By Gina Kennedy

By Gina Kennedy

Fun Writing Ideas and More!

Great ideas to differentiate and integrate the real world into your curriculum and create a rigorous learning environment!  

1. I found these amazing photos yesterday of these beautiful fashionable mature women at this LINK
I decided to have my students write pretend biographies of these lovely ladies utilizing their creative writing skills, pretending that they know the women;  but following the guidelines of a biography as well!

2. Bingo cards are amazing "math tools".  I make copies of bingo cards or create my own all the time and have found a multitude of ways they can become teaching tools:

A.  Write a "P" over the Prime Numbers  and a "C" over the Composite Numbers
B.  Cross out all the numbers that are a multiple of 3.
C. VERY CHALLENGING: Play "Add It Up" Bingo, Call out a number between 6 and 207, the students have to find any three numbers on their card that add up to the called out number.  The first to find a match, WINS!
D.  For primary students you could cross out the odds or evens, find the counting by 2's, 5's and so on counting numbers.
E.  Play bingo the regular way;  but call out "factor of 2, multiple of 7, double digit number and so on."

3. I love this approach to daily journals, I would have the students think of a "theme" word to describe something happening in their life and then use every starting letter to write ideas that elaborate on the theme.

4.  GREAT SOCIAL STUDIES- WRITING INTEGRATION:  "History Caption Writing":  Provide a different photo from a variety of decades in United States history to each student.  I have found several online from historical sites.   Have the students pretend the photo belongs to them and they must write a pretend one-two paragraph caption about each photo.  This is a photo I used with one of my 5th students and the caption he created:

"This is the day that pa came home after the war from fighting the Rebels.  My brother and I were part of the drum line that welcomed him home.  He was so excited to see all of us including, "Edward", my nephew and his new grandchild.  Mom cooked him his favorite  meal of fried squirrel and homemade apple pie.  We haven't had much meat since Pa left to fight with the Union so the meal was a real treat.  Now Pa is worried about getting a job and making sure we all go back to school.  I was kind of enjoying my time off helping mom while he was gone; but it's back to the books."             by Bruce

5. Sponge Activity:  Instead of playing "I Spy", play "I Remember A Cool Thing We Learned This Year" .  At the end of the day I have one student think of something they have learned this year in any subject.  The other students will ask them questions such as "What subject was it in?" , "Does it involve numbers?",  " Can You Prove it?" 
They must ask "one word answer" questions, but it doesn't have to be a "yes or no" question as long as it can be answered in one word.  It takes awhile, but they always seem to get it right after about the 10th question.

6.  Grocery Store Ads:  For a cheap and easy math teaching tool, pick up a few of the free grocery ads at your local grocer and have your students identify shapes and angles of pictures in the ads while they participate in a "Geography Scavenger Hunt".  Give them a black pen and a grocery ad and let them "go to town" (or go to the grocery store at least!)

This is a quick approach I've used in the past with a point system:
Rules:  In order to get credit for your points, everything must be labeled and identified and the point value written next to it.  Put the total number of points you've received on each page circled on the left hand bottom corner.  You will not get credit for any points that do not follow the rules above.

10 Points Each:  Cones, Cylinders, Pyramids, Cubes, Rectangular Prisms, Spheres
5 Points Each:  Triangles, Hexagons, Octagons, Rhombus, 
4 Points Each:  Right Angles (One Per Product), Example of Congruency, Example of a                    Translation, Example of A Rotation, Example of a Reflection

Of course you can add your own criteria, but I set the clock to 20 or 30 minutes and we record  points when I say "STOP!"  I've also found that department store ads work well also such as Target or Walmart.

Have a wonderful week and keep doing what you do, there are alot of young minds depending on you,