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Making the Most of Teacher Resources

By Kriscia Cabral on February 7, 2014
  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

Wondering what to do with your many books of reproducible worksheets? Use Scholastic’s week–by-week homework activities as a guided flipped learning tool.

I came across a Scholastic book on building grammar, usage, and mechanics skills, and wondered how I could incorporate the skills and weekly practices into my room. I then looked at the format of my classroom and found a way to put the two together.

 

My Classroom Format

My classroom is student-centered learning based. Students are given modules with learning tasks that they need to complete by a given date. Modules are created by the teacher, based on the Common Core State Standards, and are used as a check-off system for students.

The Week-by-Week Homework for Building Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Skills is a perfect tool for flipped learning because of the book's layout. First of all, there is a brief overview of the skills, which can be used as an introduction and short mini-lesson. Secondly, each skill is broken up into sections of learning, allowing students to grasp pieces one at a time while they learn. This format models the module setup that I use with my kids. I give them the pieces of the puzzle as separate tasks in the module, and they are tasked with taking all of those pieces and putting them together as a finished puzzle. Most importantly, this book comes with practice activities, review work, and an end-of-the-skill assessment.

 

 

What Does This Look Like in My Classroom?

Here is the module for commas pictured to the right. I have one for each student. They hole punch the module and place it in their binder. This is our check-off system.

In the classroom, I provide a variety of books about the given topic for students who like to investigate on their own. For those who need more guidance, I also provide a notes page. Students copy the notes and use them as a reference when showing their understanding of the learning target. The third resource that is offered to students is the use of the Internet. This is more the flipped model that can be used at home or as an internal flip within your classroom.

Through our learning management system, I provide a number of media resources. Here is also where students can practice the skill. I scan in or type up the activities that are given in the Scholastic reproducible book and have my students complete sections of it via Google docs. This reduces the use of paper and also allows for peer critiques. I usually partner students and have them check each other’s work. For a final assessment, I give students the choice to take the Scholastic-created test or show me that they understand all the learning targets within one project. A great example for one target on commas is writing a story following the rules addressed in the comma module.

 

Why I Like It

  • I am a big fan of students being in charge of their own learning. This book outlines the boundaries, which are needed, while allowing students to inquire in their own ways.

  • The fact that I don’t have to make 34 copies of every activity saves time and paper. The ability to use technology in and out of the classroom allows reinforcement with computer skills.

  • The option to assess in the typical way is there, as an assessment is prepped and ready to go. I don’t have to create anything new. I can scan this document for student access digitally.

  • The order and completeness of each skill easily guides student learning.

Student learning is at the core of every lesson. This is one way to engage students, allow for more small group learning time, and get quality use of your teacher resources.

Are there other ways you’ve used your teacher resources in the classroom?

I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading!

Smiles,

Kriscia 

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