Centers = Effective

Good Morning Fellow Teachers!

It has been awhile since my last update.  October is super busy for me as a cheer coach as well as a math tutor.  But, I wanted to inform you of something new I implemented last week.

As a teacher, I am often worried about if my students mastered a concept from many years ago.  In Michigan, the MEAP Science test is given to students in 7th grade, but it covers concepts from 5th grade, 6th grade, AND 7th grade.

After looking at lots of data, I decided to choose to focus on Seasons which is a 5th grade GLCE.  I was a little worried, because in order for centers to be effective, I must work with one group of students while the other groups are working individually on their own.  My students tend to get off task easily, which made me fearful of the effectiveness of this route.

In order to prepare my students, I practiced centers with my students everyday for a week.  Each group knew whether or not they were a B group or an A group.  They knew where to go when they moved to the next center, and they knew the voice level I expected of them.

On the day of centers, I spoke of high expectations and explained what each of them would be doing during their center:

Center One:  Students would be working with me, globes, and flashlights.  We discussed revolutions, years, days, rotations, and the tilt of the axis.

Center Two:  Students read about seasons and answered questions using Talk to the Text.

Center Three:  Students used a PHET simulation on density to look at the influence of mass and volume on density.

Center Four:  Students found the density of irregular objects.

I was SHOCKED at the work the students did.  They were engaged, they were trying, and they were doing a great job!  I invited my principal to see what my students were working on and the students were answering high level questions.

Even though they were engaged, I was worried they hadn’t learned anything.  I used an assessment to see how they did on their test and found that they were 77% proficient!!  I was so proud of my students and bragged about them all over the school!

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Great job to my students!!


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