Your Favorite Activity

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by chemteach55, Jul 16, 2010.

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  1. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2010

    It would be nice to see us discuss more content on this board. We discuss lots of fluffly things but every once in a while it would be nice to discuss content and activities. Let's try and post our favorite activity or an activity our kids really enjoy. Remember if they are enjoying it, they are learning from it. It does not matter if you are elementary or secondary because reading one idea may spark something that you can do in your own classroom.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Making s'mores in solar pizza box ovens

    Writing poetry in our 'outdoor teaching space'

    Nature studies in nearby butterfly garden, woods and meadow

    Borax crystal snowflakes
     
  4. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Colonial Crafts Day - we make butter, use wax stamps and create tin punch art

    One hour mysteries

    Explorer Museum - research, write, memorize, create display

    Sand art as Native American culminating activity

    Writing poetry books

    Measurement hands on stations - the best station is liquid measurement using play sand
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Novel in a Day

    Scrabble Tournament (beat the teacher!)

    Making pancakes to when studying Changes of State
     
  6. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Native American Projects
    Book Floats
    Author Studies (Roald Dahl & Sharon Creech)
    Star Unit
    Weather Unit
    American Revolution Speeches (My personal favorite! Students research and then dress the part and give speeches in first person.)
    States Unit
     
  7. historynut

    historynut Rookie

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    Edible rocks
    Melting Styrofoam with acetone
    Egg Drop
    Soda bottle lava lamps
    Analyzing and creating advertisements during out persuasive writing
    Rewriting Cinderella
    Famous people in history trading cards
    Holocaust butterflies
     
  8. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Thought of more:
    Making volcanoes
    Iditarod
     
  9. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I wish you all would explain a little more about the activity and how it relates to your content. Such as; how do you use the Iditarod? How do you play Scrabble with the teacher. What is a book float. I am a new teacher and need a little more than just the title of the activity, if some of you don't mind a little more explanation. Thanks.
     
  10. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Well, with the Iditarod, we read different books that go with dog sled racing. I have had classes in the past make dog sleds out of sticks. We have had a presenter come in and show a real sled dog and sled, with tons of history on the gold rush and such. I have had students track the progress of mushers. You can add in math and science with this unit also.

    A book float is when the students read a book and make a diomara, only they don't do it inside the shoebox. They build it up from the bottom of the box (which is now the top of the box for the float). It is similar to a float that you would find in a parade. It is just another way to do a book report. The students then give an overview of their book float and book to the class. I have gotten some very creative floats.
     
  11. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Just a few off the top of my head:

    Our edible maps when we study map skills.

    Oobleck for Dr.Seuss/science.

    Paper mache masks while studying Egypt.

    Writing letters to 1st grade.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2010

     
  13. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Since I started this, I guess I should contribute an activity. This can be used in any grade level. My kids love it. It is called "Scoot". There is a task card on each desk (In my case, the task card is a physics problem). After a couple minute, I say Scoot and they move to the next desk. At the end of the game, they trade papers and we go over the problems. The person with the most correct gets a homework or bathroom pass. Even seniors in high school are cut throat if you mention a homework or bathroom pass.

    An inquiry activity that I use with my freshman physical science every year is Drops on a Penny. The workshop I attended this week had a version of this activity. It can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/louisianaworkshop/home/drops-of-water-on-a-penny-1
     
  14. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Inventing their own insects using pasta-had to have the 3 body parts and 6 legs, wrote about their life cycle (one of my kids did a "Daddybug" instead of ladybug. ;)

    Thanksgiving poems-using an adjective and noun to describe the different foods- mushy potatoes, sweet pie, etc. (The moms might be a little embarrassed at the description of their cooking but we still made copies as a class book :) )

    Comparing the perspective of a butterfly to a caterpillar-I even channel Robin Williams in "Dead Poet's Society" standing on a table to demonstrate.

    Pros/Cons-I pair a student up with a partner and each defend their side of the argument. I start out with something easy like a shark would make a good pet. After they argue their side, they have to switch and defend the opposite. It's like a 5-minute activity, all oral, but laying the foundation for so many skills.
     
  15. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I would like to hear more about Novel in a Day. Thanks.
     
  16. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Weather channel reports - LA (summarizing, oral presentation, group work)
    I give the weather section of a local paper to each group. Each kid in the group selects a part of the report (Local, national, international, tides/phase of moon). They have to interpret the map/symbols, etc. and then summarize the weather. One person in the group is elected as the anchor person and has to introduce, segue and wrap up the presentation. The other people in the group are weather channel reporters and report their part of the weather. They make up the name of their station, their "reporter" names, etc. It is fast paced because they create their write-ups and present all in a 45 minute period. I grade on accuracy of summary, following directions, oral presentation, and sometimes don't even grade - just a fun practice session! Have done this with the news part of the paper as well.
     
