A. Grace Martin

Author, Wellness Coach, High School Teacher

Why show lesson plan examples?

As situations warrant, teachers who hold an Interim Professional Certificate are expected to demonstrate consistently that they understand:

KSA #6 the purposes of short, medium and long term range planning. They know how to translate curriculum and desired outcomes into reasoned, meaningful and incrementally progressive learning opportunities for students. They also understand the need to vary their plans to accommodate individuals and groups of students.

KSA #9 there are many approaches to teaching and learning. They know a broad range of instructional strategies appropriate to their area of specialization and the subject discipline they teach, and know which strategies are appropriate to help different students achieve different outcomes.

Language Arts Lesson on Story Beginnings: Attention Grabbers

Curricular Outcomes:

1. Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences

3. Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to manage ideas and information

4. Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to enhance the clarity and artistry of communication.

By the end of this lesson
students will be able to identify how narrative hooks are constructed and write
the beginning of a story using an intriguing narrative hook.

Procedure

Attention Grabber (3 min): Use hand rhythm clap to signal class to quiet down. When all are quiet, teacher says clearly, “Last night, I died.” Look at the student’s reaction. Wait. “What’s the first thing or question that came to your mind when you heard me say that last night, I died? Did that statement grab your attention?” Ask students raise their quiet hands to answer.

Cue/Intro (2 min): “Today we will be talking about narrative hooks, which are also called attention grabbers. We want to begin our stories with something interesting that hooks our reader’s attention. In this class I want you to think about things that grab your attention.”

Think-Pair-Share (5 min): “You have ten seconds to think quietly to yourself, what interests you that grabs your attention… Now share your ideas with your group… Who wants to tell the class what grabs their attention?” Teacher can write down a brainstorm list on the board. “Now at your table think about why it is important to be able to write good hooks?” Share with class. (Stories, advertisements, newspaper articles, make people listen to you for your presentation—like the projects to town council)

Body (10 min): “We are going to take these ideas of what grabs our attention and use it to write better story beginnings.” First we need to know what the beginning of a story needs. Ask class what is in the beginning of a story, and if they need a hint look at their story map from a previous lesson (characters, setting, mood/problem). Tell the students that there are several ways we can introduce a story using these aspects of a beginning. Use the notebook file. Go through each slide of examples and questions (file attached to lesson plan).

Writing (15 min): Ask students to write the beginning of a story. They must write at least three sentences, the first of which being an interesting attention-grabbing sentence. They may use one of the narrative hook examples given on the board. Tell them to think back to their mood lesson and use that sheet.

Closure (5 min): Heads up! Students should put their pencils down and pay attention. Ask who can explain what a narrative hook is. Then allow for any volunteers to share their hooks and the first three sentences of their story.Rationale and Reflection

Students get excited when their teacher is excited. As a writer, I am very interested in and inspired by narrative hooks. I feel that narrative hooks get the creative juices flowing and increase student interest in writing their own stories. The attention grabber that I decided upon for the start of this lesson was "Last night I died." This was intended to catch the students off-guard, and become interested in what I would say next. My intentions were well met, as my grade 6 students immediately began to ask me questions. "How did you die?" "But Mrs. Martin, you're standing right here!" "What, that's crazy!" "You died last night? How is that possible?" I think that it is important for teachers to get a little outrageous and allow for chaotic answers sometimes. I did not ask for quiet hands after telling the students that I had died. Instead, I smiled when they shouted out their reactions to what I had said. They wanted to express themselves, why not cultivate that engaged energy and let them? Not that the entire lesson was chaotic. I specifically planned the lesson to be well-structured with times in which students could chat in groups, and times in which they had to sit quietly and listen.

First, I let the students explore what interests them and why it is important to use narrative hooks in small group discussions before asking them as a class. Think-Pair-Share strategy allows students to confirm their thoughts with someone else before offering the answer in front of the larger group. I also used this strategy because I have a wonderfully chatty group of grade 6 students, and they all want to share what grabs their attention. Small group discussion is a timely method of allowing each student to share their feelings.

