Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Little Low Tech

How does one keep their students engaged an hour or two before they're to leave for spring break? That's the question I was asking myself last week as I sat down to write my lesson plans. A test? Sure...did that. But tests don't take long and spring fever has hit. So I decided to try out a game I saw on Brian Crosby's blog called the Write It game.

Let me just say...huge hit! The kids loved it! The funny part was they didn't even realize their teacher got them to write for twenty solid minutes and exchange what they had written with their classmates WITHOUT A PEEP!

Normally students aren't allowed to write notes to their classmates during class. But during the Write It game they are encouraged to do just that. The rules are simple:

  • Write a note to a classmate, starting with a compliment.

  • Ask your classmate a question.

  • Sign your note.

  • Deliver your note.

  • Classmate answers your question and returns the note to you.

After the note is returned to you it is considered "dead" and you start a new note. I told my students that they could only write one note to a classmate in order to encourage them to write to as many different classmates as possible (also to make sure that each and every student receives and responds to notes).

It was a beautiful thing to see 36 students writing furiously for twenty minutes. When I asked for a show of hands of all those who liked the activity, every hand was in the air! I even had a few students who stopped me after school was out, and spring break had officially begun, to beg me, "Please, Miss McMillan, can we do that again?!"


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