Sponges and Warm-up Activities rwormeli @cox.net Taking Advantage of Every Moment! Mighty Peace Teachers Convention 2014
Character Setting Conflict Former spy FL Everglades Betrayal School teacher Civil War, GA Release of deadly microbe Egyptian Pharoah the C.I.A. Political infighting Mid-wife in WWII 1870 Ireland survival in hostile planet Southern slave Deep w/in Earth’s crust Military uncovers a mistake by Pres. Alien being suburbia Accused of crime didn’t commit scientist modern Hollywood Alzheimer’s disease Witness to a violent crime transatlantic crossing Issue re-connecting w/grown children 13 year-old prodigy Inner city Chicago horrific hurricane A chocolate lab (dog) Ancient Rome Miniaturized to 3 in. tall Optimistic Lawyer Undersea laboratory Brain transferred to android Older, married couple Mars Orbiter Romantic misunderstanding Comic book illustrator the Fourth Dimension Wrong place at the wrong time Champion pie-maker Pacific northwest Mysterious code found National Park ranger Peruvian Andes neophyte battles entrenched veterans
Six Word Memoirs Sample: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” - Ernest Hemingway Other Samples: Need more friends or more hobbies. Old age approaches. Better start now. My entourage asleep in his crib. Some shoes will take you anywhere. Life packed neatly away in boxes. My greatest ideas involve duct tape. Two eyes open, but still nearsighted. Hobby became job. Seeking new hobby.
Sponges and Warm-ups:Definition These are learning experiences that “soak up” dead or transition time with something substantive and related to the day’s lessons. They are not “fluff” activities with little or no educational merit or subject connection. They are inserted anywhere in a lesson in which there is a lull in the lesson’s momentum such as when we distribute papers or supplies, clean up, move from one place to another, wait for other students to finish, or wait in line. Warm-up activities can be done as “early bird” work to review material or prime the brain for new learning when students first enter the room, but they can also be done in the middle of class to get students’ minds ready for what is to come.
How to Create Them Break down the day’s topic into its basic components or subsets of skills. For example, if we’re teaching students to add fractions with different denominators, great sponges and warm-ups would include: • Write the first three numbers that 6 and 8 both go into evenly. • If someone were stuck finding the lowest common multiple between two numbers, what two pieces of advice would you give him? • Draw a quick mindmap or flow chart of the steps needed to reduce a fraction to lowest terms. • Translate three mixed numbers into improper fractions. • Identify two situations in which it is better to turn fractions into decimals before adding them. • Rank the following fractions in order: 3/10, 3/5, 1/2, 2/9, 1, 12/20 • What’s a quick way to tell whether or not 88,050 is divisible by 6, and is it? • Kendall poured ¾ of a gallon of hot salsa into Gerard’s 2/3 of a gallon of lime Jell-O solution and mixed it up. Then she poured all of the spicy mixture into our class’s drinking cups. If every cup holds 6 fluid ounces, then how many cups did she use?
The best ones are based on specific skills within a larger topic: Great opening lines a piece of evidence one claim in a thematic essay samples of well crafted and not-so-well-crafted hypotheses patterns in verb conjugations opportunities to state multiple rises-over-runs before determining slope of a line finding latitudes of multiples locations around the Earth before adding longitudes Advice: Add flavor to some of these -- “Give me a great opening line to this thematic essay if Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie) were saying it. Look at sponges used in other subjects, too: We can write an ode to the Monroe Doctrine, but we can also write an ode to graphing inequalities and to the almighty verb.
Examples • Using only base numbers with exponents, generate five equations that all equal 24. • Give evidence to support or refute “capitalist” as an appropriate description of the main character. • Create two great test questions on this topic we could use for tomorrow’s test. • Categorize the 26 elements in three ways with no one category consisting of less than three elements. • Rewrite these four measures to express a different dynamic. • Explain to your partner why integers are also rational.
