A Sound Idea
Submitted by: L. Stone
Make a tape of sounds from the environment. I have one with crickets chirping, cell phones ringing, water running, a thunderstorm, a kitty mewing. When the tape is played the students are asked to identify what the noise is. Keep a numbered list for your own reference so you don’t forget what’s on it. The younger children especially like this activity.
Grade Level(s): 1-2, 3-5
Card Name Game
Submitted by: Hrshy210
When I have a few minutes to spare the students love to play the “card name game.” I have all of their names written on a playing card. While seated at the carpet, I distribute one card to each child (making sure no one has their own name). When their name is called they have to say something positive about the person on the card. This has really helped them to learn about respect and treating others how they want to be treated. It is fun and only takes about five minutes.
Submitted by: kristie johnson, 10-12
As students walk in the door hand 10 scrap pieces of paper out at random. Class knows that if they get a piece of paper they have to write a comment about the class topic that day or a question they have. It may be a question a neighbor had. This gives me something to do if i wrap up early or something to start off the next class session. Check for understanding or clarification. It also allows students to ask questions anonymously as I shuffle the papers and others can grab a sheet to add to the stack.
Submitted by: Karlana Jester, Pre-K teacher
When it is time for my class to transition from one activity to another, I play music to motivate them to clean up quickly. I try to pick music that is upbeat and very catchy. After the children are done cleaning up the activity at hand, I usually let the music play a little bit longer so the children can dance out any extra activity they may. This way, I can have their undivided attention once we settle back done at the tables for another activity.
Quote of the Day
Submitted by: Lynn Bird, Pinckneyville Middle School
I teach sixth grade language arts and social studies. I start off each class by going over a “Quote of the Day.” I have it written on the board and students write this quote in their Agenda book which is used to record their daily homework. Kids volunteer to explain what this quote means to them. This not only encourages kids to think beyond the books but also allows me to have a part in their character education. I have many compliments from parents because it gives them the opportunity to have an open discussion with their kids when they see the quote written. I get many of these quotes from various websites as well as off the daily Classroom Flyer from the Learning Company School. This only takes about 5-7 minutes and is a great use of class time!
Shorten Transition Times
Submitted by: Cynthia Valdez, 5th Grade
I would like to share a wonderful and effective transition strategry that I use. On a big green poster board, I drew a football field. (0 yards in the center and 50 yards at each end) In the beginning of the school yera, I introduced the football chart. I placed a small football on the 0 year line. I told theme that we were going to play a game for six weeks. . I was one team and the students were another. I told them that every time we had to change from one subject to another, they were going to be timed (1 min.) If everyone was ready within the time, they score 10 yards. If not, I score. The quarters are divided within weeks. At the end of the six weeks, if I win, they have to write a comprehensive report. IF they win, they get a whole day of fun educational activities and snacks. This strategry is effective, fun, exciting, and motivating.
Submitted by: Mr. Johnson, 2nd & 4th
A transition activity I have useful in both 2nd & 4th grades is Silent Math. During the times your entire class is lined up and waiting, have one child start by using fingers and hand signals to give math problems. (Example: Hold up one finger (1), then make a plus sign (+), then two fingers (1+2). Lastly, put one hand above the other facing in opposite directions for the equal sign(=).) If a student wants to answer, he/she must raise their hand to be called on. They must give the answer using fingers and hand signals. The kids love it and it keeps the noise level down!
Sponge Activities for first grade
Submitted by: C. Letkeman
Once the students have left for recess, I set out a bucket on each table. The buckets contain materials the students can use independently at their tables, ie play-doh, lego, peg boards, pattern blocks, tracers, felt boards, I Spy books etc. When the students come in from recess, they know there are activities at their tables, and they settle in to them quickly. This gives me a few extra minutes in case I was unable to return to the classroom immediately after recess because of outdoor supervision, a staff meeting, or dealing with an issue that arose during recess. It also give me a couple of minutes to get the next lesson’s materials organized! Each table gets the bucket for a day, and I rotate activities every week or two.
Submitted by: P. Nicholson, 1st
To make transition time faster and easier, I cut out five shapes, five times on the Ellis Die cut machine using the same sequence of different colored construction paper. Example: green, red, yellow, blue, orange bunny, frogs, crayons, etc. I label each colored shape with a number and laminate one to each student’s space at their tables. Then, when we line up or move anywhere in the room, I call a shape, color or number and those students line up first.