Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Book Fair!

I LOVE the Book Fair...I told my students that it feels like Christmas to me :) I was able to buy some new books with Scholastic Money, and some fabulous students of mine also donated to our classroom from my wish list.

It made my heart SO happy. What made me even happier was seeing the excitement about these new books!
I kept them up on the board for one day to build some suspense ;) and the next day I allowed students to check them out. There are only a few left now!

Have you read any of these books? Which ones did you love?
I'm linking up with Miss DeCarbo for Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Table Hopping: Task Cards, Group Work, and Instant Formative Assessment

Whew! That was a long title...but there are a lot of things going on in this post. I tried something new today in the classroom and I'm really excited about how it works!

I love using task cards, but I've found that with some recording sheets it's hard to really gauge what students understand and what they need help with. Also, I'm always looking for ideas to get students collaborating and moving around! Enter: table hopping!

I came across this idea in the shower, the morning of the lesson...why is it that the best ideas come at the strangest, last-minute time?

I am sure I'm not the first person to think of this, but it here we go.

Anyways, I started off with six different task cards, because I have six different table groups. We are working on Author's Purpose this week, so I used these. Since these task cards need to be the appropriate level of difficulty for a group discussion, it's best to use longer or more complex ones. However, you don't just need to use task cards for could really use any sort of problem/short answer you want students to do!

I numbered the task cards 1-6 and put one at each table group. There's #5 in the picture below...

The set up: six cards, six clipboards (with six sticky notes each!) whew!

Then, I had each group use a clipboard with six sticky notes labeled 1-6.
Depending on the task card, they needed to write the answer on the corresponding numbered card (ex: the answer for task card #5 is written on sticky note #5)

Each group was also color coded because:
a) It made me happy
b) It looked pretty
c) I was able to tell which groups needed extra support
d) all of the above :)

(answer: D!)

The groups started "solving" the task card that was at their current table. They had to write the multiple choice letter (A-D) and WHY.
When I could tell that most groups were done (or when I asked them to give me a thumbs-up), I would say "switch!" and they rotated (along with their clipboard) to the next table group.

Here's the final work! Task cards with six answers from each of the six groups!
When they were done, we compared answers! Under the ELMO projector, I put a task card and asked the table leaders to come up with the corresponding sticky note. The majority of students agreed with each other, but we had some great discussions when there were discrepancies.

Example of compared answers
I loved that this activity involved collaboration, movement, and an easy check for me to see who was getting it! Oh, and lovely color-coded sticky notes ;)

Do you have any interactive response activities up your sleeve, or ways to use task cards? I'd love to learn more?