Using your hands and arms, demonstrate the difference between diffusion and endocytosis (pinocytosis and phagocytosis) in a cell. • With a partner, identify three arguments against what I just taught you. • Ask students to identify content/skills that weren’t on the test, or ask students to come up with a great additional question for the test and to call on someone to answer it. • Announce to students: “Be ready to say three ways in which the Civil War and Revolutionary War are exactly the same...” [Insert whatever topics you’re about to study for the comparison]
Ask students to come up with alternative titles to a book or event, or, “If [insert a real person under study] were to write a book, what would its title be? • Ask students who they would cast in the role of ________ in this book and why? • Use a new term in two situations, one correct and one incorrect. Students discern which is which. • Ask students to generate as many words as they can think of that mean the opposite of ________. • Give students five vocabulary terms but make sure one of them doesn’t fit the category or theme of the terms, and ask students to identify which word doesn’t belong and a reason why it doesn’t belong. • With content, play Charades or Pictionary • Ask students to identify one word that best describes something under study and to defend that word as a good word to describe it. Ask others to argue against the word as a good word to describe the topic.
In-Out Game: Students determine the classification a teacher’s statements exemplify, then they confirm their hypothesis by offering elements “in the club” and elements “out of the club.” They don’t identify the club, just the items in and out of it. If the students’ suggestions fit the pattern, the teacher invites them to be a part of the club. The game continues until everyone is a member. Example: She is in the club but the class is not. They are in the club, but the penguins are not. You are in the club, but the donuts are not. Give me something in and out of the club.” A student guesses correctly that the club is for personal pronouns, so she says, “We are in the club, but moon rocks are not.” To make it a bit more complex, announce the club’s elements and non-elements in unusual ways that must also be exemplified by the students, such as making all the items in and out of the club alliterative or related in some way. This can be as obvious or as complex as you want it to be.
Logical Fallacies • Ad Hominem (Argument To The Man) -- Attacking the person instead of attacking his argument: “Dr. Jones’ conclusions on ocean currents are incorrect because he once plagiarized an research article.” • Straw Man (Fallacy of Extension) -- Attacking an exaggerated version of your opponent's position. "Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine program. I disagree entirely. I can't understand why he wants to leave us defenseless like that." * • The Excluded Middle (False Dichotomy) -- Assuming there are only two alternatives when in fact there are more. For example, assuming Atheism is the only alternative to Fundamentalism, or being a traitor is the only alternative to being a loud patriot. * From Jim Morton’s’ “Practical Skeptic” website http://members.aol.com/jimn469897/skeptic.htm)
3-2-1 3 – Identify at least three differences between acids and bases 2 – List two uses of acids and two uses of bases 1 – State one reason why knowledge of acids and bases is important to citizens in our community
Backwards Summaries • “Make the web from which this paragraph came.” • “Here’s the completed math solution. What would happen if I had never considered the absolute value of x?” • “Here’s the final French translation of this sentence. What if I had not checked the tense of each verb?” • “Here’s a well done concerto. What happens if I remove the oboe’s eight measures on page 4?” • “Here’s a well-done lab procedure. What happens if I don’t use distilled water?”
Exclusion Brainstorming The student identifies the word/concept that does not belong with the others, then either orally or in writing explains his reasoning: • Mixtures – plural, separable, dissolves, no formula • Compounds – chemically combined, new properties, has formula, no composition • Solutions – heterogeneous mixture, dissolved particles, saturated and unsaturated, heat increases • Suspensions – clear, no dissolving, settles upon standing, larger than molecules
Sorting Cards Teach something that has multiple categories, like types of government, multiple ideologies, cycles in science, systems of the body, taxonomic nomenclature, or multiple theorems in geometry. Then display the categories. Provide students with index cards or Post-it notes with individual facts, concepts, and attributes of the categories recorded on them. Ask students to work in groups to place each fact, concept, or attribute in its correct category. The conversation among group members is just as important to the learning experience as the placement of the cards, so let students defend their reasoning orally and often. The summarization occurs every time a student lifts an individual card and makes a decision on where to place the card. He’s weighing everything he’s been taught as he considers his options. If others question his placement, the discussion furthers the impact. If there is great dissent, and it results in students referencing their notes and textbooks for more information – ‘learning Nirvana.
