The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 2, 2001


Activators grab second graders

Carlisle's second grade teachers demonstrated their technique of using "activators" to grab students' interest and "summarizers" to pull everything together, at the Carlisle School Committee meeting on January 23. Lynn Walker began by having school committee members do the "sort cards" activity, which required them to sort examples written on cards into the categories as activators or summarizers.

Once their attention had been grabbed, Donna Clapp explained that activators are used when a new topic or unit is begun. They not only get the students interested, but also help the teachers and students find out what they already know about a topic.

As another example, Clapp described the activator used for the Patricia Polacco author study. Looking only at the covers of about 20 of Polacco's books, the students were asked to write predictions about the books. This propelled the children into wanting to hear the stories, Clapp said. Before reading a story, Clapp would read the predictions first to get the children excited about listening to it.

Summarizers are activities used at the end of a unit to bring together everything that was learned on a topic and to provide an assessment of what the students have learned. Heather Swift showed a project made by her class at the end of a unit on the United Nations. Using the letters in the words UNITED NATIONS to start sentences, they wrote facts that they had learned about the U.N. Linda Clark showed a Kid Pix slideshow that her class had made at the end of a unit on bats that included all the bat-facts they had learned.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito