Review Dominoes

Materials: Domino Pages

Time: 10-15 minutes (depending on how many boxes you want students to complete)

Directions:

  1. Divide the students into groups of 3-4.
  2. Give each group a set of domino pages.
  3. Instruct each group to line up the pages so that the picture before and the picture after share a connection. Groups must be able to explain how each picture is connected.
  4. Give the groups a time limit to complete the task.
  5. Once the time limit is up have the students share how the pictures connect.
  6. Possible ways to share:
    1. Have groups create a video explaining how each picture connects.
    2. Random ask groups to describe the connections between 3 pictures.
    3. Have groups glue the domino pages to construction paper and write out the connections for each picture.

Bonus: I always like adding a few random terms/pictures to add a little challenge to the activity. It also helps get some creative ways to solve the activity.

 

The Grid Challenge

Materials: Construction Paper, markers, 5-10 terms for the side of the page

Time: 10-15 minutes (depending on how many boxes you want students to complete)

Directions:

  1. Divide the students into teams of 2-4 players.
  2. Ask each team to come up with a random letter of the alphabet and write those letters along the top of a grid on the board. The grid should already have your category terms written along the left side of the grid.
  3. Then have each team recreate the grid (or you could have this step be part of their timed challenge).
  4. Give the teams a certain number of minutes to complete as many boxes as possible. To complete a box the teams need to write a word or phrase that connects to the category on the left and starts with the letter at the top. For example:
K T A M N
States Kansas Texas Alabama Maine Nebraska

5. The group with the most boxes filled by the end wins. Sometimes teams need to get creative with their responses to make them work. You get to be the official judge and decide if a response counts our not.

 

Download a .pdf cheat sheet of The Grid Challenge

 

Video Announcements Rock

For the past two years I have started almost every class with video announcements. I talk about upcoming due dates, classroom reminders, birthday shout outs, the quote of the day and wrap-up with my catch phrase.

There are several reasons why I do this:

  1. It gives me the chance to do administrative tasks (take attendance, check in with students, etc.)
  2. It keeps me from having to repeat the same thing 4 times in a row.
  3. I don’t miss things as often.
  4. Most importantly, I can present the information in a new way. The hope is that hearing it in a video, seeing a due date on a paper and hearing it live will have a cumulative effect of reminding kids to get things done on time. It doesn’t always work.

I rarely devote more than 6 or 7 minutes at the beginning of the day to these videos. When I first started recording them, I would rerecord them 5 or 6 times to make them perfect. Now, I just keep recording, even if I mess up. Kids love the bloopers. They love seeing me do something silly or say the wrong word. It lets them know that everyone makes mistakes and life goes on. One of their favorite things to do is screenshot when I make weird faces and airdrop them to me.

Most of my videos are just me talking into the camera, but sometimes I do more interesting things with the videos. I’ve done stop motion videos, guest speakers, “guest” speakers (me in a Batman costume for example), anything to make it a little more interesting. These videos take a little more time, so I only do them every once in awhile.

It’s also a resource for parents. I post my videos on Youtube and parents can see exactly what we have coming up each day if they wanted to. It’s also a great reminder to myself if I need to look back at what we were doing this time last year.

Overall, it only takes a little prep work in the morning and saves me time throughout my day.

At the end of the videos I wrap up the same way…

Until next time, book it forward and be awesome!