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How Teachers Across the Country are Using ThinkCERCA

Looking for ideas? See how teachers across the country use ThinkCERCA in their classrooms.

ThinkCERCA-in-Classroom

For the past three years, we've asked teachers from across the country to show us what ThinkCERCA looks like in their classrooms.

From station-based rotations to movement to debate, teachers showed us the many ways ThinkCERCA can be a part of regular classroom instruction.

Take a look below to watch our favorite classroom videos, including the winning video submitted by CICS West Belden in Illinois.


Winning Video

CICS West Belden

Chicago, Illinois

 


In this video, Teacher Kelly Pollack has her third- and fourth-grade students working in groups as they complete various components of their CERCA arguments.

"By using this rotation system, students have the opportunity to make real-life connections, while understanding the purpose and importance of current questions," Kelly shares.

"Our students have many opportunities to collaborate with each other while debating a [class discussion] question, determining the order of sentences in a completed CERCA, and while working on understanding vocabulary to be successful!"


Runner-up

C.J. Hicks Elementary School

Conyers, Georgia

 

 
In this video, Teacher Lakendra Swanson and her students demonstrate how they incorporate physical activity into their CERCA lessons.

"I assign each section of the room a letter. The sections are labeled A,B,C, and D. Based on what students feel is the correct answer choice, they will stand in the designated area. This opens up a debate. Students are required to explain their reasoning and provide evidence to support their answers," Lakendra shares.

"ThinkCERCA facilitates collaboration because it opens up a gateway for students to have plenty of classroom debates...The impact of this instructional practice has truly helped my students to become fluent writers, confident speakers and experts in answering constructed response questions."


Runner-up

Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy

Chicago, Illinois
 

 

In this video, Teacher Susan Bohman's students are engaged in a debate about the CERCA arguments they created for the Writing Lesson, "Grandmother's Robot."

"Debating CERCA [arguments] is one of, if not my students' favorite activity, because they get to share their reasoning and they have the chance to respectfully find flaws in the other side's argument. I know my students feel heard by their classmates when they debate and the structure of a debate creates a safe learning environment. Through peer feedback, students ask each other the same types of questions they ask in a debate. It is as if the students are already thinking ahead to a debate and trying to strengthen their partner's argument so there are less flaws," Susan shares.

"Strong collaboration begins with communication, and that is what ThinkCERCA facilitates through the Debate Game and it carries over to peer feedback."

Alexandra Pratt

Alexandra Pratt

Alex is an experienced content strategist, digital marketer, and storyteller. Prior to joining ThinkCERCA, she worked at Yik Yak, a mobile app startup. As Yik Yak’s Content Marketing Manager, she developed the company’s content strategy, launched campaigns that amassed hundreds of thousands of new users, and grew Yik Yak’s social media communities to over 2 million followers worldwide. In addition to working as ThinkCERCA’s Inbound Marketing Manager, Alex is also a freelance content strategist and writer. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, spending time outdoors with her family, and volunteering with Autism Speaks and the Special Olympics of Georgia. Alex earned her Bachelors of Science from Kennesaw State University in 2011 and hopes to further her formal education in the years to come.

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