Tuesday, December 29, 2015

#MTBoS12days - Tell me about the "Tried & True"

Every teacher has them... those "tried & true" strategies that are on your go-to list. My top 3 strategies are:

Red/Yellow/Green cups - I love my colored cups and I really didn't use them as much this past semester as I should have.  The idea is that each group has a set of cups and the color showing lets me know if they need me. Green represents that everything is going along just fine.  Yellow indicates that trouble is brewing so please come by if I'm free.  Red tells me to drop everything and high-tail it over to that group, they need my help right away!  The thing I like most about this strategy is that it is a great way for the kids to self-monitor their needs and it requires no prep!

Musical Chairs - This is one of my favorite strategies to use when I need the kids to do some practice but I don't want to just give them a worksheet to work on.  To be honest, for my students, if I give them a worksheet and tell them they have 20 minutes to work, about 1/5 of the class will actually use their time well, the rest will get distracted by chatting.  However, if I use the Musical Chairs strategy, they ALL get their work done!  The idea is to give them a worksheet and play some music.  They get up and mingle and when the music stops, they sit down.  They have a set amount of time to work a certain number of problems.  When the timer goes off, the music starts and they mingle again.  By the time it's all done, the practice is done and the time has vanished quickly!

Stations - Similar to Musical Chairs, this is another good way to do some practice problems.  I love my plastic picture frames for Station work.  I use this one a lot for quiz review because my quizzes usually have 4 objectives on them and each station will review one of the objectives.  The bonus is that I don't have to print up worksheets for the kids, I just have to print one copy for the station and it saves on my copy count. :)

What are your top strategies?


laviemathematique said...

These are great ideas! In musical chairs, do the students always work on their own worksheet or do they go around the room to other worksheets? I'm always interested in ways to get my students moving with our block scheduling.

Bonnie Davis said...

Love your musical chairs idea! I am so using that next semester. Thanks for sharing!