Next, I moved on to an instructional lesson using the SMARTboard as a visual aid. I wanted to use examples of different types of narrative hooks, but I cut my personal list of fifteen down to six: question, crazy statement, character description, weather/setting, action, finding something. I specifically wanted my students to write a crazy statement because they are very creative and love coming up with outlandish ideas. I thought that this exercise would encourage my students to begin the writing process of putting pen to paper and gain some inspiration. The crazy statements that they wrote gave many students ideas for new short stories.

The narrative hook was an amazing segue into short story writing. The last part of my lesson was dedicated to individual student writing time. I asked my students to write at least three sentences of a short story, and was amazing by some who wrote an entire page. Their excitement was well-funneled into productive work. I do not wish to give the impression that every last student was chomping at the bit to start writing. However, I was able to get at least an attention-grabbing sentence from each student, which met my lesson objective.

Finally, I closed my lesson with a quick review. Obviously the students at this point understand that the first sentence of a story is meant to grab the readers' attention. However, explaining what a narrative hook is helps the students to review the terminology and definition of what they had just learned. I also asked them to repeat some types of narrative hooks, which reviewed the content covered in the slides. Then allowing students time to share their writing gave applicable examples of the concept, and encouraged collaboration and respectful listening.

Related KSA's of Interim Certification Teachers:

KSA #1: Contextual variables affect teaching and learning. They know how to analyze many variables at one time, and how to respond by making reasoned decisions about their teaching practice and students’ learning.

Introduction to Order of Operations Lesson Plan

Curricular Outcomes:

GLO: Develop number sense.

SLO 9: Explain and apply the order of operations, excluding exponents, with and without technology (limited to whole numbers).

Objectives: At the end of the lesson students will be able to:

1) recite the order of operations in a way that is memorable without technology

2) solve problems by calculating operations in the correct order without technologyProcedure

Introduction (5 min transition and cueing): "Today we are going to learn about the order of operations. Who can tell me what an operation is?" Ensure that students are familiar with multiplication/product, division/quotient, addition/sum, and subtraction/difference terminology that will be used in this lesson. "We are going to do fun actions to help us understand some mathematical operations."

Student worksheet (5 min): Always do brackets first. On the board complete the calculations on the inside of the brackets. Do division and multiplication after brackets and they can be done together. Complete the similar calculations on the sheet and ask students what they notice in their answers. Tell the students to fill in the blanks of their notes. You add/subtract last.

BEDMAS (10 min): Order of Operations memomic and actions using whole brain teaching. Tell students that the four operations are multiplying, dividing, adding, and subtracting. Tell them to repeat it back to you then tell their neighbour. Say we will learn a saying called BEDMAS to remember the order of them. Get class to repeat back: Buy Eggs My Dear Aunt Sally. After they have repeated it, tell them B and E with actions stand for brackets ( ) and exponents E [they don’t need to do exponents today]. Get to repeat M for multiply x and D for divide /. Repeat add A, and subtract – with actions and get students to repeat all of them in partners.

Student worksheet (20 min): Do the first few questions on the board. Then get students to try them on their own, circulating and giving time before going through them on the board. If there is extra time, or if some students work quickly, those students can do the back side of the worksheet practice.

Closure (2 min): Get students to repeat back the memomic BEDMAS and actions before transitioning to next class.Assessment: Observe participation, listen to student responses, ask them to repeat back at the end of class, notice product of student worksheet whether or not it is completed.

Reflection on Order of Operations Math Lesson:

While some educators believe that worksheets do not contribute to authentic student learning, I would argue that they have a place as a tool for classroom instruction when combined with other forms of instruction as well. I think that in a math class, worksheets can help students follow along and practice what they have been taught. To make a student’s learning authentic, however, we need to approach instruction from multiple directions.

The grade six Mathematics teacher associate at my school referred me to the classroom management strategy of whole-brain teaching. I looked this up on Google, Pinterest, and YouTube. I even found a YouTube video of a grade eight classroom using the whole-brain teaching technique for order of operations, which was the best resource that I had for planning my lesson because I noticed how attentive the students were in the video.

