Monday, September 16, 2013

Writing during Social Studies - could be better

Today's Social Studies lesson was teaching "What are the five regions of VA?"
I made a notetaking organizer with the VA map at the top, 5 columns with the 5 regions listed as headers, and found 2 short videos that showed images of the land and products produced in all 5 regions. I was set....I planned to show the videos to the kids and they would take notes.

But I blew it...

When a handful were starting to get distracted, I should have stopped and modeled what their notes should look like right then. I forget that these guys are only 4th graders and need to be SHOWN. I was saying what to write and pausing the video which had the word on it but I didn't show them. I need to slow it down and ensure ALL get how to take notes.

Two things did go well:
1.  I showed 2 videos - 2 sources and emphasized that it is important to read or view more than one source as the second one can confirm the info in the first but also might give more information. And sure enough, we were able to add to our notes after watching the 2nd one!
2. I ended the lesson using a Kagan Strategy called Rally Robin - all paired up. Then one student said a feature or product of a region and the partner named the region being described by their partner. Then back and forth they went to talk aloud the info we took notes on.

I guess I shouldn't beat myself up too much. I just want each lesson to go well. But by daily reflecting, it will help make tomorrow better! And it is only 4:15pm so I still have some time to get tomorrow all planned.

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