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!

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