  17. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Giant paper mache peach while reading James and the Giant peach.... we do this on September 13 on Roald Dahl day.
     
  18. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Last year when we did the geologic time scale I had each class make a timeline out of toilet paper showing when major events in the history of the Earth happened. The kids thought the toilet paper was funny, but they were engaged and they were amazed at how much of Earth's history was "nothing." Dinosaurs don't appear until about the 5th sheet from the end! I had groups of students do the math for the events, and we marked where they went with skinny sticky notes. I hung the timeline up around the tops of the walls in my classroom, and the students used it for the whole unit. I like this activity because it makes something abstract much easier to visualize.
     
  19. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Read with an accent. I don't know why this is eternally popular with every class I have ever taught, but when we read things together, we let students take turn reading with an accent. We usually have 2 choices for the day (robot or cowboy; southern or british). We discuss in an accent also. Lots of Laughter. Lots. But it does reinforce. :)
     
  20. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2010

    chemteach -- I like the idea of "Scoot", since I also teach high school. Do you give them a certain amount of time at each problem or is it random? You said they're cutthroat -- is there any sort of competition among them or just who can get the most answers right? This sounds like it would be a great way to review!
     
  21. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    Hmmm...novel in a day...sounds interesting....how does that work?
     
  22. Southern JC

    Southern JC Companion

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    Jul 17, 2010

    Jeopardy and Bingo. For Jeopardy, I use a program I found online (if you'd like it let me and I'll give you the address). It can be used with many lessons. With Bingo, I use terms and definitions. The students love them. I also like allowing the students to take characters from our literature study that have impacted them in some way and put them in groups to act a scene from the story. They can even write their own dialogue for the character(s) and then act it out. This is also a lot of fun.
     
  23. Southern JC

    Southern JC Companion

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    I do believe we'll be scooting this year!:lol: Great idea for any class.
     
  24. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Jul 17, 2010

    BRIDGES AND TUNNELS = )

    The students had to measure strips of paper and cut or tear them to fit whatever length they wanted. Then they glued each end to either make a bridge or tunnel. Some students did an amazing job as they became so creative with it!

    They also had to write down the length on each strip (i.e. 5 in.)
     
  25. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    "Special Sounds Race"
    I divided the class into two teams, each team had a list of 5-6 words. Each team had to circle the correct special sounds for each word. If the team circled all of the special sounds, each team member would receive a point next to their name on the board. A certain number of points meant a special reward.

    This was my favorite, they were always so amped to do Phonics so we could play this game! lol

    The "Special Sounds" are the Phonics Sounds we learn from our Phonics Charts that we recite everyday. More info on the charts http://www.cceschool.org/hayes/Phonics%20Charts.htm
     
  26. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jul 17, 2010

    We tried to focus a lot on parts of speech lately, so I found some activities to go along with it.

    I like expanding sentences. The kids think of a noun, and then add an article in front of it and a verb behind it-for a short sentence (ex-The dog ran.) Then we add adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, more nouns, and so on until they come up with a long, possibly funny sentence (ex-The silly dog ran quickly under the shady tree.)

    I also have a grammar hot potato game that they like. You label bean bags with the different parts of speech. In a bag/cup/bowl have little slips of paper with examples of those parts of speech (table, laugh, beautiful, under). They pass the beanbags around the circle. When you stop the music (or just say stop), have someone pull out one of the slips of paper and read the word. The kids have to identify what part of speech the word is. If it is a noun, then whoever is holding the noun beanbag is out. You keep going until you have one person left. When I get towards the end I take away beanbags so there are not more beanbags than students left. I have them go again and no one is out if they pull a piece of paper with a part of speech that is not in play anymore.
     
  27. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 17, 2010

    I love my Feudalism Simulation. It's really detailed, but basically it's a simulation of Feudalism using M and M's.
     
  28. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    My Time-Travel Project (goes with Wrinkle in Time) - kids create a "future" product, create it, develop advertising media, write a business letter to the head of marketing (me), and finally produce a commercial (persuasive speech) in class to sell their product.

    My fav that I did in 8th grade was our murder mystery lesson. Each group got a bag of evidence and a letter from Scotland Yard. We then listened to "And Then There Were None" on CD. Groups took notes (I was trying to prepare them for HS lectures), organized them, and then wrote a formal letter identifying who they believed the murderer to be.
     
  29. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Find an Expert: I make up a bingo board with 9 questions or problems, depending on the content area. Each student gets a copy and has to find 9 other students to fill in the answers on the board (a student can only do one answer per person). The person asking for help can help the answerer, so that the answer is correct. The first person to come to me with all the correct answers wins a homework pass or small prize for themself and the 9 people who filled in the answers.
     
