Thursday, December 13, 2012

We had a General visit...

and by General... I mean the one and only General Ization. Never heard of him? It's ok me either until this year (and if I am the only one who has never heard of him, keep that to yourself so I don't feel like a big loser). So who is he? Well he is a HUGE help in teaching about generalizations. Every year my kids struggle with this concept. It is very difficult and I have truly never found anything to really help them get it. Until this year.

Amanda at One Extra Degree (surely you know of her... and if not, get out from under that rock and get to her blog quick- it is amazing!) has created an amazing generalizations pack. I started teaching the skill with a powerpoint (not found in Amanda's pack) and we talked about clue words that a sentence was a generalization. We talked about how a generalization applies to most or all of a population, but I did tell them to be careful about using words such as ALL and NONE (all children like chocolate... I have a niece that will very nicely tell you you are wrong if you make that generalization). We came up with examples and decided if they were good generalizations or not.

The next day was when we had a visit from the General. I told the students that he had seen us at recess and made some general statements. I started with giving them ONE example of a general statement he made about kids at recess. And after that... they were on a roll... just take a look at the picture below.
The last thing we did was to become Generalization Gurus... it seriously could just be how cute the kids are on the cover of Amanda's file but I had to just use that term. Students were split into random groups and given a marker (the marker traveled with them so that we knew which group wrote the sentences on the posters). They started at one poster and wrote as many generalizations as they could come up with. I think I gave them 4 minutes at each poster. When time was up, they rotated. They did a total of 4 different posters. When we finished, I gathered up all the posters and ready some examples and even some non examples from the posters. Students identified which ones were not generalizations and explained WHY they were not. (And we told the group that wrote that one "it's cool" because it is completely acceptable to make mistakes as long as you are trying your hardest.) For example, on the spiders poster someone write spiders are scary... we talked about how this is an opinion and isn't something that can be supported by evidence and that to make a generalization you "kinda hafta have proof".

We played generalization scoot using the amazing Rachel Lynette's task cards. I have a few sets of her task cards and I use them as assessments all the time. The kids look at it as a game/challenge to get them done quickly AND correctly (which is helping with keeping on pace when we have timed tests) and as I was walking around I noticed they were doing really well! I was so proud!!

If you need to teach generalizations and want to pull your hair out every time like I do... check out both of those mentioned activities because they are positively amazing. I have never seen the light bulb turn on so quickly with this skill like it did with these kids!

Also, I forgot I had some pictures of my class working on my Snowy Suffixes unit, so I added those last night. Check them out here. And don't forget to enter my giveaway for the most amazing pencil sharpener here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm teaching generalizations this week and love your general idea! Totally using it tomorrow to wrap up my week. Thanks for sharing.:)

    iTeach 1:1


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