Sunday, March 1, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites Chapters 1 and 2

I'm linking up with Elizabeth from Kickin' It in Kindergarten for our best practice book study. 
I really enjoyed Deanna Jump's post for this link up because she thoroughly explains the difference between a worksheet and a recording sheet.  Worksheets are at the lowest level of Bloom's Taxonomy and just keep student's busy.  A recording sheet allows room for student's creativity and to show their thinking.  I use a recording sheet when student's are playing games in the classroom.
Also, Deanna Jump's schema charts. I definitely want to try that in my classroom.
Can I get an AMEN?  I want my students making a mark on their world, not a worksheet. 

The first strategy was all about brainstorming and discussion.  I agree that classrooms shouldn't be quiet all the time.  I love when my students work in small groups.  Students need opportunities to share their thinking.  As an elementary school teacher, I also am a firm believer in educating the whole child.  Students working with their peers is beneficial to their social/emotional growth.

When I read this chapter I immediately thought of Number Talks.  I learned about Number Talks last school year and they are now part of my daily math routine and typically take 5-15 minutes.  
As you can see here, this teacher set the stage for number talks with sentence starters.  The sentence starters can be very helpful to guide student's thinking.  

If you haven't heard of Number Talks or if you are interested in learning more, purchase the book HERE

Strategy two was all about art work and allowing students to express their creativity.  One misconception I often overhear is that art work is only for Kindergarten and First Grade students.   It can be integrated into your curriculum, but it needs to be well thought out with a clear purpose.  I am very intentional about making sure any art work I include in my lessons is not "fluff" or cookie cutter.
Marcia Tate does a great job of discussing the positive research of how beneficial art work and drawing is for the brain.  Some classroom examples include:
  •  creating a personal dictionary for new content vocabulary words 
  • designing a book cover that represents the main idea or theme
  • for a word problem have students illustrate each step to represent what is happening
Sorry for the poor quality picture!
This was completed by a Kindergarten student last spring.  As I read the book Rosie Walked students were responsible for identifying phrases that contain a position word.  We stopped throughout the book to chart these phrases.  At the end of the read aloud we reviewed then students were given an 11 x 17 piece of paper divided into 4 squares.  On the top left students wrote Rosie Walked… (title of book) and selected 3 phrases from the book to illustrate.  Students also had to write the phrase below their illustration.  I challenged students to underline the position word.

Another example I used in the past goes along with character traits.  Students selected any character to illustrate.  If you guessed Elsa was the most popular, you would be correct.  They labeled their selected character with traits that describe their character.

What do you think of the book so far?  After reading chapters 1 and 2, what do you want to improve in your classroom?

1 comment:

  1. We are working on character traits right now and I love your idea about illustrating a character and then describing their character. I'm pinning that for later!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade