Last week in my 2nd grade co-teaching classroom, we have been exploring the question: What are all the different ways we communicate information? We started with a circle map, to hear all the different ways the students already knew, and within that process, my co-teaching partner, Quincey Williamson, led them through creating a student definition of “communication”.
We informed the class that we were going to explore communication in different ways and, in the end, return to our circle map to record what we learned. (This is why all of the initial responses on the circle map are with the same color of marker.) This was followed by moving to parallel groups to read a story of Helen Keller within our Journeys basal.
The following day, we had for our students four communication stations that would last two days (which ended up lasting three due to taking time to explain the stations on day one). Students would go to two stations a day, within a 45-minute period of time. Each station was designed to stretch the students’ understanding of the different ways to communicate, while engaging in that process through hands-on activities.
We were both so proud of how our students engaged in this new learning! 🙂 On our final day, we brought the students back together on the carpet and had them share what they had learned. To wrap-up our lesson, for this portion of our communication unit, I read the following book:
Which is a fun book, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if the students still played that game. About half the class was familiar with the game, so we had them try it out, and had some laughs. 🙂
If you want to do similar communication stations in your classroom, these are the following sites that we used to support our lesson:
- Station 1: Binary Code Bracelet
- Resource: Valentines Day Coding by Little Bins for Little Hands
- Materials: three different colors of pony beads, pipe cleaners, and a binary chart.
- Station 2: Roller Robot (this was something my co-teaching partner already had, but if one is not available to you, I would check-in with the high schools or your local science center or STEM education centers)
- Station 3: Braille Card
- Station 4: Morse Code Signals
- Materials: mini-lasers (although flashlights could work–see this activity by Education.Com), paper, Morse Code chart
- Note: This station was the shortest, time-wise, compared to the others. We to help match the time with the other stations, we encouraged the students to practice sending signals to each other, from a small distance, after they practiced twice along the wall.