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Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start!

They say it takes 6 weeks at the beginning of the school year for all the routines to be mastered, and REAL teaching can begin.

Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?


There are a whole lot of routines and procedures to be taught between now and then. Plus, there's all that assessment that needs to happen. What about academics?

Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?

We have a whole lot of teaching to do! 

Yes, we need to get to teaching academics! Reading, language, writing, math, science, social studies... those curriculums won't teach themselves! How do we do it all?

Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?

We want them to be learning and growing. 

After all, that's what school is for! But that real learning won't start until all the routines are in place. Once they know what to do when they enter the room, and what to do during morning meeting, and what to do during centers, and how to line up for lunch, and what to do during reading and math groups... and so on! Once the classroom is working like a well-oiled machine, then the teaching of academics can begin successfully!

Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?

Yet, we want them to be confident and happy about school. 

This is what allows learning to happen, isn't it! If they're not sure what to do, that doesn't build confidence. If they feel insecure about the work they're doing, they're not going to be happy in the classroom, are they? And if they're not happy or confident, they won't be learning.
Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?

How can we keep them feeling good, yet still growing as learners?


Well, we shouldn't throw too much at them at once! Between all those procedures and routines that have to be taught, giving them more to learn as well is too much!

Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?

Have plenty of "reviewing of previous skills" to do while learning the new routine.


Studies show teachers should only introduce one new skill at a time. That means, if you're teaching the routine of using devices during centers, they should be using skills they're already familiar with while learning the device routine! 

If you're teaching the routine of independent reading, they should be reading books that are easy for them. 

If you're teaching the routine of coming to reading group, you should have them work on skills they've already learned. 

There's plenty of time to introduce and practice new skills, once they've mastered the routine.

What should we use for review? Here are a few ideas:




Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?

Have more "reviewing of previous skills" for them to do while assessing and learning about their learning!

Besides teaching routines, the other "biggie" at the beginning of the school year is figuring out where the children are in their skills. No matter what our curriculum dictates, if they're not ready for a specific skill, we need to teach the previous skills.

Don't forget those things that the students can always do at their own level:
Independent Reading (See these posts HERE and HERE.)
Writer's Workshop (See this post HERE.)
Learning Math Facts (See these posts HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?

But to maintain a positive atmosphere and build confidence, start with "fun and easy" activities.


It's scary for the kiddos to start a new grade. If the work they're doing in that new grade is fairly easy for them, that will really put a damper on their academic mindset! 

Here are a couple more resources that are fun, easy review to start off the year:

or the same resource in for digital version:

Review Basic Concepts and Skills Review Boom Cards Bundle Second Grade


But then, there are those "high flyers!" They need something special, too! These science and social studies Boom Cards are perfect for these kids! The students can work independently, the cards give immediate feedback, and can be used over and over, learning more with each use!






How do you keep the children engaged and practicing skills while learning procedures and routine?



Fun and Easy: A Good Place to Start - How do you keep the students engaged while teaching routines and procedures?

Back to School Success Strategies Part 3: Review, Review, Review!

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you.

Today is Part 3 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

Review, review, review!


We all know that our students have had a whole lot of time away from learning. You can call it "summer slump" or "summer slide," or numerous other things! No matter what it's called in your neck of the woods, it's time to get them back in the swing of things and bring those skills back!
 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.


You may remember that I'm a big fan of Boom Cards because they are easy to use in the classroom and can be used remotely by sending a link through any platform. These vocabulary Boom Cards are a fun way to review important science and social studies vocabulary. Building Vocabulary Science and Social Studies Boom Card Bundle

 



Speaking of Boom Cards, these  six multiple choice Boom Cards are perfect for reviewing important skills: Combined 2nd Grade Skills Review Boom Card Bundle

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

But it's important to keep it interesting. I like to let the children practice important reading skills by having them read informational text about important Science and Social Studies topics. It's a real time saver, and they absolutely love the topics! This bundle of Earth Changes gives them a lot of information, yet loads of practice with reading and comprehension skills. Earth Changes Bundle: Reading Comprehension for Active Learners.


