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Personal Reflective 
Methods, Strategies, and Readings 

Alisha McFadyen 



Table Of Contents  
Methods & Strategies ------------------------------------ 2 
Continuum Line ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 

Hook/Bell-Ringer --------------------------------------------------------------------- 4 

Round Table --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5 

Online Timer -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6 

Value Line ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7 

Inquiry --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8 

Ice-Breaker --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9 

Sponge ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10 

Turn & Talk --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11 

Quotable Quote ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 12 

Entrance/Exit Slips ------------------------------------------------------------------ 13 

Think, Pair, Share ---------------------------------------------------------------- 14-15 

KWL/SLT Chart ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 16 



Readings -------------------------------------------------- 17 

Citizenship Education: Engaging children in building community -------------- 18 

Effective Lesson Planning ---------------------------------------------------------- 19 

Google Earth: A Virtual Globe for Elementary Geography ----------------------- 20 

Teaching Social Studies to Students with Mild Disabilities ---------------------- 




Methods + Strategies  

Continuum line  


Round Table  

Online Timer 

Value Line  





Turn & Talk  

Quotable Quote  

Entrance/Exit Slips  

Think, Pair, Share  

KWL/SLT Chart 




Continuum Line  

The purpose is to get kids more active within the classroom and get groupings aren't just
decided by the teachers but decided by random and by various knowledges, experiences, and


You do not need any materials. You will just need enough space in the class or hallway to have
the kids lineup.


10 to 20 minutes (depending on how long discussion goes)


The teacher will begin by giving the students a statement, opinion, interest, or issue. The
teacher will get the students to discuss the topic so that they can have a clear understanding or
opinion on the topic, then the students will line up according to their answer. The line up will
consist of having the ones that agree the most for example on the left side and then everyone
who agrees less and less. You then fold the line in half like a book so that the ones who strongly
agree can be placed with those who strongly disagree. The position of where they are within
the line would indicate what their strength in the statement, opinion, interest, or issue is.

End Result: 

It will provide groupings that are more random and the variation of opinions will be evenly
distributed. Those who have lots of experience in something will be grouped with those who
have less experience.

Additional Resources:
q=teaching%20strategies%20fold%20the%20line&f=false​ (Page 18) 



Hook/Bell Ringer 


The “Hook” method is designed to get students engaged from the beginning of a lesson. It
should essentially prepare students to learn the new material, while giving them a reason to
pay attention to the material and get them interested. Its purpose, therefore, is to activate
previous knowledge and add distinctiveness to certain material that will aid students in
memory retrieval later on. In some cases, a hook can also be used to address misconceptions
(particularly in science lessons) that will force students to work to accommodate the new

There are many different examples of “hooks”; therefore the materials needed for this strategy
can vary. If you choose to read a story, a copy of the story will be necessary. Should you need a
prop, the prop will be necessary. The teacher should plan accordingly.

The time needed varies. There are many factors involved in deciding on the appropriate length
of a “hook” (i.e., classroom composition, attention spans, materials being used, etc.). Some
“hooks” are quick (5 or 10 minutes at the start of class), while a “hook” for a unit could take up
to a whole period.

This method needs to be paired with a strategy in order for it to be truly effective. The first step
is to present students with the “hook” itself (i.e., a controversial quote, a short video clip, an
interesting photograph, etc.). Then, the chosen resource is facilitated through discussion,
think-pair-share, or other strategies designed to get students thinking and interested in
learning. Whatever the strategy, though, it is imperative that the teacher ends by connecting
the hook back to its intended purpose to help students connect to the day’s lesson. In other
words, the hook grabs the attention, encourages thinking/learning, and then acts as an anchor
at the end to solidify new material.

End Result: 
The end result of the “hook method” is to have student make connections with previous 
knowledge and new material to help solidify understanding. 

Additional Resources:

Round Table  


The purpose of a round table activity is to get a group of students working together as a team. This
group activity allows for students to work collaboratively around the table, usually at about 4-5
students. This activity is used to create a sense of belonging, collaboration, and togetherness.


- Paper  
- pencils/pens 


This activity is one that can be both used as an icebreaker, middle-of-the-lesson group discussion, or an
end-of-the-class departure activity. The time for this activity can vary for different uses, but can be
accommodated around 10-15 minutes. This activity includes splitting the classroom students into
groups, allowing them to discuss about an upcoming topic, a current topic, or any questions or concerns
at the end of a topic/lesson.


