Interested in what is going on in the classroom? Check out some examples of some things we are doing in the classroom.
1. Think-Tac-Toe Board
A Think-Tac-Board looks very similar to a tie-tac-toe board. The board is created by the teacher to help differentiate instruction for students. The boards are typically made over one particular topic. Students are asked to complete three activities from the board. Due to the board having various levels, students are able to pick from activities they feel most comfortable completing. Boards can also be made for each ability group if desired.
SCAMPER is a teaching strategy that helps to develop creative thinking skills. Students are given an object or situation that needs to be improved. The acronym SCAMPER stands for substitute, combine, adapt, modify/magnify/minify, put to other uses, eliminate, and reverse/rearrange. These words are used to help the student come up with different ways to improve the object or situation. This activity can be used whole class, individually, or small group. In the example below, students were given the task of trying to improve a water bottle.
3. Self-Selected Independent Study
Students were given the opportunity to choose a topic of interest to research using different online resources. Students went through the research and writing process as they completed their study. They were also able to utilize each other to help find resources if they became stuck or did not understand where to go. This activity increased student motivation and interest as they were able to research a topic of their choice. The purpose of this strategy is to help increase student thinking skills as well as get students to explore and extend their thinking on different topics. Their personal study projects were turned into PowerPoint slides as the final presentation piece.
4. Vocabulary Web Model
This was a fantastic activity to get students learning and understanding different vocabulary words. Although we are typically working on math, students have time to read during breaks in between assignments or during their free time at lunch or recess. Often, they are reading higher level books with some words they do not fully understand. Therefore, this activity was introduced and used to help the students through the process of understanding the words they were unsure of. This web model has the students list a definition, a sentence, synonyms, antonyms, stem, and part of speech. It provides an enrichment opportunity for the students.
5. Learning Contracts
This is one strategy I have not specifically incorporated yet, but would like to in the future. Learning contracts are written agreements between the teacher and student. It lists the material that the class will be learning, but it provides alternatives and extension activities for students that have already mastered the material. On days when the class is learning something a student has already mastered, they can complete the extension activity. Through the learning contract, you can typically extend the content from the whole class to help increase and expand their knowledge.