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llesson plans

I am often asked for copies of these materials when I present at workshops. Here they are for you to download and use with your students. Please, feel free to modify to suit your needs. These lessons are based on the experiences and refinement of many dedicated educators around the world. Thanks to all who are willing to share!

Multiple Intelligences Survey & Graph - Based on the work of Howard Gardiner, this survey allows students to rate how they are smart, and then plot this information on a graph.  Completed graph profiles can be cut out and used to create homo- or hetero-genious groupings in your class.

Questioning - Use these handouts to teach your students about "retell, relate, reflect" and Blooms, and create multi-level questions based on texts they have read or art they are viewing. Also includes a levels of questioning overview for teachers, as well as a music Venn, a Q-chart and a scaffolding matrix for ESL learners.

The Grebigol - This is a lesson plan I learned in teacher’s college, and I've been using it with ALL age groups since!  First, you need to prep a few envelopes of “stuff”: paper plates, egg cartons, shiny ribbon, a few post-it notes, whatever you have lying around.  Then, you turn on some “ambience music”, and read the story to your kids.  Afterwards, they get into groups of three, and using ONLY the materials in their envelopes, they have to create a Grebigol.  The rules:  They have to use all the materials in their envelope, their creature has to be free standing, and they’re not allowed to talk!!!  It’s amazing to watch how they manage to communicate.  The work is brilliant. See Photo 1 and Photo 2. Afterwards, they can fill out the reflection form, or you can do a writing extension where they have to write up a museum description of a Grebigol on a cue card.

Smartie Math - Here's a fun cumulative activity to do with your math class.  It includes questions relevant to several strands of the math curriculum.  Great for Junior/Intermediate students.

M & M Math - A primary version of the above lesson, this one uses m&ms in a cup, and focuses on the data management and probability strand of math.  Please be sure to check about diets, fasting, allergies before doing this activity with your class!!!

Math Art - This one's great for all ages—simply post 6 pieces of art around the room (great options provided in the Art Image Kit along with an envelope for "voting" beside each.  Then hand out the attached page, have students cut out their voting "ovals", and vote on the various pieces.  Responses can be graphed by taking all the heart (or other of a kind) ovals out of each envelope and pasting on a chart to find out which one was the class favourite, or graphing all the different responses of one painting.  Choose pieces that reflect a recently complete or upcoming Social Studies unit, or that make use of an element of design you've been studying, or that represent a particular artist, or… ? An extremely versatile and engaging activity.

MI Biography Unit Sampler - This is a unit I worked through with my grade 1/2/3 gifted class.  Great fun incorporating a variety of subject areas!  Included are the following: cover page and unit overview, unit intro reading activity, student instructions,  making words warm-up and activity cards for naturalist, intra-personal and visual spatial learners.  If you would like to purchase the complete unit ($50 CAD, in a binder, ready-to-use), please contact Vera.

Giving Assignment - based on Eve Bunting's "Fly Away Home," this unit integrates expectations from a variety of subject areas to guide students practically through the seasonal motto "it is better to give than to receive". 

Brain Gym (link coming soon) - Here are a few sample activities from a unit I wrote for my grade 1/2/3 gifted class.  Included are some of the lessons, as well as a few assessment samples.  If you would like to purchase the complete unit ($30 CAD, in a binder, ready-to-use) , please contact Vera.  For more information on Brain Gym, please visit www.braingym.org

Portfolios & Student-Led Conferences - These are the materials I use with my students as they prepare to share their learning with family and friends each term.  Since the students are running the show, I invite several families in within a one hour time slot, and they can take as long as they like (I am on hand to answer questions as needed, or to book a private follow-up interview with).  The parent or guardian then completes the feedback page based on the student's presentation at the conference.  Included are some S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting sheets, portfolio entry forms, reflection suggestions and family feedback form.

Parent Contact Form - Okay, it's not really a "lesson plan" per se, but this is a great way to keep track of all your parent communication.  Copy double sided for each student, hole-punch and keep in a binder so that you have all your notes with you.  Take anecdotal assessments on mini-stickies, date with date stamp, and paste them into the top section of page one.

Monthly Report & Newsletter - Another great management tool for keeping the lines of communication open with your students' families.  Fill in side one with your curriculum update and mini-report on each student (so no surprises, come report card time!)  Page two is a template for the students' own news.  Multiple students can contribute in the form of ideas, written material or illustrations. These two pages can be copied back-to-back on legal sized paper and sent home with the students.

Long Range Planning/Report Card Template - Facilliate backwards design as you plan your report card comments first, then work backwards to make up your long-range plans in all subject areas for the year. Enlarge first on the photocopier to 11 x 17.

Blank Rubric/Assessment - Here's a blank rubric for you and/or your students to design prior to beginning an assignment. Criteria sections include language from the revised achievement chart categories. Also included are some pages to clarify and refine descriptors and qualifiers for your assessment, evaluation and reporting needs.

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