Teachers who inspire realize there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us.
They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones...It all depens on how we use them.
~ Author unknown
Lessons that don't work for me or my students are my rocks! I don't know about you, but every now and then there is a lesson that must be abandoned...whether is because of planning or because students are just not into it.
But, just like the quote says - We can use these rocks in our way as stumbling rocks OR stepping stones to better our craft and better out students' learning.
The last days of October, my lesson plans were around using Scholastic articles and having students present in groups. Well, this lesson went down the drain when school started that week and I noticed my students were not into doing work --They looks very unmotivated since the first quarter was ending. I knew immediately that I needed to switch my plans and engage student in a fun activity.
This is when the elementary teacher in me began planning a craft activity. Of course, because I'm teaching English as a second language and LOVE using content to develop language...I decided to use NEWSELA as a resource for our lessons. We were in the week of Halloween (spooky time) so I thought it would be appropriate to read about our skeleton!
The article "Celebrate Your Skeleton this Halloween" caught my eye - it is short and VERY interesting! I pulled up the article on our Smart board for all students to see and as soon as they saw the skull they were immediately intrigued.
I read the article aloud and as I read a sentence or two we discussed to make sure we were understanding. When we heard an interesting fact or something we thought it was important, we added it to a paragraph we co-created as a way of learning to summarize our reading and to demonstrate our learning.
Needless to say, all students were super engaged during the reading and writing. We read the paragraph together, students took turns reading it by table and/or individually and it was great to hear so much English being used in our ESL class.
Of course, the excitement grew when I began passing out Q-tips and a skull to have each student create their own skeleton.
As you can see, some got a little more creative than others. Of course, it ended up being an amazing class decor for Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos!!!
The day after Halloween is perhaps one of the most dreaded days for educators….ALL. The. Candy!!!!!!
As I walked around my neighborhood with my daughter & I see her bucket filled up with so much candy, I began to think about my students. I was thinking maybe they’ll be coming in to class all sugared up or all sugar crushed zombies; so a lesson on candy would have to do!
we read a NEWSELA article called “The Most Popular Candy in America” --
as a class, we disagreed with the top 10. Students began mentioning candy from their countries.
So, students grouped by nationality and began Googling & sharing their countries’ favorite candies.
we had representation from Guatemala, Honduras, Yemen, and Mexico (2X).
You may recognize form of these amazing sweets! They loved presenting their slide to the class.
I shared it with my Twitter family & it was very well liked! See below. The post made it to 12K impressions.
Thank you for reading!