Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brainstorming: Activities for Block

     My mind is still spinning with ideas as I reflect on last week's Curriculum Camp.  Switching to Block Schedule, 90 minute sessions everyday, has me thinking about the number of activities I need to plan for each class period.  We will be on 4 x 4, where the students will take 4 classes for the 1st semester and 4 classes during the 2nd semester.  I was thinking that if I were teaching the same subject to different students both semesters, I could simply reuse the ideas and activities that worked during the Fall and tweak or discard those that didn't quite go as planned.  However, I do not teach the same subject twice, but I do teach the same students both semester - aaah!  No re-gifting activites :)
     I like to have one extra, over the top little something going on once a week.  Often, it centers around some sort of assessment of knowledge, which allows the students to continue to practice the big ideas beyond a worksheet or problems from the end of the chapter (Eww - Who really likes 40 practice problems lined up like neat little soldiers?)  During the Curriculum Camp we briefly touched on using games in the classroom, so I started ReALly thinking about "beyond the normal" ideas.  My motto is AlwAys: Go BIG or Go HomE!!! Here is what I came up with so far:
Human Graphing: Use tape to make a huge coordinate plane on the floor. Assign each student a number.  I thought it would be fun to pin their numbers to their shirts like runners get at a marathon to make them true Mathletes!  This would be their "number" to plug into parent functions. They would then graph themselves on the coordinate plane.
Human Fooseball: How can this be educational??? I don't know, but it looks so fun that I have to try it!!! The only thing I can come up with so far is have teams who score a goal, answer a review question for an "extra" point.  If the team, cannot correctly answer the question, the opposing team gets a turn to steal.
Giant Sorry: The game Sorry has about 20 -24 pieces - perfect to get all students involved.  I thought I could tape pre-determined questions to the floor in the shape of the Sorry game board.  As the students move around the game board, they would need to correctly answer questions or face a penalty of moving backwards.
Dance, Dance Revolution: I ordered these last year and have yet to unpack them :/
Amazing Race with Google Earth: I have found lots of ideas online for creating a classroom Amazing Race.  I am still sorting through this to make it applicable to my subject matter.
GeoCaching: I love online caches, but I was thinking something outside.
QR Code Scavenger Hunt:  Finally, found something that will work. I will share more later!
Snapguides: Have students create tutorials using Snapguide
Screencasts: Assign each student a question from the study guide to create a tutorial.  Post screencasts on an interactive study guide using Dabbleboard, Google presentation, or Prezi
Write a Short Story: The Story of X and how he found himself.  Publish short stories on class blog.
100's Chart Game: One of my all time favorites that I usually use on St. Paddy's Day.
Algebra vs The Cockroaches: Online flash game
Graph a Wave Party: Intro activity to introduce graphing trig waves complete with a little beach ball fun.
Clue: Maybe this year I can add costumes??? I found a great example of how others have embellished the activity with lots of props.  I can't wait to transform my own classroom!!!
You Tube Turkey Hunt: Ok, technically this is a worksheet, but the students find a prize on You Tube and then get cupcakes at the feast.  CuPcAkeS and MaTh - no better morning!!!
Jenga: Not sure about this one.  I need to have someone who has actually played Jenga help me, but in the meantime, I have found a great example of how the game was used as a test prep tool.
Virtual Piano: I will be using this at Christmas time this year.  Self-checking activity in which students complete multiple choice questions and then play their answers on the keyboard.  If the answers are correct, the answers should yield a recognizable tune.  The students did not recognize the fight song last year; maybe they will get Jingle Bells easier.
ClassTools' War of Worlds: This is my standard "go-to" activity that I use for Open House, Back to School Night, and test review.  The students never realize they are working 30 plus problems in a matter of minutes.
Socrative's Space Race: I need to think of Space Prizes to make this activity OuT of ThiS WoRLd.  Maybe this is where I can use the black light and glow in the dark bracelets.  I still trying to think of a way to incorporate these into an activity.
Hula Hoop Venn Diagrams: Why do graphic organizers need to be limited to a sheet a paper.  Why not make them a group activity by making them life size?  (I know, it is obvious I have become a bit obsessed with life sized games, but they look so fun.  Take a quick peek at Scrabble and Chess.  I am thinking these might be fun to play at lunch one day:)
     While this list is in no way comprehensive, it does give me a spring board for planning lessons on the block.  Some activities I have done before; others, I still need to wrap my mind around.  WhAt am I MiSSinG?  Do YOU have an AcTivIty that YOU will ShAre with me?

No comments: