Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3 Word Weekends

Every Monday, I have my kids share what they did with all of us by playing the HIGH, LOW game. Students choose ONE HIGH and ONE LOW from the past weekend to share. If a student feels that they did not have a low then they do not need to share one, however, if they feel they did not have a high, I encourage them to think of SOMETHING that they can think of (sometimes their partners help them find it)Once they have figured out their high and low, they turn to their partner and share, then we choose a couple to share out to the whole class.  
I have found a couple positives to this system 
1) It allows me quick assessment of students situations and lives outside of the classroom (sometimes there are bigger things going on that we don't know about)  
2) Students get the chance to share their weekends under 5 minutes 
3) It allows for empathy and excitement for fellow students, and in some cases the teacher. I have even had students (and myself actually once this year) break down during this quick time in the morning based off of divorce, death, etc. and, while some may shrink from this happening in the classroom, it allows all of us to become what we are - a family. Watching students hugging each other, sharing when that has happened to them as well, getting each other tissues, high fiving for a basket ball winning score, questions about a new puppy, and sharing stories means that there is more than just academic learning going on in my classroom. It has become a favorite in our room - Woe to the teacher to forgets HIGH LOW Monday morning! (ha!) 
Another thing I really like about it, being a fifth grade teacher, when my middle schoolers come back to visit/grab a piece of candy all I have to say is "HIGH LOW?" and they share a little about their new lives with me :0)

Sometimes I like to change it up a little bit though so this week we did "Three Word Weekends". They had to share three words (no more, no less) that summed up their weekends. Then they shared their sticky note with the three words with their partners. If they had summarized and chosen their words well, their partner should be able to infer what happened - this was a little difficult for some kids but is a great review for summary!
Do you do anything fun for the kids to sum up their weekend? 
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