Friday, May 27, 2016

Take Me Out to the Ball Game- Classroom Transformation 2

To celebrate all of our learning, we decided to turn our classroom into a baseball stadium for the day. The day focused mostly on math concepts, all baseball centered, but one station the main focus was reading comprehension. When the students walked in they were so excited for our second classroom transformation because the first one was so much fun! They each got a ticket when they first entered and got to complete a baseball word search while the rest of the fans arrived.

Station One- The Batting Cage

Here the students analyzed baseball statistics ranging from overall batting average to slugging percentage. They used these statistics, which are in decimal form, and they had to convert the decimals to fractions and to percentages. They then created a double bar graph to compare and contrast two different players of their choosing. They loved applying the skill they just learned in math to the real world. 

Station Two- The Snack Bar

This station was a blast! Not only did the kids get to nosh on pretzels and popcorn, but they got to "order" some of their favorite baseball snacks. In order to practice their word problem skills, they were given many different multi-step problems to solve using the menu that was full of  all of their favorite stadium foods. Some of the skills in the word problems included, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals, along with adding tax to a subtotal. 

Station Three- Run the Bases

Here the students had the opportunity to round the bases and solve different logic problems and word problems all revolving around, you guessed it! Baseball! Each base was laminated and the problems were on the bases. The logic problems really stumped some of the kids, but I loved seeing them think outside the box to solve the problems.

Station Four- Baseball Walk of Fame

This part of the "stadium" was the only non-math part of the stadium. Here the students had to use their non-fiction comprehension skills to research one of three Jewish baseball players and put their most important information on a baseball card. It was great to see them using some reading strategies we have been learning all year and applying it to this activity. 

Overall, our Take Me Out to the Ball Game day was a huge success! The students were 100% engaged, worked hard, and had fun! It was a perfect activity for the last week of school, and set up and break down was very low maintenance. Thank you to the PE coaches for letting us borrow some of your equipment! I am very much looking forward to next year, so I can expand even more on my classroom transformations! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Reading Comprehension Campout- Classroom Transformation

After visiting the Ron Clark Academy in February,, I was inspired to bring back what I learned to my own classroom, and that's when the Comprehension Camp Out came to be. With the help of my teammates, who are amazing, we transformed our classroom into a camp ground. The goals of the day were- 1. Review reading strategies 2. Engage all students 3. Make memories and have fun. The "camp ground" had four stations, each which were about 30 minutes long. 

Station 1
"S'more Summarizing" 

Students had the opportunity to hang out around the "camp fire" and practice their summarizing skills. They had task cards to read and summarize in 12 words or less. They were focusing on differentiating between the main idea and a summary. This was a challenge for some, and the challenge was met with a delicious s'more for them to enjoy.

Station 2
"Cooking up Context Clues"

The students practiced being a "word detective" and played a game of context clues dominoes. After successfully working with their group and completing the dominoes,they used task cards to further their detective skills with a set of task cards, to demonstrate their ability to define unknown words. All of the activities were in a picnic basket, and they did this while relaxing on a picnic blanket.

Station 3
"Fishing for main idea and details"

The students had to read an article about earthquakes and tsunamis, I tried to find an article more related to camping, but couldn't find one. After they read the article, they "fished" in the "pond" for different pieces of information from the article. They had to read the information and decide if it was a main idea, detail, or unnecessary information and sort it on the chart. 

Station 4
"Relaxing Under the Stars"

Here the students had the opportunity to roll out their sleeping bags and just have some silent reading time with flashlights under the "stars."

Overall this day was a HUGE success. The students LOVED it, have been begging for another day like this, and were 100% engaged all day long! Another classroom transformation is coming soon- next time it's "Take me out to the ball game!"

Just relaxin' under the stars catching-up on some great reading!

S'more Summarizing station with our "fire" pit.

Cookin' Up Context Clues at our picnic ground

A slight view of the "camp ground"