Back to School

May 9, 2007 at 6:10 pm | Posted in elementary, graphic organizers, teachers, thinking maps, third grade | 2 Comments

Today is my first day back teaching and boy, I’m exhausted! My feet hurt and I was starving (no time for lunch). It’s incredible that after six weeks, I’ve forgotten what it was like to teach! Exhilirating and exhausting, at the same time.

It was a successful day. No major behavior problems. A couple of students received verbal warnings, but no personality clashes, which is the norm. The students were enthusiastic and happy, eager to get back into the swing of things.

We started the day with work and ended the day with P.E. Not a spare moment in between, so no down-time allowing for misbehaving.

I’ve really added rigor to my curriculum, so even though this was the first back at school, the students worked hard and learned a lot, I’m proud to say. Let’s hope I continue to add rigor to my lessons.

Here’s our English Language Development (ELD) lesson for today.


This is a lesson in the middle of the “To the Moon” unit in the “Into English!” program, modified to add rigor of course.  The purpose of the lesson was to compare and contrast the Earth and the moon.

I brought in various photos of the Earth and the moon.  The class spent about 5 minutes wholegroup quickly identifying the features in the photos (building vocabulary).  Then, we did a Think-Pair-Share using the questions, “What is the same?  What is different?”  I gave them sentence frames such as “The moon and the Earth are the same because ___” and “The moon is different from the Earth because _____” to develop their oral language.  The Think-Pair-Share allows the students to access information from each other, not just from me, and gives everyone an opportunity to develop their language and participate.  Then, we break up the students into groups of four to create a double-bubble map comparing and contrasting the Earth and the moon.  My students are quite used to thinking maps by now and can whip them out.  Finally, the groups presented their double-bubble map to the class.  Their reporters were expected to present their findings in complete sentences using the academic language that we practiced earlier.  Done!  The entire lesson took about 30-35 minutes.

The best part?  The students did most of the work.  I merely watched, listened, and asked guiding questions.

Pat on the back!



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  1. Consider your back patted 🙂

  2. Kudos to you!!!

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