As the fourth graders enter their last week of an inquiry how “Landforms change constantly, impacting the world around us”, I challenged the EAL students to put on a quiz show. This proved to be an excellent formative assessment of what they know and what misconceptions need to still be addressed.
One quiz master was chosen (at random) and the remaining students were divided into two teams (again randomly). The quiz master was asked to write an opening script and help organizing the two teams. The teams were asked to come up with at least 10 questions each, to ask the opposing team. It could be anything to do with landforms and Earth…anything they had studied during the past five weeks.
I provided two distinct sound makers and a ‘microphone’. I filmed the entire show (from start to finish this was one 50-minute lesson), and was lucky enough to have an additional student step in for scoring half-way though.
Here is the edited version. We hope you enjoy!
AISB QUIZ SHOW – topic of the show: landforms from AISB EAL on Vimeo.
We have launched our new reading and writing units: Fairy Tales. The students will read a variety of different fairy tales, compare versions of the same fairy tale and write their own fairy tale. The units link nicely with our current unit of inquiry: What a Beautiful World! Here the central idea is: People of all cultures express themselves though different art forms. We will be reading a variety of fairy tales from all over the world, focusing on key characters, settings, magical elements, cultural elements and lessons learned. The EAL students come to school knowing a lot of the stories from having read them in their own language. Having so much background knowledge allows them to read texts that otherwise would be beyond their abilities.
In my EAL reading group, we will be focusing on a new story each time. I decided to start with Little Red Riding Hood, as all but one of the students knew the story. I used Trina Schart Hyman’s book for a read aloud as the pictures are so detailed and there is lots of dialogue. I had them sequence the story with pictures and in writing. I then found some Little Red Riding Hood printable masks and they colored them, cut them and stuck them onto wooden sticks. They decided amongst themselves who would play what character and then collaboratively we wrote the play. I projected my screen and typed while they retold the story, including dialogue. I printed the script, enlarged it and we read it through twice as a group and then they acted it out. They only had to redo a couple of scenes. Overall, they did a fantastic job. All in all, this lesson was about 3x 50 minute periods.
Little Red Riding Hood play from AISB Grade 2 on Vimeo.
Part of this month’s word study has been focusing on parts of speech: nouns, verbs, and adjectives. We have been using a great app on the iPad called Bird on a Wire They have three different apps: Verbs, Nouns and Adjectives.
All of them have the same format. You press start and are given a page of definitions and examples: You then click on the ‘games console’ on the bottom menu bar and you are shown three little birds each with a word under their feet. The learning objective is to identify the verb and click on it. The little bird flies away with the verb and a ‘Good Job’ sign.
There are perhaps 30 different pages. At the end, the students can click on the ‘paint palette’ and they are presented with a verb that they can then sketch a picture to match.
The EAL kids were highly motivated by this part. They did an amazing job of understanding the verbs and then representing that in the form of a digital drawing. We did the same lesson with Bird on a Wire: Nouns.
When the students finished their ebooks on the iPads, I emailed them in the form of a PDF with side-by-side pages to my home account, so I could print the books. In addition, I emailed them without side-by-side pages so I could use Issuu to publish their books online and link each file up to this blog.
We then spent a lesson reading each other’s books and learning from each other’s work.
I had them share something they learned from which ever book they had chosen to read.
They also had to share something they can do with Book Creator in making the eBooks
For reflection purposes, I also asked what they would like to try next time they make an ebook and what they would want to make an ebook about.
I think they enjoyed reading each other’s work. The information was much more accessible and they were able to present information they learned in another format – with a digital book.
Last week marked the final week of our nonfiction unit in reading and writing. Because the students enjoyed doing the EAL News production, we recorded another newscast, this time about the world’s strongest animals and what it is like to be a firefighter. Enjoy!
This past couple of weeks, we have been working a lot with wordless picture books. There are MANY great titles out there.
These books have NO words, only pictures, and are wonderful for English language learners.
I have been using them for describing the pictures, sequencing the story, talking about what is happening in the story, and predicting what the students think will happen in the story. They have enjoyed being able to talk freely about what they are reading, and have shown some wonderful reactions to the pictures.
Here’s what four students have to say about them :
After reading Barbara Lehman’s wonderful book, The Red Book
I asked the students to choose a picture in the book and add words. They collectively decided that they didn’t want to do that. They wanted to do the entire book.
Look at the fantastic book they made:
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