Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How Technology is A Part of My Social Centres

Background Information

I break up the grade two curriculum into the regions and teach those separately. As students learn about another region, they compare and contrast it to the other places they have studied. I have tried teaching all the regions together (as most of the resources are set out to do) however I found that students mixed up the regions more often.

Within each region, I break up the unit into three parts: the land, the people and the economy. Currently we are studying about the land.

Big Class=More Centres

In past I have done these particular social centres where they are rotating through three centres. With a class size of 26, that seemed to be a recipe for disaster. So I now how have four centres.

Day One 

I allot about 16-18 minutes to each centre. I allow 1-2 minutes inbetween centres for tidy up and switching. Students take a handout with them.

In The North Centre  

Student read the book, I Live in The North, as a group. They then make a list of what they can see if they were in the north based on what they read in the book. I worked with this group primarily.

Netbook Centre 

Students use the a website, Animals in Nunavut, to learn about the animals found in Nunavut and make a list.

Video Centre  

Students watch a YouTube playlist I made on the Smartboard. They  write and draw about what it looks like as they watch it. The playlist of Nunavut videos does not last the whole centre, so they watch it twice. Once for enjoyment, the second time to do their writing and/or drawing. 

The Inuksuk, Guide In The North Centre  

Student read the book, Inuksuk, Guide In The North, chorally with a teacher. This book has the book on CD, so there is an option for having this as a listening centre. I have a retired teacher as a mom, so I have her volunteer on days like this! 

Day Two (no handout)

Artifacts Centre 

I had a kit that had some Inuit artifacts. Students work with me to handle and discuss them.

Inuksuk Centre  

Students use sandpaper and black construction paper to make an inuksuk picture. Before centres start I remind them we can use pictures to show what we know. I make a connection to the book In The North from the last set of centres. Students are encouraged to show the Northern Lights, the North Star, snow on the ground in addition to making an inuksuk. Early finishers have books to read about inuksuks.

Netbook Centre 

Students use the class website to access the following websites:

The Inuksuk, Guide In the North Centre PART TWO  

Student read the book, The Inuksuk, Guide In The North, as a listening centre (12 minutes). Then they answer questions about the book (from day one's handout). As it is quite a long book for grade two, the first time they read it with a volunteer it took the entire time because they were discussing as well as reading. So I added it as a second centre on day two. As I do not have a CD player in my class this year, I improvised with an iPod and speakers. Not ideal but it worked okay. 

What's Next?

The goal of the centres is that students will have a really solid understanding about what Nunavut is like (land and animal). They are now ready to make a travel brochure using their notes from their centres. While it is a travel brochure, we won't touch on tourism until later.

Related Posts

Showing Videos In Class (discusses playlists)
Benefits of a Class Website (great if you use technology in centres regularly)

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