Sunday, September 9, 2012

Common Core and Advanced Learners

Hello!  This year is off to a great start.  I am really enjoying my class, and they seem to be all getting along and really focusing on being the best Bucket Fillers they can be.  They love to notice the great things that each other are doing, which really helps build our classroom community.  As we are starting to dig deeper into academics, I realize that having advanced learners means I need to make sure I keep them very busy to constantly have them engaged and learning.  What I don't want to do is bore my learners.  I want to make sure they are constantly challenged.  I am excited to teach them the inquiry process, and have been researching curriculum compacting.  One way that I am making sure to challenge them is integrating a lot of technology into the curriculum. For example, this week I am going to be introducing Voki Classroom to my students.  We have spent the last week focusing on characters and setting, and have started delving into character traits.  I am modeling this through my first read aloud, The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron.  My students cannot wait for the read aloud time in the day, where they have been actively listening, been involved in Turn-and-Talk and participating in Stop and Jots in their Reading Response Notebooks.  The latter new to me this year, but I am enjoying having students write their quick responses, and making sure to get their response to literature time in several times a day.  As we finish the book, we will take our recorded notes, and our teaching points to make a Voki Avatar of Julian, the main character in the book.  We will create this as a class, so that I can model my thinking and process.  The next step for each student will be to create a Voki Avatar of the main character in the book they have chosen to read.  This is a great activity that they can not only do at school, but at home too.  Several of my students have interest in doing extra work at home, and this is an assignment, once we have practiced in the classroom, can be transferred to other books at home for extra credit.   I hope to keep coming up with challenging work that relates to the Common Core Standards and provides additional learning opportunities for my advanced learners!