Sunday, February 6, 2011

Promote Higher Level Thinking - Even During Transitions!

Yesterday I was going back and reading some of Miss Trayers' posts from Not Just Child's Play: Teaching Gifted First Graders . She really has some awesome stuff! My favorite post was this one : Encourage Higher Level Thinking. I don't know about you, but I feel like I am spread so thin sometimes that I don't get a chance to think about differentiating my lessons, and end up telling my higher thinkers to simply read a book when they are finished. I really have been encouraged to get in gear and do more for those students. I still remember what my first grade teacher did for me when I was in GT. I really appreciated that I didn't have to do the same math as everyone else when I already knew it.

Anyway... one of my favorite things Miss Trayers mentioned on her post was "Making a Category". I decided to make cards to hole punch and put on a ring so I could easily challenge my students, even during a transition. (And even when Mrs. Patton is too tired to think!)

Making a category means that as your students are lining up to go somewhere you would tell them three words. Their job would be to come up with a word that fits with the other words. For example, I could tell my students the words are cheese, tomatoes, and pepperoni. (The category would be things on a pizza, but you don't tell them that... they have to figure it out.) They would then try to think of words that fit with my words. How awesome would it be for our students if we could encourage that kind of thinking during a time of day that in all honestly is frequently wasted.

If this interests you, you can download a sample of what I have made.

This sample contains about 30 categories. I did spend quite a while, and came up with over 100 categories for the complete file. If you would like this file, you can purchase it at my TpT store for $2.00 through Valentine's Day.

Have a restful Sunday!
-Mrs. Patton


Miss Trayers said...

Thanks so much for the "shout-out"! What a cool idea to put them on a ring and always have them available. My kids love this activity, but to be honest, I love it too. They often surprise me by what their little minds come up with!

Kathy said...

I love this idea. I too am always looking for ways to challenge my higher students but don't feel like I have the time. I feel like I spend it all with my low kids and the high ones are left out. I will be trying this activity this week.

The Book Chook said...

I have a game similar to this on my blog, under the tab Book Chook Bag of tricks. It's called My Aunt Likes. So you might tell the kids "My aunt likes chairs, tigers and tables, but not birds, tripods or cockroaches." When they think they've worked out the commonality, the suggest a new example.