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A Fun Way to Review Basic Information

If you're not familiar with the game of Scoot, it's time you learned! It can be played with any type of task card that would have a quick answer.  (There are other awesome types of task cards for skills that require more time and thinking, but that's not what Scoot is about!)  


A Fun Way to Review Basic Information: This is a great end-of-the-year, beginning of the year, or anytime game, with suggestions on how to use it.


Brain research suggests that including movement will help the brain function more efficiently. Scoot has the children moving from place to place, which not only gets the brain going, but it makes the whole thing more fun for the kids! Individual cards are placed throughout the classroom, and the children move from spot to spot, performing the task, recording the answer on their answer sheet, then moving onto the next card in the next part of the room when the teacher calls "Scoot"! After much scooting, the children return to their starting spot.

For more about how Scoot works, see THIS BLOG POST.


I've used these with small groups and large groups. Sometimes you can take a few cards, have a handful of kids scoot through those, and save the rest of the cards in the series for another day.

The kids love Scoot! It's a great way to add fun to a review that can be rather mundane, like parts of speech or vowel sounds.  Yet, these things need to be practiced so these skills are strengthened.

A couple of years ago, I spent some time making several sets of Task Cards that are perfect for Scoot playing. I've spent the last couple of days updating these sets.

First of all, there's my forever freebie, in honor of a young man we lost a couple of years ago. See THIS BLOG POST for more information about why this is a forever freebie.

Social Studies Review: Scoot or Task Cards is a collection of questions on mapping and general Social Studies knowledge.  It can be played as a Scoot game, or just individual task cards. I made it to review end of the year second grade skills, but have heard that it's great review for older children as well!  See the image below to download this freebie.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Task-Cards-for-Second-and-Third-Grade-Review-in-Social-Studies-250874?utm_source=Reviewing%20Blog%20Post&utm_campaign=SS%20Review

Another product in this series, Vocabulary Review: Scoot or Task Cards gives the children vocabulary practice and review with prefixes, suffixes, antonyms and synonyms. (See image for link.)

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Vocabulary-Task-Cards-Prefixes-Suffixes-Antonyms-Synonyms-and-Abbreviations-251032?utm_source=Reviewing%20Blog%20Post&utm_campaign=Vocab%20Review
 
 
Mathematics Review: Scoot orTask Cards reviews time, money, place value, measurement, story problems and fact families. (See image for link.)

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Task-Cards-for-Second-and-Third-Grade-Review-Math-250988?utm_source=Reviewing%20Blog%20Post&utm_campaign=Math%20Review


Language Review: Scoot or Task Cards practices parts of speech:  nouns, proper nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. (See image for link.)

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Task-Cards-for-Second-and-Third-Grade-Parts-of-Speech-Language-250927?utm_source=Reviewing%20Blog%20Post&utm_campaign=Language%20Review


Phonics Review: Scoot or Task Cards practice vowel sounds: short vowels, long vowels, r-controlled vowels, and vowel teams. (See image for link.)

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Task-Cards-for-Second-and-Third-Grade-Parts-of-Speech-Language-250927?utm_source=Reviewing%20Blog%20Post&utm_campaign=Phonics%20Review


Science Review: Scoot or Task Cards reviews all sorts of beginning science concepts: five senses, basic biology, chemistry, astronomy, plants, and weather.


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Science-Task-Cards-for-Second-and-Third-Grade-Review-251607?utm_source=Reviewing%20Blog%20Post&utm_campaign=Science%20Review


Plus, I have a set that bundles all 6 sets!  Combined Review- Word Work, Math, Science and Social Studies: Scoot or Task Cards gives you weeks worth of review activities for all subjects! This is a fun way to spend those last few weeks when the children just can't sit still and have lost their attention spans, or a great way to start the year, making sure they have the background knowledge they need.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Task-Cards-for-Fun-Review-in-Phonics-Language-Math-Science-and-Social-Studies-251035?utm_source=Reviewing%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Combined%20Review

But there's even more good news: All these items are available digitally with Boom Learning!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Distance-Learning-Combined-Review-BOOM-Task-Cards-Bundle-3754002?utm_source=Reviewing%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Combined%20Review%20Boom

 These are perfect for end of the year review, summer practice, or back to school reviewing basic concepts. They're appropriate for grades 2, 3, or 4!


A Fun Way to Review Basic Information: This is a great end-of-the-year, beginning of the year, or anytime game, with suggestions on how to use it.

The Scoreboard!


Where would I be without my scoreboard?  

 

If you're familiar with Whole Brain Teaching, you know exactly what the scoreboard is, and why it is so important!  Although I certainly have a lot to learn about Whole Brain Teaching, I've been using the scoreboard for a few years now, and know I couldn't survive without it!

