I recently participated in a professional learning experience with Lute-Stem about multimodal methods at Lehman College. I learned a lot about ways to incorporate strategies for students’ instruction to be more multimodal. During the summer, I learned about the Scratch program, multimodal literacy, the habits of mind, and the review of a child.
There was a lot to consider when it came to applying what I learned in the classroom. In this letter, I’d like to focus on multimodal strategies because I believe this is an excellent method to integrate into our instruction. A multimodal approach means a lesson is introduced in multiple ways; it can be performed using visuals, movement, auditory, reading, and writing to meet students’ learning goals. Thus, ensuring that the students are provided with different approaches subject to their learning abilities.
I would like to propose that we create an activity that incorporates that aspect into the instruction. I would like to implement an activity called “All About Me.” This activity is designed for preschoolers. The students will be given different options to choose from. For example, they can draw a picture, create a poster or record a video of the things they want us to know about themselves. I believe this activity is perfect when including multimodal strategies. Also, since it is the beginning of the school year, it will serve as an introduction to the class and their classmates. This will help to get to know the students and make connections within themselves. Given the age group, the project requires teacher involvement and assistance to complete the activity, which will take about two days.
To do this, we will need paper, crayons, markers, scissors, magazines, posters, colored pencils, tablets, and google slides.
The students will have the option to make either a picture, a poster, or a video to present the things they should know about themselves. The final product will be presented on a google slide to the class.
When the students complete this activity, they will have made progress on these three standards from New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards:
- PK.SEL.2. Recognizes self as an individual having unique abilities, characteristics, feelings, and interests
- PK.SEL.4. Develops positive relationships with their peers
- PK.ELAL.14. [PKW.2] Uses a combination of drawing, dictating, oral expression, and/or emergent writing to name a familiar topic and supply information in child-centered, authentic, play-based learning
Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity. We could give these directions to the students:
During the morning meeting, the class will gather on the carpet. The teacher will talk about the new faces in the classroom. She will explain that new friends joined the classroom as the new year began. She will then say that an excellent way to get to know each other is by introducing ourselves and the things we like. She will introduce herself as a way to model it for the students. She then will explain what the activity will be about. She would ask the students questions such as “What is your name?” “What is one thing you like to do?” What is your favorite color? “What is your favorite food?”
The teacher will show examples of “All About Me” projects for the students to understand what is being asked. The teacher will work with small groups to assist them when needed. She will work with groups of 4. Before the activity, she will ask the student what of the three choices they would like to pick from. After, she will ask them the questions presented before for them to have an idea. They will be provided with the materials, and the teacher will provide guidance when needed.
I would also propose that the students give each other feedback on their work. They could use this checklist to self-assess and provide each other feedback:
· I can create a picture, poster, or video of the things I like to do
· I can say one thing I like about my classmate’s work
· I can present my creation to my friend
· I can talk about my creation
This activity should take at least 10-15 minutes to complete, allowing time for productive struggle. (Given the attention span of this age group, this activity could take more time than mentioned above). The teacher will encourage the students to ask questions about the project to promote persistence. This will provide opportunities to check if they answered all the questions about themselves and to revise and add what they are missing to their project.
When they have finished this activity, we can ask the students to talk about how they used one of these three Habits of Mind. Since the students are so young, I will ask them questions about their habits of mind to understand the concepts. Some questions will be: “Did you listen to your classmate?” “Did you wait for your turn?” “Did you create a project? “What was one thing you liked about your classmate’s work?” “What did you learn from your classmate?” Following those questions, the teacher will explain that by answering those questions, they are exercising the habits of mind.
· Listening with understanding
· Managing Impulsivity
· Creating imagining and innovating
The Habits of Mind will also be used to give the students oral feedback while they are working and after finishing their work.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity.
I look forward to working with you on this.