Our 7th graders will be starting out the year with The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, so I wanted to share the activity I used last winter when I read the book with my Resource Room.
I needed something to hook the kids, and from my experience with the book, the characters can be quite confusing for students. I decided that I would assign each student a role, and they would represent that character while we read the novel.
Going with the very popular idea of quizzes that we all take on Facebook (Which Disney princess are you? I’m Jasmine!)…I decided to do something similar with my students.
Because I don’t know how to make an actual quiz like that, I just used a Google form and with 8 students, I figured out the results to strategically meet the needs of my individual students.
First, the questions:
The next day, I handed out the slips of paper one at a time and read the descriptions to the class. They then inserted the description, as well as a photo I had printed, into a 4 x 6 acrylic picture frame.
Each day as class started, the students would get their frame and sit it in front of them on their desk. As we sat in a circle, I was able to reference/point to students as we were summarizing.
By having them associate the characters with their classmates, it was easier for them to keep the characters and plot straight. It was also fun to build suspense and keep students interested.
“Will Johnny/Blake live or die?”
“Will Cherry/Sydney fall in love with Dally/Josh?”
“Will the Socs/Nathan seek revenge for Bob’s death?”
Other skills I covered during this activity:
- Point of View – Students were asked to rewrite their description several times – in 1st and 3rd point of view.
- Perspective and Summarizing- After major events in the book, students had to get into character and write a journal entry or letter about the current situation.
- Predictions – Students were asked to make predictions about their characters.
I am not sure how this would work in a very large class, but I am anxious to hear your thoughts. If you could use this technique with a novel you are reading, please share in the comments!!
A few weeks ago I learned about ThingLink, which is destined to become my new favorite thing.
With our Spring Break trip and adjusting to Ian’s new life on an insulin pump, I haven’t had much time to work with it.
But finally, the last few days I’ve been creating a review ThingLink for our 7th grade Language Arts students. I’ve connected it to many of my own Prezis and found some other resources as well. Every little icon you see will take you somewhere new!
It’s almost the end of the 1st nine weeks and I am wrapping up our first novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, and moving into an informational text unit.
I wanted to do a review game/activity on the iPads but couldn’t choose an app. I decided this was a good time to try Quizlet, which has been on my “Want to Learn About” list since July.
I created these two set of cards this morning:
I haven’t upgraded to the $15/year or the $25/year option yet. I want to see how it goes with the class week, but I am optimistic.
First impression: I love how easy Quizlet is to use.
- You type in the terms and choose from a list of “auto-definitions” or type your own. I am a very fast typist so I had them done in no time. Actually, after I got started, I realized I could copy and paste from the PDFs I already have.
- You can switch the terms and the definitions with one click. Sometimes it is better to present the definition first and ask students to recall the term. Other times, it’s more appropriate to do it the other way around. I
- Quizlet has a “Speak Text” option, which will be great for my class. (I just picked up cheap headphones for the iPads. I have issues with a lot of noise and this should help. A few students also have ear buds of their own.)
- There are hundreds/thousands of sets already created on Quizlet and I spent some time a few weeks ago searching for something that would work.
Now that I’ve realized Quizlet is so easy to use, I shouldn’t have wasted my time searching for an almost-perfect fit, and should have gone this route. Now I have exactly what I want for my class based on what we have studied. (I used the exact definitions we used in our Interactive Notebooks to be consistent)
I was able to quickly link the two card sets to my Schoology course and I will introduce Quizlet tomorrow after our reading quiz (also on Schoology).
The real trick will be if the kids can remember their logins for Schoology!!
What are your thoughts on Quizlet?
How do you use Quizlet in your classroom?
Would you/Did you pay the extra $15 or $25 to upgrade?
Maybe most importantly, how do you get kids to learn their usernames and passwords to multiple online accounts? Our students building-wide are dealing with our new g-mail, Schoology, Chrome books, Khan academy and online text books and it’s been quite a challenge!