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Showing posts from November, 2016

Stations for Student Engagement

Several years ago I tried using stations in my classroom.  The students loved the idea of rotating around the room and completing a variety of activities. I thought it went pretty well, but when reflecting on the stations themselves, I realized I needed to make some changes. One of the challenges with stations is making sure that each activity takes the same amount time as the other activities.  You don't want one group finished when another  just started.  You also need enough stations so that none of them are too crowded.  
This time I started preparing three weeks ago!  I decided that six stations would be a good number. We just finished reading chapter 4 of The Outsiders, so most of our stations focus on the novel.
If you are thinking of trying this, make sure you have each station labeled with all necessary items handy for students. Also, I made several copies of the directions for each station and put them in sheet protectors.  Finally, you really need to walk around and check…

Padlet and Mentor Sentences

In previous posts, I mentioned mentor sentences as a tool to help students write better sentences. Not only do they learn punctuation rules by studying sentences, they learn to write various types of sentences. Today I gave students two "mentor" sentences. We discussed the use of commas, appositives, and capitalization. Students then created their own sentences imitating the original author's style and structure. I asked them to post their favorite on a Padlet for all to enjoy! 

 Here are the mentor sentences I used: 

Mom answered the door at 8:05 a.m. to Mr. Bridges, a short round man in a blue suit, and Coach Warner, who was wearing a Lake Windsor High pullover. 

 —Edward Bloor, Tangerine 

 I took the pearls out of my pocket, the three milky spheres the Nereid had given me in Santa Monica. 

 —Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief