Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lesson Plan: Observations Guessing Game

Title: Five Senses Jolly Rancher and Guessing Game Activity
Grade Level: 4th Grade (can be adapted for other levels)

  • Students will be able to observe using their five senses.
  • Students will be able to make a prediction based on their observations.
  • Fill brown paper bags with Jolly Rancher hard candy.  Staple the bags shut.
  • On a sheet of paper, students will divide the page into 5 sections: sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight. Title the page “Guessing Game.” Students will guess what is in the bag by using their senses.
  • Split the students into groups of five. Each student will pick a sense that was labeled on the paper so that each group member has a different sense. Give each group the candy-filled bags.
  • Have the students shake the bag.  The student who has the “sound” job is the only one who can describe the noise that the bag makes. The students will write down the description of what was heard on their sheet. Have the students make a prediction about what they think is in the bag based on this observation.
  • Next, the “touch” person will open the bag, reach into it, and feel the candy.  The “touch” person will describe what they feel to their group.  Students will record the description.
  • The “smell” person will smell the object. If they wish to take it out of the bag to sniff, they may, as long as everybody's eyes are shut.  Students will record their results on their sheet.
  • The “taste” person will taste it. Make sure that all the group members' eyes are closed when transferring the candy from the bag to their mouth.  The “taste” person will describe what the object tastes like, and the group will record their results.
  • Have only the “sight” person predict what they think is in the bag, using the observations they collected to this point.
  • Only the “sight” person can look in the bag and see the candy.  They must describe what they see to their group members without telling them what it is.  The group members will record their observations under the “sight” label.  The non-sight members will now predict what is in the bag using their observations.  After the students make a prediction, they may look at the candy.
  • Label the back of the paper “More Observations” and re-write the senses names.  Have the students look closer and deeply analyze the candy using their five senses.  The students must be as descriptive as possible and they should all collaborate and think of words that fit what they observe. Students should write down as many words and descriptions as possible.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lesson Plan: Identifying Variables with Plant Growing

This lesson is intended to help students identify the differences between independent and dependent variables. 

Title: Plant Growing and Identifying Variables 
Grade Level: 5th Grade (can be adapted for other grade levels)

Objective: Students will be able to identify variables by setting up a lab experiment.

  • Split students into groups of 4.  Each group will plant 3 different cups with pea pod seeds.
  • One cup will only contain the pea pod seeds, one will contain the miracle grow, and one will contain the jobe sticks.  Each cup will contain 3 seeds. Students must make sure the same amount of soil is in each cup.
  • Students will take care of the plants for 3 weeks. When feeding the plants, they should measure the same amount of water each time and give each plant the same amount of light.
  • Student must write down what the independent and dependent variables are in the experiment.
  • Students will measure how must each plant has grown everyday for three weeks, and record the results.
  • Soil -
  • Miracle Grow
  • Ruler
  • Water
  • Jobe Sticks
  • Measuring Cups
  • Pea Pod Seeds
  • Plastic Cups
  • Light Source
Assessment: Collect the students' writings of the dependent and independent variables and results.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lesson Plan: Math Battleship and Two-Step Inequalities

The lesson embedded below teaches two-step inequalities for mathematics. The lesson was intended for the 7th grade level, but it can easily be adapted for other grade levels that are focusing on inequalities. The lesson involves a game called "Math Battleship." Students were really excited to play "Math Battleship." The "Battleship" idea can be adapted into other content areas, such as "Vocabulary Battleship." "Battleship" makes for a great review game, but here is a sample lesson as to how I used it in an algebra classroom.

 Below is a visual representation of the lesson plan:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lesson Plan: Introduction to "The Giver"

The following lesson plan is an introductory lesson to The Giver. The lesson was taught to 8th grade Level 2 students. Level 2 students are equivalent to the Level 2 of the RTI scale; they simply need a little more assistance and attention than mainstream students. Although the lesson was taught for a specific grade level, the lesson can be adapted for other grades. The lesson includes a reflection on the instruction that shows the strenghts and weaknesses of the lesson and instruction. Teacher reflections are important, so here is a lesson that includes it! Additional references are also provided.

Title: The Giver Introduction 
Grade Level: 8th Grade English, Level 2


·      Students will be able to create an ideal world in groups.
·      Students will be able to summarize “Welcome to Utopia” or “Who Invented Rules” to a partner.


·      E08.B-K.1.1.2: Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
·      CC.1.5.8.A: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions, on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lesson Plan: Fluency & Echo Choral Reading

The following lesson was co-planned with Matt W. and Rachel D.  The lesson uses echo choral reading to help elementary students with reading fluency. The lesson includes background information on reading fluently.

Strategy Lesson: Fluency Using Echo Choral Reading
Grade Level: 2 (can be adapted for other grade levels)


Fluent reading is the ability for students to read text accurately with no grammatical errors.  Students are able to read text without taking long pauses in between words and are able to fully recite sentences as they appear in the text. Fluent reading also means that if the student makes any errors they are usually small grammatical errors and they are able to fix them up themselves through self-correction.

The strategy we are going to use to demonstrate fluent reading in classmates is choral or echo reading. This strategy is great to allow students to develop fluent reading strategies since the technique helps students to develop a stronger vocabulary including sight words as well as how to properly phrase and construct sentences through learned repetition.