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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fun Independent Practice for 3/4 and 4/5 Multigrade Classes on the Moon

When Bruce Miller looked at the research concerning multigrade classrooms he found:                  
"Since the teacher cannot be everywhere or with every student at the same time, the teacher shares
instructional responsibilities with students within a context of clear rules and routines. Students know what is expected. They know what assignments to work on, when they are due, how to get them graded, how to get extra help, and where to turn them in.

Students learn how to help one another and themselves. At an early age, students are expected to develop interdependence. The effective multigrade teacher establishes a climate to promote and develop this independence."

When learning about the moon, provide experiences that allow students to learn independently. Below are some example of independent practice activities that enhance students understanding of the moon phases that are available on internet sites:

This one is called Moonlight  Madness :
This is from a project at NASA. It allows students to check their ability to identify the different moon phases by name. 

This game is timed and is called Moon Phases from Space and is found at

This game is called Lunar Challenge from
Science Net Links is connected to NASA. This game highlights the "pattern" of the moon phases.

How will you let students know that it is their time to use the computer? What ROUTINE will you develop to structure the experience so it flows smoothly?  I suggest a chart that is posted near the computer, that quickly identifies a list of students (by reading group) in the order that they can use the computer.

For exampleduring small reading groups time, while you are working with one reading group the students from other groups (that are working independently "Daily 5" style) know that the students with a clothespin clip on their name can use the computer during their "Read to Self" time. When they are finished with their turn, THEY move the clip down to the next student. The routine is systematic and fair. 


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