Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We're BAAAaaaaackkkk

Official teacher inservice started this week. We had a gentleman come in and teach us some strategies for engaging the students. Some ideas:

A-Z review - in a group they make a small poster for a particular topic and think of terms for each of the letters (we did "dating"). In math, I guess you could be general and do "math" or maybe "geometry", etc.

A $20,000 Pyramid type of game (I think) - you play in pairs, player A has a hidden index card and mentions the subject to player B (say calculus), and then there are (say) 6 terms on the card (derivative, integral, MVTh ...) and then player A tries to get "B" to say the terms by just giving them clues.

Make an appointment - he gave us a sheet of paper with some time slots: 9am, 10am, ...., 3pm, and we were to walk around the room and make an appointment for 9, 11, 1, & 3 o'clock with 4 different people, 9 & 11 were to be in our subject area, 1 & 3 with others. Then throughout the day when he needed us to pair up, he said, "go to your 3pm appointment and ..... ". I guess this is a way to get students to work with people outside of their small circles and comfort level (find someone who is ...) , and it gets them moving around to make the appointments.

There were other activities, too, so now I feel I have a nice treasure trove to pick from.

We also get 1.5 hours each day this week for lunch. Ooh la la. That will be a big shock when we go to 30 minutes this year!


  1. I knew a couple of elementary teachers who use the o'clock group thing. They would give the students a clock face with places at four different time slots. They wrote in different partner names--and like yours they could be a specific kind of person or just random. Or the teacher decided some based on hetergeneous or homogeneous groups--like for differentiated activities. Then the students kept those papers throughout the year. Anytime the teacher wanted the students in groups, she would say, "Get with your ____ o'clock partner." Easy way to have students get into groups, as the groups were established to use for the WHOLE year. Or at least a semester. Students got to work with different groups, but they aren't completely unfamiliar groups either. Pretty smart management!

  2. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Thanks for sharing - it's reassuring to know it's been used successfully. It's something I will try but I don't know in what capacity.

    Ms. Cookie