Lately, my students have been rather rambunctious.  Between snow days and early dismissals, and Invention Convention, and just being totally due for vacation (starts this Friday), these little guys are really struggling to stay focused and get anything done at all. 

How do I keep them going?  The scoreboard!
 
The Scoreboard! Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, I have found the perfect tool for classroom management. It's a win-win!

Here's how it works. If the children do something that makes the teacher happy, the teacher puts a tally on the happy side. If the children do something that make the teacher sad, a tally goes on the sad side. This is all "whole group" behavior. (Individual issues are on the classroom clip chart.) If the children are engaged during a lesson, they get a happy tally. If the noise level is too much, a sad tally. If I see cooperation, a happy tally. If I see fooling around during work time, a sad tally.

Interesting, when the kids are as antsy as they've been this week, that's when the scoreboard is busiest! As I write each tally, I tell what they did to earn it, and the children do a celebratory "one second party" or a disappointed "mighty groan".

Of course, all those tallies need to add up to something! Well, each day that "happy" beats "sad", I add 5 minutes. After they've earned enough time, they can spend those minutes on an activity of their choice. They might work for painting time:

The Scoreboard! Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, I have found the perfect tool for classroom management. It's a win-win!
 
Block time:

The Scoreboard! Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, I have found the perfect tool for classroom management. It's a win-win!

or perhaps a seasonal craft!

The Scoreboard! Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, I have found the perfect tool for classroom management. It's a win-win!

To learn more about the scoreboard and Whole Brain Learning, click HERE. You can also click the image below to find out more about their book! 



For the upcoming Invention Convention, one of my students is creating a scoreboard that teachers won't keep leaving on the opposite side of the classroom, that we'll be able to attach to our waists!

Don't you love kids?

I Can't Stand Winter Anymore!

Years ago, before I was a mom, whenever we reached this point in the winter, I'd have a summer party. I'd turn the heat up in the house, encourage guests to wear shorts and flip flops, decorate the house with beach towels, buckets, shovels, and play a lot of Beach Boys music. (We also might have had some beverages with umbrellas!) It never made the snow go away, but it would always lift our spirits and help us get through the rest of the winter.
 
I've had enough of winter, haven't you? Let's pretend it's summer! This blog post has several ideas and resources to help lift yourself out of your winter doldrums!

A few years ago, we had one of "these" winters, and I could see that the kids were getting to that point... so we took a virtual trip to Mexico!

We actually got into an imaginary plane, took flight, and ended up in sunny Mexico! The kids are so imaginative, and so are the parents! The children would talk about how hot they were, and parents would send in Mexican treats for snacks!  

It may be time to bring back Sunny Mexico. 
Or at least pretend it's summer!

Are you (and your students) as sick of winter as I am?
You're welcome to join me in starting summer a bit early!

Here are a few of my warm weather resources: (See the images for the links!)


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mexico-Suffixes-Go-Fish-238194?utm_source=blog%20post%20sick%20of%20winter&utm_campaign=Mexico%20suffixes



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mental-Math-Addition-and-Subtraction-Game-Spring-Theme-221515?utm_source=Can%27t%20stand%20winter%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=spring%20mental%20math



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Flower-Prefixes-Game-238367?utm_source=Can%27t%20stand%20winter%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=spring%20prefixx



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Games-7-Literacy-and-Math-Games-Bundle-607860?utm_source=Can%27t%20stand%20winter%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=7%20spring%20games


Of course, I couldn't help but offer a freebie as well!  
Here's a Seashore Themed Paper freebie to help warm you up!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seashore-Writing-Paper-4549340?utm_source=blog%20post%20sick%20of%20winter&utm_campaign=seashore%20writing%20paper%20


How do you deal with "too much winter?"



I've had enough of winter, haven't you? Let's pretend it's summer! This blog post has several ideas and resources to help lift yourself out of your winter doldrums!

What Do They Really Remember?

Years after they leave your class, what do your students remember?

What do they really remember? This post explores my Day 100 tradition and discusses why the children remember it years later.

One of the things my kids always remember is when we go from class to class, singing Day 100 songs.

Yesterday was Day 100 in our school, and we carried on my little tradition. Many of the teachers look forward to our visits every year, and it's a real treat to go into the other classrooms in the school. (We NEVER go into each others' rooms, it's such a treat!)

What do they really remember? This post explores my Day 100 tradition and discusses why the children remember it years later.

Today at Morning Meeting, I asked my class to share how they truly felt about singing in front of all the different classes. I was thrilled with their honesty. Some said they felt nervous, excited, scared, embarrassed, or shy. When I asked each child, "But did you like it?" Every single child nodded an enthusiastic, "Yes!" 

