Motor Mouth Review

 Motor Mouth is simply an engaging strategy for students to review important vocabulary.  This can be used in any class at any grade level.  Did I mention that this is also fun?

I’ve included the PowerPoint with directions and a template that is ready to modify for your own use.

Click here for the Powerpoint!

Write About Data in Graphs – Elementary

Writing is a tool for thinking and learning.  It doesn’t matter what content area you teach, you’ll find many opportunities to help students think through writing.

This quick overview gives a couple of ideas for having students write about data from a line graph.

Download the overview sheet and examples of having elementary students write about data.

Analysis Questions – Line Graphs

In this pdf, I’ve included examples of analysis questions for two different line graphs.  Both of these are for the elementary level.  For each set of questions, I’ve also included a large size of the graph that you can project and/or give students as they work to answer these questions.

Download the pdf of the Analysis Questions for a Line Graph.

Remember the Success Sequence:  Draw, Talk, Write.  Have the students use the visual and talk about the answers – preferably in a structured way as you call out the question.  Then have students write about the graph.

Analysis Questions – Bar Graphs

One of the simplest things you can do to help students think deeply about visual material is to write analysis questions for the different types of visuals you use with students.  This example is for bar graphs – and I’ve included two examples to give you an idea of how these questions might look.  (I’ll be adding a whole series of analysis questions for different types of visuals, so be sure to check back often and/or subscribe to this blog.)

Overview Sheet – Analysis Questions, Bar Graphs

Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, Band Instrument Choices

Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, 3D Movies

After students talk about the information in the graphs, based on the guiding questions you provide, have them write a summary of what the graph says.  You can make this a short and sweet summary that uses bullet statements or you can have students write a full paragraph.  When you give students a chance to talk about the questions BEFORE having them write, they’ll do a much better job with the summary.

Use the graphs.  Get students talking about the information in the graphs.  Watch them develop deeper understanding because you guided them through deeper thinking of the material.  And as always, don’t forget to add your own good questions.  You may even want to add some here!

Compare and Contrast – Roles of Government

Here is a lesson that supports the learning of comparing responsibilities between state and federal governments.  I’ve included a couple of things here:

A lesson in which students use manipulatives and a Venn Diagram planner to compare and contrast the responsibilities between the roles of the federal and state governments.

Additionally, a beginning list of analysis questions for the Venn diagram.  For those of you who know me, you know that I always recommend making sure that students have plenty of opportunities to talk about graphic organizers after they’ve developed them.

Rapid Response Cards – Checking for Understanding

This is a response technique to give students practice in answering recall and some critical thinking types of questions.  Rapid Response Cards are any type of response cards you use with your students.  They are called Rapid Response Cards because they are a quick way to obtain responses from all of the students in your class at one time. You can ask a question and have everyone hold up an answer. This is a terrific way to assess students on the questions you ask.  This is a quick and effective technique to use when you want to check for understanding.  Prepare a master set of response cards – use black ink on bright yellow cardstock for cards that are easy to see.  (You may even want to laminate the response cards so that they will “wear” well.)

 Download theses pdfs:  Overview sheet, black and white template, yellow template.

 

 

Western Expansion

Here are a few materials for I.8.b – Distinguish between economic and geographic factors.  Enjoy – and let me know if you recommend any changes to these!

The first activity is what I call a Wall Activity – and when you look at it, you’ll see why.  This is a good introduction to geographic and economic factors and their role in the Western Movement.

Download the fifteen-page document that includes page-sized pictures to use in the activity.

The second activity is a t-chart in which students distinguish between geographic and economic factors that supported the Western Expansion.

Download the activity here.

Deb’s Stem Starters

If you write paper-and-pencil assessments, you’re going to love these sheets that I call Stem Starters.   Stem Starters are ideas of ways to write item stems for test items.  Think of these as handy reference sheets for those times when you are writing item stems – the question part of a test item.

I’ve designed Stem Starters for each of the four core content areas including Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.  If you teach any other content area, just look at all of the sheets for ideas.

Stem Starters – LANGUAGE ARTS

Stem Starters – MATHEMATICS

Stem Starters – SCIENCE

Stem Starters – SOCIAL STUDIES

By the way, these are also good for asking oral questions in the classroom.  Download these NOW and use them often.  I’m pleased to share these with you.

Eleanor Roosevelt

In Virginia, first graders have the opportunity to learn about Eleanor Roosevelt – along with a number of other historical figures.  This is a small set of posters that I put together as a quick tool to help students learn a bit about Mrs. Roosevelt.  The set has ten posters and a few ideas about how to use them.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Click here to download the mini-posters about Eleanor Roosevelt.