Friday, January 30, 2015

Lesson Sharing & School Culture

By Kim Miklusak

One of the things I like most about the school culture at EG is our willingness to share lesson ideas and instructional techniques with each other.  I've done two lessons this week that were introduced to me by my peers.

The first was a QR code pre-reading activity that was originally done at our Freshman First Days event at the start of the school year.  I then observed Bonnie Kale use it with her freshmen as a preview to reading Shakepeare; it was so well received by her students that other members of her freshmen team started using it as well!  Many members of our American Literature team are now using that idea this week to preview the concept of race and conflicts surrounding race in the US today as we begin preparing to read Huck Finn.  What was great about this activity was that it was self-paced but still skills-centered and incorporated current events and conflicts via articles and videos.


The second idea is the gamification of grammar practice, an idea long championed by Rita Sayre.  Today I did brackets to make a head-to-head competition.  Students worked by themselves or with a peer.  Each English grammar passage was a round.  The students put the number of correct answers plus an answer explanation as a tie breaker.  Even if they were kicked out in the first round they kept playing because the team with the next highest total came back in for the final round!  The students really got into it--even students who normally wouldn't be as interested in grammar.  Another great way to do this would be through Kahoot!

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