What do they really remember? This post explores my Day 100 tradition and discusses why the children remember it years later.

I could tell most of the children absolutely loved it.  There were a couple of kids that I knew singing just wasn't their "thing", but I was hoping it would be a positive experience.  They said they loved it!

As someone who is fascinated by how the brain works, I find myself pondering what it is about this experience that puts it permanently into the memory. Here's my theory:
  •  Singing in front of other classes uses strong emotions, which are directly connected to the memory.  
  • It's something they never have done before. Novelty is directly connected to the memory.
  • It's music!  Music is amazing when it come to the brain.
  • It involves social interaction. Again, connections with memory and learning.

What do your students remember about your class?



What do they really remember? This post explores my Day 100 tradition and discusses why the children remember it years later.

Ten Tips for Helping Learning Stick

I've been interested in how the workings of the brain for many years now. I've read tons of books, articles, and videos. I'm hardly an expert, but a lot of the information I read about really makes a lot of sense!
 
 
10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn and remember what they've learned.


Here are ten ideas that are research based, and help me out in the classroom!


1. Move!  Studies show that combining movement with learning helps learning stick!  There are plenty of ways to include movement. I like to include a gesture when I teach a concept, and have the children mirror the gesture.  Trust me, they come back years later repeating the gesture!
10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn.


Here are some of my darlings acting out one of the Author's Purpose reasons:  Entertainment!

 
2. Feedback!  Children need to know if  they're on the right track! I use a "Traffic Light" symbol when I correct papers.I'll highlight the child's name in green if they're doing what's expected at grade level. I'll highlight in yellow if there's something they need to be careful about. (Usually there's a written note.) I'll highlight in red (or pink, it's a little more "gentle,") if they need to stop and revisit the idea. (Usually there's a personal conversation, too.) Plus, there's one more color: if the work is "above and beyond grade level expectations," I'll highlight in purple. Of course, purple is for royalty, and I've been known to bow to children who pass in this sort of work! 

3. Talking!  Yes, students need to talk and have social experiences! Since I work with little ones with short attention spans, I include loads of "Turn and Talk" time!  I often pose a question for discussion with a partner. The question might be a review, or a query, or maybe a prediction. It's tough not to be engaged when they're involved in conversation with their peers! Plus, when I listen in, I can tell if they're learning what they are suppose to be learning, or not! That gives me feedback on my teaching, too!


 4. Humor! Did you realize that laughing is actually healthy? It brings oxygen to the brain and minimizes stress, which is bad for learning. It's time to pull out the joke books and get those kids laughing!



5. Stories!  Kids remember your stories! They love to hear about your family, your pets, and they especially love to hear about when you were little! HERE is a link to a story I often tell my students about my first day of school ever. I tell it to the kids as a model to show them how to write about their lives.



6. Emotions! I'm sure if you think of times where you felt strong emotion, you'll have strong memories as well. The above link tells about a strong emotion for me. Don't most people remember their weddings, the day their children were born, and, unfortunately, the death of a loved one. That's proof that our memories are tied to our emotions. Luckily, with kids, a little friendly competition or exciting situation will do the trick! I'll bet you remember that class play in third grade, and the Spelling Bee in 5th grade! Just be careful... bad emotions bring strong memories as well!



7. Music! How many of you remember all the words to the Brady Bunch Theme Song? I'll bet you never even had to work at it! I've written simple songs with simple lyrics to help the children remember important facts, such as The Seven Continents.  (See THIS post for lyrics.) I also use music to set the mood as they enter the classroom, and I use classical music in the background to help the children focus.



8. Brain Breaks! Studies show that children can attend only their age plus or minus 5 minutes, with 20 minutes total for adults. After that time, they need time to process the information so it can work its way into the long term memory.  I'm sure you can find plenty of ideas for brain breaks.


9. The Five Senses!  Studies show visual trumps all the other senses. If you pair knowledge with some sort of visual, it has a better chance of sticking. It's also been said the way to a child's heart is through their stomach! Teaching about a country?  Serve some food from that country! Teaching estimation? Estimate lollypops! Here's something I did to help the children remember to put spaces between their words.


10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn.

10. Integrate the Arts!  I've already mentioned music, but integrating other arts has been known to ignite a passion for learning.  Dramatics, dance, clay, painting, drawing, and photography are great ways to help learning stick!  I'll bet you can even think of more varieties of the arts, and how to connect them to learning!

I hope you have enjoyed these Ten Tips for Helping Learning Stick!  

10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn.









10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn and remember what they've learned.


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