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Archive for January, 2009

Another New Power Teaching Review Game – Beachball Baffler

Posted by watseducation on January 12, 2009

Again this one is not my idea but I received it in an e-mail from Classroom Power – it has come from Chris Biffle via Teachmaster J at Classroom Power (See the link on an earlier post).

I just thought this one sounded  fun and would share!

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Guess what, folks! Power Teaching has another new review game. Read on as Chris Biffle explains how to play Beachball Baffler:

“In addition to Mind Soccer, I suggest you try Beach Ball Baffler as a reward that students work for on the Scoreboard. All you’ll need is a beach ball. Here’s how to play …

1. Toss the ball toward the class. One (or more people) bounce it into the air.
2. While the ball is in the air, you ask a short question, “What is 4 times 4?”, or “What is the capital of Brazil?” … any review question you wish (have a list in front of you so you don’t have to think them up!)
3. The class must answer the question in chorus before the ball comes down.
4. Then the ball is batted into the air again by the next person … you ask another question … and so forth.
5. The goal is to see how many times the ball can be batted into the air before either the ball hits the ground or a fair number of the class isn’t answering or giving a wrong answer …

To increase the tension, the class only gets three tries (their goal is to break their previous best class record) … increase the difficulty and interest in the game by posing harder questions or by waiting until the ball is drifting down before posing a question (and thus your students have a shorter time to answer) … or have half the class volley the ball to the other half of the class, etc. Introduce the idea of levels and keep making the game harder and harder. Beach Ball Baffler could last for months!

One final note … if anyone complains about anything, your scorekeeping, a classmate’s failure to hit the ball, anything … that automatically reduces the number of hits earned. So, for example, the class kept the ball in the air for 10 hits … but Jane complained about John’s miss-hit and someone else complained that the ref, you, wasn’t throwing the ball correctly … those two complaints reduce the score to 8 …”

This one should be a lot of fun. I can already see it being effective in nearly any subject area. For additional changeups you might substitute a large balloon if you are in a smaller or younger classroom. Make sure you have spares for either a balloon or a beachball.

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For more information on Power Teaching – there are some links and videos on this blog!

You have to admit, your class will love this, mine will! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Fun Stuff, power teaching | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Rainforest Weblinks!

Posted by watseducation on January 9, 2009

As I am searching for resources and such, I thought people might be able to use these.
I haven’t checked them all yet – but many look good.

Rainforest Weblinks

Mr W

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to turn your classroom into a Rainforest!

Posted by watseducation on January 9, 2009

My topic this term is Rainforests and I was looking for some ideas and came across this site:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/6471/classroom.html

What follows is copied and pasted from there – Not my work!

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Every year, during our Rainforest unit, the students in my class turn the classroom into a rain forest.

On this page I will include some suggestions for turning your classroom into a rain forest. If you try this, I would appreciate your emailing me with any additional suggestions you have. These suggestions will be added to this page and credited to you at your school. I would also appreciate a picture of your rain forest classroom that can be added to this site. I can also link your picture to your school’s home page, if you’d like.

Suggestions

Windows – You can have children paint huge jungle plants on classroom windows using tempera paint mixed with liquid soap. (They can be very free with this is, it is a background!) It will scrape, vacuum, and wash off fairly easily. After the jungle dries, children can paint birds in the trees, tigers hiding in the jungle, or sloths hanging in trees. I start with only greens and browns to get the jungle, then, on different days, give them colours for the animals.

It took us 2-3 days, spending 1-2 hours each day to paint the windows. Other children were painting tree paper or working on research while this was going on.

Trees – You can have children paint a tree texture onto huge brown butcher paper. Then cut the paper to the height you need and loosely wrap posts or wall areas between windows.

The tree paper can be painted while other things are going on, the windows, branches or research. A parent or 2 helps a lot!

Canopy – To hang a canopy; buy many yards of green material. Drape these out from trees, attaching to the ceiling at several points. If you can drape loosely over some fluorescent lights, the room gets a green hue!

I did this without children around! They were quite surprised when they came in the next day!

Branches – You can make branches using newspaper tubes, wrapped in foil, covered with Papier Mache (strips of newspaper soaked in a mixture of flour and water). I had parent help for the branches! They can be in an area of the hall or room, on a large plastic tablecloth spread out on the floor and groups of 3-5 children can work at a time. You can use as many branches as they make! Let them dry several days. Then have a painting party, where everyone paints branches with tempera paint. (I again use a wide variety of greens and browns.) When dry, the branches can be hung from the ceiling using clear fishing line.

Making the branches takes one 2 hour session. Painting, several days later, takes one 1-2 hour session. I hang these after school for several days!

Vines – You can hang vines by just hanging lengths of jute-type ropes from branches, ceiling, or trees. Asking children to bring in long pieces of rope works well because you will get a variety of kinds. If you want to be really fancy, you can paint or dye some of them. You can attach leaves or flowers to the vines.

