Monday, November 23, 2009

Literacy Power Tools in Action

I have used a variety of activities I learned through the SURN workshop in my 6th grade math class. We began the school year with a student interest survey, the About Me introduction, and the Scavenger Hunt textbook activity. The activities helped me learn more about my students and their abilities in a short period of time while allowing them to relax and get to know each other.

During the first month, I introduced the Making Connections Strategy as a part of reading in math and now they readily respond when I ask how the text connects to them, the world around them, or something they’ve studied before? This has helped them to access prior knowledge and connect new concepts to older concepts in a more natural way. By using picture books like Fraction Action as an introduction to our unit on fractions, my math class has taken on a less formal tone without being chaotic.

During October, we viewed three pod casts from the The Mathtrain TV Podcasts collection. My special needs students were able to see how other middle school students tackled and explained some of the concepts we were studying. They really enjoyed watching the pod casts on using LCD to add fractions, turning fractions into decimals, and multiplying mixed numbers. They offered constructive suggestions on how to make a pod cast more enjoyable and expressed the desire to “do one.” So as a part of their review process for the 2nd nine weeks midpoint test, they will have a choice of making a video, a PowerPoint presentation, or leading a peer tutoring session for selected math SOLs. All and all we had a great 9 weeks!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Math Lesson using Power Tools

I considered myself lucky when I was given an opportunity to attend a seminar/workshop on “Power Tools for Literacy” last August. I learned so many things that would be so helpful to my students. I was able to use the strategies I learned from the seminar when I introduced the topic on percent, fractions, and decimals to all my classes. We read the book “Twizzlers – A percentages book “ and used give one-get one , mind-mapping, and read-aloud as my strategies to teach the lesson . The result was really GREAT!!! Not only my students enjoyed the lesson but they were highly motivated from the beginning up to the end of our class. Math is easier to teach for teachers and easier to learn for students using these different power tools strategies.

Maria Gotencio

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How are you using your iPod?

Some of the August Power Tools for Adolescent Literacy Academy participants have mentioned in their blog posts using iPods for musical transitions between activities or as a "musical timer." A second group of Academy participants will start next week (Nov. 16-18). Share with us specific ideas for using iPods in classroom settings. Tell your content area, grade level, the application, and the students' response.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Still Going!!!!

Greetings Everyone!

I hope everybody is off to a great year with their literacy strategies in place!! I know that I have been using quite a few and they seem to be going very well. I was overwhelmed at first but once I started using them I got the hang of it and everything seems to be moving in the right direction.

The kids are really getting a kick out of MAGINALIA!!! They just love when that term is used! This strategy has helped so much in helping the students identify the important concepts in science literature. I have also used the Role Cards in a lesson to help students see different concepts from different perspectives. Marking the text is another biggie!!

All I can say is that I am very excited for my students that they have something that sparks their interest and they don't have to listen to long drawn out lectures with no differentiation!!

Thanks SURN Team for sharing these very positive strategies to help students with literacy!!!