The student need to write the sentence in the correct order, “The tree has lots of leaves.”
Photography by Dana Kathryn
Chase: “We just played ‘Foundation of a Moment’ by JC Poppe. I really like that track. It speaks to some realities in your life and in music. I know that you went through a bit of a tough time recently. One of the lyrics there says, ‘I could be worse off.’ I like focusing on lyrics. There’s another one that says, ‘It’s so hard to listen to both our heart and our head, so this moment I’m in, I’m just gonna vibe.’ Nice!”
As a teacher, it is important to capitalize on teachable moments. A small discussion, comment, or even an action from a student can lead to a brilliant impromptu lesson.
Case in point, last week I noticed that a student in my class was applying chapstick to her lips every few minutes. Her chapstick was becoming a distraction to her work. Not only that, but she was wasting a resource that should have lasted her a few weeks.
I immediately saw a connection to the glue sticks we have in the classroom. Quite often the students don’t roll down the glue and affix the cap properly when they have finished using it. Other students roll the glue all the way up to the top, or apply too much (like my student was doing with her chapstick)
I found a glue stick that was just about empty and held it up for the class.
“How does this work?” I asked.
One student replied, “You take off the cap and then put it on the paper.”
I did what she said and placed the glue stick cap on a piece of paper.
I said, “Come on, you should be able to explain how something as easy as a glue stick works?”
This is actually a good exercise in using precise language. And it is not as easy as it sounds. I was trying to challenge my students.
It took a while but they were finally able to direct me to use a glue stick correctly to glue two pieces of paper together.
After that, I held up the glue stick and asked the students, “How many parts do you think a gluestick has?”
Most of the students yelled out “4” but one said “5”
I took apart the gluestick and we examined each piece. I drew each piece on the Smartboard as well.
We could now see that a gluestick is a simple machine consisting of 5 parts. “Great answer!”
Glue sticks and Chapstick are built the same way.
Here are the component parts;
1) The handle that you turn is actually a screw. You can see it once you take off the top part that holds the glue.
2) The piece that screws on to this is a platform but we used the term “nut” for this exercise. The screw mechanism is like a bolt and the nut attaches to it.
3) Next we have the glue itself. This is the part of the glue stick that gets used up.
4) The casing or plastic shell is the next piece.
5) And finally, we have the cap or lid.
I was then able to talk about why we should be “Wise in the use of our resources” – an old Scouts Canada motto that has really stuck with me.
We only have so much resources in the world and in the classroom. We need to use the things we do have in a responsible manner.
Sure, this impromptu lesson took 20 minutes of my day that I had planned to teach something else, but this lesson was
We compared our lip balm and looked at the volume of ointment in each container.
This was one of the best lessons I delivered all year long and it was sparked by what was happening in my classroom at the time. I didn’t plan this lesson. In fact, it was actually a disruption to my day but good teachers can recognize these teachable moments and cash in on them.
I hope you have found this post useful. It is part of the Teaching Tip Tuesday series that I run here on this blog. As of now, there are over 100 useful tips, tricks, lessons, and ideas for you to peruse.
It’s time for the very first Visual Running Tour of 2011!
Medway Valley Heritage Forest is located in London, Ontario and covers 95 hectares. There are 9 kilometers of trails that hook up to a few other short trail systems in the northern part of the city. For my run today, I covered about five kilometers in this forest.
There is the entrance trail that leads to the forest.
The nature trail officially starts here.
This hill was a little bit muddy to run up.
The trail ran alongside the creek for the most part. There is nothing better than running through a beautiful forest with only the sounds of nature including the sound of a slow moving creek.
I love this shot. The trees are so straight and tall.
This year, I attended my first Toronto Freedom Festival and Global Marijuana March at Queen’s Park in Toronto. The event boasts a peaceful history with no arrests and an estimated 3.5 million dollar impact on the city’s economy.
