Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jay M. S., October 27, 2009 Visits

Teacher: Lynn Ouelette
Content: Language Arts

Grade: 8th

Focus: 5 Paragraph Essay

Activity:  The lesson I observed today was part of a unit.  Lynn's students are taught a 5 paragraph essay as part of the district curriculum.  As part of the brainstorming, students created, shared, and then e-mailed them to Lynn.  Lynn entered them into Wordle.

Wordle - Beautiful Word Clouds

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the ...
After examining the word clouds, Lynn modeled how to generate statements from the topics.  Next, students each generated 8 statements and e-mailed them to the teacher who compiled a list of statements for the students.  

 Today, Lynn opened the period by reviewing the process and the 5 paragraph essay graphic organizer in a keynote presentation.  Each student has a copy of the graphic organizer on their individual laptop.  Students are asked to choose a thesis statement and search online for information relevant to their statement.  Before beginning their searches, Lynn puts up a slide and explains:
  • use of stickies for note taking,
  • citations from the web
  • appropriate note taking format - no paraphrasing
As the class continues, Lynn moves around the room supporting students with their searches, asking clarifying questions.  As I moved around the room, I am impressed by the individual approach each student uses to locate information.

The lesson ends with the students exporting the stickies to a text document and e-mailing to the teacher along with any information on difficulties with the process today.

Purposeful Language:
  • so what are you thinking?
  • are you thinking positive or negative?
  • that's kind of broad
  • how can you narrow it?
  • prior knowledge
Aha! Technology and literacy are a powerful combination when they are combined and supported with meta-cognitive strategies modeled by the teacher and others.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a successful lesson, Lynn! (As always!) I really like the Wordle idea and plan to use it at some point with the 7th graders. Your use of so many aspects of technology inspires me to get my act together and try more! Your 8th graders seemed to be getting right down to business with their persuasive essays. Have fun with the rest of the unit and their eventual debates!