Have a little fun on Valentine's Day, while at the same time, reinforcing parts of speech, poetic form and syllables with this "Mad Libs" style activity. This activity seems like it would be best for kids, but I've used it successfully with teenagers and young adults as well. It's fun all the way around, and especially educational if you are involved in a poetry unit. Click here or on the photo to download.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
By having students create their own questions, and providing an answer key, I can measure their understanding of the topics much better than a traditional multiple-choice test. It's also a terrific study tool, because writing quiz questions is not easy. The most common reaction from the students? "This is haaaard" (insert whiny voice). I just smile and think, welcome to my world!
We start by writing a list of topics we covered over the quarter on the board, then come up with guidelines (how many questions, must cover at least five topics etc...) and formatting choices (multiple choice, T/F, short answer, matching etc...). You can let them work in groups or individually. After everyone has their questions and answer keys, I copy all of them and pass them out to the students for review. Their task (in groups) is to go through all the questions and mark any that they think are unclear, unfair, or should not otherwise by included on the final quiz. Again, this serves as a great study tool.
When grading the questions, it's surprising how many students answer their own questions incorrectly, and it's interesting to see which topics they avoid and which they gravitate toward. All in all, it's a valuable learning experience for both the students and the teacher.
Monday, January 14, 2013
So, I sifted through all the resources I could find, and after one big headache, boiled it down what I think is the latest and greatest thinking on the subject, and included the categories that made the most sense for students: Independent, Dependent, Relative, Nonrestrictive, and Restrictive. Although I looked at a plethora of sources, the one that most informed my choices was from the online library at the University of Phoenix.
This power point is a great starting point for clearing up clause confusion. It has explanations and clear examples. I used it in my classroom this quarter, and the test scores on the subject confirmed that it helped. I hope you will find it helpful, also.
Ho, ho, ho!
Monday, January 7, 2013
The idea is that the students takes notes in the "Notes" section during the lecture. Then, within twenty-four hours (I always recommend as soon as possible), they will fill out the Questions and Key Points section and the Summary section. This keeps things organized and easy to find when studying for exams.
You can certainly have students draw the form themselves, but I find it's much better to hand out three-hole punched copies of the template above. Click here or on the picture to download the free template.