Here are some major changes in my classroom that I have done and enjoyed:
- No Desk Friday. This is a simple tool to get kids out of their seats and moving about the room. They have a spot for the entire day that serves as their learning spot. As you know, I teach 2nd grade, so this is a big deal to them.
- Get a Couch. Won't kids abuse it? I think you would be surprise how well kids can handle objects with respect and care. You certainly have to set up some guidelines, but kids thrive when they take ownership. The couch serves as a place to read and do group activities. My other "fun places" include: the closet which is a small nook with it's own light, the bean bag corner, and under my desk. Since these are sought after places, I have to draw names when we do silent reading time in the room.
- Around the School Scavenger Hunts. I stole this idea from Ron Clark. I got the secretary, the janitor, and a few teachers to be key players in our traveling scavenger hunt related to our book, The BFG by Roald Dahl. They held the next sealed part of the riddle, that would in turn take us on another hunt. It was a real blast, and when it was done the kids looked at me and said, "Is it really over?" The cool part was at the same time, our partner class in Louisiana was doing the same hunt, and Mrs. Thompson got the same reaction. We both agreed that we needed to create another riddle hunt in future.
- Surveying and Interviewing is a fun and exciting activity that gets my students outside of the room and interacting with other students in the school. The kids use our class Ipod loaded with the app, PollDaddy (see my review on IEAR) to browse the hall, ask survey questions and create bar graphs from the data they gather. The kids also started using our Flip Video camera this week to interview students about Abraham Lincoln. We will combine the clips at early next week and make a highlight video of all the short facts and tidbits. We plan to post and send out to the other classes in the school to see our handiwork.