Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Genius Ladder

I wanted to post this over the holiday, but life just got in the way. LOL.  Anyway, my fourth grade class was trying to come up with a genius sentence beginning with the subject "The turkey...".  Once we got a fantasitic genius sentence, I said that it reminded me of another story.  How cool is that being able to make a literature connection from one sentence!  That is how they were able to easily come up with the additional two sentences.  I hope you can view the picture of the entire ladder.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Three Star Homework Twist

Well, I have been doing three star homework in my classroom since school started.  As in any classroom, I have the same group of people always completing three star, the same group who muddle through with a few two stars throughout the week, and amazingly enough, the constant one stars and those few who never do any at all.  With the second quarter starting last week, I decided to add a twist.  I know that one of the major points with WBT is to get rid of cheesy treasure chest prizes, but I was feeling deperate.  Here is what I did....

I told the students that they would start earning tickets for homework completion- 1 ticket for one star, 2 for two star, and of course 3 for three star.  The tickets were placed in a can for random drawings.  The trick is, they never know when I will decide to draw.  I might say, "We are having such a great day, I think I will draw a ticket."  Other days, I may decide to draw 5 tickets.  I can do this a couple times a week, just once a week, or even skip a week or two.  We discuss that the more tickets you have, the more chances you have to win!

What do they win?  Well, I announce this before I choose a winner(s).  I am going to include a treasure chest to keep up the excitement; however, I told them prizes can be extra computer time in place of a math worksheet, extra recess, choosing where to sit, etc.  I also thought I may raffle some McDonald's or Wendy's coupons as well as books that they enjoy reading. The treasure chest will include things such as pencils and erasers.  I am hoping this will up the motivation for completing homework without handing out prizes constantly.  We still keep track of class points earning things as a group such as mind soccer.  Last week, I did have more participation with homework, but I am working on a few.  Practice cards may have to be used for those who continue to do nothing, after all, that is not making a smart choice and I am definately not happy.

Once a student wins from a ticket, that ticket is thrown out.  I will keep the can going for the whole quarter, unless it gets too full from so many three star homeworks!!!  Any thought out there?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Super Speed Reading

I had two of my students quickly do a video on Super Speed Reading.  I wanted to do this in order to demonstrate how this can be used with a small group or to help parents get an idea of how this can be done for homework.  It just so happened that these two students were the only ones left in my room so we thought we would give it a try.  This is my first YouTube video, so go easy on me.  We didn't have much time.  The first time we recorded, they didn't beat their record so they wanted to try again.  The second time, my phone rang in the classroom.  The third and final time, my timer stuck so you will hear it going off.  For the sake of time, we went with it.  In class, I would have started the timer over again, but the girls did not beat their record because of the timer.  This was an unfair advantage, but at least, it will give you an idea.

Please check back again because we made a video using Genius Ladder and the 5 step lesson planner.  It is 45 minutes long and needs to be edited.  I think I will download the Genius Ladder, but will do a better one for the 5 step lesson plan.  My students were camera shy and need to get used to being recorded.  Thanks for stopping by!