four weeks, and this is what I have to look forward to...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Emerson Squirl, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Emerson Squirl

    Emerson Squirl Rookie

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    Jan 31, 2010

    Ok, I've been student teaching for 4 weeks now. I'm starting to get the hang of things, but there's still a few problem spots that I encounter daily. First thing I noticed is that my grammar instruction is lacking. I've tried several things, including the overheads StoryTown provides, but it all ends up the same- the kids looking at me totally confused. How can I make something like possessive pronouns or articles interesting or at least comprehensible enough that I won't get those looks again?
    Also, I'm doing a poetry unit with my class. They've done pretty well for not having much practicing with writing overall, but they often rush through the writing process in one day. I am trying to get these 4th graders to be creative in their writing, so I provided multiple examples before I expected them to write anything. The result was about half the poems resembling my examples to the point of plagarism.:| Since when is writing so much of a chore and less of a joy?:dunno:
    Please someone tell me there's hope left out there!!:help:
    Thanks!
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 31, 2010

    What grade are you teaching? If you have a slightly higher level grade, you could try projects where they apply the lessons you are teaching. My favorite activity when I student taught was having the kids work in groups to write and perform skits that used the grammar rules taught the week before. It was a great way to spend a Friday AND it allowed for higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy to come into play.
     
  4. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Jan 31, 2010

    I am a first year teacher and I stuggle with teaching grammar too. Some weeks I do good and others just fall flat. Some concepts are just hard to master too. Possessive plurals- very tricky for 8 year olds. Honestly, I didn't try for 100% mastery at this point because it will be revisted over and over and it is tricky. What I find works best is having some kind of mini project to go with the concept. So for homonyms on the first day I gave them each a card and had them find their "match." They didn't know what it was until they found it and we went over them. Then the next day they sat with the partner who had the match and one sheet of paper divided in half. Each side had to have one of the words, a sentence that showed the correct form of the word and a picture. Then the next day they did the same type of activity but independantly with different words (and more of them) and this was the assessment.

    It is hard to come up with stuff. Have you searched the internet for ideas too?
     
  5. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

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    Jan 31, 2010

    Like Heather, I try to have some sort of "activity" to introduce the concept, then I have the students apply in some sort of writing--could be as basic as writing sentences. I also have do a lot of practice with whiteboards, which they love so it is very engaging.

    So for example:
    For possessive nouns, I might start off by having a student hold up an object and ask the class who the pencil belongs to, then have that student pass it to another and ask who it belongs to now, etc. and discuss the different ways to show ownership, go over rules and show examples on the board. Then I might have two columns on the board--one of owners/one of possessions (easy stuff to match up, for example, "dog" would match up with "bone" and "driver" would match up with "car"--and have the students write the possessive form on their whiteboards.

    As far as writing--I became much more effective at teaching writing when I realized the students need to go through the process with me before they can do it on their own--without guidance most of them will really struggle. So it's great that you are providing models, but you might get better results if in addition to that, you choose a topic, go over the format and write a class poem/writing piece together--you can start off the first line, ask students to share ideas for the next few lines, then have the students individually complete the poem and share several to see how they turned out. Obviously, these poems will start off the same way but the students will see how the poem changes by the way the various students ended it independently. Then review the format, give the students other choices for topics (or provide guidelines for choosing) and have them write one independently.
     
  6. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Feb 1, 2010

    Try to find out from your CT if the school you're in has a subscription to Brainpop (http://www.brainpop.com/). It's a collection of short, engaging, animated videos on various topics (including grammar!). You just need to plug your computer into a projector and off you go. There are even quizzes you can give and sometimes other activities.
     
  7. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Feb 1, 2010

    When I was in college we had to have a hands-on activity with every lesson plan - for simple "boring" things most people used a game. In example, a simple activity would be a matching game for possessive noun (and the least we could get away with). More commonly the game might be something like dividing the students into teams the "' 's " team and the "s'" (or 3 teams with an "S" team) team. Then reading a sentence such as "An aquarium _____ job is to clean the tank. The word for the blank is "worker's" Students then are giving 3 seconds to strike a pose if its a word for their team. You can score the game in a variety of ways, such as only giving a team points for people on other teams who've struck the wrong pose, giving one point if the majority of the team has the correct pose, one point per individual who has done it correctly etc

    If you can take them to the computer lab, you can try a game like this one from harcourt for possessive nouns
    http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/exploring_possessives/index.html
     

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