The official festival website states: “In 2007, TFF was developed to offer the necessary infrastructure for the 9th Global Marijuana March (GMM) that launches just north of the park. Toronto’s march is largest of over 200 participating cities, attracting over 20,000 people each year and garnering international media attention”
This year, for the first time in the festival’s history, the organizers had a difficult time obtaining a license from the city of Toronto, succeeding only weeks before the event date. The permit allowed for the renting of port-a-potties, building fences, hiring security, building stages and hiring food and product vendors.
What affected the event was the amount of entertainers and speakers available on short notice. As a consequence, there was only one stage as opposed to several. The organizers were also very clear about the politics of the event; decriminalization of marijuana, regulating the growing selling and consumption of cannabis, and freeing the “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery from US prison.
However, I felt there was some question as to whether or not this message was being heard by the extremely young attendees of the event. Regardless, with a record turnout the event is making an impact about the issues, even if their participants did not all go out and vote on May 2nd.
Arriving at 11am, there were already approximately 20 thousand people in the park, camping out on the grass and surrounding areas. Everyone was incredibly friendly and laid back. What I found particularly striking was the noise level. For a crowd of such significant size, it was not necessary to raise your voice in conversation. Everyone was there to have a good time. What I did notice was the lack of political signs in the crowd. There were several volunteers collecting donations and giving out information, interacting with the crowd.
There were also a handful of street vendors and goods for sale, among booths giving out information about cannabis laws and selling marijuana paraphernalia such as bongs and rolling papers. We looked for a hacky sack at one point, but were disappointed.
Jody Emery is member of the Green Party and a cannabis activist. She spoke on behalf of the magazine Cannabis Culture where she is CEO. She also speaks on behalf of the company’s former CEO and her husband, Marc Emery, in a bid to return him to Canada to carry out his jail sentence.
Alison Myrden, a former Canada Corrections Officer and lifelong MS patient spoke about the need to both decriminalize the drug for medical use as well as regulate it through governmental dispensaries in order to ensure safe and effective medicine for patients.
Stay tuned to this blog for an exclusive interview she did with Chase March for DOPEfm.
Both women had such a presence it was hard not to listen to them. Laughing, smiling, smoking, and in such incredible spirits in the face of a four-year conservative government and already having dealt with issues threatening the safety of the event.
Here is a video of Alison Myrden speaking at the Toronto Freedom Festival in 2007, the first year of this large event centered around The GMM.
Every year the event has grown, and it shows no intention of slowing down.
This is a cause that affects so many people, yet one that is not represented in the popular media that often. For instance, did you know that over half of all drug arrests in the US are for cannabis related charges? (LEAP.cc).
We are led to believe that this is a harmful plant as well as to fear those who sell it, use it, or promote it. Perhaps we should make up our minds for ourselves? Below is a list of links to take you to further information about Jody and Alison as well as the causes they are fighting for.
Photography and Words by Dana Kathryn
Welcome to Teaching Tip Tuesday!
Before we get started today, if you haven’t already, please take a moment to complete this survey. Thanks!
And now for today’s tip,
How to Fit Small Group Instruction into Your Routine.
1) Remove Timelines
Instead of having a specific time and duration for tasks, allow your students to have some autonomy over when and how they need to complete those activities.
For example. I used to expect my students to write a journal every morning by 9:30. Promptly at that time, I would instruct my students to clear off their desks and get ready for a spelling lesson. I would then deliver my lesson to the entire class, and expect my students to complete the worksheet or activity by 10:00.
I don’t do this anymore and believe it or not, this tiny change has worked miracles.
2) Clearly Define the Goals
Each morning I put a list of tasks on the board that I expect to be completed. The students know they have the freedom to work on these tasks in any order they want.
Besides a journal, I also have my students complete a DLR. This Daily Language Review is a 5 question activity that takes most students only five or ten minutes to complete. It helps reinforce grammar, phonics, sentence structure, onset and rime, analytical skills, punctuation, spelling, and more.
