Port Lavaca, Texas
I had the pleasure, this week, of spending two days with Lina Moore and the staff of Travis Middle School in Port Lavaca, Texas. On Monday, I introduced my Differentiated Instruction Professional Development kit to the teaching staff and on Tuesday I spent the day visiting classrooms and observing teachers.
Really Terrific Instruction – Adjectives
Most of the strategies I share are effective, researched-based, and yet, easy to implement in the classroom immediately. Like most teachers, I am gratified when students get fired up and actually use what I share to make learning fun and memorable. My heart did a happy dance when I observed so many classrooms using really terrific instruction strategies. I saw one teacher encouraging students to use multi-syllabic adjectives using a spooky technique.
A Haunting Language Arts Lesson Plan
In Ms. Crissy Amerson’s sixth grade Language Arts classroom, she and her paraprofessional, Linda Maldanado, chunked the lesson plan integrating visuals, video, and group process to maintain student engagement and focus. She applied several strategies that we had discussed the previous day to enhance and differentiate her language arts lesson on adjectives.
Adjective Lesson Plan Using
First, Ms. Amerson used visuals on her PowerPoint, along with the word walls already in-place in her classroom, to introduce the lesson. She put a photo on the screen and asked the student groups to think of five words to describe the photo.
Next, she switched to a YouTube video, Adjectives with One Cute Kid, to illustrate the concept of adjectives and reinforce that not using adjectives makes boring sentences.
Students, in their groups, used a thesaurus to find synonyms for simple adjectives (like sad). Then Ms. Amerson shared the R.I.P. posters and modeled the project they would create on the topic. Students would create a gravestone to bury the boring adjective (Sad), which was replaced with a multi-syllabic synonym.
To reinforce the concepts, Ms. Amerson played another YouTube video, Adjectives describe (the adjective song). After the video, she asked a question; “What does an adjective describe?” Almost ALL the student hands were up begging to be called upon.
Finally, she gave the class a multi-syllable adjective from the video and asked for a boring synonym.
During the entire (Chunked!) lesson, Ms. Amerson re-stated the expectations and goals of the lesson. The class just flew by and every student was engaged throughout the class. This is commendable because her class list included all levels of students from those who do school well to those who struggle.
I’m grateful that I was able to witness some caring, effective, teachers apply some really terrific instruction this week and Ms. Amerson is just one example. My thanks and support to all the great educators in Calhoun County ISD for a positive week helping to make a difference for kids!
What engaging, cool, fun and effective lessons have you implemented in your classroom? How do you use visuals and groups? I’d love to hear from you.
For more information on differentiation strategies to reach ALL learners, see Susan Fitzell’s book, Special Needs in the General Classroom, Strategies That Make It Work. Available in both print and electronic versions!
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