Saturday, October 9, 2010

Light Bulb!

On Thursday the bulb went out. . . on my projector. It's ceiling mounted and the lamp light was flashing but it still was coming on at times before it finally died. Our wonderful Vartek technologist came and took it away (I'll fix it up there and bring it back here), but the bulbs are about $200, and we do not have the budget to keep them on hand in our building so we have to wait I don't know how many weeks for it. In the meantime I can use a cart with a projector, but it's not the same.

On Friday, with no projector, I called in the old-school methods that are tried and true-white boards!

Background: Level II teachers that I meet with (Hey, Ms. B) tell me that sight vocabulary continues to be a challenge for 9th grade students and I've used a variety of techniques to improve vocab recognition for the 8th graders. The students will recognize "ponit" he/she puts, but when they see "deponebat" he/she was putting down, they are not putting together the pieces that they know. Add a prefix, change the tense, use what you know to make the new word. Take it further, make it a noun, take it further, make it an adverb: things we do in English when we say "What is it? It's a message." "What are you doing? Messaging." "if you send it again, what are you doing? Remessaging."

I sent the children to the boards in teams, and they had 5 minutes to produce as many forms of a word as possible based off of a single root. We used words like "mitto" send, "verto" turn, "facio" make. Hundreds of forms flew out. Words they didn't know they knew flew out. Here is some video of an aha moment:

Winning teams received: puffy stickers. Yes, they work for puffy stickers because they know that it's worth their time.

During one class, a high school student delivered a jar of pickled peppers (not joking) from a high school teacher, and he was blown away by the hundreds of forms that these 8th graders were putting on the board. He sat down at first, then he rose and said "are you going to tell them that they are using comparatives?" I laughed, "yes, but I won't tell them it's a big deal." He high-fived me, and said, "I know how I got where I am." Before he left he added two words to a team's board-it produced 12 more that vaulted them into first place and I declared a tie.

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