One way that this activity can be used, in the purpose of creating togetherness and collaboration among
the table members, is through ice-breakers, specifically an uncommon commonality. On a piece of
paper, one member writes down something that could be a possible commonality among group
members. When the sheet of paper gets passed around, each member can put a checkmark beside
anything they agree with that previous group members have written. In the end, when each group
member has checked something off, allowing for all group members to agree on something, it creates
the sense of togetherness that the activity is intended to do.

End Result: 

Group members bond through collaboration and togetherness, creating a sense of unity among 
the members.  

Additional Resources:



Online Timer  

1) Having the time displayed big is easy for everyone to see.
2) It lets students know exactly how long they have to work on their task. They can develop a sense of
time. This will also help avoid disappointment or frustration when you tell them the time is up, as they
are able to anticipate the end time.
3)Kindergarten and lower level counters can learn to count along with watching the timer.
4) Helps students with autism or other learning disabilities with staying on task, allotted time for
activities, and ease of transition through periods of the day.
5) When students get used to using online timers, it can create independence with clean up and
transition time without needing the reminder of the teacher.
6) Can create a feeling of anticipation that will help children to complete a task on time
7) It helps keep the teacher stay on schedule.


Projector with laptop, or smart board (to display a timer on a big screen) 


Online timers take seconds to set up and the time limits from there could be used for seconds, minutes
or hours. 

Search on Google for different styles of online timers or try some of these ones we liked, then enter your
desired amount of time and press go

End Result: 

Online timers help with time management and can be helpful to all types of learners as well as
the teacher.

Additional Resources:

Article on how timers can help children with special needs:


Value Line  

The purpose of the ‘Value Line’ is to arrange or group students based on their opinions, values,
emphasis they place on specific topics or previous knowledge.

For a value line, a ‘value’ or ‘topic’ to base the organization of the line on is needed.

Ex: An assignment where students had to rank theories in

order of personal significance


Generally, students could be organized and grouped off within 5 minutes. However, if the
teacher wants to continually reorder the students based on other criteria, the method can
range upwards in length.

Have students rank or ponder the criteria the line will be based on. The educator will then
instruct the class on how to arrange themselves, ranging on the scale of value/knowledge/etc.
(1-5, Highest-Lowest, etc.) From this organization, the educator can group the students based
on common values or mix groups based on the results.
Ex: The teacher can group students who additionally placed
the same amount of value on the same topic or they could
group students that have placed high value on something with
a student who placed low value on the subject.

End Result: 

The class will be group based on common values/knowledge/etc. or will be diversely grouped to
allow for a range of opinions, information, views, etc. to be discussed.

Additional Resources:




Inquiry/20 questions is a tool that can be used to introduce a topic to a class, used as an
icebreaker or a sponge activity. This can be used to demonstrate and encourage critical thinking
skills in students as well as teamwork. This activity can be used as a cross curricular tool, or as a
way to tie a theme or unit together.


The teacher can use the website ​​, another 20 questions website, or simply run
the class themselves. You can also use the smartboard to keep track of the number of questions
and/or what questions have been asked. This can also be accomplished using a handout.


Depending on the age of the class and the level of difficulty of the question, it is recommended
to give 15-20 minutes for this activity.

1. Think of an noun that is the subject of the 20 questions round, or use an online resource
to do this for you.
2. Begin by having a student ask a question about the mystery object.
3. The number of questions asked should be kept track of using the board or a hand out,
some may chose to write the questions that were asked down so there aren't any
4. If a student thinks they know the answer before the 20 questions, they are able to
5. If they do not guess the answer before the 20 questions have been asked then they
have not been successful.

End Result: 

Depending on what the activity is being used for, the teacher could use it to introduce a new
topic, or to simply use it as an icebreaker or a sponge activity.

Additional Resources:  



When we are with new groups of people because of starting new schools, clubs, organizations,
and so on, it is very exciting but at first it can make us feel nervous. The thought of the
unknown is scary but once we start to feel familiar in a new space by getting to know the other
people, what your space looks like and where things are, we become more comfortable. When
we are comfortable we are generally faced with less anxiety and can do our best work. As a
teacher, it is important early on to provide many opportunities to your students to participate
in “ice breakers” that are fun, allow everyone to be involved, and allows students to learn
about one another and their classroom or school.

