Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Witty Wednesday! (Day 8)

     All throughout the day I couldn't help but feel witty.  I was awake, quick on my toes, and super in-tune with the lessons that were being taught today!  I felt as if I had the answer to everything and that nothing could go wrong!  And.......nothing went awry!
     When I arrived in the classroom, early this morning, I decided to write up the Journal topic and the Math warm-up problems for the day.  For the journal, I chose a topic that related to Social Studies:  Write a paragraph explaining why the North and South had different views on slavery.  For Math, I chose three problems that related to our new unit:  1) List the factors of 30 and 36.  2) List the factors of 44 and 64. 3)  Circle the greatest common factor of 94 and 64.  As students arrived, I watched them begin on their journal and Math activity.  I gave a few pointers for the journal topic and noticed that some students were confusing factors with multiples in Math.  I tried to lead these students in the right direction and give them pointers on how to tell the difference between the two.
     After the morning activity, students headed out for Spanish class.  During this planning time, I reviewed what I had planned for Social Studies and made sure that all of the technology I would be using was in working order.  I also took some time to review what we would be covering in Math and ELA for the day.  When students returned, they were instructed to take out their Grammar Workbooks and turn to page 144.  Mr. Mitchell reviewed action verbs, direct objects, present tense, past tense, and future tense (helping verbs) with the students.  After a short review, I passed out the ACTIVeXPRESSION pads.  We used these to review direct objects and action verbs.  I stood at the Smart Board and asked questions of the students and had them answer individually.  After everyone had sent their answers in, we checked their answers and reviewed the correct answer.  This activity was helpful because it was engaging and it also served as an assessment.  It showed me who was really paying attention during the lesson and who desperately needed help.  (I really think that I am getting the "hang" of the Smart Board!)
     When the engaging assessment was completed, Mr. Mitchell began to read Honey, I Love and a short story from Tales from West Africa.  Both stories were interesting and whilst he was reading, he asked questions that related to the previous grammar activity.  Then, he had the students to review their song of the week.  He reminded students they would need to memorize it because they are required to be tested on it.  In conclusion of ELA, Mr. Mitchell informed the students to memorize the song of the week and complete a few pages of grammar for homework.
     Next, we transitioned to Math with a short Number Talk activity.  Numbers Talk:  a.) 420/7 b.)630/90  c.)Word Problem.  Students discussed these in groups and were encouraged to write down their thoughts and answers to share with the class.  Then, the focus shifted towards factors and       Mr. Mitchell showed the students an easy step by step trick they could use to find factors.  Step 1: Write the factors.  Step 2: List the factors. Step 3: List the factors from least to greatest.
Example:   Find the factors of 16. 
Step 1:    2 x 8, 1 x 16, 4 x 4
Step 2:       2, 8, 1, 16, 4
Step 3:       1, 2, 4, 8, 16
By taking these steps, it helps students to see if they are missing any factors and it will also help them when they begin to identify the greatest common factor between two numbers.  After Mr. Mitchell's presentation, I reviewed my morning Math problems with the students.  We went over the answers together using the steps they had just learned.  This was a good review for their next activity.........Jeopardy!  The students split off into four teams to play another factor game (similar to the one played yesterday on multiples, least common multiples, and greatest common factors).  When a "winner" of the game was declared, the students directed their attention to to board for an interactive multiples review.  My CT used a numbers chart to circle the multiples of the numbers he assigned.  He asked students questions to get them thinking about number patterns when finding greatest common multiples.
     Now on to Social Studies!!! :)  I am thrilled to say that my second day of teaching Social Studies went smoothly and was a great success!  Here is how my lesson went:
       -PowerPoint review and introduction to the vocabulary in lesson 2: I reviewed the words Civil War, Uncle Tom's Cabin, abolitionists, debate, treason, and secede.  Many of the students knew the terms and this was just a short interactive review.  They really enjoyed the personal connections I gave to the words.  I think it made them understand the terms a little bit better and gave them a better idea of what these terms meant to those who lived during the Civil War Era.
       -Brief intro of Uncle Tom's Cabin: Since I reviewed the term in the PowerPoint, I simply mentioned what Uncle Tom's Cabin was and informed them that they would be watching a short video about it.
       -Short video about Uncle Tom's Cabin:  Students watched a short clip called Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Politics and the Pen.  It was long enough to get the main idea across and short enough to keep every student's attention spans.  
       -Guided Practice:  I read the beginning of page 31 from the Social Studies text book and I had one of the students read the third paragraph to the rest of the class.  After the student read the paragraph aloud, I asked, "So what was Uncle Tom's Cabin?"  Some students had creative responses like: "It was a book that the North used for war." or "It showed how slaves were important."  I understood what these students were trying to say but I tried to respond by saying, "Yes, it was a book that showed people the cruelty of slavery.  It caused tensions to rise between the North and the South and that is why Lincoln thought Harriet Beecher Stowe was the "little lady who started the war."  Then I directed the students to help me analyze the impact of Uncle Tom's Cabin via the Harriet Beecher Stowe website.  I summarized the content found on the web page and had students help me analyze its impact.
       -Work Time:  Students followed the directions I gave for the mini-book and were able to begin work right away.   All of the students enjoy doing hands on activities and I think this activity was a great way for the students to show their ideas and opinions about the vocabulary words.  A lot of the students did not complete much of the book and none of the students were able to share their books.  This made me a bit upset because I thought they had plenty of time to complete one or two pages.  Since no one was able to share, I thought it would be best if I assigned it as homework.  (I really feel that our instructional time for Social Studies is not enough.)
       -Quick Check Question:  I used the quick check question as an ending assessment activity.  After reviewing student answers, I found that many of the students had a good general idea of Uncle Tom's Cabin and a few of the students didn't know anything about the topic at all.  I was not surprised to find that those students who had little knowledge about the topic were the ones who struggled in other areas or failed to pay attention during class on a daily basis. 
       -I think that for my next lesson I will provide more work time for the activity.  Many of these students are slow workers and need the extra time to gather their ideas and to process the overall concept of the activity.  Other than that, I feel that my lesson went very well and I am looking forward to my next lesson. 
     Last but not least, Science!  Today, we had a science lab that included all of the fifth grade classrooms.  My CT gave a presentation about microorganisms, provided a short video, and had students actively participate in a Q and A comprehension assessment.  It was a great way for all students to get to participate in a lesson together and it was an efficient way for the teachers to know that they are on the same pace when teaching a lesson.  
     Overall, another WONDERFUL day!!!!! :) 

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