Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Teaching With Intention Book Study Chapter 5

Hello!  This week's "Teaching With Intention" book study focuses on Chapter 5- Swimming with Sharks.

This chapter is all about a lesson in its entirety focusing on information about sharks through reading texts.  The students make connections using old and new knowledge, also throwing in the mix...misconceptions.

I want to start off with this quote straight from the book:
"Once we define our beliefs, align our practices, and know our children & curriculum well, we can create purposeful lessons anytime..."

I loved her questions to ask yourself when you analyze your lessons that are on page 69.

Debbie Miller went into a classroom in Denver and did a 2 day lesson with students about sharks.  She learned they had already done some previous lessons on sharks.  She explained how we have "files" in our brain that help us remember important things.  We make connections between things we already knew and our new learning.  The connections help us understand what we learned. One clever student described these files almost like a computer.

Debbie Miller set this up in 3 parts:
*materials- sticky notes, black pens, chart paper, and a variety of books on the topic you are teaching
*organizing the file

She had to explain to students about the "file" in your brain about sharks.  She made a file with poster board and drew a line in half (like the file is laying open) and put "Schema"-what we think we know at the top and New Learning at the bottom.  Then she had a little square in the bottom right corner for misconceptions.  She had the students share out what they already know about sharks and they put those on sticky notes on the file.  She then started reading from a shark book and shared how to model "New Learning" and how to write that short and sweet on a sticky.  She then called on students to share their new learning.  Lastly, she had them work in partners to read a shark book (a few pages) and share with each other their learning.

My Connections:
I have done a similar lesson in the past, but with penguins.  I like her idea of explaining it all like a file and having that visual.  I do use sticky notes A LOT.  So I was excited to see that.  I also gave them time to go through penguin books with a partner.  We did a lapbook project to go along with it.  I'm excited this year to explain schema and making connections more.  I'd like to try the file visual too!  The key is modeling how to think about old knowledge and the connections to the new knowledge.  Misconceptions are also a biggie for my group...we are 5 years old and have just a few misconceptions about things.  ;)

This was one of my kiddos who was so excited to make his interactive lapbook and that was what he said right before I took the picture.  That was the day that I realized I needed to do many more similar lessons/projects.  We get so busy doing the little assessments and making sure we are on track with district pacing guides that sometimes we forget to make it FUN!  I found my kids were so much more engaged when it was hands on (duh!) and they got to take charge of their learning and somewhat lead where we were going with our research. You can click the picture to see it in my store.

I'm excited to do more lessons like Debbie!


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