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Showing posts with label sketching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sketching. Show all posts

Keep Them Engaged, Learning, and Having Fun!

In my experience, kids need to move! That shouldn't keep them from learning, in fact, moving is a great way to enhance learning!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

As many of my readers know, I have studied how the brain learns and using research on the brain to design resources to help children learn. (For more information, check out these posts:)
 
Some of the common threads in these posts include movement, integrating the arts, working with others, and making it fun. Plus, we all know from developmental studies that it's important for them to move! 

(See this post: Is Digital Learning in the Best Interest of Children?)

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

It just so happens that I have a series of resources that address these needs while promoting learning at the same time! There are 15 resources in this series (so far) and they all have the exact same format: 
  • an informative text about an interesting science or social studies topic (Perfect for close reads and guided reading!)
  • 10 questions about the text
  • 4 sketching tasks to go along with the text
  • 6 brain breaks related to the text
Once they catch onto the format, less time is wasted on teaching them how to use the tool, and they become quite independent in their learning with this tool!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!
There are many different ways to use these resources! It can be differentiated for different learning levels, different organizational needs, as well as different social needs. Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

I always start off with whole group instruction! Everyone gets a copy of the text with the answer sheet, and we read through the text together. I go through some of the questions and show the students how to go back to the text to find the answers. (They LOVE using highlighters on this!)

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

We do all the brain breaks together, and discuss the sketching tasks.  
 
Once they "get" how the whole thing works, we can play a game of Scoot. (See directions here: Active Students? Try Scoot!)


Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

Some of my more challenged readers usually need more guidance. I'll bring copies of the text to some of my reading groups. We read through the text together, discussing vocabulary and talking about what we've learned. I'll let the group take turns reading the different task cards. We discuss what the answer might be, and go back to the text to find where we found the answer. (Again, the highlighters!)
 
Once the small group has gone through the whole process, (and yes, of course we all do the brain breaks together!) they're ready to do the whole process independently! (These make great centers!) 
 
Yes, they can re-read the same text and answer the same questions all over again! Why? Because there's a lot of information in those texts, and even though they've answered the questions already, that doesn't mean they remember all the information! A second (or even third) time through, especially after a passage of time, is ideal! Not only are they practicing important skills (reading for information) but they are learning interesting information!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

These sets make great centers! I often assign centers to be done in pairs. Why? Because of those great conversations! Talking about the text internalizes what they're learning. (More brain research!) Plus, they learn from each other through these rich conversations. Some may share information about the topic that's not even in the text! (More learning, yippee!)
 
Another reason to let partners use these activities? Because some children need a stronger reader to help them out. This can be a delicate situation, since we need to be sensitive about our lower readers, but you know your kids! Make smart choices for partners who will support each other without insulting each others' abilities!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

These are also perfect for your fast finishers to do independently during centers time!  Again, each set can be used more than once... hopefully, they'll remember more information each time!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

This one is easy! Anytime! I find they're perfect as centers during those last couple months of the year when their skills are strong and they've developed some independence.
They're also great for the beginning of the school year when you're teaching procedures!
Plus, if you're doing a unit related to one of these topics, these are perfect!
 
If you're interested in these, check out this link:

Reading Comprehension for Active Learners

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!
 

You can try one for free here:  

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

How do you keep your students learning and engaged?


Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!



Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!

Here in the northern hemisphere, we are enjoying the spring weather!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.


We still have to teach. but we might as well teach while enjoying the beautiful weather and getting those kiddos outside! Here are some of my ideas!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

This one is pretty obvious! They have to read every day.  Why not bring it outside? If you want to go all out, have them bring in towels to sit or lie on while reading. Other options: partner reading, or teacher read alouds!

I do find sometimes a little bribery motivation is necessary. "If you don't stay focused on your books, we will have to bring them back inside."

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

There are loads of engineering projects that can be done outside!  Children can use sand, grass, rocks or sticks to create all sorts of things! Here are a few ideas:

1. Create a sundial.
2. Make a tall rock tower.
3. Make a shadow creature.
4. Take tubs of water outside and maybe a few classroom materials to create "boats" that float!

This is only the beginning. If you search "Outdoor S.T.E.M." on Pinterest or google it, I'll bet you find a TON of ideas!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

You'll need some sidewalk chalk for this. 


Have equal teams, and a list of math facts or math problems they can solve. 


One team member at a time takes the chalk, runs to the other end of the defined area, write the problem with the correct answer, and run back. (It's a good idea to have another adult at the other end to check their math!) 

When they get back, the next person gets the chalk and a new problem.


I suggest making the running area on grass or "soft top," and the writing area on the hard top.

They'll be so busy having fun and burning off steam, they won't even know they're practicing important facts!


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Sketching is an important science skill!


Scientists need to notice details, and look for differences!


Direct students to pick a specific spot to sketch. (One with some sort of vegetation is best!)  A week later, they can go back to the same spot. As they re-sketch, hopefully they will notice differences.

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.
3 Seasons of our class tree!
Notice the winter tree was photographed from inside the screened window!

I've had my groups choose a "class tree" in the fall, and we will often go out to sketch the tree. As the year progresses, they re-sketch, and definitely notice differences!
One little secret, I've been very good at convincing the children to choose the tree right outside our class window. That way, they can sketch from inside in the winter! (No one wants to sit in snow and sketch!)


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Just like reading, story writing can be brought outdoors easily! They can continue stories they were working on, make up a story about what they see, or write nature poetry. Again, reminding the children this is a privilege helps them stay focused!


If you're interested in a little outdoor Science or Social Studies with reading and writing skills thrown in, check out this: Science and Social Studies for Summer

Most of these activities are designed for the outdoors, and you definitely don't have to wait for summer!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

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