Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unit Description

My unit centers around a Laura Numeroff book If you Give a Mouse a Cookie. The unit will focus on getting students to predict, identify cause and effect, sequence events in the story, discuss taking care of someone, create their own story with similar qualities, making good choices, and how those choices effect others. The unit is based on the core curriculum SC state standards from Health and ELA.

EQ: Can my decisions change events?

UQ(s): Can I change an outcome? What does a cookie remind me of/make me think of? How can I take care of my friends? What gives me good memories? How could this outcome be different? Is this a good/safe decision?

CQ(s): What do you predict will happen next? What happened first, next, etc. in the story? How did the boy take care of the mouse in the story? How do you connect with a character in the story? Why did that happen in the story? How would this story be affected if the boy had given the mouse a pencil instead?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How can projects provide opportunities for deeper thinking in my classroom?

Using projects in my classroom can provide the opportunity for children to hear everyone's ideas. The students also need to explore and discover things on their own. Project based learning allows for students to research, share with others, gather information, etc. As long as the students do not stray from the 'big idea' of the project, and are always working to 'solve' the project question(s). Projects allow for student centered learning rather than teacher centered learning. A child is more likely to retain the information if they figured it out on their own - they 'own it' as theirs and their independence will make them proud! Project learning allows for deeper thinking because it is more open ended and allows for different learning styles to be addressed more easily. Being less formal, projects allow for more flexibility for the students to 'take hold' and research/present in their own way. They do not have to conform as much to the teacher's structure/way of thinking. The students will be more engaged with learning.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What thinking skills should I target for my classroom?

In my first grade classroom, I feel it is important to lay a strong foundation for my students' learning. Here are some ways that I encourage thier thinking process:

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis.
  • Marzano’s Dimensions of Learning: positive attitude and climate, integration, productive habits of mind (critical/creative thinking).
  • Costa & Kallick’s 16 Habits of Mind: humor, love for learning, learning continuously, responding with wonderment (maintaining curiosity/enthusiasm).