Hands-on Math Exploration - Making the invisible concrete
This activity was designed as a review activity at the end of our Fractions Unit. Many students were struggling with comparing fractions and locating equivalent fractions. Using a variety of hands-on explorations was a fun way for my students to better understand and visualize fractions. Different stations were setup with legos, cuisinaire blocks, pattern blocks, fraction magnets, and fraction stackers. Each station had a different activity; for example comparing fractions with the fraction stacker blocks, recognizing equivalent fractions with pattern blocks, or building particular fractions with legos. My favorite outcome of this day was a "fraction city" spontaneously built out of legos by my students. Each "building" represented a different fraction they had build on their own.
"The Most Magnificent Thing" Writing Assignment
The purpose of this lesson was to introduce procedural writing. Students created a how-to for an imaginative item following an interactive read aloud of the book "The Most Magnificent Thing." This particular assignment was an impromptu one as I saw the interest level from my students and realized the opportunity for the short writing lesson. Download PDF
Interdisciplinary Lesson Example (ELA - Science - Social Studies)
Part of being a historian is evaluating sources and considering different perspectives. During our Habitats unit for science and man-made versus natural Michigan landmarks for Social Studies, I designed a visual inquiry lesson and a public interest exploration lesson revolving around a real life issue within our state. Students were given a before and after photo of an area affected by a dam failure. My students were tasked with deciding what had happened and reasoning why using details from the images. Then we reviewed several written sources with different perspectives to further our discussion. Finally, students were directed to write their opinion of whether or not the state of Michigan should pay to repair or replace the dam that had failed. Download PDF
Feature Article using Glogster App for Publication
With a learning goal of writing and revising their own feature articles, students studied mentor texts to create a list of characteristics of feature articles. Next, following the editing and revision of their work, students used the Glogster App on iPads to self-publish feature articles using the identified craft and structure elements. The use of the app allowed the students to emulate their mentor texts more closely and increased student engagement in the process. Students were then able to share their posted articles with family and fellow students at their school via a gallery website. Download PDF
Summer ESL Academy Brochures
I had the pleasure of being a part of Ann Arbor's Summer ESL Academy. Working as part of a 4th/5th Grade team, I helped plan the curriculum for the 3 week session. Our lessons were tied around a common theme of water with a focus on solving a drainage issue at a nearby school. Students studied the water cycle, water access, water quality, and water management. Field trips provided students with hands on opportunities with the concepts discussed in the classroom. As a final project, the students developed informational brochures about rain gardens as a solution to drainage, erosion and pollution issues. Click here for a fun video we created to explain our project at family night.
Great Lakes Education Program
Lake Erie Day Cruise Classroom Experience
I think that hands-on experience helps students retain and apply information from the classroom. This field trip allowed my 3rd-5th grade students the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities related to NGSS goals for the year. This was an unforgettable experience and one that I hope to repeat with future classrooms. Click here for more information on this wonderful program.