I am going to be a new teacher as of August 2010, and my degree is NOT in education. So, I'm doing a lot of studying/self training under "the gun."
I appreciate your advice of short, meaningful activities. Could you give an example/illustration of a "typical" class period where you might implement two or three different activities?
---What I am anxious to see is the "what" (activity) and "how" you transition and plan for them.
If your first year is anything like mine was then it's going to be tough.
An example of a typical period might go like this:
1. Open with a short "bellwork" writing assignment about a current event that is related to the current unit. While they are working I can take attendance or take care of consequences for tardies. As soon as I'm finished with administrative affairs, I walk around and help students. I nominate a few students to share (to jump-start discussion later) and affirm good responses.
2. Students use their paragraphs to do a pair-share about the unit, which later leads into a structured academic discussion. Students have to jot down interesting ideas/names as others share.
3. Students get to choose to work on one of 3 or 4 independent activities to include: comprehension questions, outlining, graphic organizers, etc.
It changes a lot depending on what unit I'm teaching, so I try to stay flexible. I hope that helps!
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