Sunday, 27 October 2013

Pumpkins A-Plenty

I don't know about the other middle shool teachers out there, but sometimes I find myself a little jealous of all the creative things elementary teachers come up with to do with their students, especially around the holidays/seasons. I find when it comes to teaching middle school, especially if you are a subject-specific teacher, it can sometimes be a challenge to incoporate themes into your activities.

There are a few reasons why I think this is:
1) I always feel like I am in a race against time to meet all my outcomes/standards. Sometimes it seems like there just isn't the time to be creative, and let the kids have some fun.
2) Dealing with teenagers, sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with something that will hold their attention long enough and not come across as too juvenile.
3) If you are a teacher who teaches only 1 or 2 subjects to multiple groups of students it can be hard to integrate your theme into the other subject areas in a way that will be beneficial for the students. It can also be difficult to spend a lot of time preparing your lesson to have to rush through it because you only see a group of students for one period a day.

Even with some of these extra challenges in the middle grades, I always try to incorporate a few themes throughout the year.

So here we are at the end of October, with fall all around us, and Halloween just a few days away. With all the excitement of Trick or Treating and the looming Halloween dance, I figure I better make this week a little different, to keep my students engaged.

What better way to incoporate Fall and Halloween than to bring in some pumpkins! 50 of them to be exact, since I teach 2 different classes of students. Luckily we have an awesome Pumpkin patch fairly close by, and they were more than willing to deliver a truck load of pumpkins to the school.

So how do I plan on making good use of these pumpkins? Well first thing was to get my team of teachers on board. Each subject area teacher will be integrating the pumpkins into his/her lessons in some way. As for me, I have a few ideas up my sleeve.

Here are just a few of the things I plan to incoporate into this fun-filled week:
1. Team work
2. Data collection
3. Graphing
4. Problem Solving
5. Design Process

Stay tuned to see what I do tomorrow...


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