A Plateful of Ideas

Hiya Peeps

Shuna P here

Guest blogger for today is Scipi

I must say I love the idea that she talks about below

Hi! I am Scipi, (Sci for science which is what my husband teaches and pi for me because I teach math) a guest blogger today for Shuna. I currently teach remedial math on the college level to students I have nicknamed Mathphobics.

My Math Blog
When I taught the primary grades in a Title I school, I often found homework was seldom returned. I knew I had to come up with an idea that would be unique; something the parents would recognize as homework; something the kids would want to complete.  Thus a Plateful of Ideas was created. 

What this entailed was using paper plates on which the assignment was to be completed.  I bought about 300 at the local dollar store.  The children wrote their name on the back of the plate, and I would put the assignment on the front.  (Since I didn’t want to write it 25 times, I would copy it, then glue it to the center of the plate).  Some sample assignments were:
Find pictures of things that are the color blue and paste them on your plate.
Find words that start with the letter “S” and glue them on your plate.
Find things that come in pairs or twos.  Paste the pictures on your plate. You may also draw items that come in twos.
Write as many ways as you can to add and get the answer of ten.
Write at least eight different three digit numbers on your plate.
Find pictures or draw pictures of at least six vegetables.
Around the rim of the paper plate, write the numbers from 1-25.
Around the rim of the paper plate, write all the alphabet letters as capitals.
On the plate, draw your family, including your pets.
The next day, those children who brought their plate back with the assignment completed would receive a small reward for doing so such as a sticker, a small box of raisins, a new eraser, a new pencil, etc. (I love the Oriental Trading Company for this!)  I would place the reward on their plate which, of course, would bring a big smile.  No plate = no reward!  As you can imagine, few plates were left at home, and few assignments were incomplete. I then displayed the plates in the classroom and used them during the day for sharing or reteaching, or just praising a child.  Since the child’s name was on the reverse side, I could hang them up on the hall bulletin board as well.

I did not do this assignment every day, but at least once a week, the children would have a Plateful of Ideas assignment to complete.  Parents liked it because when they saw the paper plate, they knew their child had homework.  Children were encouraged by their parents to complete the assignment; so, besides the physical reward, they were given the much needed parental encouragement to do homework.  I found it to be a win-win situation for everyone.  So if your plate isn’t too full right now, I hope you will give this idea a try. 

I have a FREE Trash to Treasure handout that features clever ideas, fun and engaging mini-lessons in addition to cute and easy to construct crafts made from recycled or common, everyday items.  In this resource, discover how to take old, discarded materials and make them into new, useful, inexpensive products or tools for your classroom. Because these numerous activities vary in difficulty and complexity, they are appropriate for any PreK-3 classroom, and the visual and/or kinesthetic learners will love them.  Just click under the resource cover.
Free Trash to Treasure

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