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After THE TEST
Old 04-25-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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(I always capitalize THE TEST now. It's my little joke about how important it seems to have become to some people.)

We are departmentalized, and I teach writing and language arts. I also teach advanced math first thing in the morning, but I've got plans for that under control.

We've got about a month left to go after they finish THE TEST, and there will be lots of interrupted days such as Field Day and a field trip. So I decided that I would come up with stations for them to rotate to on days we actually have class. Here they are. If you have any other ideas that would be easier, let me know.

Stations for Language Arts

Spend 25 minutes at a station. Can go to only two a day.

1. Spelling: Teacher provides a list of words and a list of practice games (Hangman, Speedway). Up to six students
Reason: There is no spelling program and I have around ten students with horrible spelling skills.
2. Cursive writing: Teacher provides writing books and samples, including their names. Up to four students
Reason: They learn it in 3rd and don't practice it at all in 4th.
3. Poetry collection: Teacher provides books. Students collect ten poems and make a book for them. Up to six students
Reason: I did it in tenth grade and loved it.
4. Suspense Writing: Teacher provides prompts designed to inspire scary stories. Up to six students
Reason: We didn't get to a lot of suspense stories this year. They did one, and loved it. I want to get back to some writing.
5. Publishing: Students are allowed to spend 25 minutes typing and adding clip art to any story they have created this year. Up to three students
Reason: It keeps them quiet, and most like typing their stories.
6. Free reading: on the couch and on the rug, and AR on my computer
Up to five students
Reason: About 1/3 of the students have trouble putting down books. Why not give them time to read. I would have loved it when I was a kid and signed up for this one every day.
7. Frog Games: Teacher provides game boards, grammar cards, dice, and movers. Up to five students
Reason: I've got the game boards and cards already. Why not?

Give me any other ideas that would take minimum preparation and materials, and minimum teacher involvement. I have to work on some math skills one-on-one with a few students who we think didn't pass THE TEST during this time.


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station
Old 04-25-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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You've already got a writing one, but one I've done in the past that the kiddoes liked was to provide some photos or cut up calendars that had pictures of places. The kids used the photo as a setting for a story.

Can you explain the one about poetry a bit more?

Thanks,
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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I have the poster from Harris Burdick for the suspense stories and some prompt posters already made.

For the poetry station, I was going to put out some poetry books and some construction paper and lined paper and the stapler. They leave a page for the Table of Contents, and then find poems that they really like to put in their book. They can then illustrate each poem however they like.

I had a brand new teacher who wanted us to do this when I was in 10th grade. We also had to write our own poems, but I can't remember how many. I remember that I pressed flowers under wax paper and used them for the decorations. I also remember some of the poems that I "found".


Dreams by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.


I don't think all of my kids will want to do this station, but I'll bet I get some "hits".
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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Awesome ideas..... thanks so much for sharing!! Definitely going to use some of these center ideas over the next couple of weeks.
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