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Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Anchor Activities

This year, I wanted to offer learning as it's own reward. I had originally created a binder of science-y extensions that students would look at when they're done. I learned quickly that it wasn't very effective. I was reading an article on differentiation and it suggested making extensions/anchor activities a requirement. I had an idea! I would create a tic-tac-toe board with options on activities related to our current topic. In my grade book, I have a "0" weight category for practice assignments, like checkpoints.

My students did a great job with our first go! For our physics unit, I created the board below. I wanted to incorporate different types of activities like review games, vocabulary posters, links, and quick labs.
To set one up for your classroom, choose activities for your tic-tac-toe board. 

  1. Create a tic-tac-toe board with titles, descriptions, a spot for their score, and your signature. Every student should receive one when you explain your plans.
  2. Create labeled folders with copies of any materials that students will need to complete the activities.
  3. Place the files in a crate that has instructions on the front. For example, I told students to choose their activities, complete them, and check their answers in the binder.
  4. Create a binder with answer keys for students to check their answers. I have mine in page protectors to help increase their longevity.
  5. If available, create a Google Classroom for students to have another mode to submit assignments.
It seems like the month timeline I have given my students was very doable for most. I broke it down and gave them reminders of where they should be by the end of the week.

I am so excited by the resources the students are creating. The posters are great for a colorful word wall. I can leave them up all year! They have created a couple Kahoot games and other review resources that I plan on using for stations to prepare for the unit assessment. Finally, the list of links have been phenomenal that they have found to delve further into the material. I have the list at the bottom because I think it's too great not to share.

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