Rachel Lynette, over at the “Minds in Bloom” blog, offers some fun Halloween activities for critical thinking. One of them is a Halloween-themed list of “Would You Rather?” questions. For these, I would recommend that you encourage your students to justify their answers, and possibly have a contest for who can give the most unusual reason for his or her response. (For another way to use “Would You Rather?” questions, check out this post.)
Rachel also has a free “GHOST” Scattergories-type game that you can print. As an extension, you could have the students make their own spooky versions by changing the letters on top and the categories.
And, finally, incorporate some disgusting math into your Halloween plans by giving your students some “Witches’ Brew Math.” Boiled eyeballs, anyone?
Here are a couple more technology integration ideas for the end of the school year:
QR Code Year-End Reflection – You can read more about this tic-tac-toe reflection activity in my post from last year around this time. It isn’t anything showy, but a nice way to round out the year, and the students always love the added mystery of scanning QR codes.
Thinglink Favorite Memories – I have been meaning to use Thinglink with my students all year, and finally got around to trying it – right when they are about to leave. I’m not sure this idea is original, but my brain seemed to think it was a great idea at one o’clock Monday morning. I took a class photo of my 2nd grade gifted students, and then asked them to each share a favorite memory from their years in GT so far. Then I uploaded the pic to Thinglink and uploaded the videos to my Google account. I tagged each of the kids in the pic with their video. I embedded it into our class blog, and now the parents have a nice, interactive photo that won’t take up any closet space. Here is a link to the post.
Below is a neat Thinglink example I found of suggested iPad apps.
Don’t worry; I promise this is not going to be an advertisement for a home improvement network…
DIY is one of the coolest new sites that I’ve chanced upon in a long, long time. I haven’t even shown it to my students yet, and I am super excited about it. This is going to be something awesome, I have a feeling.
DIY offers kids the chance to earn Skill Badges by doing challenges. After browsing through the skills and challenges, I was ready to start earning my own badges. The challenges look fun, and since I never got a chance to participate in Girl Scouts, the virtual badges seem like the next best thing to me. For example, how would you like to earn your Papercrafter badge by doing 3 challenges (out of 13 choices) that include making a walkalong glider or building a paper vehicle?
Most of the challenges include instructions, either with video or pictures. There is a great parent info page, along with a Parent Dashboard once you sign up. DIY kids get their own website to show off what they make, and there is a supporting iOS app to easily upload videos and pictures of their creations. The site seems very user-friendly and, best of all, encourages kids to be creative and inventive.
200 Ways to Show What You Know, brought to you by John Davitt from www.davittlearning.net, is a simple tool for generating ideas for products. In other words, it gives suggestions for different ways to “show what you know.” This allows the student to see that there are other options for projects besides Powerpoint presentations and papers. If you, as the teacher, don’t feel comfortable in giving your students quite that much freedom (particularly since they may not be familiar with or at the maturity level to complete some of them), you could use the generator yourself, and narrow their choices down to a few that appeal to you for assessment possibilities. Then, it might be easier for you to create accompanying rubrics with your expectations.
Weebly is a site specifically designed for students to create their own websites. It will host their sites for free, and is extremely user-friendly. Ideas for differentiation with this site?
Teachers can create their own websites on the site, designing different pages with different assignments for students based on ability levels or multiple intelligences. This could be an alternative to a menu or tic-tac-toe board.
Students can create their own websites as final products for independent studies based on rubrics.
This is an invaluable tool for teachers to help with differentiation for all levels. If you click on the “Demo” at the top, you can create your own menu using “The Differentiator”. You do not need to pay to use the demo, but there is a $20 subscription service that allows you to save your menus online. These are brought to you by www.byrdseed.com.