Materials depend on the type of icebreaker activity you are doing. For a class scavenger hunt
you would need some type of hand out to each person or group that has a list of what or who
they need to find.
Ice breakers are usually 5-20 minutes but will vary in time. They can be as simple as making
name tags to wear or put on your desk, to getting students to fill in a sheet with their favorite
things, or exciting games that help with name and space recognition.

Classroom scavenger hunt. With a handout for each student that has list of all the students
names, and they have to walk around the class, find, and ask everyone something about them,
such as their favourite colour, animal, sport, etc. You could also have a scavenger hunt where
students have to find certain things in their classroom, which would allow them to get to know
their space more. If using a handout to read and write, this would be more appropriate for
grades two and up, and language would need to be appropriate for your grade level. If you have
students at lower reading or writing levels you could still do these activities without a handout
(ex: vocalize: “find someone in the class who is born the same month as you and ask their

End Result: 
This allows for all the students to learn each other's names, connect with one another and
share something. Any game or activity that gets students talking about themselves, learning
about others and their classroom would be helpful icebreaker activities and will lead to a better
learning experience. 

Sponge Strategy 

A sponge activity is something that teachers can give their students to work on when they are
finished their initial task, as they come in the room. These are usually used to keep students
busy or during transition periods in the classroom. They are called sponge activities because
they are used to soak up time that would otherwise be time where students would not be
doing anything. They can also be used to review or introduce new material.


The materials needed depend on the activity that the teacher selects. This could include
worksheets, small group activities, or any other activity that the teacher would like to use.


The time required for a sponge activity depends on how much time the teacher needs. A
sponge activity is simply there to keep students busy, whether that is for a few minutes or


The steps required for the activity depend upon the activity chosen. There are many activities
that can be found online for all grades and learning levels.

End Result: 

The end result of a sponge activity is that the students that are finished their work are occupied
until the next class or activity.

Additional Resources:


Turn & Talk  


The purpose is to get the kids to teach each other rather than continuously listening to the
teacher for the whole class which can get boring. It gives the chance to see what previous
knowledge the students have before entering the lesson and the knowledge that they have
acquired after the lesson.


No materials needed.


Depends on the teacher. It can be 4 minutes at the beginning of a lesson or 4 minutes at the
end of a lesson. However, a teacher can use this strategy at any point in time during the lesson
if they choose.


Get each student to turn to their shoulder partner or if they are sitting on the floor get them to
sit face to face and knee to knee so that the pair of students can tell each other their previous
knowledge or opinions on the given question at the beginning of the lesson. Each student will
take turns talking while the other listens and when the time is up they can perhaps share their
ideas with the class if they are willing. For the end of the lesson, they would do the same thing
except explain what they have learned from the lesson or if their opinions or thoughts have
changed from the beginning of the lesson.

End Result: 

The end result is that students will feel more confident in their educational experience because
they are sharing with their peers rather than the often intimidation of being asked by the
teacher. It gets them to really think about the lesson at hand and to do a review at the end of
what they learn. It also gives the opportunity for the teacher to walk around and see what the
students are discussion to assess what they are learning. It is not just the teacher teaching the
students, the students are teaching each other.


Additional Resources:

Quotable quote  


Students will be given a quote and their job is to reflect on it through comments, questions or
illustrations. A Quotable Quotes is intended to be used at start the day, during a lesson, or the
end a class. The strategy is flexible in the classroom as it can fit into any topic or lesson


Quote written on the Smart Board, Chalkboard, Chart, Handout


10-15 minutes approx.


Handouts are passed out to the students or they draw their own in their notebook.Students are
asked to respond to the ‘quote of the day,’ chosen by their teacher. This strategy can be used
as a warm up for the beginning of the day, as the students come into the classroom they can
reflect on the quote. (It is important the teacher challenges the students with quotes they may
not be familiar with or that have a deeper meaning) Reflecting on the quote entails answering
all the questions and responding to those thoughts either to self or as a class.

End Result: 

A ‘Quotable Quote’ is intended to bring meaningful thoughts into the classroom. Students will
be expected to clearly illustrate what the message of the quote is and its importance. This
activity allows students to expand their critical thinking skills through self-reflection.

Additional Resources: 


Entrance/Exit slips  


The purpose for an entrance/exit slip is for teachers to essentially discover what the students
know about a subject that has not been taught yet (entrance), or something they have learned,
taken away from, or questions/concerns students may have about a lesson that has been
taught (exit).


- Cue cards/piece of paper

- prompt/question for students


Approximately 5-10 minutes.