  30. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 17, 2010

    Multi-genre research paper

    American Dream photostory

    The Crucible geometric character analysis
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 17, 2010

    In Geometry we do a whole chapter on circles: the angles and arcs intercepted by secants and tangents and chords.


    I made up a problem with 25 or so different angles in the same circle. (Remeber last year?? When I drove myself crazy trying to find the one I had from years ago?? It never did surface, so I made up a replacement.)

    I close the doors because this can get a little noisy.

    I tell them they have until first thing tomorrow's class to find all the answers. They can work alone or in groups,and use any text or notebook they can get their hands on.

    But, first thing tomorrow I want a concensus on the answers, and I'm calling it a class quizThey have a blast with it, and sometimes the "not so smart" kids have the answers the others need..

    They work together. This year, for the first time, a kid announced "We're finishing this on facebook tonight!" on his way out the door. And, at the end of the project, they really DO know the rules better; they've been forced to justify their answers to teach other along the way.




    Oh, and I love showing all my kids the "Pythagorean Theorem" scene from the Wizard of Oz.

    And explaining what pi actually is, then pulling up the first 10,000 digits on the computer.

    I love teaching matrices in Precalc, because it's just so very different for them. And Linear programming, because it's so much easier than it looks.
     
  32. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2010

    Hero Trophies - this was an end of the year activity, where the students chose a notable character from our second grade curriculum. A speech (3 point expository paragraph) was written for the M.C. to introduce the hero and tell how the hero made the world a better place. The students were free to create a trophy using whatever materials they chose. I enjoyed making my model for the students.

    Great ideas so far!!!!!
     
  33. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Another favourite this year was "Character Cut-outs". After reading The Outsiders, the students got into groups of 4-6 and chose a major character from the book. On large butcher paper, they traced the outline of one person in the group (and then "refined" it as needed, to create their character. For this part, they needed to think a bit about the description of the character--Darry and Ponyboy had to be "buff", Johnny had to be small and slight. They then drew/painted on features, clothing and "decorated" the character with quotes from the book and words that described their character. My favourite was the group that did Dally--they painted their paper black, then did Dally's outline in tape (like police tape). On the tape, they wrote character traits and proof from the text for each. I have photos somewhere if anyone would like to see them, just PM.

    The kids loved this activity; I'll do it again this year with a different novel.
     
  34. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'll try to be clear in my explanation:

    I took a short novel (about 100 pages) and literally, tore it apart into chapters (I bought an old copy of the book at a second-hand store for 25 cents). The class was divided into 8 groups (the book had 8 chapters) and each group got one chapter. They read the chapter together as a group (yes, some groups only read the last chapter), and needed to come up with a creative way to present the content of their chapter to the rest of the class. Some did a series of pictures/paintings, some did a play, some did a dramatic reading, one group did a series of tableaux. I gave them about 3 hours to read, plan and polish their presentation, then, after lunch each group presented their chapter to the rest of the class. It was really interesting to see the "light-bulbs" go on around the room as the whole plot was revealed.

    For this activity, I would choose a book with a fair bit of action, a limited number of characters, and a fairly basic plot. The class always moaned and groaned when I told them in the morning that they were going to "do" a whole novel before they went home that day, but they loved the activity!
     
  35. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2010

    Mrs. C,
    That really does sound like a lot of fun (novel in a day). I like the idea of taking a whole day for reading! You gotta switch it up every now and again.

    I feel like I've seen you post about that somewhere up here before, because I vaguely remember this activity. Or is this just a deja vu moment?

    Are you a middle school teacher? I wonder if this would be possible with my 2nd graders? And I wonder what book I'd choose?

    And I wonder if I'll ever have the GUTS to rip a book apart?! :lol: Do you tape the book back together afterwards?
     
  36. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2010

    Does anyone know of websites that have books' text typed in Word format? I would prefer to print out pages than rip a book if I could. I found one for The Secret Garden so I was wondering if other sites did this too.
     
  37. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jul 17, 2010

    I have a 3 minute and a 1 minute timer. I use the 3 minute one if they are working some type of problem and the 1 minute one if they are not doing problems. The winner is the one with the most correct answers. This cuts down on cheating because no one wants to give out an answer because that might be the answer that causes them to lose.
     
  38. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I've done this with grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. I don't know "little kid" books that well, but you might be able to find something. The book I ripped apart cost me 25 cents...it wasn't worth my time to put it back together (besides, I know have it in pieces for whenever I do this again).
     
  40. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2010

    I love this! What books did you use in MS?
     
  41. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Jul 17, 2010

    Mrs. C, could you give us a few examples of what novels you have used or might use in the future? I like this activity.
     
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