Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Escape Rooms for Young Students

I love the idea of Escape Rooms-the problem is I can never find examples of ones that would work for my beginning readers. So I made some. :) These are very, very, very primitive. I do not in any way claim to be tech savvy. But maybe if someone wants to use it and it would save them time then by all means, I will share. 

I printed the photos and put them on the front of a file folder. Taped the file folders up around the room with clues inside that correspond with the sequence of actvities. They are figuring out rebus clues, rhyming words, time and addition and subtraction-if there were 5 groups, I made 5 copies. I printed out a second copy of the noted pics to cut apart as puzzles-I made a few extras so if more than one group was working on it at a time, they would have enough of the materials. 


I will add more as I complete them. One of my summer projects. :) 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Depth and Complexity-Patterns

Patterns is a depth and complexity concept as well as one of the universal themes. If you are not familiar with universal themes-they are a theme you use throughout the school year to deepen your students' learning. 

Students develop "rules" for their theme throughout the year. Patterns always repeat. They can also be used to predict. Now most students think about patterns they look for ABABAB like they learned in math. And there are many ways to apply Patterns in math. But it can also be applied in other subject areas. 

In reading I introduce this with a book that has a pattern throughout-some of my favorites:

I model in the beginning identifying the pattern and then very soon after that students will start pointing it out on their own. "There's a pattern in this book". 


We take a walk around the campus and students take pictures of patterns they find-floor tiles, playground gate planks, etc. We make a big collage of all the patterns and see if they follow the rules we have developed.


Life cycles/Weather cycles are just 2 ways to bring patterns into science lessons. 


Lots of ways to create patterns in art. We identify them and then create them using different forms of media.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Depth and Complexity-Language of the Disciplines

I am going to do a series for all the concepts of Depth and Complexity and how I use them in early primary grades. I am going to start with one of the most misunderstood concepts-Language of the Disciplines. I see this icon used a lot in lesson plans to denote vocabulary and that is only half right. It is vocabulary but it is vocabulary based on a certain discipline, career, field of study.

Imagine you are a scientist looking at the moon. You would describe it in terms of atmosphere, gravity, diameter, craters. If you were an artist you would describe it in terms of light, shadow, hue, texture. Our career path in life dictates how we see the world. This is an opportunity to teach academic vocabulary to our students that they may not otherwise come into contact with.

Examples:  we learn about architects-words like blueprints, foundation, scaffolds, entrance, arch. We watch videos of architects in action. Read books like:

Then I ask the students to Think Like an Architect and design a house for their teacher. I like to do this during Teacher Appreciation Week. Or a house for their mom for Mother's Day. I love watching them apply the vocabulary they learned.

Think Like a Zoologist. We look at web cams and videos from zoos across the country. Then students think like a zoologist and design an enclosure for the animal of their choice.

Think like a Real Estate Agent-vocabulary-mortgage, listing, brochure, open house, inspection

Make a commercial to sell land on the planet of your choice. "Come to Mercury, you'll get a suntan". 

My favorite part about using this concept is that in the beginning of the year if you ask the students what they want to be when they grow up you get the run-of-the-mill answers-police officer, teacher, artist. At the end of the year they want to be engineers, architects and graphic designers. All because they had access to the new vocabulary.