Details and examples are one of those areas that students have struggled with when writing. Being able to cite details and examples is a skill that is valuable in reading, writing, thinking, and speaking. What are some of the things we might want to make sure students learn when we ask them to think about details and examples? We might want them to know what kinds of things are details: facts, quotes, statistics, firgurative language, the information in a visual, sensory details, and more. We also want students to know some of the things they can do with details: compare and contrast ideas, support a point of view, oppose a point of view, make a decision, describe a character, make inferences, make prediections, and more. As always, I’ve got a pdf copy for you – just print it out and share it with your students (and fellow educators).
Download a pdf version of the 28-page document and see if there’s an idea or two you can use.
Informational Literacy Standards for Science – FRESH LINK, Updated September 27, 2011.
Our younger students learn about parallel lines in different grade levels in different states. But there is some key content that students need to know related to parallel lines. This content card provides key content. (If you see other things that need to be added, please leave a comment and I’ll update this. All of my content cards are a work in progress.) DOWNLOAD THE CONTENT CARD FOR PARALLEL. I’ve included a piece that is not in most elementary programs – and that is how to write a math sentence that shows two lines are parallel.
Remember that in curriculum development world, we still need to work on things students must be able to do with this content at the elementary school level. Do we want students to identify parallel lines in everyday things? Do we want students to distinguish between a parallel line and a perpendicular line? What about explaining what a parallel line is? What about explaining why a line that is not parallel isn’t? Do we want students to explain the difference between parallel lines and intersecting lines? These kinds of things become objectives in your curriculum.
For those of you in charge of developing curriculum, there are a couple of questions you’ll want to answer: What core content do you want at each grade level in relation to this concept? What do you want students to do with the content at each grade level? By the way, content cards are a good way to check vertical and horizontal alignment in a curriculum at the district level.
If your role is that of designing assessments, the content cards are a big plus as well. When everyone works from the same core content – and the same objectives, you support tight alignment at the classroom level – which is where alignment really happens.
When teaching students to count, there are a couple of basic tools every teacher needs. Here’s the great news: These tools cost almost nothing and are very simple to reproduce and use. DOWNLOAD MY HUNDREDS CHART and perhaps print one for each of your students. DOWNLOAD THE NUMBER CARDS and make a number line and/or use the cards in a variety of other ways.
This is a sort in which students count to answer “how many” questions with up to ten things. This is for Kindergarten and goes with my Content Cards for Counting. DOWNLOAD THIS ACTIVITY for a tool that willl help students sort pictures as well as their corresponding numbers and number words.
Have you ever struggled with helping students write a good conclusion? This is a simple and powerful activity I designed to help students understand the difference. Download the pdf of the strategy, which includes directions, a template, and an answer sheet for this activity. I designed this for the elementary level, but this is easily adapted to the secondary level by using more sophisticated examples. The Hot Miss phrase is from Amy Hooper, a wonderful teacher at Axton Elementary in Virginia.
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.
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!
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.
If you’ve ever worked with me, you know the importance I place on the content that students learn. Of course we want students to think deeply, but we want them to think deeply about something – the content we want them to learn. Here’s another example of a content card – this one for fourth-grade mathematics. This one is for measuring length in U.S. customary units. A content card for measuring length in metric units will be next. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and you’ll automatically be notified when I make any posts.
I’ve also included a list of analysis questions for this content card. Remember that the purpose of the analysis questions is to help students learn to work with the information on the card. There are two pages to the following download.