I did a presentation at the NWEA Fusion conference on “Creativity and Collaboration in Data-Driven Instruction” – basically my attempt to fit some of my favorite educational ideas all into a one-hour session. I really wanted to give those attending a chance to share ideas with each other. As I seem to say often, I think teachers are the best copyright violators in the world; we do a fantastic job of taking ideas we hear and see and making them our own.
We didn’t end up having enough time to share as I would have like, but I collected the ideas they wrote on sticky notes so that I could share them here.
Question: What are your favorite activities for involving creativity or getting kids working together in class?
Responses from Middle Grade Teachers:
– Twitter Bulletin Board
– Each child creates own Twitter name
– Teacher takes picture of student and puts on bulletin board with Twitter name
– For rest of year, students can tweet about what they are learning, reading, etc.
– Rather than re-writing sentences and using easier vocabulary:
– Identify skills inherent within the paragraphs and prepare study guides, leading/guiding students to connect cause and effect, to conclusions, etc.
– Provide pre-lesson vocab to front load – vocab before reading
– Make a phone call during class on speaker phone
– Demonstrate on video
– Students act out vocabulary words
– Create captions for cartoons
– Vocabulary word with famous person – Who would be this word and why?
– Brought in favorite rap songs to show poem skills
– Students get to be “mini teachers” for math skill
– Allowing kids to self-report and identify their confidence in a topic – partly cloudy, sunny, cloudy, etc. – sit in groups accordingly
– Poker chips
– 2 per kid
– Share until gone
– All share/talkers have to listen
– Students made a rap about different poem skills
– Did a mock trial from old cases (moral issues)
– RAP videos on a math topic to introduce a new skill
– Share the text
– Jeopardy – Create own assessment
– Krypto: Students are given 5 #’s and have to use operations to reach a target number.
– Create rap for memorizing math facts
– Activity: Math – Using manipulatives, (ie. green triangles, blue squares, yellow hexagon, etc.), assign a cents/dollar value to each shape. Give students a large triangle. Students have to create a “triangular” cake. Create the most expensive cake using the cake. Create the least expensive cake.