To accomplish this strategy, have the students to either get a piece of paper out, hand out cue
cards, or have already labeled “entrance slip” or “exit slip” cards ready for the students.For
entrance slips explain or have on the smartboard either a word, phrase, or object for students
to be write down things that they know or anything that comes to mind about the given word,
phrase or object. For exit slips have a list of questions regarding a lesson or a specific aspect of
a lesson that you want to check for understanding on. Have the students write down the
answers to the given questions on the slip and hand in at the end of the class.

End Result: 

Teacher gets a sense of what students know about a subject that has not been taught yet, a
sense of what students are gathering during a lesson, or what students have learned or
questions that they may have at the end of a lesson.

Additional Resources:


Think, Pair, Share 


The Think-Pair-Share is a cooperative structure designed to differentiate instruction, while also

building off a peer-instruction model. Students are provided time and structure to develop their
own ideas before sharing them with a peer. This strategy encourages class participation by
having students share and develop the information rather than simply receive it from their
teacher. Students, in effect, develop a sense of ownership over their own learning as they
collaborate with their peers. Think-Pair-Share is also a information assessment tool for teachers
in that it allows teachers to circulate and listen to the shared conversations between students.
In this strategy, a problem is posed, students are given time to think about it, and then they
work in pairs to solve the problem and share their ideas with the class.


No materials needed. This strategy is entirely based on discussion. A notepad and pen could be
useful to jot down notes, but not necessary.


The initial Think-Pair aspect of the strategy could typically take up to approximately 10 minutes.
Since children work at different paces, it is really up to the discretion of the teacher. Monitor
and facilitate accordingly. The last portion -- “share” -- is mostly determined by the teacher.
Each group will have time to share their findings, but the teacher also has time at the end to
contribute thoughts that may not have occurred in the discussions.

1. Teacher poses a question, statement, issue or prompt. 
2. Teacher provides an amount of time for individual thinking. 
3. Teacher asks student to pair up and share responses. (It is important to be mindful 
of certain learners’ needs and abilities when pairing. Sometimes it would be 
helpful for the teacher to pair the students.) 
4. Teacher calls on each group to share their ideas to the class. 
End Result: 

The overall purpose of the Think-Pair-Share strategy is to help students develop: conceptual
understanding of a topic, the ability to filter information and draw conclusions, and the ability
to consider other points of view.

--- Additional Resources on Next Page --- 

Additional Resources:


KWL/SLT chart 


K-W-L charts can be used to engage students in a new topic. By activating their prior
knowledge, sharing ideas, and learning new concepts, students are learning how to organize
their own learning.


Chart – made on a poster, handout, or slide.

Columns - what you know, what you want to know and what you learned


15 minutes approx.


Students are shown a paragraph, image, or object and asked to think about what they may
know about it. As they are discussing or silently thinking, the teacher will pass out the KWL
chart handouts (or have the students make their own – 3 columns).

After the students have thought about what they may know, the teacher will lead them into
writing about their prior knowledge and what they would like to know about it. Next, the class
will engage in a group discussion of shared ideas, the teacher reveals the significance or answer
to the paragraph, image or object and answers any questions that weren’t addressed. Finally,
the teacher will ask the students to fill in the last section on their chart, ‘what they have

End Result: 

After using this strategy, students should be able to recognize the significance of using their
prior-knowledge and questioning skills. By developing a deeper understanding or the
paragraph, image, or object, the students will be able to identify any misconceptions they may
have thought prior to the lesson. Teachers will also be able to be aware of each student’s

previous knowledge on the topic. Moreover, this allows for the teacher to assess where the
students are in regards to problem solving, inquiry and writing.

Additional Resources: 

Citizenship Education: Engaging children in building community 

Effective Lesson Planning  

Google Earth​: ​A Virtual Globe for Elementary Geography 

Teaching Social Studies to Students with Mild Disabilities 


Reading Reflection #1: Creating a Caring Classroom 

Citizenship Education: Engaging children in building community

I chose this article solely based on my first impression when reading the title of the

article. The words “engaging children” and “building community” leaped off the page for me. I

wanted to learn more about engaging children and how to build community together, getting

the students involved in the process. This article caused me to look at the different ways of

engaging students and building this community, along with how to go about these aspects in

the right way. I enjoyed how the article mentions that this model encourages students to take

part in their own decision making. For my own classroom I want to strive for a environment

that allows students to think for themselves and have their own distinct thoughts, ultimately

creating an involved, creative, community, so this article did helped to re-integrate and

reinforce these already prominent ideas.

