Marshmallows in math class?

Marshmallow FI

What can you do with spaghetti, masking tape, string, and a little collaboration? You can take the marshmallow challenge! Over at Middle School Math Rules, Ms. Nackel, describes how she used this game to engage in classroom team building and to teach her seventh-grade math students about communication and problem-solving. She provides a really nice Google slide presentation that explains the challenge step-by-step. Essentially, the game involves [read more...]

Random acts of classroom kindness

Kindness FI

To continue with this month’s theme of community building, I am spotlighting a really powerful idea from a guest post on Minds in Bloom.

Jenny Eldridge, the teacher who designed the activity, used it at the end of the year, but it would be just as appropriate to use in September as it can serve as a way for students to collaborate, work on common goals, and identify strengths.

Many teachers use versions of random acts activities (you can check Pinterest for more ideas). I like the version used in Ms. Eldridge’s class because it was so collaborative and it encouraged students to learn from their peers. Students in the class kicked off the project by writing special notes to their family members. Then they raced to collect more acts in the last weeks of school. The goal was to collect 100 before the event ended. The acts were posted on a colorful board in the classroom, which gave students a bit of [read more...]

Classroom “Twitter”

Twitter Board FI

Mrs. C’s idea at Classroom Simple is so clever and so fun! She is using a “Twitter Board” in her classroom to add a bit of playfulness to the day, to encourage interaction, and to elicit student responses on a variety of topics. To create your own wall, keep a stack of laminated strips handy so students can “tweet” at will. You can suggest a topic, such as “What was the trait you admire most about the historical figure we learned about today?” or “What are some ideas for staying calm and confident during a test?” or “What makes a character memorable?” This could also be used to [read more...]

Collective (and recycled) art

Recycled Bottle FI

I love art that is collaborative in nature because it builds community and a sense of togetherness while allowing different students to contribute in different ways. Some students may draft the picture, while others organize the roles and responsibilities of the artists, for example. This bulletin board is especially cool because it created entirely from plastic bottle tops– fabulous, right?

Want more cool art ideas or additional [read more...]

Wearing your adjectives

Adjective Wear FI

I found this idea at Fabulous Fourth Grade and thought it was a neat way for students to learn about adjectives. We also see it as an opportunity for teachers to encourage a bit of movement and interaction in a lesson that can otherwise be quite dull.

To create the posters, students have to find at least 20 words that describe themselves. You could encourage the use of the thesaurus for this part of the lesson and encourage students to use [read more...]

Explaining differentiation to the students

Bandaid Arm FI

How do you explain differentiation to learners in a way they understand? Try this great mini-lesson from Saylor’s Log. Not only do I love the post but the blog is fantastic. If you are a first grade teacher, [read more...]

“All about me” for everyone

My Name Is FI

Anyone in the midst of an “all about me” unit? If so, you will want to visit Mrs. Lee’s Kindergarten blog. Not only does she share a whole host of ideas, she includes several photos of the lessons. This unit contains lessons and activities that will speak to every type of learner. She has name pictures for [read more...]

Who am I?

Question Mark FI

You all know that I love to share active learning techniques as much as any other type of lesson on this blog. Today is a treat because I not only get to feature a fun “guess who” getting-to-know-you game, but a free download that comes along with it. Over at Inspiring Teaching Now, you can grab this downloadable set of cards and play with students immediately. This game can be played at [read more...]

Get spin-spired

Spinner FI

Ashley Hacksaw bannerI found this project on Ashley Hacksaw’s blog Lil Blue Boo and thought it would be such a neat addition to any teacher’s classroom. Some of the choices on this spinner are “on cloud 9″, “a firecracker”, and “Ironman”. You could use these ideas or create a more classroom-centered theme. For instance, an English teacher could [read more...]

HOW MANY WAYS CAN YOU FACEBOOK?

Facebook FI

Not all teachers can use Facebook in the classroom, but some may be able to take advantage of the great ideas in this list of “100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in the Classroom” over on OnlineCollege.org. You will find ideas for making [read more...]