Statues (Body Sculpture) Students work in small groups using every groupmember’s body to symbolically portray concepts in frozen tableau. Where does the learning occur?
Finger Plays and Body Movements Mitosis: Prophase – Hold your hands chest high. Let your fingers play over and around each other like kids swimming in a pool. Have your fingers intermingle, mixing, tangling, and untangling. They’re getting ready to separate. Metaphase -- The lifeguard blows the whistle for rest period, and everyone lines up along the median (central axis). For this, have the hands turned so the fingertips of one hand are touching the fingertips of the other, palms facing your chest. Slide those fingertips an inch inward, overlapping with the other fingers for effect.
Anaphase -- The lifeguard asks everyone to leave the pool -- it's the end of the swimming day. Slowly pull hands away from each other, bent wrists first. While pulling apart, one hand (Ana) says, "Goodbye, Gene," (Chromosome pun intended) and the other hand (Gene) says in a deep male voice, "Goodbye, Ana." You can do a lot with the puns here, such as saying Ana and Gene are swimming in the gene pool. Separate hands until they are a little past shoulder-width apart. Telophase -- Have the Ana hand talk to the Gene hand saying, "I'll call you on the telophase-phone." Fingers and hands have pulled almost completely into separate entities, as in real mitosis. They are farther away from one another, arms almost completely outstretched. The next step in mitosis is the formation of two new daughter cells, but that would require a parent permission slip for most grade levels, so we won’t go there.
Body Analogies • Fingers and hands can be associated with dexterity, omnidirectional aspects, working in unison and individually, flexibility, or artwork. • Feet can relate to things requiring “footwork” or journey. • Anything that expresses passion, feeling, pumping, supplying, forcing, life, or rhythm could be analogous to the heart. • Those concepts that provide structure and/or support for other things are analogous to the spinal column.
Body Analogies • Those things that protect are similar to the rib cage and cranium. • The pancreas and stomach provide enzymes that break things down, the liver filters things, the peristalsis of the esophagus pushes things along in a wave-like muscle action. • Skin’s habit of regularly releasing old, used cells and replacing them with new cells from underneath keeps it healthy, flexible, and able to function.
Body Analogies Ask students to gather in groups and identify four ways in which the lesson’s subject is analogous to four parts of the human body, minus the genitalia, for obvious reasons. Invite them to list the critical attributes of the concept they’re trying to connect to the body first, then look for items on the body that might best represent that. Some groups may find it easier, however, to reverse that direction – first identify unique characteristics of specific parts of the body, then see how those characteristics fit with the concepts being learned. Once student groups have drawn their body outlines (stick figures are fine), ask them to write a small paragraph somewhere on the paper that explains the analogy, and to draw a line from the paragraph to analogous body part.
Vividness • “a lot” – Running to each wall to shout, “a” and “lot,” noting space between • Comparing Constitutions – Former Soviet Union and the U.S. – names removed • Real skeletons, not diagrams • Simulations • Writing Process described while sculpting with clay
One of These is Wrong ‘Can be used as jigsaw experience, getting-to-know-you game, or to summarize information. In small groups, students share two accurate statements about a topic and one inaccurate statement. The rest of the group guesses which one is inaccurate.
Jamie's homework assignment requires her to write a short biography of five female Nobel Prize winners. Help her match each nobelist to her prize category, country of origin and the year in which she won her prize. Below are all categories and options used in this puzzle: Years Names Categories Countries 1968 Ada Alvarez chemistry Australia 1972 Fay Ferguson economics France 1976 Glenda Glenn literature Germany 1980 Hannah Hay medicine Poland 1984 Patsy Pope physics Russia Downloaded February 2013 from www.logic-puzzles.org
Clues: Fay Ferguson is from Australia. The person from Australia didn't win the prize in literature. The nobelist who won in 1968 didn't win the prize in chemistry. Of the nobelist who won the prize in medicine and Ada Alvarez, one won in 1984 and the other won in 1972. The winner from Poland won her prize 4 years after the nobelist from Australia. Patsy Pope won her prize after the winner who won the prize in chemistry. Neither Fay Ferguson nor the winner who won the prize in economics is the winner who won in 1984. The nobelist from Germany won her prize 4 years after the winner from France. Glenda Glenn isn't from France. The person who won in 1976 didn't win the prize in literature. The five nobelists are the nobelist from France, the winner who won in 1972, Hannah Hay, the winner who won in 1968 and the winner who won in 1980.
