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Below is taken from ISTE
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An interesting way to teach writing and have students explore the five paragraph essay is through the following website:
This website aids students with tips and techniques for Expository, Narrative, and Persuasive Writing, and stimulates the student with step-by-step tutorials. This would be a valuable resource for 4th graders as they prepare for FCAT Writes.
I have the students learn about Mardi Gras each year. We do research and an Internet Search. Here is the lesson plan I use.
--COMMENT-- I'm curious -- what are your big ideas? Why are studying Mardi Gras, and what types of enduring understandings will your students take away from this project? Meaning, what will students remember 10-years from now about their study of Mardi Gras?
Students will understand where Mardi Gras comes from and how Carnival came to be.
Students will understand the different aspects and traditions of Mardi Gras and be able to reproduce them
Students will be able to make a five-minute presentation on various carnival topics and answer questions about other types of Carnivals throughout the world.
Approximately 5 (1 hour) class periods plus homework.
Mardi Gras Beads (one for each student)
2 King Cakes (ordered)
For information and to order Mardi Gras items please visit:
Before Day 1
Have all students ask 2-5 people (family and friends) about Mardi Gras, why it is celebrated? Where it comes from? What do people to do celebrate it? What places celebrate Mardi Gras?
Discussion and overview day on all of the student's previous homework assignments. Make list on the chalkboard on why Mardi Gras is celebrated, when Mardi Gras takes place, in what countries does it take place, and what methods are used to celebrate Mardi Gras Note: Do not add too much input or correct students ideas. Allow the students to form their own opinions from each other. Lead students to certain topics, Fasching, Religion, traditions…
Draw three headings on the chalkboard 1. Eat junk food and soda all day, 2. Eat normal amount of junk food, 3. Eat less than normal amounts of food. Tell the kids that after today, they will have to stop eating all forms of junk food, pizza, fast food, and soda, for the next month. Also tell them that they can do which ever they want to do today. Have all students walkup and put their name under each heading, which corresponds to what they would like to do on their last day. Have select kids talk about their selection and this will lead into the foundation of Mardi Gras. This will lead you into the lecture.
Talk about the basic concept of Mardi Gras. "Eat, drink, and be merry, because tomorrow we all die." Explain the other basic concepts and the history of Mardi Gras and where it is celebrated. Also introduce Mardi Gras Krewes and what role they play in Mardi Gras.
Go to the computer lab and allow students to complete the Mardi Gras Internet Search.
Krewe Introduction and Doubloons
Hand out beads and Doubloons to all students. Split your students up so you have five-six students in each group. Have each group come up with a Krewe name, a topic for their Krewe and a Doubloon representing all of them.
Give each student in the group a different topic related to Mardi Gras and carnivals. You may choose to use topics such as: Carnival (entire period of balls and parades), Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), Krewes (ex. Comus and Rex), masks (history of them and purpose in the festivities), Lent and Strove Tuesday, Doubloons and other throws. To gather information regarding these topics, refer to the references and internet (
). If computer access is not easy, just printout a Mardi Gras package for each group. Let the students study their topic over night and in class.
Before they present the information to their group let them get in expert groups (every one with the same topic from different Krewe) and discuss what they learned from the information. Then they go back to their original groups and each take 5 minutes to present their information to the group. Each group should make a PowerPoint of their research and present it to the class.
Open Discussion, King Cake, Assessment
Put students into Krewes and cut the King Cake. Explain the meaning of the finding the baby. While eating cake discuss with the students what they have learned about Mardi Gras and Carnival: how it got started, some of the traditions, and when and where it occurs. Ask each student to answer any of three questions for a homework paper over the weekend.
Verbal assessment (questions)
Written paper on three facts about Mardi Gras and Carnivals.
Mardi Gras Internet Research
To answer the following questions go to this site. Write the answers on your paper.
What does Mardi Gras mean?
Mardi Gras is always days before Easter Sunday.
What are the official colors or Mardi Gras?
What does each color stand for?
arades are put on by carnival _
What do the people on the floats throw?
What is the famous phrase used in the Mardi Gras parades?
It is traditional to bake an oval cake in honor of the three.
What is the name of this cake?
Why is the cake in the shape of a circle?
What does the small baby symbolize?
The traditional King Cake is made from twisted strands of
, topped with icing, and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold colored sugar.
Math Ideas for Grade 5:
To practice our adding and subtracting decimals skills, my students were placed into teams and told they were given $2000 by the PTO to plan a Fall Break vacation. They checked airline prices online and subtracted the amount that all of them would spend on airfare from their original price. Then, they had to pay for sightseeing trips and meals during their Fall Break vacation. They enjoyed looking up prices online and actually taking it from their original budget.
Another great way to incorporate technology and fun into your class is to have stations. Sometimes I would divide my class into either 4 or 5 stations and the kids would have about 9 minutes at each station. At least one station always involved working on the computers (either watching a specific math video online or playing a specific game). Other stations varied depending on what we were talking about. For example, when learning about measurements my stations looked like this:
Station 1: Use a ruler to measure the edges of a Valentine's Day card. (Can you tell what time of the year we were on measurement?)
Station 2: Fill in the blanks to answer measurement questions. (Ex: 3 quarts = ___ pints)
Station 3: Students went online to play a measurement game.
Station 4: Draw a cartoon explaining how to read a ruler. (This is something my students always struggle with so extra practice is always needed!)
Albert Bridge School in Brownsville, VT -- NETS implementation
A co-teacher and I have recently created a math word problem unit plan that uses several NETs and follows a template very similar to the one on this site. We had 3rd and 6th graders in mind when developing the unit, but it can be easily adapted to many grade levels. It involves the use of blogs, where students post comments and respond to comments. The unit also includes SMART Board activities, including one where students use digital sentence fragments that must be dragged and dropped in the correct order. Students will also have the opportunity to create a Sketchcast (
) to share their knowledge and collaborate with others.
Here is a link to
which hosts the unit plan and all the hand outs and other downloads.
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