Spotlight On Strategies articles

SOS Story: East Elementary SOS Challenge

SOS Story: East Elementary SOS Challenge

This week’s SOS story comes to us via Jessica Zepik, the DEN Ambassador Lead for South Madison Community Schools in Pendleton, IN.  Jessica shared that the South Madison Community Schools Director of Instruction and Staff Development challenged teachers across the district to see which school could have the most participation in this spring’s Discovery Education SOS 6-week challenge.  East Elementary won the challenge, and are excited to receive the district reward of funding to go toward developing a Makerspace in their elementary library!  Four of the teachers from East Elementary have shared how they used SOS strategies to win this exciting challenge.

Celebrating and Debating Founding Father’s Day!

Did you know that Ben Franklin’s currency printing firm thwarted counterfeiters by spelling “Pennsylvania” incorrectly and on purpose? How about that the famous signatures at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence were actually kept secret for many months after the public reveal for fear of the signers’ safety? Or that many of the Founders

SOS Story: Lodi Ambassadors

This week’s SOS Story comes to us from Lodi, California. With DEN Star and Ambassador Lead Martha Snider at the helm, this group of nine DEN Ambassadors took the SOS challenge and ran with it! Each member of the Ambassador group not only tried SOS in the classroom, but also agreed to share what they did so that we could celebrate and learn with them. Here are their stories.

SOS: Read My Mind

A robust vocabulary is key to developing an understanding of any topic. Without language, we have no way to express what we understand, what we know, or how we feel. Many educational studies show that vocabulary development comes from reading a wide and varied range of texts, but there are instances in the classroom where we need to provide further opportunities for students to develop their language on a topic: when they are learning English as an additional language, when they find it difficult to retain information, or just because it is a completely new topic or concept. This strategy has been adapted from the board game Tension. It is a fun way to stretch students to develop their vocabulary and, in turn, boost their comprehension and their ability to express themselves clearly and meaningfully.

SOS: Z Chart

The Z Chart is a graphic organizer that helps students summarize information using linguistic and nonlinguistic representations. According to research done by Robert Marzano, “Psychologists believe that information is stored in memory in two ways: in words (linguistic) and in images (nonlinguistic).” Nonlinguistic representations can include visual images and organizers, auditory experiences, kinesthetic activities, videos, computer simulations, etc. Graphic organizers are one tool to help students make connections with and summarize information.

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