Reading/Language Arts: Lecture Discussion Questioning Summaries of Reading Reactions to Reading and Art Various Writing Activities Learning Log for SPIs Graphic Organizers Small Group Instruction Read Alouds
Jig-Saw Read with Wordle The first activity that I had my students complete was a Jig-Saw read with them putting their information into a Wordle to present to the whole class. This strategy seemed very effective as far as the students knowing about the holiday they read about. After the activity, students understood the information they had read but did not know much about the other holidays that were presented. I think it would have been more effective, if we would have had time to split into different groups to explain the information.
GRASP Activity with iPad The next strategy that I taught my students to use was the GRASP activity. I did this activity first by having them use their textbooks to discover information about famous artists/writers, and then I had students use a set of iPads to look up information about other historical figures. This was the most effective strategy that I have used so far this semester. Students had truly learned the information after reading, remembering, summarizing, and writing. At the end of the week, I had students take an open-notes test over the famous artists/writers from their text. Many students knew the information so well that they only used their notes to check information. I would like to use this activity in more formats to see if the students are able to do just as well summarizing using other information.
T-Notes/Two Column Notes One of the goals we have in 3rd grade is teaching students to take notes. This strategy worked well with a Geography lesson over landforms since it dealt with a number of terms and ideas that students needed to know. Students were able to put the terms on one side and any information that went with the notes on the other. When we reviewed over the information, students could easily find the term and any information they needed to know.
KWL For the next section in Social Studies, I decided to have the students complete a KWL. This lesson worked well after I adjusted it after the first lesson. The first time I tried to start the lesson, I was getting information that had nothing to do with the lesson. The next day, I gave students a list of words from the selection, and they were able to understand how to fill out the Know and Want to Know sections better.
SQ3R The SQ3R worked well with my students because it had a step by step procedure. We completed the activity together so that students could understand the five steps better. The students seemed to grasp the concept quickly when they saw that there were five basic steps that they had to follow.
Concept Map The concept map was an activity I used to help students understand how regions can be compared and contrasted. I was not sure how to develop a concept map, so I relied on a map that I found online. I enjoyed using the map because the information was easy to convey on the chart. After completing the map with my students, I wished I would have developed my own concept map from the others so that I could have made some of the relationships easier to understand.
Word Sort I used this activity with the ecosystems that we were discussing in class. Each ecosystem was a heading and students had to match the descriptions to the words. I think this activity worked well with my students because the students started the week’s lesson by completing the word sort, and I could see what they knew or needed to know. After the lesson, I had the students complete the word sort themselves and glue it to a sheet of paper. Students were allowed to use their books or notes, but most opted not too. Most of the students did very well and were able to match the different descriptions. Most students only missed a few because they mixed up information about the desert and grassland ecosystems. This word sort showed me what information students did not understand and what I might need to reteach.
Venn Diagram I used the Venn Diagram to help students understand the relationship between urban, suburban, and rural areas. I decided to use a three circle Venn Diagram to compare the three areas. Students were familiar with the two circle but not the three, so I made sure to explain each section with them. I think this activity worked well because we wrote about each region and then looked at all three sections before writing on our Venn Diagrams. Students were able to easily compare urban to suburban and suburban to rural, but they had trouble telling how rural and urban relate. I think with activity worked well because I was able to explain each section, we were able to focus on each part one at a time.
With this practicum, I feel as if I have made myself develop into a better Social Studies teacher . Many times as a teacher, I have felt as if I needed to focus on Reading and Math for TCAP and have pushed the other areas to the side. With this practicum, I learned that I can easily pull out strategies that I use for reading and integrate them into the lessons. The Classroom Techniques Survey allowed me to reflect on how I taught and to see some ways that I may want to change about my teaching. Even though I have only been teaching for five years, I have forgotten that there are many different ways to teach. This survey allowed me to look at areas that I need to improve (such as my content area teaching) and areas that I excel in that I could be helping other teachers become better in.
From the Questioning Survey, I have learned that I need to develop my questioning skills. I have always had a difficult time moving up the scale of Bloom’s Taxonomy, but I understand that I need to help students develop a broader thinking range. With the new evaluation system and changes being made to how students are evaluated at the end of the year, I now see that students are going to have to understand what these types of questions are asking and how to answer them. Teaching writing is an area that I dread. Through the Writing Across the Curriculum Survey, I noticed that I can integrate writing into many different areas. I also learned that I can help students develop needed writing skills without having to develop an elaborate writing lesson. By giving students different opportunities to write, I was able to see their strengths and weaknesses and provide them with opportunities to improve.
Cannon County, Tennessee School Population: 496 students (K-8) 3rd Grade Population: 46 students Subjects Taught: Reading/Language Arts and Social Studies This is the first year my co-teacher and I have decided to specialize in two areas. I am able to focus more on planning and am able to know all of the third graders instead of just those in my class. Recently, we have gone back to teaching Science and Social Studies to our homerooms. School Web Address: http://www.ccstn.net/wgs/site/default.asp
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