Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Homeworkopoly and Parking Lot

Last Thursday, I started to get my classroom set up for the upcoming school year.  It's earlier than I've ever started that process, but I know that there will be lots of changes at school this year, so the sooner I get rolling, the smoother it should go.

On Friday, I was quite industrious, I think.  Inspired by Pinterest, I took on several projects.  The first project is dubbed Homeworkopoly.  I changed the directions and the board to suit my classroom.  My students will individually earn the right to play on Friday if they have turned in all of their homework for the week on time.  They'll roll just one die since the board is small (and I don't want to hear about taking a second turn for rolling doubles).  The potential rewards are small prizes that are inexpensive or free but are things I know my kids generally like.

Go earns $50 Cat Cash (money in our grade-level economy).  They'll earn this whenever they pass by Go, just like in real Monopoly. 
Free Reading awards kids with the opportunity to free read instead of doing the math warm-up one day.  They always whine about doing the warm-up, so this might be a good motivator to do homework.  Since I repeat the same skills all week on a warm-up, missing out on one day shouldn't detract from a child's overall learning. 
Treasure Chest is just the choice of a small prize (pencil, eraser, etc), piece of candy, or $25 Cat Cash.
Lunch Bunch will be the coveted prize for sure!  It gives kids the chance to bring two friends to eat lunch in my room.  Since lunch tables are assigned and stay the same all year, some kids never get to eat with their closest friends.
When they land on Chance, the kids can answer a math problem to earn extra Cat Cash.  I found some brain teaser flash cards at Target and I decided to use the math questions from them as most of them fall within our 7th or 8th grade state standards.  The rest are logical reasoning combined with math that could also be solved with just a little brute force. 

I'm storing all of the cards in plastic index card boxes.  I put advertising magnets on the backs (free!).  I bought magnets at Dollar Tree and put numbered stickers on them.  Each class will have a different color.  With the hope this will work, I shouldn't have to remake the pieces for next year.  They're a little bigger than I would have liked, but I'm sure we'll make it work!  I also added a small dry erase board nearby so that kids can work out their Chance problems there if they want to.  Please ignore the pink hooks.  I haven't taken them down from last year because I'm not sure the game is going to stay right here. 

On to project #2.  Here's our classroom "Parking Lot."   My middle schoolers can't drive yet, but they'll all be assigned a parking space.  When I need to do a quick, short exit pass, I can have the kids write their work on post-it notes and stick them to this poster.  Each kid will use their number (based off my alphabetized list, of course) so I can quickly record their scores.  To differentiate this assignment, I can give out different colored post-its and direct the children to answer a certain question based on the color of their post-it.  Then when scoring them, I can score by color.  Easy peasy!  I think it will be quick enough to score one class's answers while the next class is doing the warm-up. 

Another thing I LOVE about my craftiness is that I used two hideously old fashioned pieces of scrapbooking paper.  They're great for school but not so hot for my own crafts!    

What have you been working on this summer?  Leave me a comment and a link and let me know.  As always, if you like what you see, please become a follower!

Miss B


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