Monday, August 24, 2015

Snowball fights

Over the weekend my students had homework.  Yeah, I know I am the "mean teacher" that gave homework on the weekend and worst of all it was after the first week of school.  For homework my students had to write one level three question based on their notes.  As the students came in today each student wrote their level three question on a sheet of paper and balled the paper up to make a "snowball".  I then gave the students the guidelines for the "Snowball fight".  The guidelines were as follows:

  1. Do not aim for anyone's head.
  2. You do not need to see how hard you can throw.
  3. You do not throw until the music starts.
  4. As soon as the music stops you need to stop throwing, find a "snowball" and quietly report to your seat.
Watching the sheer delight on my student's faces was the highlight of my day.  They were amazed that I was allowing them to throw things in class!  At the conclusion of the "Snowball fight" the students then took turns reading the question written on their paper aloud.  As the each student read the question the other students had to decide if the question was a level three question (Based on Costa's Levels of Thinking) or not.  I had the students indicate their thoughts about the question by giving it a thumbs up if it were a level three question and a thumbs down if it were not.  

If I were to do this activity again, I would have my students respond in a different way.  I would have them hold up one finger (Because I teach middle schoolers, I would direct them on which finger is appropriate to use.) if they felt the question was a level one question, two fingers if they thought the question was a level two question and three fingers if the question was a level three question.  

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