Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weekly Lesson Plans (Light)

This was not an "inspired" week. We had report card grades cut off by Friday (and inputted into our system by Tuesday) so a lot of the activities were designed to either get students caught up or give them extra credit. In order to avoid spending hours grading notebooks I graded on the spot for two days (Thursday/Friday)...which went rather well and I am looking forward to no stress this weekend :)

I have highlighted activities that I thought went well this week and might be worth a read.

Monday - Started off with a ball toss greeting of "good morning" (the rest of the week will be review questions - see earlier post with soccer ball). Today's lesson was on Transparent, Translucent, and Opaque (definition and types of objects). Went through a Promethean Planet flipchart that I had modified on the subject. We read the left hand notebook sheet out loud. Showed the Discover Education Streamline video Out of the Darkness - Intro to Light (approx. 20 min - would not recommend for heavily distracted students as it moved slowly but it did review light nicely). Discussed connections to what we have been learning. Students then made transparent, translucent, and opaque cards (using left over laminating film, black construction paper, and waxed paper). They got to use a flashlight with them and then taped them to the right hand side of the notebook. Here is a link to another post for the same activity that I did last year.
Tuesday - We watched the Bill Nye Light and Color video and then went to the computer lab and played this online game related to light (the game requires reading which might be overwhelming to struggling readers...I didn't think it was that overwhelming but my struggling readers were definitly not as thrilled with the game as my stronger readers) . It is quite a fun game which takes students through several modules and they can't move on until they have completed each task related to light. The students enjoyed it. I timed my last group going through and it takes about 20 minutes to complete (definitely have something to do for the early finishers though).
Wednesday - We started with the ball toss review. Then we reviewed transparent, translucent, and opaque. We then did a table activity with those terms - I had taken a sheet of paper and put one of those three terms at the top and numbered the paper to ten (I only used opaque once and the others twice). I folded it in half and put table numbers on them. I gave it to one person at each table, with the instructions that they could not open it until I said go and the timer was started. I explained that they would have five minutes as a table group to find ten objects in the classroom that fit their category (transparent, translucent and opaque). Once they were done they were to come back to their seat. Table groups got to present in the order they sat down (this got everyone back to their seats). My students love anything that gets them up and moving and they enjoyed this activity. They found things that I hadn't thought of (clear rulers, fire alarm casing). I let them tell the class five of their objects when everyone regrouped. I then had everyone show me their light web page in their notebook and the light notecards we had done. I was trying to get an idea of who was finished and who wasn't (this varied greatly between the classes I have). We then read the AIMES booklets I had taped down in the notebooks about light and light energy. This was a review of what we have already covered but it gave students an opportunity to read out loud and make connections. Once we were done I put them in clock partner groups for the rest of the class to work on a LIGHT acrostic for the hallway. I am changing out hallway displays and wanted to have something "science" related (I tend to put a lot of my reading/ELA work out there since most of my science work is put in the notebooks).

Thursday - We have to have our grades cut off by tomorrow so I gave students time to complete notebook pages. I made a worksheet using the textbook (Light chapter) that students completed for a grade (this was an opportunity for some children to bring up grades if they needed to). Once they were done they were to check and/or complete the notebook pages I had listed on the board. I sat at my desk with my grade book open (I use and I called students up to check their notebook and give them a grade in front of me (or told them what they still needed to do). That went over VERY well. The students liked coming up individually, they worked well independently on the activity, and I told them their grade for the quarter and provided feedback about how they were doing in class. I did not do this for my second class. They need to be monitored while working independently so I circulated while they were working on their textbook activity.

Friday - This was a complete catch up day. I teach five classes a day (three of them science). Each science class had something different in order to get them all caught up before the next week started. My first class is the class that is almost completely caught up (they have me for an hour) so they watched an enrichment video (Bill Nye - The Sun), finished their light acrostic for the hall and watched The Magic School Bus Sees the Light. The next class is also an hour but they take longer to settle and get work done. So really with all the distractions and refocusing it is more like 45 minutes. They had not done the computer lab activity on Tuesday (we tried with our lap top labs that day but it took over a half hour to download a recently installed program on our network drive). So that class went to the computer lab today (approx. 25 minutes) and then we came back and watched The Magic School Bus light video (this worked out well for me...I was able to finish up grading in that period - notebooks, textbook activity from yesterday). The third class hadn't started the LIGHT acrostic (but had completed their notebooks, which I had graded and put in the computer) so they watched the Magic School Bus and then worked with clock partner groups on their acrostic (most did not finish...but I'll leave it for "if you are done" early work next week).

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