Spotlight on Strategies
August/September - Would You Rather
Students need to be able to understand the points and counterpoints of arguments to be able to produce effective persuasive writing. In this strategy, based on the popular game Would You Rather?, students will place themselves in the shoes of historical figures and the events they experienced. Students will use critical thinking and justify their opinions with evidence from the media and resources available.
October - 3 Truths and 1 Lie
It's important that we help our students strengthen their digital literacy. Part of that involves helping students evaluate the most important concepts found in media. This activity will allow you to help students focus on the big idea and key takeaways.
November - Read All About It
Summarization is restating the main ideas of a text with as few words as possible. Summarizing can be written, spoken, or acted out through drama and music and then performed in groups or individually. Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001) have done extensive research to show summarizing to be an effective teaching and learning strategy. Teachers who begin teaching with the big points in the day's lesson and end the lesson by having students summarize their discoveries see gains in student retention of material.
December - Table Top Texting
According to a report by Pew Internet and American Life Project, “…texting ranks as the number one mode of communication among teenagers. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 text a median of 60 times a day…up from 50 in 2009.” It is important that educators find creative ways to use kids’ preferred mode of communication.
January - Paper Chat
Paper Chat is a cooperative teaching and learning strategy that empowers students to take part in group activities. It is a helpful strategy to use when there are broad essential questions that engender deep discussion and you want everyone in the room to be involved without judgment. The Paper Chat strategy helps students develop critical thinking and communication skills, in addition to developing patience and respect.
February - LOL
The development of humor parallels Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. In the same way that physical play strengthens bodies, word play develops a child’s mind. To understand humor, a student must learn new things about words or logical relationships. Students of all ages expand their senses of humor as they recognize that the meaning of words can be ambiguous and that words and phrases may sound alike yet have different connotations. Jokes and riddles stimulate intellectual growth. (Chiasson, 2002) In this strategy, students will create a meme using images to help explain the joke or riddle or bring comprehension to the humor.