Leaves – Have the children all make leaves, using a variety of green paper, some huge, some smaller. The leaves can be taped to the trees, hung on the vines, taped to window edges, as needed.

This takes only one session, about an hour. Some will make one very elaborate leaf, some will make 10 huge, plain leaves. They can draw vein patterns on both sides, or cut pieces out, as though some critter has been eating it!

Flowers – Children can make a variety of small or large flowers using colored tissue paper. These can be hung on vines, taped to trees, attached to branches, taped to windows, etc. The children can put these about anywhere they want.

Bugs – A huge variety of bugs, small frogs and lizards can be added to your rain forest. You can have the children bring in rubber bugs, frogs, snakes, etc. or they can make them with clay. These can be camouflaged on windows, sills, trees, branches, leaves, anywhere!

Bromeliads – Children can make bromeliads by taping long strips of leaf shaped, green paper to toilet paper rolls. They can even put little circles of blue paper in the middle to represent water and add a paper frog. If you want step by step instructions, send an email message to me.

This took most children one 1-11/2 hour session. Some finished these as others painted or worked on research.

My children each added a model of her/his rain forest plant or animal. We had paper bag gorillas, Styrofoam birds, paper mache monkeys, felt bats that hung on the vines, giant paper raflesia flowers on the counter, etc.

Suggestions sent from afar:

I have a 3rd grade class in Yoncalla, Oregon. We have made rainforests in our school hallway two different years. The first, second and third grade all worked together to create our rainforest. The kids all enjoyed it and took a lot of pride in the results. We made trees with textured bark from a laundry detergent and brown tempera paste. We cut leaves from butcher paper and hung the animals being studied from overhead wires or attached them to the trees or the hall walls. We have several rainforest sound tapes that we played. We hid the tape recorders behind tree trunks. It was great.

 

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Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Cross Curricular | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Coughs, Colds, Flu and Feeling Urrrrgghhhhh!!

Posted by watseducation on January 8, 2009

OK, this one is just for fun!

I confess that I stole it from another highly reputable education blog – Sorry Andy!

But I thought it was really good – and definitely worth doing!

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Learn about germs and colds with the help of Suki Sneeze and Nathan Noseblow and find out how tissues can help prevent colds from spreading at Sneezesafe.

Order free tissues from Kleenex® to support the Sneezesafe programme!

Kleenex are happy to provide nursery and primary schools with free samples of tissues to give staff all the tools they need to teach correct tissue use.

You will receive a pack of two boxes of tissues and 30 individual pocket packs to give out to your pupils.

You can request free samples twice per school year.

Simply complete the online and press ‘Submit’ – your sample packs will be sent direct to your school.

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All in the name of product placement – I am sure they are concerned genuinely for our health, as long as we buy their tissues!

Mr W.

Posted in Fun Stuff, Science, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Learning Clips

Posted by watseducation on January 8, 2009

I stumbled across this site, Learning Clips.

I am not sure what i was looking for but it is really good.

This is what they say about themselves…

Learning Clip is an online resource to support teachers, teaching assistants and parents implementing the renewed primary mathematics framework.
Click to try some Learning Clips now

The resources are structured to follow precisely the learning objectives of the renewed framework. For ease of navigation the resources are also listed by topic.

The clips are being offered free of charge to all schools during the development phase. In return we aim to encourage feedback and make the material highly user driven, focusing especially on:

  • reducing preparation time
  • enhancing the learning experience for pupils
  • providing opportunities for delegation
  • resources that match precisely the requirements of the curriculum
  • a standardised easy to use format
  • ease of access and availability on demand

Learning Clips are delivered entirely online, on demand. This approach results in a very flexible resource – teachers can access what they need when they need it and the resources are easily updated and enhanced to meet changing requirements.

I hope you find it useful…

Mr W.

Posted in ICT, KS2 Planning, Numeracy Ideas, Teaching Resources | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mind Soccer – Power Teaching Game

Posted by watseducation on January 5, 2009

Not my idea but I recieved it in an e-mail from Classroom Power – it has come from Chris Biffle via Teachmaster J at Classroom Power (See the link on an earlier post).

I just thought it sounded great fun and would share!

New Power Teaching Game- Mind Soccer!

The following is an excerpt from a post by Chris Biffle on a fantastic new learning game that can be used at any level:

“Mind Soccer is a hilarious new in-class game, inspired by Fred Jones, a classroom management expert, but souped up with special Power Teaching features.

Use Mind Soccer to review any course material. Your students will love the game so intensely that you can use it as a reward for good behavior (or as a reward that they earn on the Power Teaching Scoreboard.)

Purpose: Like soccer, Mind Soccer is played between two teams. The purpose of the game is to score goals. Goals are scored by quickly answering questions posed by the referee.

