List-Group-Label: MAPS

Or “This protocol worked really well with 5th graders and I was dying to see how it would work with my first graders.”  The answer?  Read to find out! 🙂

When I taught 5th grade, I read about a protocol called List-Group-Label for organizing ideas and learning new vocabulary.  Originally the structure was applied to geometry vocab, but I’ve used it with topics in Science and now Social Studies, as well.

First, we needed to explore.  So I gave them some maps.  And if you have known me for longer than 5 minutes you could probably guess the kinds of maps they were given.  Any guesses?  See if you can figure it out in the pictures…

(Can you see?  It’s the Happiest Place on Earth!)

After they had a chance to explore their maps–well 4 different ones actually–they came to a blank chart like this one and were supposed to add their ideas about what all of the maps had in common:

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After they had worked for a little bit…

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It looked more like this:

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That’s the LIST part of list-group-label.  Now, normally with big kids, I have them group the post-its by how they are similar, but for many reasons, I led this next step with my kiddos.  After I grouped them, the chart looked like this:

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See how they’re in groups now?  It was great to see how many similar ideas kiddos came up with!  They were spot on with their noticings!

Next came the LABEL step, so I made the post-its into a web so we could see the groups as well as write the labels:

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Working together as a class, we decided what each group had in common, and what statement we could make about maps and how they work based on the information.  I was IMPRESSED!! These kids had loads of background knowledge about maps and their features, which made our use and study of them easier.  This is one reason I LOVE this protocol–it quickly gives me a good idea of the class’ schema on a topic, which helps me know where to go next.  They are doing the work and making the connections, which is meaningful work, and they are having fun!  Win, win, win for everyone!

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Our finished web about maps! Pretty comprehensive, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

Now, I have to focus in on one bubble of this web for a second.  Look at this one:

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This particular bubble has a great story.  One of our friends was gone on the day that we first studied our maps, but returned on the day we were reviewing the web we had made.  She said, “Wait, there’s something else you should add!”  She proceeded to describe “that thing that’s on there that tells you which way you’re going.  You know, like ‘Never Eat Soggy Waffles!’ ”  “Of course!” we all thought, and we added a bubble about compass roses.  The best part?  The chart originally had a big empty space here, so it was like it was waiting for this super-smart addition!

Well, as is always the case in our room, this conversation sparked a great idea for the next step: we needed signs in our room that told us which way was which way.  Kiddos quickly got to work in small groups creating direction signs for our walls. Another “best part” of this project?  Every single sound in the words NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, and WEST can be figured out by first graders using word wall words, resources in the room or knowledge about sound chunks.  ANOTHER win-win as we could connect literacy to our social studies work! 🙂

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What smart suggestions for ways to improve our room and give us new resources to help us learn!  I LOVE what they look like, too, and how they add to the “kid” feel of our room.  KID WORK everywhere! 🙂  Great work, Rm. 202 friends!

List-Group-Label: Science Work with Weather Words

I wrote about this topic last year here.  And like last year, I started my weather unit today with the same activity.  But that doesn’t mean that our experience was the same.  I have a different group of kiddos, with different knowledge and understanding, and I gave a different set of directions of how this protocol would work.  So yes, it’s similar, as many things are year-to-year, but it’s not nearly the same.
As with most every unit we begin, we start with vocabulary words that students will need to know.  Today we used the protocol List-Group-Label to do this introduction.  Here’s the big idea of how it works:

So, like I mentioned before, I had a couple of added directions this time around that helped further thinking.   When tribes got to the GROUPing part, rather than tell them how to make their poster look, we talked about how they needed to make a decision about the best kind of graphic organizer to use for their information.  I also took this opportunity to introduce the phrase “You gotta build the house before you decorate it.”  We talked about how you could “fancy” up your poster if you had some time at the end, but that the most important thing was to get your thinking down first, to show what you know about weather in an organized way.

We spent about 10 minutes on the list-group-label part, then took a short gallery walk to each tribe’s poster.  As they visited other posters, they were to notice what words others used, how they organized their thinking, and if there were any ideas they could “steal” to add to their own sheet once they returned.  After spending about 30 seconds at each poster, they had two minutes to tweak their own work before we were finished.

It was great to hear them work together in their groups to put words together, and think about how they could label each category.  Look at it in progress:

 

And then here is what we ended up with after our work time:

The Legendary 4

The Crazy Dragons (they even signed their work with their tribe name!)

The SBF

The J.A.A.Zicles

The Wild Spirits

Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think.  We’d love to continue to learn with you.   What other words would you suggest we put on our lists?

 

List-Group-Label with Weather Words

We just started a new unit in science this week.  It’s an Earth Systems unit on Weather.  So just like at the beginning of all of our units, we started with talking about vocabulary.  Check out how we did it in our geometry unit.

So just like last time, we started writing as many words are we could think of that were related to weather on post-its:


Notice how the first time around they’re not in any real order.  The directions during the “list” portion are just to write down words you think are related to the topic.  The grouping and labeling part came next (the next day, actually).  And ok, I’ll apologize ahead of time for the quality of the video–I’m still working on learning how to edit!  Hope it doesn’t make you dizzy….

I’m excited to see where this takes us.  I have a group of deep thinkers who will for sure continue to ask questions and make connections that will help us all learn more about weather!  Stay tuned to find out more about what we’re doing. 🙂