Students Review Books is an interesting concept that combines student book reviews with QR codes. The site accepts reviews from any elementary school student, but has certain parameters for contributing, which are listed here. Parents must give permission for the reviews to be posted, and a form for this is included on the site. It would be fun for your students to access this site to view the book reviews, and to make some of their own (even if they are not officially submitted). Another idea is for librarians to use the QR codes provided to place on library books or posters so that students can hear about the books before checking them out. And, for the advanced students, creating their own book reviews for the site would be a great project.
This “Craftsmanship Rubric” is a great visual to use to help your students to see what your expectations are for their artwork. Kathleen O’Malley, the creator of this neat chart, recommends that you produce your own text to describe each picture. Another thought might be to ask your students to help you to come up with the descriptors for each level.
If you are a librarian, or know a librarian who needs a Christmas gift, you should definitely “check this out!” This book, written by our very own school librarian at Fox Run, Cari Young, is a great resource for anyone who is interested in creating a library that is truly an inviting place to learn. The Centered School Library includes ideas for twelve learning centers that incorporate library skills and are guaranteed to engage your K-5 students!
“Stump the Professor” is one of several free downloads available from The Positive Engagement Project, a site that “is equipped with a variety of tools for teachers to get their students positively engaged in active learning.” The free downloads are all thorough activity packets designed to help with engaging students. Each packet that I reviewed included explanations, examples, and templates. “Stump the Professor” detailed a review game in which students design the questions. Another one that I liked was “True and False – Three Points of Proof”. In this activity, the students are given the answers to questions from reading passages, and then must prove why the answers are correct and the other alternatives are not. Teachers can also find activities for math and character education on the site.
I came across this classroom idea while I was playing with Pinterest. Ms. Noble has a great method for reviewing concepts and challenging minds that she thoroughly explains on her website. Although I would probably modify some of the activities, and add some more higher order thinking skills, this shows a lot of potential for motivating students and making sure that learning time is maximized.
Triptico is one of the most user-friendly teacher tools I’ve come across in a long time. Designed by a teacher named David Riley to use with interactive whiteboards, this is free software that you download to your computer. Don’t despair if you don’t have an IWB, however. If you can project your computer to a screen in the classroom, the activities (over 20, and the teacher plans to add more) can still be utilized. Included in the package are random name generators, timers, text and photo spinners, word magnets with graphic organizers, and several games. One intriguing game is “What’s in the Box?”, and eerily reminds me of the game show “Deal or No Deal”. The interface is very simple, and the download takes less than a minute. I guarantee you will capture your students’attention – or your money back!