Rules: There is only one rule in Mind Soccer. Keep The Referee Happy. You’re the Referee.

Equipment: A blackboard, an eraser and a set of short answer, often one word, review questions that you have created. You will be reading questions from this list; arrange them in groups from easiest to hardest.

The Set Up: Draw a horizontal line, about six feet long, near the bottom of your blackboard. Mark off the line in 11 equidistant vertical marks. The horizontal line stands for a soccer field; each end of the line is a soccer goal; the vertical marks divide the field into units (like a football field). Place an eraser under the vertical mark in the middle of the field. The eraser is the soccer ball.

How To Play:
1. Divide the class into two teams. We’ll use boys against girls, but it could be right side of the class against left side, etc.

2. Each team chooses the other team’s captain.

3. To start the game, the captains stand face to face at the front of the room. You pose one of your review questions and, just as in “Family Feud”, the captains slap their hands down on a desk as quickly as possible if they know the answer. The captain who is quickest, gets the chance to answer. If the captain is right, his/her team gets the ball. Otherwise, the opposing team’s captain gets the ball.

4. Assume the girls’ team wins control. Picking one player at a time, ask review questions to the girls’ team. If the player’s answer is correct, loud, fast and with an energetic gesture, that counts as a “strong kick.” Advance the ball, the eraser, almost a full hash mark down the field toward the boys’ goal.

If the answer is correct but too quiet or slow or doesn’t have an energetic gesture, that is a “weak kick.” Advance the ball a short distance toward the boys’ goal. If the girls’ answer is wrong, shout “Turnover!” and now the boys’ team gets a chance to play. If you like a rowdy classroom, encourage teams to cheer when the ball is going their direction and groan when it isn’t. Thus, every time the ball moves, you’ll have cheering and groaning.

5. Use the following to add excitement to Mind Soccer:

Steal!: Whenever you, the Referee, want to reverse the direction of the game, shout “Steal!” This means the other team has suddenly gotten control of the ball. Of course, you will shout “Steal!” whenever you want to generate an intense amount of excitement … like when one team is very close to the goal and just about to score.

Foul!: Whenever one team or the other misbehaves in the slightest, complains about the ref’s call, anything, you shout “Foul!” As the Ref, you then have three choices. You can award control of the ball to the opposing team; you can move the ball up or down the field, penalizing one team or the other; or, most exciting, you can declare a Penalty Kick. (Encourage teams to cheer or groan as appropriate.)

Penalty Kick!: Move the ball to the first hash mark in front of the opposition’s goal. The attacking team chooses a kicker, usually the team captain. The defending team chooses a goalie, usually the team captain. Goalie and kicker face off in front of the room, like the initial kickoff. You state a question; the player who slaps a hand down first gets first try at the question. If the goalie is first and correct, the penalty kick is blocked. If the goalie is wrong, the penalty kick scores. If the captain is first and correct, the penalty kick scores. If the captain is first and wrong, the penalty kick is blocked. If a goal is scored, the scoring team shouts “Gooooooaaaaalll!!!” like Andres Cantor, the famous Mexican announcer.

Free Ball!
: Often in soccer, neither team is in control of the ball. When you shout “Free Ball!”, anyone on either team can answer. Fire questions at your students; when one side gets several questions in a row correct, point at them and say, “You won the Free Ball!” Then start giving questions to individual players on the winning team.

Read The Ref’s Mind Free Ball!
: For hilarious excitement, say, “I’m thinking of a key concept we covered. Free Ball! Read my mind!” Both teams shout answers at you, energetically covering enormous quantities of review material … give them hints as you wish. Award control of the ball to the team that reads your mind, or, failing that, that has the most attempts at reading your mind.

Your strategy
: You will use an enormous number of review questions in Mind Soccer; thus, it is important to have a list so you can keep the game moving along quickly. Use any question, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, state capitals, key concepts from science, names of characters in stories, anything.

Keep the ball moving up and down the field. Make the game as exciting as you wish by shouting Steal!, Penalty Kick!, Free Ball! or Read The Ref’s Mind Free Ball!.

Never let one team get more than one goal ahead of the other. Many soccer games end in ties. Give the weakest players easier questions; stronger players get harder questions. If, like many Power Teachers, you believe in the importance of physical gestures that enhance learning, award answers that have a particularly appropriate, descriptive gesture a “very strong kick.”

Play for only a minute or two every few days. Make your class work hard to earn the right to play Mind Soccer. If you use Mind Soccer infrequently and briefly, the game will be a tremendous motivator for positive in-class behavior.

Think about that. Your class is working as hard as possible to earn the right to review course material! That, as we say in Power Teaching, is Teacher Heaven.

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For more information on Power Teaching – there are some links and videos on this blog!

You have to admit, your class will love this!

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Fun Stuff, power teaching, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »