Saturday, October 18, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Out of the Norm

Have you ever had one of those class periods where you are left speechless, in a good way?

 I had it after having my math students do an activity similar to "Scoot." 
We needed a day to step back, review, and do something out of the norm.
 I had run across The Primary Gal's decimal task cards and decided to try them out, totally intending to try out "Scoot." I decided too late in the evening to print out nice color copies so I used black and white for that day. (I now have nice color, card stock copies ready to laminate.) Before I get into what we actually did with the cards, I just need to express my adoration for her task cards! I now own quite a few of her sets and they all are super cute! The font is easy to read and the graphics are clean, in color or black and white. I also really like the sizes her cards come in. Some are the normal 4 to a page, but you'll see below that some are strips or even smaller. I like that I can use less paper and ink! I think the different sizes also help engage the kids. They don't see just another 4"x5# card.

I was all set to introduce Scoot to the kids when I remembered that I have a kiddo on crutches.
He could have worked it out, but I decided to try something new, ok not really new, but different than planned. I called it "Pass" for the lack of creativity in the moment. 

I walked the route that kids would pass and gave them these directions.
1. Turn your card right side up.
2. Solve and write the answer on your answer sheet, matching the box with your card number.
3. Turn your card back upside down.
4. Pass your card when the time goes off.

Making sure they knew where to pass, they pointed where they would pass to. 
I set the timer on my Promethean board for 28 secs, (totally weird number) clicked the repeat box, reminded them that if they chose to not follow expectations they would be choosing not to participate, and said "Go" hoping that this wasn't going to be a disaster. 
My math bunch is kind of a handful. 

I was speechless.
They moved quickly and set to work on their problem. They knew that it wouldn't be long until they had a new problem to solve.

You can see that some kids are done working and another is still working. I had them turn their cards upside down when finished. That way a kid couldn't look down the row and try to work ahead. 

I mixed the Adding & Subtracting cards even though they only used the Subtracting recording sheet. I just made sure that I only had one of each number so they could have a mixed practice of making sure they were doing the correct operation. 

I'm hoping to be able to incorporate activities like this a little more often, but for now, I'm just happy that something "out of the norm" engaged them for the review!

What have you done that's "out of the norm" of every day routine? 


1 comment:

  1. Don't you love when an idea just comes to you Steph??!! It worked out perfectly and I love that you included videos! I actually did a Scoot game like this last year because the class next to me was testing and we had to be quiet. I think like us, kids like a different way of playing. Great idea! Thanks for sharing and linking up!
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