Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Everything We Know About Something"

Since I will be in the classroom 40% this year to enable me to spend 60% of my time throughout the district in technology, my teaching partner and I got to spend the first two weeks together.   This way the students could get to know us both as we established our classroom procedures.  I am so fortunate to have such a great teaching partner!  Mrs. Ibrahim came up with a great idea  to introduce students to the various disciplines they will be studying this year.
Mrs. Little and Mrs. Ibrahim
 After discussing how textbooks are set up, and modeling how to find key concepts and vocabulary, she introduced a "Circle Map" graphic organizer where students would record the key vocabulary words they found.  She and the students chanted, "Everything we know about the language of math," (or reading, writing, etc.) as they made a big circle with their hands. Students sat in table groups with a text book in the middle of their table.  Each table group had a different text book,  a large piece of chart paper with a circle map drawn on it, with various colored markers.

Students find highlighted words in their math book.

Highlighted words were added to the circle map.

Students are timed as they work at each table.
Students were given a specified amount of time to write down bold words from their text book - the key vocabulary words for that particular discipline.  After their time was up, they would rotate to the next table where they would add more important words to the chart that was on that table group.  This gave students the opportunity to look through the various textbooks they will be using this year.  The students LOVED the activity.  They were up and moving and very focused on the job to be done!  Since each student used a different colored marker, it was easy for them to see what they had contributed to the various circle maps.

Now here is the cool part!  Mrs. Ibrahim created a wiki where students will share their learning throughout the year.  There is a different page on the wiki for each discipline.  It is just the bare bones right now with empty spaces from A-Z, but by the end of the year students will have added the meaning to the vocabulary words in that particular discipline.  Our learning won't just be in our heads, but on the Internet for others to see!   The wiki can be found at:

The bold words from the textbooks will be added to this page. 
Students will add the meaning of the words as they learn them throughout the year.

Here are the subject areas that students will add words and meanings to throughout the year.


  1. Great idea!!! I can't wait to do this lesson with my kids!!!!!

  2. Hey! I just found your blog through technologytailgate and I am your newest follower :)! I would love if you checked out my blog and I am looking forward to learning from you!
    Sent From My iPad

  3. Thanks Nikki. I checked out your blog, and now I am following YOU! I am looking forward to learning from you as well!