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.
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.
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.
DEN Star Peter Panico uses SOS Shake It Up Baby and Music Video to get his students moving while they learn content.
Francie Snyder, a teacher from Manatee County, Florida, likes to combine several strategies, resulting in a powerful SOS mashup.
In order to effectively summarize information, students must learn to analyze it at a deep level. The 3-2-1 pyramid organizer helps scaffold students in learning how to make decisions about what information is extraneous and can be deleted or substituted, and what information is critical and necessary to understanding the topic.
Elizabeth Merrit used virtual reality and SOS Paper Slide to spice up a science vocabulary lesson. Read about the reaction she got from students and parents!
Listening, reading, and/or watching for key ideas and details is an important comprehension skill for students of all ages to master. Understanding what a media selection explicitly says allows a student to make inferences and take appropriate actions. The Sticky Back strategy encourages students to listen and observe beyond the obvious, reporting key ideas and details they observed -and hope their classmates did not!
Learn how Shelby Bailey helps 5th grade students master math concepts with SOS ABC Summary and SOS Paper Slide.
instructional strategies for encouraging constructive discussions even during difficult conversations. These curated ideas from the popular Spotlight on Strategies series encourage self-discipline during classroom discussions, citing evidence when asserting opinions, and persevering even when disagreements arise.