I have far too many classes to do this with and my kids wouldn’t appreciate it from a student teacher, at least not in class time. But, for those of you with the same class throughout the year and with younger kids, this is a great idea to show them that you appreciate each and every one of them.
So today was Kingdom Day in my classroom. Every Friday the students meet in their Kingdom groups to complete challenges together. We focus on teamwork, cooperation, critical thinking, with a little competition thrown in.
Today the challenge was to use “special” building tools to create battlements. The building tool consisted of an elastic band with a piece of string for each group member tied to it, spaced evenly around the elastic. The building blocks were red solo cups.
The students were only allowed to touch their piece of string. Working together they had to unstack the cups and restack them in specific formations. The first challenge was to stack them using six cups in a 3,2,1 formation. If they touched the cups with their hands, they forfeited points.
The second challenge was to use ten cups.
There were two groups missing some members and were trying to do this with only three people. I decided to scramble one group, who then had to join another group to make all the groups number six.
Then I gave them 13 cups and told them the had to build battlements but they had to be even. They struggled with this for awhile because 13 is not even, but eventually they realized they needed to combine and work together to do this
The concentration and collaboration was amazing. Kids that usually hang back were taking on some leadership roles, quiet kids were sharing ideas and being heard, everyone was cooperating and helping each other.
I invited my principal to come and observe and he was amazed at how well my “unruly” class was working together. He loved the idea of the challenge and how they had to work together to be successful. He agreed that we don’t have to and shouldn’t just teach curriculum. These types of activities are just as important as covering the curriculum expectations.
An awesome Friday afternoon and positive end to the week.
Oh my god this is so damn cool.
And in America, some admin would throw a bucket of water on this idea by saying it’s not aligned to the standards.
Makeup Transformations by Stephanie Fernandez.
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SUB PLANS: In your sub binder put the book “Miss Nelson is Missing” and have the substitute read the book to your class. Have the children then write a story about where they think you are while you are out from school. I can only imagine how funny and creative these stories will be!
Care for some Adventures in Learning? Here are some we’ve taken in the past couple of weeks:
Blizzard Blackout: Dry Erase Math Game: http://www.pbs.org/parents/adventures-in-learning/2014/01/printable-math-game-for-kids/
Straw and Pom Pom Races: http://www.pbs.org/parents/adventures-in-learning/2014/01/racing-activity-straws-pom-poms/
Iceberg Science Exploration: http://www.pbs.org/parents/adventures-in-learning/2014/01/iceberg-science-experiment-for-kids/
Pen Pals for Kids are STILL a Great Idea! http://www.pbs.org/parents/adventures-in-learning/2014/01/pen-pal-letters/