One of the things that they did was fill out an interest survey about reading.
Now, I not only have the information to get books for my classroom that will be read but I also have ideas to make my lessons more interesting for my students.
We played a game that involved group work. This is where you find out who your leaders are, who doesn't "play well with others," and who let's everyone else do all the work. It was fun watching them figure out the clues.
First, I put name cards on their desks using colored note cards. The color of the card determined each child's group. Then, as you can see in the picture, I sat out one table for each group. On each table was a white page, colored their shade in the corner. The bag included everything they needed, except the clues.
I handed out envelopes for each team and they were off and running. The first thing they had to do involved squirt guns (you could use spray bottles) and one sign per group with washable markers on it.
They had to read something for each clue, figure out what they needed, find it and check with the teacher to make sure they were right. The game was based on The Amazing Race, complete with challenges. All of the materials they needed were easy to find in nature.
Because we are doing whole brain activities in our class, we gave the winning team a 10 finger woo. If you don't know what I am talking about, check out Whole Brain Teaching's website by clicking here.
We watched a video. After the video was over, they worked in groups to bring out the main teaching points of the video. This was a fun assignment because two of my students had never worked in groups before and they couldn't understand why everyone didn't get a white board and marker. They got an extra lesson...one is cooperative education as they learned that the group, not they, were responsible for the answers.
What is your favorite back-to-school activity?