Horace Mann Quote

~Horace Mann Quote
A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Musical Chairs in the Classroom

We really enjoyed our classroom photoshoot by Trey Clark of Trey Clark Photography (http://www.treyclark.com) on Thursday! Mr. Clark was sent to our class as part of a project hosted by Renaissance Learning and #ATeacherLikeYou. I have been chosen as their next featured teacher. For this opportunity, I am truly grateful and totally humbled. I've had a couple of photographers and videographers in my room stemming from my selection as a PBS Lead DigitalMedia Innovator. As I look at the pictures and videos, I ask myself, "Just how engaged am I with the students?" "Am I working harder than the students?" I know that whoever is doing the work is also doing the learning. With that in mind, I decided to try a game of musical chairs in my room. We were learning about run-on sentences, and we were also reviewing complete sentences and sentence fragments. I placed a pre-cut sentence (run-on, complete, or sentence fragment) in each chair. Hakuna Matata begins to play. When the music stops, of course the student without a chair has to sit. However, if the student chosen to read their sentence can not determine what type of sentence is on the paper, but the student who has to sit can, then they switch places, and the game continues. Each time the music stops, one student is chosen to determine what type of sentence is in their chair. If they are correct, they stay in the game. If not, they sit down, another chair is removed, and the game continues. I randomly chose students to read their papers. I realized afterwards that a better way to do this would have been to number the sentences, then whoever has #1 when the music stops would go first. Each time the music stops, the student in the chair with the next consecutive number would read their sentence. The students really enjoyed this, and Mr. Clark expressed his delight in watching me work with the students (especially the energetic boys). We put this on our list of "fun and engaging ways to learn."