How can you easily take an assignment you’ve already got in your lesson plans and kick it up notch? Here are some easy ideas for those who need a spark to kick it up a notch!
- Pick three – five students to ask to create a lesson on what you’re learning about, instead of completing your assessment. Let them choose the grading scale, manner of delivery. Allow them then to pick three – five students to share it with, while you’re going over what you had planned to assess with the rest of the class.
- Vocabulary Expert: Let students choose vocabulary words from the lesson you’re about to teach that they feel they know so well they could teach them. Match partners and allow them ten minutes to teach what they know. (What better way to start a lesson then with students feeling successful?)
- Let Ss create their own assessment. One of our amazing teachers let her students do this as a cumulative activity and she was blown away with how well they did. She then let them exchange their assesments to keep the lesson going. Check out their question formats!
- Take the five different activities you were going to do for the week and turn them into centers. Upper grades should be scaffolded this way as well! This is a GREAT way to make sure that differentiation occurs in your classroom. If students are broken up into “centers”, it will be more difficult for each student to know what others are doing. You can work remediation lessons into the students who need it, and allow your higher performing students to work on extension skills/concepts.
- Turn whatever activity you’re working on into a classroom jigsaw activity. Give groups of students the different questions to answer separately and then come back together as a group to debrief.
- Think flexible learning spaces and environments. How can you mix it up, even just for a class period? Let Ss move around, go into the hall, computer lab, library…an opportunity for your “rock stars” to get a change of (s)pace!
- Recognize that lower level types of questions only have one answer, but higher level questions can have several “right” answers. Watch this video and evaluate the power of the “correct” answer.