Sunday, December 14, 2014

Icebreaker: Compare and Contrast Staff Members

August 21, 2013  (Before our students arrived!)   

Icebreaker Activity: 
Compare and Contrast Staff Members

Teachers were given multiple student-friendly  interest inventories to complete as they entered for breakfast. That inventory was used to compare and contrast similarities and differences. Our teachers collaboratively created Double-Bubble Maps with someone unfamiliar to them or new to campus.  Why?

 Purpose of activity: Address Standards
 “When teachers ask students to consider two or more perspectives on a topic or issue, something beyond surface knowledge is required: students must think critically and deeply...” 
Common Core State Standards, Appendix A, p. 24

The compare and contrast text structure offers a framework for using a number of skills at a variety of levels during the learning. Four comprehending levels are used while working with a compare and contrast text structure.

Purpose of activity:  Review the power of student-generated graphic organizers

When students make the graphic organizers (and not use premade/photocopied organizers) they are actively creating a model of their thinking. Additionally, premade organizers limit thinking by only providing a limited number of bubbles! Check out how many similarities/differences an open-ended organizer encourages - unlimited!

 Purpose of Activity: Team-building

What an amazing opportunity to get to know each other!  Additionally, displaying the maps in the entry way was a unique way to introduce staff members to the students and community.

Purpose of Activity:  Imitate and innovate with our students
I encouraged teachers to use this activity at the beginning of the year before tackling this concept with complex text.  Starting the year with personal student information builds confidence and establishes the essential student-teacher relationship.   Here are two sample displays that popped up immediately following the professional development...

First grade took it back to the classroom! This display appeared the first week of school!  Hooray!

First graders used an inventory, created maps, and wrote about each other!  We're off to a wonderful start!

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