I love the SOS strategies. Over the past year, I’ve had many occasions where I was asked to cover a classroom for a teacher. That’s when SOS came to the rescue! Here’s how I twisted and super-sized some popular SOS strategies for my students…with great success!
Paper Chat is a great way to get students thinking without speaking and it gives all students equal opportunities to voice their thoughts. Some students may be reluctant to write on the butcher paper when others can see what they are writing. One way to mix it up would be to have students complete this in small groups. The group of students can move around to see what is written in other groups. You could also pose different questions for each group.
On This Day is a quick, powerful strategy that exposes students to a variety of historical events. It takes only a few minutes and is a great way to start the day or as a filler at other transition times. We have put a spin on this strategy by partnering up our classes and having students present to each other what they have learned “On This Day”.
The Paper Slide SOS involves students in explaining what they know in both words and pictures. They create slides of information using paper, pencil and/or markers and crayons. As they slide from one piece of paper to another they verbally explain the concepts they’ve learned about.
I often use A-E-I-O-U during Professional Development workshops that I provide for adults in my district. It provides a common feedback format that is easy for participants to use as they reflect on what they’ve learned.
The Whittle It Down strategy is designed to build summation skills by having students work independently, then work collaboratively as part of a small group, and finally collaborate as a whole class to ‘whittle down’ a list of vocabulary words that are most important to understanding the topic being studied. This final list is then used to compose a summary of the topic.
Do have an upcoming staff development meeting? Are you looking for a few creative ways to share digital integration strategies? Here are some of our favorite ways to share the Spotlight on Strategies (SOS) series.
Tweet, Tweet! is a great way to bring social media into the classroom without needing to use Internet access. Using Post-It notes, participants create tweets (140 characters or less) and create discussions, answer questions, or summarize knowledge. Here’s one way that Durham Public Schools are using this strategy with students, faculty and staff.
The use of puppets is a fun and creative way for students to connect with new vocabulary and concepts. In this strategy, students make their own puppets, develop image files, and create a finished postcard to narrate information.
My students absolutely love the Snowball Fight strategy for Math review. Instead of passing out a worksheet or going over examples on the board, I use a Snowball Fight with a twist. I put up Math problems on the interactive white board, one at a time. Students complete the problem, and then the fun begins. I announce, “snowball fight!” and the students toss their papers around the room (with minimal injury I might add, which is quite impressive for my middle school boys!) I instruct students look over the work from one of their classmates and see whether or not they solved the problem using the same steps. It is wonderful to hear students complaining that their peers aren’t showing their work! After students have ample time to look over their peer’s work, I review the problem on the board to answer any lingering questions. We repeat the process as many times as necessary.