Pages

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Transforming Teaching

I’m working on my lesson plans for next week.  I can no longer plan without all the knowledge I’m gaining from the BrainSMART program vying for attention in my mind.  This program is truly revolutionizing my teaching experience, and by extension, the experiences of my students.  If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve been witnessing the change in progress.  I’m having FUN teaching!

The Change

I have to admit it.  In previous years I have been a slave to the curriculum.  If the curriculum book said to have students do page 56 in the practice book on Tuesday… then we did page 56 in the practice book on Tuesday!  I did small groups when I could.  I also tried to target learning styles when possible.  In retrospect though it was like having a map showing only main streets, and being asked to find a specific location on a side street.  I had the overall knowledge of how to teach, but not the specifics to make the learning ‘stick.’  Now, I look at the overall objectives for the week, and then I think about how to use the BrainSMART strategies.

 New Style

Did you know that after 24 hours, students only retain 5% of a lecture?  Having students read only brings retention up to 10%.  How do most teachers teach?  Lecture.  Therefore, in my planning I’m thinking of different BrainSMART ways to present information AND how to make cross-curricular connections.  For example, Monday we are beginning a unit about Sequoyah and the Trail of Tears.  In spelling we’ll learn r-controlled vowels.  The writing trait will be organization and paragraphs.  In math we will use geoboards.

The Plan

I think it might be beneficial to show the changes in teaching strategy, so I’ll provide a synopsis of what I did before my first BrainSMART course, and what I’ll do now.  I’ve only had one course so far!

Before my first BrainSMART course:

Monday Morning:

·       Restroom breaks, water bottles, pencil sharpening.
·       Introduce r-controlled vowels.  Write words on smartboard and have students change the meaning of each word by changing a single letter.
·       Practice book page 73
·       Spelling pages 29, 30
·       Decodable Reader
·       Restroom Breaks
·       Talk about sequence.  Read a story and discuss keywords to identify sequence.
·       Practice page 74

After my first BrainSMART course:

Monday Morning:

·       Restroom breaks, water bottles, pencil sharpening.
·       Introduce r-controlled vowels.
·       Have students work in groups to see how many words they can come up with containing r-controlled vowels.  Discuss the words as a class.
·       Have students do spelling page 29.  Make sure they use a different color when writing the target sound in a word.
·       Invite students to floor.
·       Introduce Sequoyah and his creation of a syllabary through the use of dramatic storytelling.
·       Think/Pair/Share periodically.
·       Ask students to retell the sequence of events.  Point out sequencing words.
·       Return to desks
·       Ask students write syllabary-like symbols they might create to represent r-controlled vowels.  Write words using the symbol in place of the r-controlled vowel. Ask them to share their ideas with the class. 

Monday Afternoon

·       Storytime
·       Restroom Break
·       Math
·       Students use slates to show 3 ways to represent the number 36.
·       Students group and use playing cards to build numbers.  Show different ways to represent each number.  Record answers.
·       Talk about geoboards and shapes.  Have students use boards and rubber bands to make shapes.
·       Restroom Break
·       Introduce Sequoyah
·       Show on map where he was from & talk about his family.
·       Introduce weaving activity to students.
·       Students copy a pre-printed summary of Sequoyah.

Monday Afternoon

·       Storytime
·       Restroom Break
·       Math
·       Students use slates to show 3 ways to represent the number 36.
·       Ask students how this is the same or different from what Sequoyah did with the syllabary.  Transition to groups.
·       Students group and use playing cards to build numbers.  Show different ways to represent each number.  Record answers.
·       Introduce geoboards.  Students work in pairs and try to duplicate shapes.  Show a map of where Sequoyah was born.  Ask students to recreate the shape on their geoboards.
·       Restroom Break
·       Ask students to share what they remember about Sequoyah.
·       Write their memories on the smartboard, then ask them to sequence the thoughts listed. 
·       Use students to represent each ‘thought.’  Have the rest of the class decide if the ‘thoughts’ should stand together or need their own paragraphs.
·       Have students choose a comfortable spot in the classroom and write 2 paragraphs based on their choice of the information they provided.  
·       Introduce the Sequoyah unit’s weaving project.  Ask students if/how weaving is similar to geoboards.
         Let students spend time weaving.

Summary

Obviously I could not include every detail or transition, but I think this gives a nice basic overview.  I’m excited to give this a try Monday and see how students respond.  I’ll let you know.  I am thrilled to experience this transformation in my classroom.  I feel like I’m getting a detailed map to teach for retention now.  I’m becoming BrainSMART!


Visit the BrainSMART website at http://www.brainsmart.org
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment