Tomorrow I’m giving my 25 word vocabulary test for the quarter that we do every month, and was fishing around for ways to get some additional reps in on some words that hadn’t been as deeply covered. Five minutes before class started, a thought came to me, I bagged my earlier plan and we rolled.
I started the day by going through our words, defining them, and basically riffing on ways to combine them into a story. In one class we found a student laying on the floor unconsious and had to go get the back story on it using the words. In another class I decided I really coveted one student’s blaze orange shoes and we were off. Just basically riffing with the difference that they could see where I was going; the good classes tried to cut me off at the pass by using the upcoming words on the list before I could get to them.
The really simple part of the class, though, came after I put everybody into groups of two, gave each group a mini-whiteboard. I wrote one word from our list that we hadn’t gotten to on the board and told each group to write a sentence using the word and a picture to go along with it. As they finished, I oohed and ahhed appropriately (and got an idea about which ones I should skip) and then collected the whiteboards. Then I just stacked them below my document camera, turned it and went down the pile. I talked up each picture to get some additional reps, compared and contrasted pictures, and just basically worked with what they gave me. When I was done, I left the pictures in a stack for them to pick up and wrote another word on the board. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
The truth is, they couldn’t get enough of it. I’ll have to put that in my belt for a Friday activity in the future (probably in reviewing the key words for the week) because it really couldn’t be simpler but we still get a wide range of discussion and reps.