One-Word Summaries “The new government regulations for the meat-packing industry in the 1920’s could be seen as an opportunity…,” “Picasso’s work is actually an argument for….,” “NASA’s battle with Rockwell industries over the warnings about frozen temperatures and the O-rings on the space shuttle were trench warfare….” Basic Idea: Argue for or against the word as a good description for the topic.
Charades ‘Played like the party game, except you use concepts from the unit of study. Consider using it with a “jigsaw” lesson in which each member of a team learns a different aspect a topic, then the group gathers, and students perform their Charades to communicate their piece of the puzzle.
Taboo Cards Photosynthesis Light Green Water Sun Chlorophyll Plant Produce
Rummy Games • ‘Played just like Rummy card games. Instead of a straight such as the four, five, six, seven of spades, however, students get the components of a sequence or set you’ve taught. Examples: steps in photosynthesis, process for dividing fractions, all the elements for a animal’s habitat, four things that led to the Civil War, four equivalent fractions, four verbs in the past perfect tense • Students work off a central pile, drawing cards, discarding cards, just as in they would do in a Rummy or Gin Rummy game until they achieve a winning hand.
Spelling Bee de Strange Students spell the words aloud, but substitute sound effects noises for all vowels or phonic patterns being studied. Increase complexity by identifying sounds for subtle differences in the letter: silent E = shhh! short E = heh, heh, heh, long E = “thlphat!” While one team makes sure the other team correctly spells the words and that the correct sounds are given in the correct sequences, the other team tries to spell the words while keeping a straight face. Give points to the listening team if they find phonetic mistakes in the presenting team’s submission, and points off if their assertion is wrong. The faster the presenting team can spell each word, the more outrageous the sounds and the more difficult it is for the other team to detect an error.
Spelling Bee de Strange A = Achoo! E = “thlphat!” I = Ribbit, Ribbit O = Oink! Oink! U = Oo-la-la! Beautiful: “B- thlphat!-achoo-oo-la-la!-t-ribbit-ribbit-f-oo-la-la!-l”
Concept Ladder(J.W. Gillet, C. Temple, 1986, as described in Inside Words, Janet Allen) Concept: Causes of: Effects of: Language associated with: Words that mean the same as: Historical examples: Contemporary examples: Evidence of: Literature connections made:
“Word Link” • Each student gets a word. • In partners, students share the link(s) between their individual words. • Partner team joins another partner team, forming a “word cluster.” • All four students identify the links among their words and share those links with the class. -- Yopp, Ruth Helen. “Word Links: A Strategy for Developing Word Knowledge,” Voices in the Middle, Vol. 15, Number 1, September 2007, National Council Teachers of English
Extreme Vocabulary(Making Words Their Own: Building Foundations for Powerful Vocabulary, 2008) • Distribute word pairs of opposites. • In partners, students place these words at opposite ends of a continuum drawn on paper (or hung as tent cards on rope), and in between the extremes, they place words that fall along the continuum of meaning. For example -- extremes of temperature: Freezing --- Cold --- Tepid --- Warm --- Hot --- Boiling • Once students ge the idea, try something more complex, such as inconsolable and carefree. Where would despondent fit? How about concerned, content, worried, and satisfied? As students discuss the proper positioning of the words and physically move the tent cards back and forth, students draw on visual cues and cement the definitions in their minds. If finding the specific words to go between the two extremes is difficult at first, provide suggestions that students study then place in the sequence. • Ask students to explain their rationale for their choices and positions. Classmates critique their decisions. Does “inconsolable---despondent--–worried--–concerned--–content--–satisfied--–carefree” work sequentially? Why or why not?
