Elissa posted her weekly warm-up schedule, and it inspired me to think about how I want to structure my warm-ups this year. Last year, my warm-ups looked like this:
Monday - Good Things - Each student got the chance to share with the class something good that had happened to them recently. Plenty of bad things were shared too...
Tuesday - Trivia - I gave the class a trivia question to answer. I had trouble finding trivia that my students found interesting.
Wednesday - Witzzle - We played 3 games of Witzzle on the SMART Board. This and Good Things Monday were the hits of the week. These were the two days students would complain if they missed!
Thursday - Brain Teaser - Students were presented with a brain teaser to solve. I blogged about several of the brain teasers I used here, here, here, and here. (I'm also really excited about this brain teaser.)
Friday - Funnies - I shared a few jokes with the class. Students wee also invited to share a joke with the class. Sometimes I would show a comic strip or two. Most of the time was spent talking about how terrible of a joke teller Ms. Hagan was. It has become a running joke throughout the school. I'm known as the crazy cat lad who can't tell a decent joke.
I've decided to keep Good Things and Witzzle since they were hits. I'm replacing Trivia and Funnies with short games. Brain Teasers are sticking around, but I'm changing the name of the day.
Here's the current plan for 2015-2016.
Good Things Monday - Students can share a good thing with the class. I need to work on teaching students to be respectful when other students are sharing their good things which has always been a problem in the past.
Taboo Tuesday - I always get a kick out of playing this game with students. This is one of those games I pull out when they call a class meeting and 80% of my class walks out the door. Though, I've changed the game set-up a bit to work in my classroom. Here's how I plan to use it on Tuesdays at the beginning of the class. I'll create probably 4 taboo cards for the class. 2 will be fun and will be stolen from the actual game. The other 2 will be math vocab words. I will use a random name generator to choose 4 students to be the guesser. On each student's turn, they will turn so their back is to the SMART Board. I will put up the taboo card on the board. The card has the word the class is trying to get the student to guess AND words they aren't allowed to say. The class will take turns trying to get the student to say the correct word.
Wednesday Witzzle - We'll play 3 rounds of Witzzle. I'll keep with my tradition of giving them two positive target numbers and one negative target number. They always complain about the negative numbers, but it's exciting to see them improve in that area as the year progesses.
Train Game Thursday - I meant to blog about this at the end of last year, but it hasn't happened yet. Last Christmas, my sister gave me the game 20 Express by Blue Orange Games. The game is pretty quick. It involves lots of thinking about probability. There is strategy and luck involved. I played it with my students last year, and they really enjoyed it. The scoring system is a bit difficult for students to wrap their minds around at first. And, I had a few problems with students trying to cheat. But, other than that, it was a fun and engaging game. For the rest of the year, students kept begging, "Are we ever going to get to play that train game again?" The company has extra playing sheets on their website that you can print which is what I used with my students last year. We just slid them in a dry erase sleeve. Though, I think I'll print them on card stock and laminate a class set for the upcoming year since we'll be using them once a week.
Figure It Out Friday - On Fridays, we'll be doing a mix of brain teasers and puzzles. I like that this allows me to incorporate different types of logic puzzles or Which One Doesn't Belong?
I made posters to hang on my wall to remind students how we begin each day. You can download them here. I've uploaded them as a non-editable PDF file and an editable Publisher file. If you'd like to edit the Publisher file, you'll need to download the following free fonts: Londrina Shadow, Euphoria Script, HVD Comic Serif Pro, Troika, Special Elite, and Amatic.
Here's what last year's posters looked like. I'll update this with new pictures once my classroom is decorated.