Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday Activities

Friday's are crazy days in my class.  For one thing, each class is only 30 minutes.  For another, I usually pack three activities into that short amount of time: assignment turn-in, geography skills practice and a raffle.  It's a bit of sprint for me as I teach for 3 hours straight with no break.

Assignment Turn-in
I don't like to collect things on a daily basis, instead choosing to do so on a weekly basis. In theory, this should mean that I am keeping my grades up to date weekly, but somehow things just don't work out that way.   At any rate, I have the students turn assignments in by passing them up their section to a person in the front row whom I designate as the "first level of quality control."  Then that person is suppose to pass the assignments over to the student sitting closest to my desk. I then take the pile from them and place it directly in front of my monitor (so that the pile can be forever calling out "grade me!"

Geography Skills
I like to use most Friday's as a day to focus on geography skills. So, we get out the trusty atlas and I make students search for things.  I use two different online geo quiz resources.  One at and another at  The first one requires the students to read through a paragraph to decipher what it is they are looking for.  Then they have to decide what key word(s) to look up in the index of their atlas.  While they are searching I walk around the room and students raise their hand when they think they have the right answers.  They point in their atlas and I give them creative economy money if they are correct. The second is more of a traditional quiz, so I alter it a bit by sometimes making them show me in their atlas what the right is.  This past Friday I tried something new which was to use the activote devices so that the students could register their response electronically.  You can see the device below.  The second image is a screenshot I took of a geobee question with the activote spreadsheet overlayed on it, just like the students would see in class.  I have signed us up for the National Geographic Bee (click on the link above to read more about it), so hopefully the time we spend on Friday is helping to prepare the students for that.

Creative Economy Raffle
Finally, the last five minutes of class we have a raffle.  While students are getting their assignments ready to turn-in at the beginning of class, I walk around and "sell" raffle tickets.  The prices varies depending on "what the market will bear".  I started out charging 1 dollar, but the price has risen to 3 dollars now that students have had some time to earn money.  Usually, I take the money collected and divide it up among the winners of the raffle.  It's a pretty fun way to end the week. 

I would love to know what you think about these Friday activities.  You can comment by clicking here

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