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Archive for July, 2011

Sentence Frames

July 25, 2011 3 comments

LaQuinta High School uses sentence frames school wide.  They presented at the Model Schools Conference in Nashville this year.  They focused on choosing one strategy to help all of their students succeed across the curriculum.  Sentence Frames provided an opportunity for all students to practice literacy across all disciplines.  I did some research on sentence frames and found a very limited Wiki.  All of the sentence frames I discovered were pretty generic and not exactly what I was looking to use in my classroom.

So, I started my own list of sentence frames (more like paragraph frames).  I’m going to try using them this year in my Algebra 1 class.  I am fortunate to have a co-teacher in this classroom who will help me develop these.  I am going to use them as starters in the class before I introduce the lesson.  Here is an example:

Algebra 1 Sentence Frames_002

My objective is to have the students copy the paragraph and fill in the blanks.  I will then allow time for the students to work with a partner (Think/Pair/Share) to explain how and why they placed the words in the appropriate blanks.  We will then discuss the correct answers as a class.

I’m trying this for several reasons:

1.  I’m tired of putting math problems on the board as starter problems and having students sitting there doing nothing because they “can’t do the math,” even though we went over it the previous day.  Everybody can put words in blanks.

2.  I want the students to use the correct math vocabulary.  I’m tired of them saying things like, “that house thing over the number.”  I’m hoping that if they write it, then they will remember it.

3.  This is a co-taught class, so I want the students to experience success.  Many students come into this class hating math or thinking they are bad at math.  I want to provide opportunities for students to feel a sense of understanding and accomplishment, even if it is just putting words in the correct blanks.

4.  Most of my students don’t know how or when to take notes.  These starters will then serve as our notes for the day.  We will work sample problems under the paragraph that represent the standard of the day.

At the end of class, I will put the slide up on the projector again and review the paragraph with the students.  I want to reinforce what we learned that day and make sure we close our topic and not just end the class with “work these 10 problems.” 

LaQuinta High had great success with this strategy.  They presented several examples from math, science, and history.  Here are my creations so far:  Algebra 1 Sentence Frames.  It’s a work in progress.

Categories: Algebra 1, General

Relevance & Rigor

July 22, 2011 1 comment

My summer is quickly coming to an end.  I have a week left of freedom that will be spent writing lesson plans and preparing for an inservice I have to present.  (I am not complaining, just shocked at how quickly it all snuck up on me.) 

I had the honor of presenting a summer in-service on Relevance & Rigor with some of my coworkers to a group of high school math teachers.  The presentation went really well.  If you are not familiar with the Relevance & Rigor framework, check out the International Center for Leadership in Education  website.  The center focuses on the need for schools to maintain high expectations while making learning relevant to students. 

This is myRigor & Relevance presentation.  If you have any questions about the presentation, please feel free to add them to the comment section.

Categories: Uncategorized