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.


Math fact fluency is an important part of everyday mathematics. (This system was mentioned in Part 1 - Routines.) Brain research tells us it's important to review information in order for that information to go into their long term memory. I recommend that children review frequently the "levels" they have already mastered in this system to keep the information solid. If they never go back to it, they won't remember it! Math Fact Fluency System: the Bundle

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.


These Math Challenges are a fun way to review old math skills for grades 3-5! Since math continues to build on previous skills, it's important that those skills are strong. These challenges review second grade math concepts, but with an added challenge! Mystery Math Challenge Bundle

Here's a link to several "summer review" resources that can get their brains back on track: Summer Review Games and Activities

Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.
 

I imagine you're thinking of more ways to review and strengthen important skills!

I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

 

Academic Summer Games! A Celebration of Learning!

This is our last full week of school, and we'll be celebrating learning by having Academic Summer Games!

Academic Summer Games! I love to keep the kids busy by adding a little bit of friendly competition at the end of the school year. This post gives plenty of fun ideas on how to do this!

My goals:
  1. Have fun!
  2. Give the kids a taste of what the Olympics are like!
  3. Give the children some experience with some of the different countries all over the world.
  4. Review skills from the year!
  5. Liven up these last few dreary days!
  6. Promote teamwork and positive feelings.
  7. Promote individual self-esteem
  8. Grab an opportunity for some Project Based Learning.
  9. Did I mention having fun?
Of course, the real Olympics start in July and will be over before we come back to school in the fall. But I'm a huge fan of the Olympics, and rather passionate about Social Studies as well. What better way to learn about different countries from all over the world?

Here's my plan:
  1. Form 5 groups of 4. Those students will choose a country to represent, design a banner to represent that country, make a flag for that country, and pick a color to wear on the days of "competition".
  2. We'll start with a "parade of athletes" around the school. Each "country" will carry its banner and flag, and will proudly display their colors.  
  3. Then we'll hold a number of "events".  I'm thinking a few scoot games, like these, perhaps a "read-a-thon", brainstorming contests (How many nouns can you think of in 60 seconds?), math facts contests, a S.T.E.M. project (something to do with water that can be done outside!), physical contests (How many jumping jacks can you do in 60 seconds?)
  4. After each ceremony, hold a "medal ceremony" for the winners. I'm thinking some events will be group events, and some will be individual events. Yes, I actually own a CD of national anthems, so I'll play the one that goes with the country they represent, while they display their flag/ banner.
  5. If necessary, I'll come up with my own events, to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to be a winner. (Most people wearing purple?)
  6. Send them home with smiling faces and stories to tell.
Brain research tells us that emotions play a big role in memory. Contests and competitions get the blood pumping! Brain research also tells us that the social part of learning is essential. This will include quite a bit of movement, music, artwork, and opportunities for everyone on every team to show their strengths. According to brain research, this will touch on many important points.  

Here are some books with Olympics themes: (Each title is a link to Amazon for more information.)
   
What do you think?  Have you ever done anything like this?  Do you have any ideas for "educational contests"?  Any ideas for organizing it all?

I'm looking forward to your input!

For more ideas and details of my Academic Olympics, as well as a freebie, see THIS POST.

Academic Summer Games! I love to keep the kids busy by adding a little bit of friendly competition at the end of the school year. This post gives plenty of fun ideas on how to do this!

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:
  • There is a numbered task card on each desk. 
  • Students do the task card at their desk, and write their answer on the answer sheet.
  • When the teacher calls "Scoot", the children all move to the next desk in the sequence, and do that task card.
  • Children continue to "scoot" from desk to desk until all cards have been completed.
 
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 (or more) 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 HERE.
 
These Reading Comprehension for Active Learners sets are designed with Scoot in mind!

Try it out with this dollar deal! 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! 

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.

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.
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.

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.)

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.


Mathematics Review: Scoot orTask Cards reviews time, money, place value, measurement, story problems and fact families. (See image for link.)
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.

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

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.


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

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.

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

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.

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.
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.


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

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.

 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.

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