Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rolling Out the Questions

I don't have these question cubes out as a center.  I use them in Guided Reading groups and during novel studies.  The first picture shows a fancy set that are made out of sturdy foam.  I borrowed them from my Literacy Facilitator, but since we all share materials I had to give them back--waaa.

 I saw on Pinterest that someone made dice out of Kleenex boxes so, I adapted the idea and made the question cubes out them instead! I typed the questions(which are higher order thinking), glued them on index cards, laminated them, and hot glued them to the tissue box. These are cheaper than buying the foam ones and these can easily be replaced if they get crumbled or crushed.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Beanbag Toss

I was at an NCTM conference when I came up with this idea.  I was actually working a booth for Renaissance Learning and during my down time I would walk around and visit the other booths.  There was a booth selling beanbags for $0.50.  They were advertised to be used with the Smart Board (which is also a great use), but another idea popped in to my mind.

This is a very versatile activity.  It can be used in the classroom or outside. Students can work independently or with a partner. You can use it as a center or during Guided Reading. Here are some ways to use the beanbags:
  • I wrote author's purposes on the beanbags. I doubled up on to inform and to explain because my third graders struggle with distinguishing between those two the most.  I include a variety of laminated passages.  Students spread the reading materials on the ground face up. They scan them and read the titles.  They look at any graphics or illustrations. Then they toss the beanbags onto the reading passages that match the author's purpose on the appropriate beanbag.  They check their answers by flipping over the passages (where I wrote the author's purpose).

  • Write content vocabulary on the beanbags. Write the definitions or an illustration on index cards.
  • Write Marzano's Questions on the beanbags. Spread passages or books on the floor. Toss a beanbag on a piece of reading material and answer the question after reading.
  • Write BOOK and HEAD on beanbags. Write questions on index cards. Students use QAR strategies to decide what type of question is on the card. They toss the corresponding beanbag onto the question cards.
  • Write genres on the beanbags. Spread out a variety of books. Toss the genre beanbag onto the corresponding book.