If you haven't heard of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. it's a really great little acronym that can help you step up the rigor in your activities. A great explanation of how one way it can be used is here: http://engagetheirminds.wordpress.com . I was thinking about how to use it for our back-to-school type activities. I don't think we'll need the typical ice-breakers this year, because except for a few students, everyone was in the same class last year. Since we do a lot of assessments those first few weeks, I want some "fun" activities in between.
S. - substitution-I'm thinking about school supplies-what could we use to write with if we had no pencils/crayons?
C-combine-combine 2 school supplies together for a more efficient tool.
A-adapt-adapt say a pencil or eraser to make it better. They are always writing on erasers or breaking them, maybe they can come up with a way to make them more 1st Grader-proof! Or how would you adapt to going to school in Alaska?
M-modify-invent a new school supply tool for us to use.
P-put to another use-I love using a pencil for this-it really stretches their thinking-what else could I use a pencil for. Personally, I put my hair up with one (before I got it cut shorter that is) or open cans with it-what else could it be used for. And I won't except any kind of writing as the answer!
E- Eliminate-What would the 1st week of school be like without school supplies? What if we had no summer vacation? (I know in some year-round schools this happens).
R- rearrange-what if we had a winter vacation instead of summer vacation? What would school be like in the summer?
I was also inspired by Ms. Patton: http://pattonspatch.blogspot.com -hers is a RAFT activity, but I'm going to have the kiddos choose a school supply item and write from its perspective. Do the crayons get as excited sitting on the shelf waiting to be bought as we get buying them? How do they feel sitting in a desk all day? (My kiddos were over the moon they get their own desks to put their supplies in).
Now, I won't do all of these activities, the kids would be rigored out-but I will choose a few. It also gives me an idea for my new kiddos, how adept they already are at those deep thinking skills. We have to have a jumping off point!