Fourth graders at Charles Barrett have been using exciting CETA strategies to make learning more engaging. We have been building our focus during our concentration circle and using the strategy tableau to help with vocabulary and main idea in reading, social studies and math.
We use the Concentration Circle to show that we can focus no matter what! We stand in a circle facing each other, find a focal point and keep our bodies as still as possible. We have learned to “talk to our brains” and keep our bodies still and minds focused even when there are distractions. There are different levels of challenge for the Concentration Circle. The first challenge is the teacher walking around the circle while the students concentrate. The second challenge is a student walking around the circle. The levels gradually become more challenging as a student begins to make faces, noises, and even beg the other students to look at him or her. We practice staying focused no matter what so that we can keep our minds learning at all times!
Fourth graders have also enjoyed creating tableaus. In this activity, students are divided into groups of three to five students through use of “cooperation challenges.” They work together in these small groups to create a frozen picture depicting a vocabulary word, concept, or main idea. In addition, text can be added to explain the word or concept in the tableau. This strategy allows students to work together in cooperative groups to achieve the goals of building vocabulary and concept knowledge. Practicing tableau helps solidify knowledge through discussion, repetition and muscle memory. It places all students at an equal advantage and helps them all achieve success.