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Archive for the ‘Creative Curriculum’ Category

Don’t forget your ‘Hooks’!

Posted by watseducation on September 16, 2009

Hello!

Welcome me back everyone! It has been along time since I have posted anything. I am not sure why – but still perhaps I have just been lazy!

Still whatever the reason here is the latest ‘Classroom Power’ update from Teachmaster-J.

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A short reminder for those using the WBT method already: Do not forget your audible hooks!

By this I mean when you are giving lecture information, or leading up to a Teach-OK activity, make sure you do not forget to use simple audible hooks to keep the students focused on your objective. In most classrooms they sit passively and listen. As you are likely aware, this is not a natural state for students.

When you are speaking and make a point, if it is upbeat, tell them “give me and ‘Ahhhh!’ and have them respond. If it is something that involves work, or that will make them laugh at it, have them give you an “Ohhhh’, or an “Oh, no!’

You can use any audio signal you want, as long as you get them to respond. This keeps them focused on you and what you are trying to accomplish. It has the added advantage of making the lecture more fun for both you and them!

WiBiT, my friends, WiBiT good!

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Remember for those interested in Power Teaching you can check the website – the link to which can be found over here

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Take care now!

Be good, and if you can’t be good, be careful!

Mr W.

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

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 »

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 »

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 »

Downloading videos from Youtube etc.

Posted by watseducation on December 15, 2008

Video Download Tools

I thought this might prove useful.
I have been throught the use of Mozilla Firefox as a browser and using the Download Helper add-on, and it is good but as they have improved the service that add-on provides, it has got more compliacted and doesn’t always do what I want it to do!

I have found this link though and it is great!

It is to Downloadtoolz.com
It gives download programs for Youtube, Teachertube and other video hosting sites. (I must tell you though it gives them for other more ‘unsavoury’ videos sites too)
But the Youtube, and Teachertube ones are excellent, and gives you an flv file (flash video file) that you can then insert into a SMART file to watch as part of a lesson – just what I want and it is FREE too!

Hope it is useful to you too!

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Cross Curricular, Fun Stuff, ICT, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Free Sound Effects!

Posted by watseducation on October 8, 2008

Now this Visual Literacy thing….

I have been looking at myths and legends with my Y3 class and wanted to focus specifically on settings and description so I created an Interactive PowerPoint starting with an Island map.

 

Each area on the map linked to other slides with a photograph (Thank goodness for Google!) with a description of the setting. I then added some links in those pictures to more places on the island, a temple in the jungle, a tunnel behind the waterfall. It looked great (I am biased!) but it lacked some thing as I wanted not just to appeal to the visual element so I had a hunt for sound effects to go with each area, bats in the cave, howling apes in the jungle, crows in the graveyard, you get the idea! The children loved trying to find the hidden places and the oral story telling was amazing!

I found these sites with LOADS of free sound effects that are absolutley brilliant!

Sound Snap – To get the most out of it join, it is free and you can search and download 1000’s of sounds!

Media College – Loads of organised sound clips

Between these two I could add sound to every slide and it really came to life! They now want to watch every literacy lesson! (I indulge them if they work hard!)

If you want any further information – just let me know!

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, ICT, Literacy, Teaching Resources | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Romans – Make and Do!

Posted by watseducation on September 21, 2008

Here are some more ‘Creative’ resources for The Romans.

A series of make and do activities for your class. All should prove to be great fun and all provide opportunities to develop skills across the curriculum.

Celtic Roundhouse

K’Nex Ballista

Face Pot

Jewellery

Knucklebones

Roman Clothes for a Doll

Roman Recipes

Soldier Costume

Writing Tablet

They aren’t all my own work! (Although I did put them into Word!) They are from this site which has loads of good quality resources.

http://museums.ncl.ac.uk/reticulum/funstuffSub.htm

Hope these are useful, and if you know of any good sites for the Romans – please let me know!

(I also make this picture into a 6ft Roman Soldier using Block Posters, it looks awesome!)

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Cross Curricular, Fun Stuff, Teaching Resources | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Power Teaching

Posted by watseducation on September 18, 2008

Thanks to Jeff for this one.

Jeff is a Power Teacher and he has a site with loads of detail and ideas! Great!

http://classroompower.com/

Stop by and have a look if this interests you! It does me!

Cheers Jeff

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

Making HUGE posters

Posted by watseducation on September 11, 2008

Have you ever wanted to make your photos wall-sized? Here is a totally free website to upload a photo and then create a saveable .pdf file with all you need to print, cut and stick your own.

http://www.blockposters.com

Amaze your class with a 6ft picture of you!!!! – or make a walk-in landscape.

(Thanks to the Kent ICT Blog again for this one!)

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Cross Curricular, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »