Class Debate

 

As part of our learning on homophones and homonyms, this week we had a close look at that pesky trio to, two and too.

After using our mini whiteboards for lots of practice, a problem was then presented (supposedly sent from The Official International Bureau for the English Language)…

“TO/TWO/TOO – there are TOO many! You have TO decide which one must go so we only have TWO!”

In small groups, students were asked to decide which word we could do away with and to provide reasons for their decision. This created some lively discussions and students had to think deeply about the meaning and usage of each word. As always, creativity was rewarded and points went to one team who suggested a brand new word for the number two – ‘mog’. Brilliant!

We debated the final result as a whole class and had fun doing so. A particularly convincing example highlighted concern for Shakespeare, as without ‘to’ his famous line would be a little lacking – ‘…be or not be that is the question…’ Not bad for 10 year olds!

I’ve used the debate format only a few times before. After a lesson on measuring length we debated that millimetres were too small and therefore unnecessary. I would love to hear of any interesting debate topics you have used in your classroom to elicit critical thinking and reflection. Please share!

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Wool and Stick Initials

Wool and Stick Initials

These beautiful, rustic creations were undertaken as a First Week of School activity. Students were asked to construct their first name initial out of sticks from the playground and then wrap them with colours and patterns of their choice.

Such a straight-forward sounding activity in fact evolved into a lesson in problem solving, patience, perseverance, collaboration, cooperation and knot tying. Upon completion of my 1000th knot for the day, I felt I had got to know my new students quite well – those who could cope with challenge and those who needed more guidance; the perfectionists and the more abstract thinkers; those who could tie a knot and those who could not…

The end products were well worth the effort!

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Scrapheap Challenge

Scrapheap Challenge

My students love to be given creative technology group work challenges, which we call Scrapheap Challenges. We gather up reusable household items such as cereal boxes, cardboard cylinders, bottle tops, etc and once our stockpiles are sufficient its time for another Scrapheap Challenge! Besides setting group work goals, our only two rules are: don’t burn yourselves on the glue gun and the teacher does the tricky cutting. This one was undertaken at Easter time. The brief – design a harmless Easter Bunny trap. The results – adorable.