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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trick or Treat

I'm participating in Rachel Parlett's blog hop to share some neat teaching "tricks", and maybe a few "treats" as well. When you finish reading my post, go on to the next blog in the hop for more tricks and treats.

How about an easy formative assessment trick...exit tickets! For me, these have always been something on the back of my mind. I know I should utilize them more, but when? So this year, I've made exit tickets one of my goals. I don't use them for every lesson, or even every day, but once or twice a week. I never get to hear every kid's thought processes, especially since I have 3 classes of 28 kids each, so exit tickets have opened up a little window into their amazing minds. 

Now for organization...I've seen some teachers who have students hand their tickets to them before they leave, or put them in a basket or bin, but (at least for me), it was too hard to keep track of who turned their ticket in and who just quietly snuck out the door. Rather than catch them the next class, or try to chase them down the hall, I gave each student their own place for exit tickets.

All of my students in all 3 classes are assigned a number. I have this nifty metal door on my room, so I just put up write on/wipe off magnets with their number on the door (there are a few extra just in case one of the classes gets more kiddos). Students place their completed ticket under their number on the way out. That way I can see immediately who hasn't turned one in. I can collect each set at the end of the class period so the door is ready for the next class.

Now about topic...these don't have to be elaborate questions based specifically on each lesson taught. The tickets shown above were students own conclusions about the results of a science experiment based on that particular day's reading in the text (you can see 3 students were absent), but there are many generic questions that will work for any subject and almost every lesson. Here are a few to get you started:

1. Name one important thing you learned in class today.
2. What is one question you still have about today's lesson?
3. Pretend your friend was absent. How would you explain the the lesson to him/her?
4. Write down 1 thing I can do to help you.
5. What concept has been most difficult/confusing for you in this chapter?
6. How did today's assignment go? What can you do to improve next time?
7. If you were writing a quiz for today's lesson, what are 2 questions you would put on it?
8. What do you need to do to prepare for the upcoming test?

For this week only, I'm offering 2 freebies at my TPT store as a blog hop "treat". 

Literature Theme Sort Genre Sort

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep "trick-or-treating" on around to the next blog! You'll know when you've finished the hop when you get back around to my blog. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Spooky Classroom

Because I have a student who is sensitive to visual stimulation, that is to say, he's easily distracted, I didn't want to go overboard with my Halloween decorations this year. I love to hear all the exclamations as my kids take in their new surroundings. Of course, they want to see and touch everything, and I let them...the first day. After that, they become part of our environment. Other than the "pumpkin patch" being the most popular spot for independent reading and the skull getting his head rubbed (for good luck, of course) on the way out the door, the new deco is pretty much left alone. With all the talk about rigor, school still needs to be a fun place. They're kids, after all! So I just laugh to myself when I hear whispered comments like "The skull is watching me" or "Did you shake the scarecrow's hand?" or "I swear I saw the bat just move!"

The Pumpkin Patch--everyone's favorite reading nook!