Saturday, 29 November 2014

Report Writing Part 2

I am back to share our next steps in Report Writing. I mentioned in in my last blog post, that we are going to be doing Report Writing 4 times this year. This first one is a shared/guided Writing experience. We are working together to create 1 report as a class.

We left off with us writing down all the things we think we know about penguins.
Next class, we talked about how we need to know if our facts are true or not. Good reporters ask questions and research their information to make sure they are sharing correct and true facts.

We first decided what books could help us find real facts about penguins. We sorted Fiction and Non Fiction books.

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I then read sections of the Non Fiction books and the students listened for facts we had already written down.

We talked about the words Misconception and Confirmed. If we heard our fact in the Non Fiction book and it was the same as what we wrote, we moved our sticky note under Confirmed. If we read our fact in the book but it was different from what we thought, we moved it under Misconception.

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Example: We wrote that Penguins can swim. We read the same thing in our book, so it moved under Confirmed. We talked about how these are now true facts we could use in our report.

We also wrote that Penguins live in the Arctic. We read in the books that Penguins live in the Antarctic. We moved this sticky note under Misconception.

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We also wrote new pieces of information that we found as we read as well. Since we are doing this whole group, I am reading the books and students are sharing when are where to move the facts.

We talked also how you can’t get everything you need from one book. If you want to be an expert, you might have to read a few books, go on the computer etc.
We also noted that you can’t move a sticky note, unless you have researched the fact. Also, that you may never find the answers to some of our thoughts and it is ok for sticky notes to stay under What I think I know.

When we go to write our report, we will use the facts under Confirmed and New Information.

Next Step is to use a graphic organizer to sort our facts to see if their are any gaps and we need to go back and do more research.

At the end of the year, my kids work on their own report. They have the same headings in a book format and they use sticky notes to record and sort their info.

Stay Tuned!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Report Writing

This year, part of my Professional Growth is focusing on writing. I have always gone about it in bits and pieces, but never set a scheduled time down in my day plan for it.

This year, I have work on writing during Daily 5 (every day), as well as 3 other Writers Workshop times planned in.

We have been doing journal writing in our writers notebooks during Daily 5 and we started looking at report writing during Writers Workshop time.

I have always done report writing closer to the end of grade one. This year, we are going to try and do it 3 times. This first time is shared writing with the teacher. 2nd time will be guided writing and 3rd time will be independent writing.

We looked at a report about Beavers and talked about what we noticed. We created a chart of the things reports have.

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We looked at fiction and non-fiction books in our reading corner and decided which would help us write a report. Reporters share facts and information. We might already know a lot about a topic that interests us, but we need to ask questions to make sure our facts are true and so we can become experts!

We decided that together as a class, we were interested in Arctic animals and knew quite a bit already about them. We picked Penguins as our animal to write a shared report on.

We started with writing down what we thought we knew about penguins. Our next step, is to do some research and decide if our facts are confirmed or misconceptions.

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Stay Tuned!

How do you teach report writing?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Plickers App: Amazing and Simple Assessment Tool

I am super excited to share with you a new app I stumbled upon. Its called Plickers

It’s a tool that allows teachers to collect real-time data without needing student devices!

Here’s how it works.

1. Download the free app and create a class with your students names in it. Have more than 1 class? No need to worry! You can create as many as you need!

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2. Create a  question in the app. It can be true or false or multiple choice. You can have up to 4 answers to pick from. A, B, C, D.

3. Now comes the fun part! Go to the Plickers site and print out the special cards.

 Each student gets a certain card each time they answer. The cards have numbers and letters on them. They have enough for big classes as well (up to 63 kids!) I realize I might have cut mine too small as my kids had a hard time holding them without covering up the code. (note: don’t cut off the extra paper!)

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For Example: When I create a class, each student I assigned to the class got a certain number. Joe is number 25. When I hand out the cards, I need to give Joe 25 so I know it is his answer.

The 4 letters are for the multiple choice answers. Joe needs to hold his card with the letter up that he thinks is the correct answer. The certain way he holds his card will give his card a special block figure and when I scan it, it will tell me if Joe is right!

Example: Joe is card number 25. I ask the question “ What is 4 + 2?”
A. 7
B. 5
C. 3
D. 6

Joe needs to hold his card with the letter D up, so he will get the question correct.

I recommend trying out some practice questions so kids get the hang of holding up their cards the correct way. So you know if they are answering the question incorrect or didn’t know how to hold their card.

4. I hand out the cards, making sure everyone gets the right number. I ask the question, give everyone a chance to think and hold up their cards the correct way.

(Picture from the website Plickers)
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5. This is what I see on my ipad. I click on the camera below and take a photo of them all holding their cards up. (my students names were listed below the question)

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What I love: As I scan the group….it tells me what cards it is reading and collecting the info from. After I take the photo, I can see if it missed anyone and if I need to go back and take another photo of the few I missed!

6. Take the photo and collect the real time data!

I see 19 kids got the answer correct. 2 did not. It tells me which 2 kids got it wrong by their numbers.

I can also see what numbers I missed. I missed 14 and 15, so I can go back and take a photo of the 2 of them and collect their data.

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You can re use the cards again and again! Just keep writing new questions! You can also use them for multiple classes! You could have 5 kids assigned to number 1 from each different class.

What I love about Plickers:

Great for quick formative assessments. Can I move on? Do I need to reteach? Who do I need to reteach to?

Use for Exit Slips. No more collecting paper. Ask a question at the end of the day and have everyone show their cards and take a photo!

Everyone can engage and participate without being singled out!

Collect quick whole class data.

Re-use the cards.

I just found it yesterday, so I am sure there is more!

Download the app and check it out for yourself!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Yikes!

Holy Moly….I got super busy and this blog took a back seat. Since the last time I posted, I moved out of my condo, moved into a house, had parent teacher conferences, my student teacher started back, I started Zumba 2 nights a week and ringette started again!

Yikes it is!

I am here just to share some pics of how I am using my open concept room with a variety of learning environments Smile

It is tricky at times because of the different work spaces and seating. I don’t have seating for all my kids so times when I want to do whole group activities (not very often) I have to get creative!

We used the open floor in front of our room to work on some art projects this past week.
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I also sat in front of them outside the room as I modelled the art directions.

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Where do you do art?


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