Graphic organizers are wonderful tools for learners of all abilities in all grades. They help students to visually and clearly organize their opinions and ideas. Students are enabled to see connections and relationships between information, facts and terms. For ELL students and struggling readers, this is particularly useful because it aids with language issues and challenges in comprehension these students struggle with. It visually provides them with a broad picture of this corpus of information they are trying to learn as opposed to words and language.
Introducing and organizing instructional content can be done in a fun and simple way. I would begin with a simple fun math lesson that is on a more personal level. To introduce the lesson; the first step should describe to the students the lesson’s purpose (how to budget within your means), then explain its components (reason, solve problems, communicate, computation) and finally model its use (3 column chart) together with the class. This will ensure students comprehend the material they are learning. The 5th grade class would be instructed to divide into 3 groups of 6. Each group will be assigned a budget of $60.00. I would then hand out menus to each group from a popular fast food restaurant (Wendy’s). Students in each group will order any item off the menu for lunch but within their group budget.
They will itemize their choices on their worksheet and include quantity and total amounts. Students will be aware that all deluxe meals come with french fries and a drink. Any state tax will not be configured for this lesson. Together we will input the information collected from each group onto the organizer. We will analyze, compare and discuss the decisions each group made with their selections and how well they managed their budget. The graphic organizer will also help them reflect individually as they see the information unfold from this valuable tool. It is important for students to learn the concept of managing money and to learn to live within their means.