All those snow days have started to take a toll on the students. Eighth grade itis had set in far too early. I needed a way to keep them engaged in Social Studies. Technology was my best option. After all these digital natives are all about tech. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to check out the computer cart or ipad cart. I think there may be a day or two in June that they are available. So what does one do to keep digital natives inspired in class? The answer ...download an app called Decide Now on my own private ipad.
I was surprised at how well it worked with the eighth graders. Every day these kids are coming to class as fast they can so they can be the first to ask me if they can spin the wheel, and have been since February. They cheer when something will happen that favors them and they groan when something favors me. Each day I continue to be amazed at how well they are responding to this activity. Last week I forgot my ipad at home. I was shocked at how upset they were. Believe me when I say I won't make that mistake again!
On a side note, I did have "Talk like a Pirate" as one of the options. It was fun the first time, but the second time it popped up it did not work. The solution was to remove it from the Decide Now wheel. The brain breaks are a list of six activities that are decided with the roll of the dice. Activities include doing the Cha Cha slide, stretch for one minute, play Simon Says, Dance party for one song, play earthquake/eviction ( a game I use in advisory as a team building activity) and Jog in Place for a minute. One more thing, one of the girls suggested the bake a cake activity. I have only had to make a cake once so far!
These digital natives have taught this digital immigrant is that using technology does not have to be complex, just something quick and fun!
Update... On Monday, April 13, 2015 one of the classes spun a cake. Last night I went out and picked up a some cake mixes and made a cake for my class. Today I served it to them. Guess what today's spin yielded for that same class. Yup, you got it another cake! Off to the grocery store I go.
Daily Classroom Events
1. Guess the Song- One Random Student will be chosen to guess the song Mrs. Clark plays. Guess correctly and everyone in the class gets 5 extra credit points.
2. General Knowledge Question- 4 random students must answer a question. If all four are correct there will be a five-minute break in the middle of class.
3. Everyone must do something nice for your teacher or a classmate today in class.
4. Class ends with 2 minutes of free time
5. If a single student gets an infraction in class today, the whole class has homework.
6. Surprise quiz today
7. Everyone will have free seating for the next class if everyone remains focused and on task today.
8. A sweet treat for the class tomorrow if 5 random students can correctly define a vocabulary word.
9. Music can be played in class today.
10. If someone is out of their seat without permission, the whole class will get an infraction.
11. Spin Again
12. Spin for 2 events
13. Brain break game
14. Mrs. Clark will bake a cake for your next class