Monday, January 24, 2011

Tricky teacher

Let me tell you about how I have totally tricked my class into using every free moment of time to be engaged/learning.  A while back, my RGP purchased analogy books for us to use with our classes.  They closely resemble the DOL/DOG books that I have used before.  According to Marzano, one of the things that can be done to raise student achievement is studying and making analogies.  At first, I thought, "Super!  But when, oh when do I have time?"  It turns out, I was totally overthinking it.  The book has two analogies per day.  We line up to go places as a class twice a day.  Voila!  Our new procedure is for me to read the analogy, draw a namestick and if that person gets it right, he picks the quiet tables to line up.  Oh, what an honor it is to choose the quiet tables (I don't get it, but hey...if it works, right?).

In the same vein, I made up a game called Line Quiz for when we are early (this almost never happens because I tend to teach right up to the time when we are supposed to be at specials/lunch/going home).  If we do happen to be waiting outside a specials classroom, we all take two steps to the left (forming a new line).  I start at the beginning of the new line and ask a simple review question like "noun or" or "common or proper noun...McDonald's."  The last few times, I have been telling them the amount that I spent at their store and they have to make change from a dollar.  For example, I say, "I spent $.25 and gave you a dollar, what is my change?"  Very few of my friends had gotten making change right on the common assessment last quarter.  So anyway, if a friend gets the question right, he goes straight to the front of the new line.  All of them love, love, love this game.  Who doesn't love being line leader? 

Hopefully they won't figure out that these games are actually just review questions from their teacher.  At least not during this school year.