Monday, September 23, 2013

Power Pix

It's time for another Whole Brain Teaching topic. Who's excited?!

Today's edition is Power Pix. Power Pix are kind of like word wall words. They are core concept vocabulary words your students need to master. You attach a definition, a gesture, and an image to the word. You hang the words up somewhere in your room and review them often. I'll show you what we've been doing in our class so far.

I created all of mine in a Word document. I find the words the students need to master. These words come from various sources - our standards, our math curriculum, grade level created curriculum, etc. I teach the five step lesson plan that goes with the core concept words. (You can read my post about five step lesson plans here.) When the students have mastered the concept, the Power Pix goes up on the wall. 

Today I taught Chemical Change. I taught them a chemical change is an unexpected change in temperature, state, or color. I had them orally repeat after me several times, I had them teach their neighbors, and I had them write the definition in their science notebooks. They say the definition with gestures. I used the ASL sign for "change," I look incredulous when I say, "unexpected," and I count off on my fingers the three unexpected things. Adding gestures activates the students' motor cortexes. This part of the brain, when activated, helps to store information into long term memory. Of course we review all of our Power Pix A LOT! 

Most of my Power Pix will come from math, so I've started collecting them on my biggest cupboards.

Here's a close up.

These are our science terms so far. I didn't do a five step lesson with the states of matter. Instead, I read a book about matter and change that introduced the states of matter. As we went through the book, we created gestures and examples for each state. We show with our hands what the molecules look like at each stage, we say the definition with gestures, and we give an example with an example popper. I liked introducing the states of matter during our reading time because it helped build their background knowledge before we started doing the experiments and we integrated curriculum. Score! Although, now as I type this, I may go back and do a Yes/No Way, QT, and some critical thinking with the states of matter. It won't hurt them!

Here are the ELA Power Pix we've done so far. Today I taught visualization in reading and paragraphs in writing. When we're done with those mini-units, I'll add those Power Pix. The five step lesson plans can be expanded over many days as the "explain" portion can take quite some time!

I put the current math words for each unit up on the board until we take the test. That way, I remember to review all of the terms at the end of each lesson. More practice!

These are the two comprehension strategies we've done so far.

And these are our writing Power Pix so far.

I am loving the review. At the end of today, we ended up with 10 minutes to fill. So what did we do? We reviewed Power Pix! I loved it, and the kids get more shots at remembering the material. It's a great sponge activity. "Review the two types of changes we see in matter with your partner, and give two examples of each with an example popper and a because clapper!"

Well, there you have it! Questions? Comments? Leave them below. Thanks so much!

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