Wednesday, November 27 2013
So today I had saw something today in my classroom that was awesome! Here's the scoop:
As a read aloud I read Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton. The story is about Olemaun, an aboriginal girl who attends a residential school and struggles with the transition as well as the cultural shock.
So we finished the book, I kept the class engaged by scanning in all the pictures from the novel in to my Smartboard and we were able to have some discussions about the artwork in the book. There was also photos from Olemaun's childhood to discuss as well.
After we finished the book I wanted students to show me what they had learned from the read aloud, key moments, themes, extending activities that express their understanding of it. I decided to create a choice board which I have done other times, this time was different though. I am attaching the choice board we used in case anyone is using this read aloud and it may be helpful!
Fatty Legs Choice Board
Two days ago we discussed the options, yesterday I gave some more detailed information about the different tasks and they decided on one. I photocopied organizer sheets for each choice and today was our first "work" session of 40 minutes.
It was magical. . . .as much as that happens in Grade 5/6! There was a hum to the room as students spread out, some grabbing laptops for their residential school research, others working in small groups to discuss what they wanted on their mural. One group starting to write their script for their play, another student using her assistive technology to begin writing a speech Olemaun will give to siblings. I was worried though, would students rush their mural, would they skim over their tasks as they sometimes do, not today.
I finally saw how differentiated tasks can change the room. Everyone was focused, I had students who NEVER check in with me about their work hailing me over to check out what they had written, one group started planning for the next few days, wondering when they could use the ipad to tape their performance (another challenge, another day)
I was thrilled with my students work ethic today and engagement, I have never used a choice board and got that response, which begs the questions, was it the topic before? Was it my choices? Was it the combo of both? They are usually successful, but not like today, there was no bickering, no arguing, I had lots of time to walk around and speak to students as there was no fires to put out! I can only hope for the same tomorrow!