Develop age appropriate reading comprehension questions (Who
were the main characters? List a character trait they possessed and give an example from the
story/book that supports it. What was the story’s main conflict? How was the
conflict solved? Summarize the story in 25 words. Etc…). FYI – I attached a list of
Character Traits for Kids that I got for free from TeachersPayTeachers in the picture above.
Upper grade levels can add the movie to Edmodo (free and protected social networking site for educators and their classes) and have
students watch it on their own (in a center, computer lab, or at home for
homework) and give them an assignment (also in Edmodo) where they have to
answer questions about the story (if you Google “The Polar Express thematic
unit” or “Polar Express Worksheet” you can find LOTS of questions J).
Younger grade levels can create a flipbook – beginning,
middle, and end. Have them summarize under the flap and draw a picture to
represent the action in the book.
On the eight day I sent out a Promethean flipchart to all the teachers in my school that featured a crackling fireplace. The idea was to play it on the board while reading some favorite holiday picture books.
They have to
identify the location (famous places and monuments) where indicated. A couple
of the places require that the students go to the street view and move around
to find the monument. For example #12 will take the students pretty darn close
to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. To get to the street view click on the “A” listed
on the map as the location and then click on “street view” (see picture above). Location #6 (Big
Ben) will also need a street view (upward rather than around).
I am not going to lie...this is probably one of my least favorite Christmas songs (it goes on FOREVER) but I liked the math lesson. I've been booked to do this with a third grade class next week but instead of doing the tech integration below (with an Excel spreadsheet) we are going to be using calculators. The teacher and I think that introducing Excel to 3rd graders with this project would be a little difficult.
They will fill out the GIST template after they have read it
(may need to model it whole group before having students do it on their own).
You can teach students how to use the “snap screen” feature
so that they can view the article and the template side-by-side without having
to toggle between screens to fill in the information (see picture below and 1 minute video above explaining how it works). Have students print or save their
work for grading.
Today's tech tip is to try using www.spellingcity.com to post holiday spelling words. Spelling City is free (basic membership). Student's can look up your lists at home or at school and practice their spelling in a fun online environment with games and quizzes. This is a great center activity for ELA.
Most readers know that I have been working as a Technology Coach for the past couple of years. I still work with teachers who are notebooking but my focused has shifted work wise. This is more of a "tech" post then "notebooking" post so I apologize (but I hope you find it useful!)
This month at work I decided to focus on the 12 Tech Days Before Christmas Break giving teachers 12 useable tech ideas that they could implement in the days leading up to the holiday break (or after).
We get out December 20th so the twelve days started on December 5th for us. I am currently up to day three of my tips and thought I would share what I have passed on so far.
Record a holiday readers theater podcast using Audacity
(have children develop sound effects that go with the story).
Have students create a Christmas rebus letter in Microsoft
Word. In my sample above I wrote a letter to my teacher telling her what I did
on my made up holiday break. Students can share them with the class and decide
which letter is the most creative. Students can use clipart or google images.
Create a winter/holiday picture book trailer using
Photostory3 or Movie Maker Live (see sample above).
This is a two day ELA project. Day one students would
find/read their picture book and come up with their script. Day 2 they would find the pictures they need
and put together the trailer using Photostory3 or Movie Maker Live.