Saturday, May 04, 2013

Calming the Chaos


Welcome to the Calming the Chaos Blog Hop hosted by 2peasandadog, an awesome middle school Canadian blogger (here in Ontario, even). A group of bloggers have come together to share our top tips for making the last month (or two) of school run smoothly. Visit each of our blogs to learn something new and pick up a freebie or two!
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Enjoy hopping through the blogs listed below, and be sure to scroll down to read about my freebie and some tips.
Upper Elementary + High School Grades
Check out this Great Giveaway!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
While teaching Core French, I've tried a few different options to keep students focused as we near the end of the year. One of my favorites is to have students create a review game. There's not much point in continuing to cover new material when students know that assessment of that new content isn't likely to make it on the report card, AND many of them would benefit from revisiting concepts already taught earlier in the year.... help avoid the "summer slide" before the summer even arrives!

Here's a rubric that I've used to assess students' products at the end of this project. It's a Word document so that you can adapt it to meet your students' needs. (And also because I used this before Growing Success was released in Ontario, so you may need to adjust the qualifiers a little bit.)


Another option that has worked out well for French, depending on what else you've taught and used as projects through the year, is a media-based unit.  I've used some current year articles from the series of Scholastic FSL magazines to create such a mini-unit, along with resources from a variety of other sounrces.  Didn't know Scholastic had such a resource?  Check out Allons-Y, Bonjour, ça va?, and Chez Nous through these links. Each has some articles available online for free as a sample, and here's a little money saving tip if you don't have much classroom budget left...


Thanks to The 3AM Teacher and Alicia Mac for their graphics!

Of course, rewards... something to look forward to... can certainly have a place in the classroom as well. This is why I'm bringing back the classroom auction in my own classroom.  I thought about sharing the classroom currency that I'm using here with you, but it's not really all that special. So, why reinvent the wheel?  Here's a free printable that you can use from another seller on TPT


Of course, if you're not into "paying" for positive reinforcement, I totally get that!  How about just letting Mother Nature provide your incentive? Friday afternoon, I took my class outside and we sat in a circle to read aloud an article for which they'll need to answer some questions. We actually intended to head to the outdoor classroom, which is a circular set up of large, flat rocks that serve as seating, with a few small trees set around them. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only teacher to have had that brilliant idea (ha!) so we made do and just enjoyed sitting on the lawn instead!

One last thing - if you're just not into being outside in the scorching sun during a particularly stubborn heat wave (and yes, we DO get those up here in Canada!) why not consider a movie study at this point in the year?

If you follow me regularly, you've already heard about my Ant Bully unit, so I won't plug it to death here, but my grade 7s really did enjoy the opportunity to sit back and relax... yes, while reading subtitles... while watching this and other animated feature films!  I've got a set of true-false questions as a freebie if you just want SOMETHING to keep them focused, and a full package of differentiated activities (at a reduced price right now!) if you're looking for a little more rigour, or to stretch the film viewing from 2-3 periods to a full week or two.

Keep an eye out for something new & exciting to be posted in my store as well! At TeachersPayTeachers, click on the red star with Follow Me beside it to get an email notification about new products the day after they are posted.




9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I love this idea of having them create their own review games! It's a really great way to have them consider all they've learned and re-discover it rather than listening to me hahaha... will have to add this to my bag of tricks. Thanks for sharing!

    Michelle
    The Organized Señorita

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  3. I agree with Michelle - having students create their own review games is a perfect end of year idea!

    I'm your newest follower.
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    Mrs. Harris

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  4. I'm with everyone else. This is a great idea! It'd be awesome to give groups different topics and rotate the students through each other's game. Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    Liz
    Beach Teach

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    1. Thanks! Yes, they want to be active and talking, so it may as well be about something educational! :-)

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    2. Drat... that other response was meant to be for Michelle. I'm not sure how THAT happened! LOL

      Liz, that's exactly what I did. Different groups got to pick different thematic units we had studied through the year, so we didn't have too much repetition and then we spent a couple of periods playing one another's games.

      I'm not sure how well this sort of idea will do with the new curriculum which is due out within weeks here in Ontario for French, but this year, I managed to include a board game creation option within my novel study final assessment. It works well for differentiating as students can keep it simple or really take the challenge to a higher level.

      Tammy

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  5. Bonjour madame! J'ai etudias le francais pour cinq ans a l'ecole mais j'ai oublias tous ma francais! I probably said that all wrong, sorry I'm just trying to remember French- I loved speaking French but unfortunately have not practiced since high school & so lost it all. Just found your blog through the hop, I'm your newest follower! Bon Weekend!

    ✿Sue✿
    Science for Kids Blog

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    1. Not so bad at all! :-) Thanks for stopping by!

      Tammy

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  6. Wow--so many great ideas! I had no idea Scholastic had French magazines. We don't teach French at our school, but have families who speak it at home and would be interested I'm sure. Your Euro rewards are so clever. We are doing a lot of rewards also; I like your idea of it being a classroom auction. So much great stuff here :) Your newest follower: The Learning Lab

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