When teaching I used the cue of “class?” and waited for them all to respond in a chorus of “yes?” to show that they are paying attention. I then used certain actions and ask the students to repeat them back to me. Then they turn around and “teach” their actions to a partner by showing what they have learned. I love this approach to instructing math because it keeps students engaged with the content and able to repeat the material several times. Math can be a very analytical subject, and many students can benefit from a holistic approach to it. The whole-brain method combines listening and repeating spoken language, along with viewing and repeating body movements to a student’s learning of quantitative numerical problems.

To introduce students to the order of operations, I opened the lesson by asking them what an operation is. After a student answered correctly, I repeated the definition in different words to ensure that all of the class could hear it. Familiarity with the vocabulary is very important to provide a context for students. Introductory questions such as this assess the language of students’ background knowledge, making it relatable. At the beginning of the lesson I asked students what a product, quotient, sum, and difference were. Since this was the first math class that I taught, it was important to establish that the students understood the language that I was using. If they did not, I would either have to use the terminology that they do, or explain the terminology that I want the students to know.

I used a variety of approaches to get the same message across. To explain that there is an order in which math operations are performed I used the whiteboard, verbal instruction, and whole-brain instruction. First I wrote BEDMAS on the board and asked students to come up with an acronym to remember it. The answers that I received were fun and creative, which engaged the students and made the exercise meaningful through personal connections. I asked students to write BEDMAS on the top of their page because writing something down helps students to mentally process it better. Then I told them what operation each letter stood for and taught them actions to go with them. The students were very engaged with the actions! This kinesthetic activity helped a lot of students stay focused and helped them to remember the order. When I asked the students to teach these actions to a partner they stayed on task. The grade six students in my classroom love interacting with their peers, and this teaching technique played to their interests. I then began to use the worksheet. Fill-in-the-blank notes can be effective to make sure that students are paying attention, but I am glad that I kept them short; otherwise students might have started to zone out. As it was, each class had one or two students who asked three or five minutes later what they were supposed to write in the blanks. I feel that this is to be expected, but the positive learning environment that I established by answering questions openly encouraged these students to at least clarify what they had missed. I am glad that I used so many approaches to convey mnemonics and notes for the order of operations, because the students all remembered these.

After this introduction, I moved into the application of BEDMAS using the problems on the worksheet. I did a few examples on the board, asking the class for each one questions like “do we add first or multiply first?” or “what’s 5 times 4?” and not continuing unless I had a loud response. If only a few voices responded, I repeated the question until all of the class was participating in chorus answers. This keeps the students accountable for participation. My teacher associate pointed out that when I ask those questions, to not stand with my hand raised and ready to write on the white board. Instead, face the classroom so that I can make eye contact and observe if students are nodding, or if they have confused facial expressions. This also helps gain more participants in chorus responses because I can make eye contact with those students who are not speaking.

As I continued working through problems on the board, I realized that I could slow down and make sure that all students are keeping up with and understanding what we have already done. I was unable to get a good feel of how many students understood what was going on, and when talking with the teacher associate, we decided that the following class I should give an assignment to be collected for marks. This assessment would be far more individualized that circulating through the classroom and having students volunteer to solve questions on the board. My teacher associate and I also discussed the future use of individual white boards. Every student could have a small whiteboard, marker, and eraser. I could ask them to write their answers largely on the whiteboard and hold it up for me to see. This would give instant formative assessment of the student performance.

For closure, I referred the class back to their BEDMAS mnemonics and we repeated the order of operations with actions. I realize now that I could have fleshed out my closure. I could have done an exit slip asking students to do a final question on a small piece of paper to be passed in to me for formative assessment. Instead, I will collect assignments from students in the next lesson.

I feel that this lesson was strong in the whole-brain teaching technique for student participation, but that I could have worked on individual help through more circulation. My students told me that they really enjoyed my Math class because it finally made sense to them. I look forward to future lessons so that I can integrate personal whiteboards for timely formative assessment of student learning.

