Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Talk Moose's be dating mystery date with Sherlock Holmes" What?!?!

I've taken to using an app, Dragon, to turn my speech to text.  I reflect on my day while I am driving home and then I email the text to myself.  This way if I get busy with swimming practice, basketball practice, volleyball practice, etc. I can remember what I wanted to write about for my blog post when I finally get around to it.  Sometimes the story that the dragon tells me about my day is just way more interesting than the actual day.  Apparently I had a talking moose in my class today, and I have really bad grammar! Hence the "Talk Moose's be dating mystery date with Sherlock Holmes" What?!?!

What I meant to say was something about talk moves and that we did a give one, get one type of activity that reminded me of speed dating.  We are going to read a story from Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure's of Sherlock Holmes" tomorrow.  Today we read two articles about Arthur Conan Doyle.  

Students in row one and three read:
Students in rows two and four read:
As they were reading the students recorded some of the most interesting things that they had learned about the author in the "Give One" column on the left side of a T chart in their notebooks.  I gave them about twenty minutes for reading and recording.  I told them to try and look for interesting things in the text, but not to go for the obvious in the bold headings. They wouldn't get as much information if they went for the bold stuff because they would be hearing the same things over and over. 

After the "Give One" part of the lesson was complete, I had the students stand and in rows one and three and they turned to face rows two and four, so I had two rows of students facing each other.  I also told them to be flexible and that at times they might be sharing in a group of two, and other times they may need to share in a group of three.  I told them I was less concerned about how many people they were sharing with, because it was the exchange of information that was the important thing.  

I gave them about a minute, maybe less to share something from their "Give One" list and write down what was shared with them in their "Get One" column on the right side of the T chart.  If someone shared something with them that was already on their list, in either column, I had them mark an X in the "Get One" column for that exchange.
I have a lot of attention-getting, noise-making devices because I just like them, and one is an electronic box just like this one from Amazon.  I linked the picture to it-it's $14.00.  When the sharing time was up I gave the "Charge!" signal and had them move a step to the left or to the right depending on what row they were in.  I believe it is the bugle cavalry charge sound.  It just seemed right.

I have VERY little room for movement in my class, but I make it work and so does the poor janitor with her vacuum cleaner.  This is a great strategy to get students talking, moving, and acquiring a lot of information in a short amount of time.  They were really engaged!  I'd rather be doing things that have kids talking excitedly when they leave my room than make excuses for why I can't do something in my room.  I say "Charge!"

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