Tuesday was Constitution Day and I thought it would be a perfect day to introduce the kids to iCivics and computer use in my classroom. I gave the kids the entire period to just play with all the offerings on iCivics. I instructed them to play at least one game for at least ten minutes and they had to write a review on that game.
Both my seventh and eighth graders looooooooved iCivics! I have never heard so much excitement over the games. Kids were yelling at the people on the screens and verbally getting excited to sell cupcakes at a bake sale.
For the rest of the week, my seventh graders finished up their Create a Place projects for the five themes of and they are coming out amazing. Wait till I get a picture of the island that has Bieber heads for coconuts.
I had to switch gears in eighth grade this week. We're doing a colonial review and instead of focusing on the individual assignments, I decided that I needed to abandon whole group instruction and activity for now. I took my activities (most of them are geared to the interactive notebooks and pretty hands on) and set up three stations. My team members (there are 6 of us) share a Mac cart, so I was able to grab a handful of computers and add a BrainPop Station. So far, I think it has been successful. I was looking to create more on task behavior and I think it has given me that. I'll let you know more next week.
I am very blessed to be working with an amazing team. Every time I felt like a failure this week, I had a fabulous group of professionals that offered advice and support. I love working on a small team and can't wait to see what we can accomplish this year.
I do need to throw a question out there. The ability groups in my class are many and widespread. I have a lot of kids that finish a task and have to wait quite awhile before we move on, even in a station situation. Does anyone have any ideas for "When You Are Done?" Tasks. I don't want to give them extra work but I do want to keep them engaged and challenge them. Right now I'm going to try giving them some primary source work from Read Like A Historian, but I would love some suggestions of things that have been successful!
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