To the Moon!!

This week we learned about outer space. First, we went to the NASA website where Elmo gave us a tour of the space shuttle and parts of the Kennedy Space Center. Elmo also interviewed an astronaut. The students loved it and learned a lot!

Next, we based our Literacy Centers around the Outer Space theme. We read an emergent reader about the Solar System. We practiced word cards for the planets. We sequenced picture cards of the phases of the moon. We made a rocket ship with the students’ names under each window. The whole class had fun matching each student and her or his name!

This activity really lent itself to differential instruction. For instance, at the word card station I created 3 different objectives, based upon ability.

1. Students still working on letter identification received 2 small words. They were encouraged to identify the letters in the words, in any order they wished. (For example, SUN could have been identified as having a U, and N and an S.)

2. Students still working on letter sound – but able to identify the letters themselves – enjoyed a similar activity. Each received 2 words of any length. They were encouraged to identify the letter,s and also the sound of the letters, for each of their 2 words. As above, the letters and sounds could be identified in any order. (For example, MOON might have been O – Oh, M – Em, N – En, O – Oh.)

3. Students who are able to identify most letters and sounds were given 2 words. These kids were encouraged to identify the letters and sounds of each word in correct order.

Everyone loved this “game.” Learning should be fun and successful. When you incorporate differential instruction techniques, no one knows they are being challenged at  their own unique level. They learn at their own pace and ability. And when they “get it,” it’s out of this world!!

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