comparative Detective who must sort the four characters according to their foot speed, age and height. There are ten clues to decipher:

and then to make sentences for. The students then report the sentence to the their teammates, who must write it in their "Clue book":

Players switch roles, so each student will read, speak, listen and write during the activity.

There are ten clues to gather. After recording them all, the team must sort out the facts to determine the names and statistics of the four people they are comparing.

I initially planned a different activity for this lesson--one that was successful at my old school--but two or three of the sixth grade classes here are what my co-teacher describes as "quiet". What I would describe as lethargic and unengaged. So, I wanted to get them on their feet, and also challenge their brains (with or without English, necessarily). Working as a team. They really got into the Stations game, so this was a similar attempt to motivate them.

Halfway through the rotation, they have been utterly enthusiastic and totally willing to work. So so far a success.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What a nice house!

Sadly, not my new apartment, though hopefully there will be some movement on that issue soon. No, that is the name of the current unit in fifth grade, and gave me a chance to show my creative chops again.

I found some interesting pics of rooms in houses, and some cutaway views. I settled on eight plus a "bonus". Then I made a sentence matching the lesson vocab, and turned them into fill-in-the-blanks. Cut out the sentence so its shape will cover the item(s) of interest in the room. Like so:

Then tape it upside down over the pic like it's a flap. Pairs of students lift the flap and make the sentence:

They then report back to their teammates, dictate the sentence, and the teammates have to write it down on their handout. Then they switch roles to do the next one ...

As you can see, students found this activity utterly engaging, and had no trouble remembering all the sentences at the end of class. Almost worth all the prep this required (I laminated everything, because I have five classes of fifth graders, and otherwise everything would be shredded pretty quickly).