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Showing posts with label active learning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label active learning. Show all posts

Six Strategies for Success in School!

I had a very challenging class a year ago. I admit, I loved each and every one of them, but the combination of kiddos really was exhausting. I had behavior challenges, learning challenges, and a whole lot of kiddos who needed to talk and who needed to move a whole lot!
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!

I've had all these challenges before, but I never had so many challenges all in one group!

After that year, I made sure I enjoyed these luxuries during the summer:

-extra cups of coffee - while they're still warm
-relaxed conversations with grown ups
-reading books written for adults
-eating breakfast in my jammies
-going to the gym, with energy to work out
and most of all... 
-peeing when I need to!

But I also spent a lot of time thinking about that group, and trying to come up with ideas that I could start at the beginning of the year that could prevent some of the issues I had.


My dad always taught me: 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

and that's just what I plan to do!

After much thought, I decided on the most important strategies I wanted to focus on in my classroom.


Strategies for Success: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be a Team Player, Be Mindful, and Be an Active Learner

I decided to spend a whole lot of time at the beginning of the school year teaching these strategies for success!



I made posters with an explanation for each strategy.


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Strategies-for-Success-in-School-ActivitiesBooklets-and-Posters-2694185?utm_source=Strategies%20for%20Success%20Post&utm_campaign=Strategies%20for%20Success

I also made these in black and white/ line art for easy printing and opportunities for the kids to color and think about them.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Strategies-for-Success-in-School-ActivitiesBooklets-and-Posters-2694185?utm_source=Strategies%20for%20Success%20Post&utm_campaign=Strategies%20for%20Success

 
Plus, I made mini-posters of each!
Plus, I made some student response booklets.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Strategies-for-Success-in-School-ActivitiesBooklets-and-Posters-2694185?utm_source=Strategies%20for%20Success%20Post&utm_campaign=Strategies%20for%20Success

These pages could also be used in interactive notebooks.

My plan was to take a day or two discussing the meaning of each strategy, listing the children's ideas, giving examples and non examples, and making sure the children really understood what each strategy meant before they completed that page in their strategy response booklets. 

The Mindfulness strategy took a little longer, especially those who came from classes that didn't do any mindfulness activities in the past.

I did manage to find a few websites with some awesome explanations and activities for helping children understand and practice Mindfulness.






I also made some bookmarks for the children to use and remember their strategies.

And I made some self assessments that they were given at a few points through the school year. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Strategies-for-Success-in-School-ActivitiesBooklets-and-Posters-2694185?utm_source=Strategies%20for%20Success%20Post&utm_campaign=Strategies%20for%20Success


What Happened Next?

After much discussion, we decided on a gesture for each strategy. Every morning, after the Pledge of Allegiance and the school chant, my students would recite the 6 Strategies for Success, complete with the gestures we created together.  My plan definitely had a strong influence on the classroom community!

Feel free to explore this resource more HERE.


6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!




Active Students? Try Scoot!

Today I'm sharing a game that helped me through those last hectic weeks of school where the kiddos just couldn't concentrate on much of anything...Scoot!
 
Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!
 
All you need to play scoot is a set of task cards (I know we all have plenty of those!) an answer sheet, and some desks or tables.

In the picture above, we put the desks into a big square, which is perfect for scoot, but rows, tables, or sets of desks in any arrangement can work. You just need to set a pattern for movement.

The basis of the game:
  1. There is a numbered task card on each desk. 
  2. Students do the task card at their desk, and write their answer on the answer sheet.
  3. When the teacher calls "Scoot", the children all move to the next desk in the sequence, and do that task card.
  4. Children continue to "scoot" from desk to desk until all cards have been completed.
    Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!
After completion, I usually let the children self-correct while we go over the cards. (Self correcting with highlighters makes it more fun!)



Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

For added fun for squirmy kids, replace one of the task cards with a brain break. My kids LOVE brain breaks, and look forward to that part of scoot!
Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

If you're interested in task cards that work well with scoot, see THIS LINK.

Want to try it out with a freebie? Social Studies Review Task Cards


How do you keep your active students learning?

Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day

Looking for some ways to celebrate Columbus Day in your classroom?  

Here are a few of my favorites:


7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.


Disclaimer:  We've learned that Columbus wasn't always a great man. Feel free to have discussions about that in your classroom. These ideas and resources simply give the facts about what happened back then. This doesn't mean I approve of the way he treated people.


7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.

1. Work with Maps and Globes - Columbus Day is such a great opportunity to get the children acquainted with the globe. I think it's important that children can identify where they live on the globe. Our location is easy for the children to find. I have the children locate Cape Cod along the east coast of North America. We're not far north of that, and it's easy to locate. (I tell them to look for a flexed arm... they love to flex their own arms!) I usually use the globe to show how Columbus got from Italy to Spain, to San Salvador, and how he was actually trying to get to the East Indies, and "accidentally bumped into America". They get such a kick out of that!



2. Books -  Speaking of the Columbus story, if you haven't seen the book, Encounter by Jane Yolen, you really need to check it out!  It's the story of the arrival of Columbus from a young native's point of view. The illustrations are beautiful, and it really makes the "other side" of the story quite clear.  Explore the image to go to Amazon(affiliate link) for more information about this amazing book!




 
3.Videos - This Youtube video gives a little information about Christopher Columbus. As in all videos, please view ahead of time to make sure this is something you want to share with your students. There are many videos on this topic, many are quite harsh.


7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.


4. Illustrate the story
Illustrating is a great way for children to deepen their understanding. I wrote this summary of the basic Columbus story for my students to illustrate. Explore the image or see here: Columbus for Visualization and Illustration
 
 
7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.


5.  Common Sense Fun - Here are a couple of resources that will get the kids thinking. Explore the images to see more! Christopher Columbus: Common Sense for Active Learners: 
 
 
7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.

 
These are electronic task cards from BOOM Learning! The kids are going to love these! Christopher Columbus Common Sense Thinking BOOM Cards
 
7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.


6.  Guided imagery - I like to do lots of guided imagery activities with my students. I'll tell the story, while the students go through the movements. I tell about the men saying goodbye to their families and getting on the ships, the long ride on the ship (including the bland food, storms at sea, and lack of clean water) finally sighting land, and getting off the ship, thinking they were in India. The kids love this, and brain research shows involving movement and gestures helps the memory!


7.  One more idea - Looking for one more way to celebrate Columbus Day? Take the day off! (And perhaps pay some homage to the Indigenous People on that day!)
 
7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.

 


 
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