______________________ is (are) a _________________ because _______________________________________. Ask students to include something intangible, such as suspicion or an odyssey, in the first blank. The tangible comparison---a combination lock or an elliptical trainer---would fit in the second section. Ask students to justify their choices: “Suspicion is a combination lock because it secures a possession’s well-being that cannot be assured through trust alone. Odyssey is an elliptical trainer because it has a beginning, middle, and end, and along the way, we encounter moments of endurance, doubt, despair, and elation, leaving comfort and returning again.”
Common Analogous Relationships • Person : least related adjective • Math relationship • Effect : cause • Action : Thing Acted Upon • Action : Subject Performing the Action • Object or Place : Its User • Object : specific attribute of the object • Male : Female • Symbol : what it means • Classification/category : example • Noun : Closely Related Adjective • Elements Used : Product created • Attribute : person or object • Object : Where it’s located • Lack (such as drought/water – one thing lacks the other) • Antonyms • Synonyms • Age • Time • Part : Whole • Whole : Part • Tool : Its Action • Tool user : Tool • Tool : Object It’s Used With • Worker: product he creates • Category : Example • Effect : Cause • Cause : Effect • Increasing Intensity • Decreasing Intensity • Person : closely related adjective
Metaphors Break Down “You can’t think of feudalism as a ladder because you can climb up a ladder. The feudal structure is more like sedimentary rock: what’s on the bottom will always be on the bottom unless some cataclysmic event occurs.” -- Amy Benjamin, Writing in the Content Areas, p. 80 “A classroom is like a beehive.” Where does the simile sink? • Students are not bees. • Students have a variety of readiness levels and skill sets for completing tasks. Bees are more uniform. • Students don’t respond blindly or purely to the pheromones of the queen bee. • Students are busier throughout the day and night than bees. • Students don’t swarm when angered.
Descriptions With and Without Metaphors Friendship Family Infinity Imperialism Solving for a variable Trust Euphoria Mercy Worry Trouble Obstructionist Judiciary Honor Immigration Homeostasis Balance Temporal Rifts Economic Principles Religious fervor Poetic License Semantics Heuristics Tautology Embarrassment Knowledge
Same Concept, Multiple Domains The Italian Renaissance: Symbolize curiosity, technological advancement, and cultural shifts through mindmaps, collages, graphic organizers, paintings, sculptures, comic strips, political cartoons, music videos, websites, computer screensavers, CD covers, or advertisements displayed in the city subway system. The economic principle of supply and demand: What would it look like as a floral arrangement, in the music world, in fashion, or dance? Add some complexity: How would each of these expressions change if were focusing on a bull market or the economy during a recession?
Discern the Pattern and Fill in the Last Row of Numbers 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 3 1 2 2 1 1 1 3 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 1 - From, Creative Thinkering, 2011, Michael Michalko, p. 44
A picture is worth a thousand words, but the right metaphor is worth a thousand pictures. -- Daniel Pink, 2008
“I used to think…, but now I think…”
Personal Processing “I like, I wish, What if” (p. 121, Seelig)
Resources… • Mindware: www.mindwareonline.com (1-800-999-0398) • Fluegelman, Andrew, Editor. The New Games Book, Headlands Press Book, Doubeday and Company, New York, 1976 • Henton, Mary (1996) Adventure in the Classroom. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt • Lundberg, Elaine M.; Thurston, Cheryl Miller. (1997) If They’re Laughing… Fort Collins, Colorado: Cottonwood Press, Inc. • Rohnke, K. (1984). Silver Bullets. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt. • Rohnke, K. & Butler, S. (1995). QuickSilver. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt • Rohnke, K. (1991). The Bottomless Bag Again. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt • Rohnke, K. (1991). Bottomless Baggie. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt • Rohnke, K. (1989). Cowstail and Cobras II. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt