Friday, November 27, 2015

Prediction Board

Last week I conducted a lesson with two 6th grade girls from Thailand about making predictions. Basically what we did is read a story and make predictions.

What you'll need:

  • Poster board (or easel paper)
  • Different color post it notes for each child
  • Pencils
  • Crayons (or colored pencils)
  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
  • Paper

What to do:
  1. Do a picture walk using Enemy Pie with the students. Have them make predictions every few pages using only the pictures. Have each student write their predictions on their own colored post its and stick them to the "I predict" column.
  2. Have the students tell you why they came to their predictions on another post it note and stick it to the "Because" column (or the "evidence" column).
  3. After the picture walk go back and read the story with the children having them make (but not write down) new predictions with the evidence of the words and pictures. When you come across the sections the students wrote predictions about, have them stop and go over their original predictions and write new post its about what actually happened.
  4. Extension activity- Have the students create a poster advertising the story in a way that would get their friends and peers to read the book.

Recess and the Rest

I don't like recess very much as a teacher because I hate to be outside when its too cold or too hot. It's mostly because it's really difficult and stressful to keep an eye on a bunch of kids doing potentially dangerous things without telling them to stop playing. Then it's a lot to decide what's play and what's too dangerous.

However I actually do love watching recess because it's one of the few times I see kids these days being kids. Today kids all have iPads and electronic devices and talk about things that are way too grown for them to even know about. But during recess I hear kids playing things like super heros and my little pony. It's just nice for kids to play like kids.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

I had an opportunity to take a step back and look at how I was doing and improve. I had a student in first grade who was misbehaving the whole morning, not doing any work, running in and out of the classroom and not being where he was supposed to be. One of the most difficult things about being a sub is not knowing the behavior reward/discipline system in the room. Even when the children try to explain it to you... you're talking about 20 six-year-olds trying to explain something to you and they can never all agree on the details of anything so my only real option is to throw kids who aren't listening out of the room and have another adult in the building deal with it.

Anyway back to the kid I started off talking about...

It was intervention time so some of the kids were in different classrooms and we were working in groups. This child was in my group, or he was supposed to be. He started off in the group but he had a pencil he kept playing with, we weren't doing any work where he even needed to write to I don't know why he needed a pencil. Anyway after a few times of telling him to stop playing with the pencil I asked him to give it to me. Every time I told him to do anything he looked at me like I was insane, I assume trying to figure out who I was telling him what to do. Anyway after asking him a few times to give me the pencil I told him to give it to me or go to the office. When he eventually came back from the office he was still not doing any work and misbehaving.

I told him this behavior was not an option and his choice was to take a seat in his chair or sit down with us and do his work. He was doing whatever he wanted and I told him I would call his Dad if he didn't stop misbehaving. When none of this was working I took a minute to redirect my approach since threats and force weren't working and really aren't a way I want to handle a child anyway. So I asked him why he wasn't listening or doing his work. He said because he didn't want to I calmly explained to him that this is school and not doing your work because you don't want to isn't an option so you can either make a better choice and rejoin the group and do your work or you can go and sit in your chair quietly. He came back to the group and did his work. I made sure to praise him for making the right decision and choosing to get his work done.