  Two ideas from this article that I want to implement and practice within my own

classroom is the “Democratic classroom interaction model”, which focuses on communication,

participation, interaction, application, and reflection. One thing that the article mentioned for

the communication aspect of the “Democratic classroom interaction model” as an example of

how it can be reflected in the classroom is having the students communicate to you, as the

teacher, what they already know about a subject before the beginning of the unit. This allows

the students to communicate to you what they know, and for you to praise the fact that the

students are already engaged with the topics ultimately completing the goal of creating a caring


Reading Reflection #2: Lesson Planning 

Effective Lesson Planning

Having effective lesson planning in the classroom is essential for being a good teacher,

and ultimately providing a positive, fun, and engaging learning environment. The title of this

article, Effective Lesson Planning, immediately caught my attention, allowing me to gravitate to

this specific article out of the many to choose from within the “lesson planning” category. Not

only do I want to be a teacher that can help changes lives, and a teacher that students

remember, but I also want to be a teacher that is effective in the way that I teach, and that the

learning is something that the students look forward to because it is always organized, clear,

precise, and effective. This is the most prominent reason for choosing this specific article, in

which I took away multiple things for my future teacher endeavors.

One of the main things that this article provided for me as a reader, in regards to lesson

planning, was the concept of the ABCD’s (audience, behavior, condition, degree). This concept

is something that teachers can use while lesson planning to know who their targeted audience

is, what the audience will be able to do, the circumstance in which the student/audience will

perform what is being taught, and how well the audience performs the lesson. This is a concept

that I believe one could take and use for one, some, or all their lessons plans to help keep them

organized with their objective and outcomes for the students. Another aspect of the article I

enjoyed was the idea of the planning wheel, which holds the elements: warm-up, introduction,

presentation, practice, evaluation and application. This becomes an effective tool to take away

from the article as it is something that can be easily implemented when lesson planning, and

has all the main headings for what a lesson plan consist of, helping to ensure an effective lesson

for the students.

Reading Reflection #3: People Place and Environment 

Google Earth: A Virtual Globe for Elementary Geography

Within today’s society technology is a rapidly growing sensation, which becomes

especially true among younger age groups. With this growing of technological usage around the

world, and specifically within the classroom, the article Google Earth: A Virtual Globe for

Elementary Geography, immediately caught my eye. Along with the idea of technology being a

rapidly growing part of everyday classroom activity, another reason that I chose this article was

because I, myself, use to love exploring on Google earth, figuring out the in’s and out’s, and all

that it entailed. The idea that you can see virtually any place on the earth is fascinating for me,

let alone twenty-five elementary students, being an exceptional tool for lesson plans and virtual


Two of the main things that I took away from this article, was that Google Earth could be

an exceptionally effective tool for lesson plans, along with the fact that Google Earth can be a

fun, interactive, and virtual program that students can be engaged with. While reading this

article, I took away the idea that Google Earth can be a tool that an entire unit can be based

around, using the tool for different things such as locations, looking at landforms, identifying

different regions, etc. Using Google Earth within the classroom can be a great idea for both an

entire lesson, but also for short interval social studies lessons as well.

Reflection #4: Article Choice 

Teaching Social Studies to Students with Mild Disabilities

Not only is the idea of teaching students with disability something that arises when

thinking about becoming a future teacher, but also teaching specific subjects to students with

disabilities is an area that becomes quite interesting. Some students excel is some subjects,

while performing poorly in others. Because of this the article titled ​Teaching Social Studies to

Students with Mild Disabilities​ is one that I became instantly drawn to. Not only is learning

about teaching students with mild disabilities in social students something that becomes

important to know, but the information that is given can also be used for different subjects as

well, making it effective and versatile.

Two things that immediately stuck out to me while reading this article was the

identifiable aspects within students with mild disabilities, along with which teaching students

with mild disabilities can be effective for both them and the rest of the students within the

classroom. As a future teacher, this article provided useful information when assessing students

with mild disabilities, especially for social studies lessons: “Students with mild disabilities

frequently have cognitive processing or perceptual problems. Visual processing problems

interfere with the understanding of text, illustrations, and written work associated with a social

studies lesson” (8). Some of the ways that the article suggest in integrating these students

within the social studies lesson can also become useful for other classroom activities/lessons as

well, such as: having students with in pairs or collaborative groups.