Wednesday, March 4, 2015

No Worksheet Wednesdays - Week 1

I am SO excited about The Primary Chalkboard's No Worksheet Wednesday linky!  Here are a few of the reasons why worksheets are not really my thang:
1.  Think of the trees!  I literally cannot believe how much paper my school goes through every year.  When I think of all the paper in all the schools, I cannot imagine the waste that is created.
2.  Less papers means less grading!  Let's face it, teachers have enough to do without adding hours of grading in the evenings and weekends.  I ALWAYS prefer to use activities that allow me to immediately assess and give feedback.  I feel like this is so much more effective and more fun for both my students and myself.
3.  Worksheets are SO boring!  When we ditch the worksheets, we are able to have hands-on fun!

Here are some of the fun things we did on our first No Worksheets Wednesdays:

One of my LEAST favorite things to teach is handwriting.  I feel like no matter how many times I say it, show it, reinforce it, those darn kids just do it however they want!  A couple years ago, I got so frustrated that I thought maybe my Smart board could help me with this boring task.  I made a few handwriting videos.  They use fun animations and sound effects to show correct letter strokes.  This set comes with worksheets for practice, but today, I ditched to worksheets for a new approach!  I put on a space alien themed handwriting video and gave all my kids UFOs (finger flashlights) to fly over the letters.  I turned out the lights and we flew our UFOs all the way from A-Z.  My kids have done lots of writing in the air, but the finger lights made it WAY more fun!  (And room 203 likes to have a fun time!)  Could you do this without the video?  Sure!  What I like about the video is that there is a sound for each letter stroke.  I encourage my kids to make silly noises as we write the letters.  This helps reinforce correct formation.  The video is a great visual for kids to SEE how letters are formed.  I love doing handwriting this way.  It incorporates so many learning modalities.  To see all my handwriting videos on TpT, click here.  Check out this video of our handwriting in action!


In math, we are working on geometry.  Our workbook page for today had the kids reviewing solid figures.  Instead of pencils and paper, we used play-doh!  How stinkin' fun is that?  I called out solid figures and the kids built them.  When they were finished, I asked them to show me attributes of the figure (point to a vertex, show your shoulder partner a curved surface, how many edges does your figure have, etc.)  We had SO much fun!  This was also a great way to review flat and curved surfaces because we needed to use the table to create flat surfaces and our hands for curved surfaces.  When we started, I demonstrated techniques to help build figures.  For cones, we rolled the play-doh between our hands then smooshed it on our desks to create a flat bottom.  For pyramids, we discussed how the shape is similar to a cone, but pyramids have flat surfaces on the sides.  We made a cone, then smooshed the sides on the desk.  After we had done several examples figures together, I had them quiz their shoulder partners.  This was a really fun math lesson and we definitely learned more about figures than we would have with our workbook pages.


I can't wait for next Friday!
Link up your hands-on pictures with us over at The Primary Chalkboard by clicking HERE. :) We hope you join us for all, or even at least one, No Worksheet Wednesdays! :)

8 comments:

Nicole Rios said...

Love this post! So many fun and creative ideas! The finger lights handwriting practice would send my kids to the moon with happiness. Thanks for sharing.

Julie Smith said...

Awesome activities!! Your kiddos are so lucky to have such an incredible teacher like you :)
Julie
The Techie Teacher

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