Our little group got together for coffee and talk yesterday. At this time of the year, everyone needs ideas for keeping things fresh. (I’m about to do Nathan’s “most wonderful” March madness idea, if I can find it…it was really fun last year.)
The first one came from Diana, who said she got it from Laurel. Here’s a link to the post with the documents. It’s another way to go with Jason’s “chain reaction.” Diana said that she and Martina have been trying to get ways to rehearse the basic questions: what’s your name, how old are you, where do you live, what’s your favorite class. (These are, of course, the basis for the conversation for our state competition.)
Diana made up a page with eight cards. Each one had an answer and a question, but they didn’t go together. The card with “What’s your name?” had an asterisk by it to show that was where to start. Every kid in a group had at least one card, so you could have three or four groups of eight playing with these. The kids have to listen for the question that asks for the information on their card and follow with the next question. Diana said it took her ten minutes to make and print the cards, and the kids played it, then switched cards and played it again for five rounds. Then Diana asked them to turn the cards over and write everything they knew about this person.
I’ve always wanted to do Jason’s chain reaction, but my class sizes vary, and I’ve not been able to get myself to do the whole-class class reaction. I like this one a lot! It uses reading and listening of familiar material.
The second idea came from Deb, thanks to Cara. Deb makes what she calls “domino cards.” She writes two current vocabulary words, one on each end of an index card. Kids draw the cards from a pile and try to put two ends together. They must “justify” their pairs by creating a sentence that logically uses both words. “Fire” and “store” was an example pair. The kid who got that pair said, “There was a fire at the school, so the boy went to the store.” Diana said that when she watched Deb’s class, the (middle school) kids were in groups on their bellies playing this game, some explaining grammar points to others (“You can’t put those together because the endings don’t make sense”). I like that idea for this time of the year. Kids are getting ready to use the language they’ve been hearing and reading all year, and we need ways to change up our brain breaks.
The third idea is from Victoria. I asked her what she’s been doing lately with songs, because she’s always got something new. Victoria said she took Betsy’s idea of making PowerPoints for songs (they teach Japanese, so these things are not already made for them!) and started telling stories with the song information, but she used as photos the pictures of our kids that are available through our grading program. What a notion! I always wait until I have pictures of the kids, and that takes really way too long. I didn’t realize I had an on-line source.
Oh…there’s another idea from Victoria. She uses Laurie’s idea of cloze exercise for songs (in words, not in pictures), but she numbers the letters and recombines them at the bottom of the page for another message for the kids. It’s a spin on those jumbles that re-combine words. Change it up!
I know there were other ideas floating around, but then I had to leave. Somewhere on Facebook there are some clips of our group playing, because people just couldn’t believe their eyes when the crumhorns came out!