Archive | October, 2012

Alphabet Soup

17 Oct

What do you call a place where people are gathered on the basis of a shared age but having little else in common including interests, abilities, and needs?  That would be a classroom, of course.  It is the job of the classroom teacher to meet the needs, abilities, and interests of everyone in that classroom while focusing on common academic objectives.  This job can be referred to as “challenging”, “impossible”, “demanding”, “rewarding”, or “magical” depending on the task and the day.:)  Preparation is a key piece of this puzzle.  A teacher must understand all of the students in her classroom to determine their particular interests, abilities, and needs.  Then the work of developing the materials to match all of those areas must be done.  Where to find these types of resources is the number one question that we are asked.

With the right resources, the job can be made a little more “rewarding” and a little less time consuming to prepare.  That is the reason that we have put so much time and effort into developing some resources that we are willing to share.  Having worked with both with children who have struggled and children who have “gotten” it before the lesson, we understand the need to have resources that do double, or triple, duty.  School should challenge everyone at their threshold of readiness.

We have put together an alphabet package which is a good example. The sounds and letter names of the alphabet form a common learning objective. There are alphabet/visual cards contained within the package which could just be used to teach oral language to early English Language Learners, for instance.  There are games which would not look “babyish” for older students to play.  There is a chance for some advanced work with developing independent alphabet cards.  Throughout, the focus is on fun.  There is repetition and drill but presented in a variety of ways so that the focus remains on that aspect of fun.

The Word Sorts package is another example.  Right now, we have the package done for Grade Six only.  We have looked at learning objectives for that grade and used them to put together ideas to learn some of the academic language needed at that level.  The focus here is on the understanding of how and why words are grouped and understood.  (The students may even learn a little bit about spelling and the underlying rules for support. 😉

We hope that you can use some of these resources to help to “lessen the load” a little.  If they also increase your chances of achieving success with your students, we have achieved our purpose.

Right now our Alphabet Soup Package can be purchased on Teacher’s Notebook http://www.teachersnotebook.com/shop/2writingsisters

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