Thursday, October 27, 2016

Engaging Young Minds #tlap

Teaching like a pirate is not easy. It means some planning and longer work hours. Yet the results are well worth it in the classroom! Creative juices flow all day long! Students are engaged and empowered in their learning activities. Today’s student needs learning experiences that get them out of their seats, working with other students, and thinking about the world around them. Before I teach a lesson I ponder how to make the learning come alive for students.

The lesson I was supposed to teach today was food chains and webs. I thought about what I wanted students to know and understand in this lesson. The science textbook explained what this was, but I decided students needed to figure it out themselves. We started with a review of the past few lessons connecting our background knowledge with new learning. The class was going to play HeadBandz Food Chain Style. Each student got a card (click here for cards we used) of something on our planet, but they had NO IDEA what it was. Holding it on their forehead they walked around asking their classmates questions. Am I a consumer? Where do I live? Am I an omnivore? were just some of the questions I heard. Using the answers given to them by classmates, students began to figure out who or what they were.

Once students deduced who they were from their questions they could take the card off. Then they had to build a food web based on their card. We ended up forming many overlapping chains. This brought science to life and enhanced student understanding of vocabulary and concepts of food chains. They were able to see how energy flows by our human food web. We concluded our lesson reading the text, watching a BrainPOP video on food chains, and discussing what we learned. Almost every student had a hand up to share something they discovered through this lesson proving to me when you teach like a pirate, students are excited and willing to learn, and develop camaraderie in the classroom!

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