Many of our district’s teachers are taking the curriculum and adapting it to create innovative and fun lessons to help convey material to their students.
#TeachALessonTuesday highlights and shares these unique approaches.
Today is the last day of the 2016-17 school year for many of our district’s school-based staff members! Duval County Public Schools wishes everyone a happy and safe summer.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 5/30/17
You could hear the soft buzz of chatter among students in Ms. Janice Lewis-Small’s class at Sabal Palm Elementary. But conversation was encouraged, as the students were in their small groups and worked together to complete their particular center’s task. One group worked on creating their own board games complete with cards that addressed particular standards and math problems they learned from this past year. Another two groups worked on tasks within their folders, conversing with each other to help figure out the correct answer. A pair of students worked tasks on the computer, while Ms. Lewis-Small had a small group gathered around her discussing plotting points on a graph. Ms. Lewis-Small’s use of small groups has been key to her instruction, allowing for students to stay on track and master content material.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 5/23/17
Students analyzed graph points and lines in order interpret the information during a recent math lesson in Erin Rock’s classroom at Chaffee Trail Elementary. With one graph, students hypothesized why a dog’s weight leveled off after a certain period of time. Another graph had students analyzing rainfall. They determined which segment of time received the most rainfall, why another segment maintained the same level of accumulation, and how much rain fell during a certain period of time if a nearby mountainous location received a certain amount of precipitation. The last question required students to go a step further in their graph analysis by setting up an equation to arrive at the correct answer. The lesson helped prepare the class for a more in-depth analytical assignment that was to come later in the week, and was just one of the many techniques Ms. Rock employs to help students look at math problems with a better understanding.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 5/16/17
Different shapes were marked around the floor and on a group table in Ms. Jillian Seybert’s classroom at Holiday Hill Elementary. It was all part of a practical application of determining a shape’s area and perimeter. Four of the six stations had shapes marked with tape and were measured out by using the classroom floor tiles. Another shape station involved a rug, while the final spot was done on the table. Working in small groups, students counted the tiles and added numbers for the perimeter and, for certain shapes, multiplied numbers for the area. The small groups not only allowed students to help support each other, but gave Ms. Seybert the opportunity to help each group as needed.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 5/9/17
In Ms. Marcia Barton’s classroom at Mayport Elementary Coastal Sciences Academy, students were diligently working hard on their math assignments. Students were placed in different groups and tasks based upon their assessment data. Some students were tackling assignments in iReady, others opened folders and completed math questions as it related to specific standards, and a group of four worked on long division with Ms. Barton. After the centers, the class gathered on the carpet to go over the previous night’s homework assignment with the entire group solving math problems that involved converting measurements in order to arrive at the correct answer. The class proudly answered all the questions, exhibiting excitement and ownership of their education.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 5/2/17
As they took turns looking into their lab group’s microscope, students in Ms. Marie Greco’s biology class at Westside High School were in awe of what they were observing. The experiment was designed to allow students to see the inner workings of an organism’s circulatory system, particularly blood flowing through veins and arteries. The organism used for the experiment was a live goldfish. Two soaked cottonballs kept the goldfish alive so that students could see the circulatory system in action by observing its transparent tail. This experiment – new to the curriculum – is one of the different ways Ms. Greco keeps students engaged.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 4/25/17
Each student had a role in the reader’s theatre performance of “The Great Big Enormous Turnip” taking place in Ms. Debbie Rossignol’s varying exceptionalities classroom at Chets Creek Elementary. Students played the parts of the farmer, the farmer’s wife, the farmer’s son, a dog, a mouse, two narrators, and the props person. It was clear they were having great fun acting out the story while wrapping up their lesson on “The Great Big Enormous Turnip.” It was one of the lesson components Ms. Rossignol employs each week to help the students further understand the book they are studying. Other lessons throughout the week include discussing the story’s text all while helping to address the different needs of her students.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 4/18/17
As each flashcard was shown, kindergartners in Mrs. Carley Ellison’s class at Bayview K-6 responded with the correct letter sound as they went through their Saxon Phonics lesson. Mrs. Ellison quizzed her students on long vowels, short vowels, and letter combinations like “qu” and “ck.” The use of Saxon Phonics and Spelling has helped to build the students’ literary foundation. Earlier in the day, students crafted their own books about Mrs. Ellison, using sentences to describe who Mrs. Ellison is, what she can do, and what Mrs. Ellison has. Each student read their book to Mrs. Ellison, sounding out the words and using letter sounds when they got stuck on a certain spot.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 4/11/17
“Ms. Algard! I found a bug! Will you come look at it?” exclaimed a student in Ms. Tracey Algard’s fifth-grade class at Don Brewer Elementary. But before inspecting the student’s finding, Ms. Algard asked her class, who were split among different centers, the correct scientific name for “bug.” The class racked their brains and even started to go through their journals when one student said the answer – “arthropod.” Students then returned to their investigation centers, which included dissecting a flower bud, observing and describing creatures that are native to Florida, working on assessment activities, and meeting with Ms. Algard to work on diagrams of the water cycle. Data was used to not only determine the center groups, but it also allowed students to take ownership of their learning. Some centers focused on reteaching and practicing concepts that had a low proficiency and allowed students to review the material. Other centers allowed students to select a certain standard based upon their data and interest or address the students’ proficiency. Regardless of the center, the students’ data determined what they needed to work on the most.
#TeachALessonTuesday - 4/4/17
Is a square a special rhombus or a special rectangle? This was the question posed to Mrs. Jaime Plauche’s third-grade students at Fishweir Elementary during a lesson on quadrilaterals and parallelograms. As an interactive lead into the lesson, half the students were given an index card with a shape, while the other half had a card with properties of a certain shape. The students then had to match up with each other. As students found their matching cards, they realized that some shapes shared the same attributes as others. The class worked together to correctly match the shape with the definition. The class delved further into distinguishing quadrilaterals into different categories, moving shapes into blocks labeled parallelogram, trapezoid, rectangle, square, and rhombus and discussing why a certain shape fit into the different categories. Both activities were examples of how Mrs. Plauche incorporated scaffolds and strategies for students to have a better understanding of the subject matter. By the way, the answer to the question above is yes, a square is a special rhombus and a special rectangle.