Related KSA's:

KSA #11: the purposes of student assessment. They know how to assess the range of learning objectives by selecting and developing a variety of classroom and large scale assessment techniques and instruments. They know how to analyse the results of classroom and large scale assessment instruments including provincial assessment instruments, and how to use the results for the ultimate benefit of students.

Lesson #3 Participating in Democracy in Ancient Athens

Curricular Outcomes:

6.2.3 (2) How did the structure of the government in ancient Athens provide opportunities for citizens to participate in decision making?

Aims/Objective:

At the end of the lesson students will understand the role of citizens in the Assembly

Materials: roleplaying identity cards and textbook

Procedure:

Introduction: {teacher will be dressed up with a toga on top of clothes}. “Welcome to ancient Athens! This is a very busy agora is it not? No, no, this chaotic marketplace will not do for a meeting place. Let us organize ourselves!”

Model the Assembly: Pass out identity papers to students and tell them that we will be role playing their characters. Ask slaves to sit at the left tables, peasants at the back center, craftsmen to sit back right, children to sit at front right, and wealthy to sit front center. “That organization is much better! I am your government, and I have an issue to present to this class. We must have an event to celebrate the gods! Since we are a democracy, all citizent may have a say in what we shall do! Now, who can tell me who is a citizen in Athens? Are slaves citizens? Are women citizens? Are children citizens? Well then only the adult men who are not slaves may help the government to decide what we shall do for this festival. Assembly is in order, all will be quiet now! Men, please come up to the front. Shall we have a music festival, a gymnastics competition, a large banquet and feast, or a sacrifce? Each of you may make one statement… Now we will vote.” The teacher will ask the citizens to vote.

Class Discussion: Ask students how they felt about the Assembly. How did the women, children, and slaves feel? How did the free adult male citizens feel?

Contrast: Dictator example. Teacher reassumes role playing and pretends to be King Minos from Crete (drawing on Theseus and Minotaur example) and says he wants a sacrificial festival to the Gods and to appease the minotaur.

Class Discussion: Ask students if they think that direct democracy in Athens was better than an absolute ruler.

Democratic vote between Journal or Story

Journal Reflection Activity: Ask students to write a dairy entry with the prompt “if I lived in Greece…” based upon class notes, discussion, etc. If you are done, colour maps or Athenian people page.

Story (5-10 min): Read page 70 of Textbook for the story of Jason watching the Assembly

Closure (5 min): Pass out paper exit slips. Ask students to write one thing that they learned and one thing that is still unclear or that they would like to know more about.

Sponge Activities: Colouring pages.

Adaptations: Include a Powerpoint visual of Assembly on Athens Pnyx HillAssessment: Observe participation and notice
student contributions during class discussion (observe and conversation). Exit
slips

Rationale:

Students love to feel that they are a part of the learning process. Role-playing activities put concepts into perspective for students and encourage them to feel included in the material that is being covered. Exit slips are especially valuable for asking students to reflect upon their learning, and to pose questions that they might not ask about in class. The questions that I received from my exit slips were valuable for guiding the following lesson's content:

Why can only men speak? How did democracy end in Athens? Why could girls not go to school? When does the council of 500 come in to play? Why did they have sacrifices? How slaves get to their new home does not make sense. Why did women have to be escorted by men? Why learn old Athens, why not new Athens? Why do some people have no say but other people have all say? Why did they get married so young? Aristotle and Plato don’t make sense. (in reference to an example of Aristotle being a metic because he was not born in Athens). I kinda understand the Metics but need more information. Why were wealthy women not considered citizens? Can we do the role play thing again?

Related KSA's:

KSA #5 all students can learn, albeit at different rates and in different ways. They know how (including when and how to engage others) to identify students’ different learning styles and ways students learn. They understand the need to respond to differences by creating multiple paths to learning for individuals and groups of students, including students with special learning needs.

KSA #9 there are many approaches to teaching and learning. They know a broad range of instructional strategies appropriate to their area of specialization and the subject discipline they teach, and know which strategies are appropriate to help different students achieve different outcomes.

Grade 5 Science Wetlands Lesson Plans