Friday, March 25, 2016

Staff Morale Boosters

There are so many great ideas out there to boost staff morale, and I was inspired by those great ideas to give our copy room a little makeover.

I started by creating some motivational posters. I went for both school-related and just general quotes to spark some positive vibes and motivation. I even printed a few extra for my classroom. Print them on Astrobrights paper or any bright cardstock for an extra pop! If you want to grab them for yourself (for free), click here: motivational posters!

After I printed and hung the posters up, I started on my next few projects: the staff shout-outs wall and the great ideas wall!

The great ideas wall will become a wall for people to post their great ideas including brain breaks, activities, handouts, websites, and more. The staff shout-outs wall will become a place for people to give a shout-out to other colleagues for doing neat things both in and outside of the classroom. If you want to grab my posters for these walls, click here: wall posters!

By the end of the second day, there were already quite a few shout-outs on the wall! I downloaded these neat shout-out slips from Teach Create Motivate :) 

In case you are wondering, I used my Cricut to create the cursive cutouts. :)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram to continue to see the transformation and other cool things that I do in my classroom!

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hula Hoop Tic-Tac-Toe Review Game

Let me start by saying that my kids LOVED this review game. They laughed, learned, and helped each other throughout the entire game!

What you'll need: 

  • 9 Hula Hoops
  • Some kind of marker. We used Frisbees, but you can use bean bags, fabric, paper plates, and more. Use something that's not bouncy so that it stays in the hula hoop.
  • Optional: scooter boards

How to play review game style:
  1. Have the students separate into two groups. My classes are roughly 15 students in each, so it worked out really well for my class size. If you have a class of 25-30 students, you might consider having rotating groups and another stationary activity on the side or possibly arranging two sets of the game.
  2. We've been working with the ICE method for citing evidence, so I typed up about 15 slides for students to review the method, add punctuation to sentences with textual evidence, explain each step of the method, and more. Whatever content you want to review, just print up a variety of slides and either laminate them or put them in sheet protectors for repeated use. They will likely review each slide a few times, but all rehearsal is good rehearsal!
  3. Designate two people to start. I structured it so that there was one person doing the movement part and one person doing the answering. When the person answered the question, the other person could run/twist/scooter/hop/etc., over to the Tic-Tac-Toe board and place his marker.
  4. The person with the slides then passed the slides to the next person in the relay line, and then that person answered a question while another person placed the marker on the board.

Doing it that way ensures that all students participate in answering the questions and they get more practice with the material.

If you want to see a video of this game without reviewing, click here. This is NOT my video, but it's a good reference.

All in all, this game is great for incorporating movement in your classroom, playing a brain break, developing class cohesion, and reviewing information. 

How will you use it? :)