Monday, November 26, 2018

100 Things...

One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received was this...

"Find the best teacher you can, stick close to them, and steal any ideas you can from them to use in your own classroom."

And the best teachers out there will always let you steal from them. The best teachers are those who aren't only trying to improve themselves, but they love to see other teachers get better too. That's what we all want...to see those in our profession get better everyday. 

Today's blog post is an idea that I stole from one of the best. 

T.J. Warsnak. And he really is one of the best...a finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year this year. So, yeah, I'm going to steal anything I can from him...and this is a good one!

The idea is to get the students involved in discussion and brainstorming. This is when you're looking for a large list that the class can use to start something new. In my case I wanted the kids to brainstorm different ways to present information. T.J. used the goal of 250 things for his high schoolers, I modified it down to 100 for my 7th grade students. 

Today we needed ideas on ways to present information. You see...at the middle school level, when I say create a "presentation" 9 times out of 10 I get some sort of slide presentation...Google Slide or PowerPoint. The kids get tunnel vision. Today, I didn't want a slide presentations, so we started with the whole class brainstorm activity 100 Ways...

My students sit in teams. I have 6 teams in my room and each group was given a small white board and an Expo marker. I explained that we need to come up with as many ideas on how to present information as we can. Their task was to write down as many presentation ideas as possible in 3 minutes. They could (and should) use their Chromebooks to Google ideas. As a class I set a goal for 100 ways to present material.




When time was up, we shared out. I typed up their responses as they shared out. It was OK to repeat ideas, so "talk show" might have showed up 3 different times. Who cares. They came up with talk show. And debate, and mock trials, and Spark Video, and Game Shows, and Timelines, and over 100 more!

This was awesome! A great way to spur discussion, get all kids involved and give them a goal to reach. You should have seen the eyes of my 7th graders when I said our goal was 100 things. And how proud they were at the end when we reached it! 

Then we preceded onto our activity for the day...Mystery Box Challenge. A SUPER fun way to engage students, force creativity and collaboration, while working under pressure. Want to know more about that...click here!

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