I will give you more details about this bellwork activity in an upcoming teaching tip.
3) Add more tasks
I also give the students a math worksheet each morning.
Sometimes, it will be strictly computational. I truly believe students should be doing math drills each and every day to improve their speed and accuracy.
Once again, this activity takes students anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to complete.
4) Target Teach
Here’s is where the small group instruction comes in.
I don’t teach a spelling lesson to the whole class anymore. Instead, I teach the lesson to one small group of students. I group these students by learning style and target the instruction accordingly.
I have the students assemble around a conference table that I sit at as well. This table is close to the board so I can turn around and use the board without having to get up.
We focus on the spelling pattern of the week and I have the students spelling out words according to the sounds. I can see how each student is using the letter pattern
Once the students go back to their desks, I call the next group over to the table and repeat this entire lesson. I have found that a whole class lesson that takes 30 minutes can be done with a group of five students in about 10.
Sure, I end up teaching the same lesson, more or less, five times in a row. This takes 50 minutes of my time but the students get targeted instruction that truly enhances their learning.
6) Do it Daily
On Mondays, I use this routine to teach each small group a spelling lesson. On Tuesdays, I do a mini-lesson on writing. Wednesdays, we do Grammar. Thursdays, it’s word study. And Friday, I have the students use this time to catch up on any work they have fallen behind on. If they are all finished, they get some extra free time.
7) Free Time
Many students get free time every morning now because the get their work done. Even with the extra writing and math task I have thrown into the mix, the work gets done.
The students are happy because they get to choose which task to do first, second, third, and fourth, and they are motivated to do them knowing that free time awaits them after completion.
More Teaching Tips
I hope you have found this 3 Part Series on Small Group Instruction useful. If you use this or a similar strategy, I would love to hear from you. Perhaps, you have a tip you’d like to share. Please leave a comment below, send me and email, or you could even write a guest post for next week’s tip.
Here are some past Teaching Tip Tuesday posts you might find useful.
- Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive – over 100 tips and counting
- Reading Groups – divide your students into groups by reading ability
- Part 1 of this series – free up your lesson time and class schedule
- Part 2 of this series – small group instruction
Photo Credit – http://appletreebroomfield.org/PhotoAlbum.aspx
Greetings Chase readers,
I am a recent teacher graduate doing an inquiry about A.P.E. and having a very hard time finding research and literature on the effectiveness of this strategy. So, when I saw the post, I thought I would put it out to the greater teaching community and ask all you teachers out there to please take a few moments to complete the following survey.
Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
A.P.E. Strategy (Answer, Prove and Extend)
Anonymous Teacher Survey
1. What grade do you teach?
2. Have you ever used A.P.E. strategy as a format for both oral and written responses?
3. Are you currently using A.P.E. strategy in your classroom? – If not please state why?
4. Please briefly describe how you introduced the A.P.E. strategy to your class.
5. Please describe any benefits to your students’ performance that you may have noticed since employing the A.P.E. strategy, such as whether students are beginning their answers by re-wording the question, and if they are more consistently proving their answers with material taken from an oral or written text, and lastly, if they are extending their answers by making connections that are either text-to text, text-to-self, or text-to-world.
6. Please state whether or not you would continue to use, or would use this strategy in the future.
Or you can also respond by leaving a comment below.
– Laura Martindale
Later on in the story, we find out that she was raped during a house party. She was only thirteen and didn’t know what to do, so she called 911. The party was then broken up by the police but she didn’t stay to talk to the authorities. She didn’t even report the crime. She didn’t tell anyone, She didn’t speak about it at all.
The story is about the struggle to find her voice and speak.
I hope people speak out and against rape. I hate the fact that it even exists. I don’t understand how anyone could possibly commit such a heinous act. I hate how the victim will sometimes get blamed. I hate everything about it.
I hated that this character that I came to really like over the course of the novel, had to go so such a horrible affair. I am glad that she made it through okay though and that I got to hear her story, that I got to hear her speak.