Saturday, May 2, 2015

Get out that Spackling Paste

This week we kick off the May Blog Event at #reflectiveteacher and it's all about the sharing of ideas as we blog about our favorites and "rave" about ideas/approaches/best practices that really worked well for us. The goal is to "give an idea/get an idea" , to share and take so that over the summer we can reflect on the goodies that we have gathered and possibly use them in the fall as we begin a new school year.

Here are the prompts this week from #reflectiveteacher:

Let's Rave About...

Your favorite filler activity
Your favorite writing activity or strategy
Your favorite formative assessment approach

Being a language teacher I tend to have many activities set up in a class period that practice a concept in different modes and for different learners. But sometimes I misjudge the time and have some left over before the class ends so I need to fill that time in with some interesting AND quick activities that still keep them moving forward in the target language. Here some of my filler activities that I would like to "RAVE" about:

1. A PAIR OF DICE...go order some dice online, throw them in a small box and always have them on hand. If you pair up students and give them one die, throw in the element of chance and 6 options, you can keep your students busy for any 5 minutes of the class. As a teacher you need to think of 6 prompt and jot them down on the front board. You will see the students will immediately start working! Dice activities work well for teacher facilitation and movement around the room!
Your 6 prompts can center on anything. Let your creative side go wild!
  • speaking prompts 
  • skills development prompts
  • physical movement prompts (giving the students a Brain Break!)
  • creative connections prompts (Name something that starts with...)
  • formative checks of the learning that day

2. MAGNETIC ALPHABET some magnetic alphabet letters as well. These are great to place on the board for students to make connections to what they are learning. Also can be done at anytime during the class period. Great as a warm up, creative break in the middle or formative check at the end of the period. It takes a little preparation beforehand to think of the ways that you want students to work with the alphabet letters!

  • "Name something that starts with..." connecting to vocabulary and unit terms
  • Alphabet Soup- Feeling artsy? Draw a soup bowl, place a bunch of letters on the board and have the students see how many different words they can make in a set amount of time!
  • Have students arrange the scrambled letters in a correct order to spell out terms or vocabulary
  • Give each student a letter and have them work together to spell terms or vocabulary correctly.
I find having tactile objects in my classroom are very helpful for filler activities. I also like playing cards, a squishy foam ball, and paper bags filled with random objects! All these items are quick, easy, very affordable, and students like working with them for a few minutes here and there no matter the age! 

Have a great week everyone!