October 14, 2014

Bluff Review Game Freebie

Look at me posting two days in a row! AND you get another freebie! I guess that's the benefit of me not working again today.

Today, I get to give you a Teaching Tip, which I haven't done in WAY too long, AND I get to link up with Tried it Tuesday because this was a new idea that I just LOVE!

Since I was a student, Jeopardy has been one of the go-to review game in class. The problem I've always had with it as a teacher is that the majority of your students are just not engaged. If they're not engaged, they're not paying attention. If they're not paying attention, they're not really reviewing anything.

During my leave cover, I was introduced to the perfect solution: Bluff Review Game!


Bluff is a twist on your average jeopardy game that gets all students involved. Here's how it works:
  1. Divide you class into two teams.
  2. Team A selects a question.
  3. Everyone on Team A who knows the answer OR wishes to bluff stands up silently.
  4. Teacher selects ONE member to answer the question.
  5. If that member is correct, one point is awarded per standing member. This is why it's fun to take the risk and bluff!
  6. If that member is wrong, Team B gets a chance to steal all of those points.
  7. Switch to Team B until all questions have been answered.
Can students still choose not to participate? Sure! It's never going to be perfect! BUT... there's a lot of positive peer pressure to participate because they want to earn the most points possible. They also learn pretty quickly to be sneaky with their bluffs because I love to call on the students who I think don't know the answer. 

We played this a chapter review before a test and again on my last day as a review of what they had learned about me this year. Every single one of my students LOVES this game!

If you click on the Bluff image above, you can download a blank Bluff board (in PowerPoint) for 30 questions, which already has all the links in place for you! (Note: I give the answers orally so there is no place on the board to write them.) I hope your students enjoy this as much as mine!

October 13, 2014

Where I've Been and a Late Freebie for You

Dear Readers,

I must apologize for my abrupt absence. So much has happened in the past few weeks that blogging has taken a backseat.... or I guess it's really further back than that. Maybe it's been stuck in the "way back" of my mom's old station wagon... you know what I'm talking about. You used to sit there, facing backwards, waving to people in the cars behind you too. 

Anyway, the long-term position I covered has now ended, so I'm back to the day-to-day grind of looking for work. I have been fortunate that I've been working MOST days in the school where I completed the long-term thanks to my awesome principal who gave me a plug during a staff meeting (I was told by several coworkers that this is the first time any sub has ever been given her stamp of approval. It helps that her daughter was in my class and loved me.) 

I did spend one day working in another building and HATED it. I forgot what it's like to be a nobody again. The kids test... oh do they test, and the staff mostly ignores me. It's pretty lonely, I have to admit. So, I tend to hold off on accepting jobs in other schools as much as possible. But, a girl's gotta work!

On my last day with my kiddos, we played a review game about what they've learned about me. It was a great way to end our time together. I was overwhelmed with letters, cards, chocolate, candles, and Starbucks gift cards from my thoughtful students. Every time I walk into the building now, I'm mobbed by my kiddos asking if I'm subbing for one of their teachers. It's a great feeling!

Also, in my absence, I forgot completely about my Bears Victory Freebie, which I owe you all for yesterday's win in Atlanta. I am so jealous of all my friends who went down for the game. One of my friends had amazing tickets for $160. It was cheaper to drive down there for the weekend and the game than to attend here in Chicago. Plus... they had beautiful weather. I guess that explains all the blue and orange in the stands yesterday.

 Click here for Bears Victory Freebie!

If you click on the image above, you can download a social studies freebie I did with my kiddos during my last week. It's called Dumpster Dive, and it's a lesson in how archeologists use primary sources (in this case garbage) to learn about the people who left the item behind. My students LOVED this activity, and I hope yours will too. 

Since I'm late to share this, I'm going to leave it up for a couple days. Hey... maybe you'll get lucky, and I'll forget to take it down! 

I promise I'll try to be better for the next win! :)

Bad Blogger

September 23, 2014

Intervention Time

Conversation in class on Friday:
Me: Ladies and gentlemen, let me remind you that you are NOT Madonna. Please write your first AND last name on your papers.
Student: Who is Madonna?

Can you hear my gasp through the computer?????

I honestly thought I'd NEVER see the day!

I mean, Kenny G.... Cher... okay, fine. I can see how my seventh graders maybe wouldn't know them. But MADONNA????? 

An intervention was necessary. Crucial! I told this little honors student that her homework for the weekend was go to home and listen to some Madonna. 

She was less than thrilled with her assignment and asked me why she has to listen to old people music. 

I am pleased to report that said student came back yesterday and told me she spent the whole weekend listening to Madonna with her mom as instructed. 

Me: And what did you think?
Student: I actually liked her!

Tonight's homework includes watching Madonna's music videos on YouTube so she can appreciate the great artistic expression that goes into her performances. Madge is more than just a singer, you know (I'm preaching to the choir here, I'm sure). 

If this girl learns nothing else from me before my last day on Friday, she WILL learn to appreciate and respect Madge!

And THIS is why they call me Miss Lifesaver, y'all!
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