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Observations from 10/20/09

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Observations from 10/20/09

Emily Lovejoy


Today I was in teacher B's classroom and the students were led through a brainstorming lesson.  Each student was given a piece of paper and pencil, and when the teacher said a topic, the students were to write down as many things as they could think of.  Spelling didn't matter as much as writing down good ideas.  The word that Teacher B gave the students was "night."  Students came up with some of the following ideas:

  • moond
  • dark
  • bat
  • dowl
  • stars
  • meteors
  • comets
  • planets
  • mice
  • black
  • dinner
  • wolf
  • homework
  • sleep
  • the time when the Japanese wake up (student remembered this from their unit on Japan last year)

It was interesting to note that some students wrote full sentences, while others made a bulleted list of items.  Some students also had a difficult time spelling, and would look to their peers for help.  Even though this was to be an individual lesson, students would look to each other for ideas they hadn't thought of.  The students then sat in a group and shared their ideas with the class.  Occasionally, teacher B referred the students back to the morning meeting rules that the class came up with together to keep the brainstorming lesson on track.  Teacher B also asked students if other people's ideas made the students think of new things that they hadn't thought of before.  From this, halloween and solar system themes emerged.  The class then came up with categories to put the items in, such as things in the sky, animals, and sports. This brainstorming activity was the start of a larger lesson.  The next time I observed the classroom on 11/3/09, the class used some of the ideas they came up with to start brainstorming an activity to perform during "gathering."  The performance will be based on the topic of "the night."