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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sherry H., Science Teacher at Jay H.S., November 18, 2009

On Wednesday, I visited Sherry during a biology class.  Sherry is an experienced teacher who reflects on her students' needs.  During this lesson, she was working with her class on muscle names and had been thinking about a way to help students make sense of the names, providing a hook for them to remember (meaning is always the most powerful hook).  By reflecting on her own understanding and process, she decided to create a three level study guide, as follows.

   She presented the new graphic organizer and explained her purpose and thinking.  Next she asked her students if they would like to do this as a group or separately.  The students opted to do both.
Sherry modeled the first part of the lesson and then had students try it, providing them with guided practice.  The class worked their way through the first two levels of questions within this framework, as Sherry moved around the room adding clarifying questions and comments.
   What I noticed about the class, was their ability to interact collaboratively within the group.  They were focused, used resources (including their textbooks), and purposeful language as they built a clear understanding of the concept.   Bravo!


Karina Escajeda said...

Sherry's students walk away from class discussions and activities with a solid foundation in concepts. I often hear students discussing anatomy at their lockers in the hallways, and working through successful use of the terms in phrases and discussion. I feel that this is a direct result of "increasing the talk time" and allowing students the time in class to use the terms meaningfully in conversation and group activities such as the one described here.

Kristel said...


I am impressed with your organizer and the web links you attached to your organizer that directed students to focus their learning. I continue to be impressed with your ability in the classroom. I also like that you gave the students the choice as to whether to work independently or cooperatively. I find that this opportunity for student choice is an important part of working toward a student-centered environment.

Jake said...

Your study guide is organized and clearly scaffolded to move students through three levels of understanding. I like how you are guiding students to develop the most effective way to remember muscle names by introducing multiple muscle naming frameworks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sherry
I like your study guide format - I also use them. I like how you put the links in it to help students along. I may try that myself. It seems your scaffold the activity and give the student the resources they need to be successful by themselves or with someone.