Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Voice - National Student Mock Election

In collaboration with the Pearson Foundation two initiatives are being supported to involve students.  The National Student Mock Election is a website dedicated to providing teachers and students the opportunity to get involved in the election process and have a voice. 

In order to participate, teachers need to register their students.  It is completely free to do so.  You register as a school, district, or organization.  You can decide on the number of classrooms and number of students that are going to be participating.  You also choose the grade level as well.  Voting begins on October 25th and then on November 1st, it is Mock Election Day.  For more information on the Voting procedures, click here

There are also several other resources of interest.  You can visit the Hall of Fame which has handbooks, reports, and information Tool Kits and "How To" Guides.  Also available is curriculum and lesson plans for all grade levels; as well as resources that encourage deeper learning to motivate students about the election.  One more feature are polls that students and visitors to the site can participate in.  Results from previous polls are also available.  

With the Election just over a month away, it is important that we educate students on the importance of voting and providing them an opportunity to voice their opinion on a national scale. 

Tuesday Teaching Strategy - Brainwriting


Brainwriting is an alternative to brainstorming that involves having group members interact via reading and writing rather than speaking and listening.  Brainwriting typically involves the following steps:

1.)  Identify a topic or subject that students will be studying (One time that I used this strategy was completing a review for a test and final exam).

2.)  Assign students to a group of no more than four members.

3.)  On that topic, have students write/answer what they know or think they know about a topic or subject for a given period (five minutes is a good starting point)

4.)  When time is up, have students pass their writings or responses to a set of questions to another group.
a.   When I did this strategy with a review, I gave each group a master copy and then divided the questions up.  As we passed around the activity students would work at answering the questions missed by the previous group.   At the conclusion, the review should be filled out and as a teacher you know which ones no students were comfortable with.

5.)  Assign a little bit of time for students to review the previous group’s work and groups should add in what they know about the writing or questions being asked.

6.)  Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all students in a group have reviewed each other’s work.  Each group should then review all the ideas and answers generated through this process.

-     You could easily do this activity with any book work or worksheet that you are assigning to your students and divide up the problems based on the number of groups.
-     If you are having students read primary documents or short stories, the students could write their responses to questions or prompts and help other students with comprehending what the readings are about.  This activity could be done with Reading ACT test preps
-    Science teachers could use this to share hypothesis and experiment results so that they can compare any differences or similarities.