What to do with extra time in a day so you don't waste learning opportunities? Here is a flex structure I created for a class class that will meet 3 days a week for 4 weeks, but this can be adapted as a daily class, or other. Thanks to Mr Ciambrone and the 7th grade teachers for the daily theme title inspiration.
I'm going to begin with some class-building discussions the first Tues and Weds and move into external content the first Thursday.
Talk about it Tuesday - Students talk about the previous Thusrday's wonder in a circle facing one another and following socratic seminar rules for discussion.
Write about it Wednesday - Students write plans of action, invention blueprints, private journal entries, advocacy letters, or social media posts about their final musings on what they saw and discussed. They will research if needed and have a share out.
Think about it Thursday- Students view together a video on and then read about a compelling topic in science or social science, Tech, Engineering, Arts or Mathematics (like TEDed, Nature video, video about how to make optical illusions with math, etc) then think about it or do more research for the rest of class or on their own if desired.
ReadWorks is a free site that lets you choose and use readings for your students that relate to your subject and at the lexile you choose. Even better, you can sort by skill! Perfect for thinking skills, close reading, content-based reading, and more.
To use Readworks
So many choices. For example, here are 7th grade life sciences readings
if you are a sixth grade teacher you can use any of the other blue tabs as well since they are K6, but only the Reading Passages tab is grade K-12
Perplexors are word puzzles that require close reading and or math skills plus deductive reasoning to solve the problems.
Introduce Perplexors the first weeks of school next year as group activities, then you can incorporate them into your lesson plans throughout the year any time you need:
Since my last lesson idea post was very standardized EOG prep, I thought this was a good time to mention two math and reading skills resources you can incorporate into class that will help your student not just with standardized testing skills but also with logic and higher order thinking skills that will help them well past the time their standardized test taking days are over.
Ms. Lyttle and Ms. Malone saw Perplexors in use during their PL visit to Park Road Montessori's sixth grade.
Perplexors offer free samples and here is the Link To Purchase if you like the samples. Specific types of perplexors such as Grid perplexors, Venn Diagaram perplexors and more books are available on Amazon and elsewhere.
Perplexor Tutorials are available on Youtube:
Basic level Math Perplexor Sample:
Expert Level Math Perplexor Sample:
Basic level Perplexor sample
Level D Perplexor Sample
Here's an embedded perplexor for you to see:
I am Lisa Gurthie the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary, holistic education, and unschooling school to make it more real and relevant. One day I will modernize my "about" page. Check out the other blogs on this site for Lesson Ideas, Celebration of Good Teaching, and Piedmont PD