Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Strategy of the Week

Some teachers think that magic squares are only good for practicing mathematical reasoning, however, this is not the case. When you create a vocabulary magic square, students have the opportunity to practice both math and vocabulary.
Magic squares can be created in a variety of ways. You can have words in the squares with numbered definitions below, or you can have words in the squares and a Cloze paragraph below with numbered blanks. Students match the words with definitions or blanks in the paragraph and write the correct number in the square. In the end, students add the numbers in the rows and columns to check their vocabulary work. Every row and every column should add up to the SAME magic number. This strategy can be used and adapted in a variety of ways- to introduce new vocabulary, practice old vocabulary, or practice context clues.
You can differentiate by having higher level students figure out the number on their own, or by giving the number to lower level students so they can check their work as they go. See the example magic square below. Can you find the magic number?











Place the number of the statement that relates to the vocabulary word or phrase in the box. All columns and rows add up to the same MAGIC NUMBER if you have done it correctly.

A flower is the (1) _____________________ part of most plants. The brightly colored and sweet smelling part of the flower are called the (2) _____________________. The flower also has small leaves under the petals called (3) _____________________, and either male or female reproductive organs.
The female reproductive organs are called the (4) _____________________. Inside the female reproductive organs are the ovaries which produce the flower’s egg, called an (5) _____________________. The tube on top of the ovary is called the (6) _____________________. It is topped by a
(7) _____________________, which collects pollen during pollination.
      The male reproductive organs are called the (8) _____________________. This is made of an
 (9) _____________________, which produces pollen, and a filament.

In other news, here's a picture of an activity I do each year with my newcomer students. We go around the school and take pictures of important locations (office, cafeteria, auditorium, gym). Then we print the pictures and write sentences about the place, such as "We eat lunch in the cafeteria". Students get to practice important vocabulary that they will need to communicate at school, as well as get to know the school and practice creating their own sentences. The pictures stay up in the classroom all year for students to refer to. I apologize about the picture quality, but this was taken with my Droid, also, this is only part of the display.

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