Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mastering a Topic one day at a time

So I am trying something new this year with my ELA time. I feel like we are always in such a rush to get through the material that we never really get a chance to master topics. So I decided to add 30 mins a day to my schedule to "master" a topic. I pick a subject. Then plan out a week or more if needed to concentrate on a topic.

One I focused on was Cause and Effect. I noticed that my students struggled with this concept so I made a pre and post test so I could see if my efforts helped the students master the concept.
I figured since I was making the test I would put them on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can find them here.  I had looked on there first to see if I could find one so I wouldn't have to make them but no luck, so to the drawing board. I made test with three different ways to answer the cause effect questions because its more accurate to see if they truly understand instead of having figured out a given formula or getting lucky and guessing.

So as I expected many did not do well on the pre test. So I found songs, videos, powerpoints, worksheets, stories, the works with cause and effect strategies. I really do believe that you should teach in as many ways as possible to hit all learning styles. Technology is huge now days so any way I can get that in with the subject I do. I spent two weeks, 30 mins a day on the subject. The post test showed that a majority of the students understood the concept. YAY! Of course I had a few that still did not get it but at least many of them did.

I have tried this with a few different topics and I am seeing some good results. It is a lot of work on my part because I have to find all the resources and materials to use. However I feel it is important to spend some serious time on some of the harder concepts.

Hope you find this interesting or it inspires you to try something new. Have a great day!!

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