Giving Them What They Want

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Within my post There’s a Disconnect, students shared they would like to review concepts to be assessed by playing games. Wanting to be a woman of my word, I did what I always do when I need to think, I went for a walk.  (Total sidebar, taking a moment to “be in the moment” and decompress is essential to your well-being.  Try it some time.)

What came out of that walk is explained below.

Hunger Games

Our last unit dealt with probability.  Perfect!  I tied in the last unit with other concepts to be covered on our district final.  We watched the first 20 minutes of The Hunger Games.  From there we completed The Reaping and the games began!

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Within this Powerpoint, you’ll find directions for two games played, Hot Seat and Review Relay.  Students were pumped about earning points for the districts.

This may have been my favorite game.  Tributes had to make it to the cornucopia to retrieve items from their sponsors.

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Incorporating technology, we played Kahoot, Overthrowing the Capitol.

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Mini-Society

My students need some extra motivation to compensate for the lack of intrinsic motivation quite often throughout the year.  The end of the year was no different.  To keep students motivated to continue down the road of success until the very last day, we developed a mini-society.

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School ended May 20th.

It Isn’t For Everyone

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Small group rotation that is. It can be uncomfortable and cumbersome for some teachers to setup and implement. And as I learned from one student’s letter, the students have a difficult time adjusting.

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I love that my students feel comfortable enough to express their emotions and thoughts about the classroom instruction and environment with me. So I like to compromise when they, 7th graders trying to find their voice, come out of their comfort zone to share with me.

My Compromise
Alternating weeks we engage in small group instruction so those students who feel similar to my student above can get the feeling of “familiarity” in my class. On the weeks we do not have small group rotations, we will work on tasks, play games, and do other practice activities in what feels like a whole group setting. Students will still work in a small table group, discuss the mathematics, challenge each other’s thinking and problem solve.

What I will not compromise is having a stand and deliver classroom. If I own all the information and disseminate it when I’m ready, no one wins.