Thursday, February 6, 2014

Desks instead of paper

We start every class period with a bell ringer.  The students will have 2-4 problems that they must begin working when they come in the room.  After the bell ringer, they will do a quick one question quiz which reviews some concept we have previously discussed.  The quiz must follow the four step plan of: Read, think, solve and justify.

Of course, we have papers that they can keep the work organized, but this year I like to throw in a little different bell ringer every now and then.

One morning, I handed each student a dry erase marker when they walked in the room.  On the bell ringer screen, I included a box that stated to answer the bell ringer by writing on the desk with the dry erase marker.  I heard several gasps and "REALLY?"  They got to work and enjoyed the activity.

I typically give 2-4 minutes to complete bell ringer.  We usually switch papers and grade it.  On this occasion, we weren't really able to switch papers, so I told them to go on a field trip to somewhere else in the room.  This not only allowed them to get up and move, but it kept their attention.

After checking the bell ringer, they wiped off the desk and got ready for the quiz.  Most of the desks wipe off very well.  A few of the desks have a little different laminate, but a disinfectant wipe got the marker right off. Once the quiz was completed, they went on another field trip to somewhere they had never been before.

The kids really took to this.  I have thrown this in about once a month.  A few weeks ago, we had group work for 3 days, so each day I allowed the bell ringer and quiz to be done this way.  It provides a change-up and it helps to keep the kids excited about what the class may hold.

This was an example of one desk after the quiz.  I had all the kids take a trip to this desk to see what I look for in a justification.

It is great to give the kids a little surprise, and this surprise was FREE!

Happy Desk Writing!

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