We all know that time is our enemy in the classroom. We are always racing against the clock and the calendar to get all our standards taught and to the level in which students hopefully retain the content. Not sure about you, but I'm always looking for more effective ways for students to learn and practice in the classroom. I hate to say it but my first few years I was that teacher that gave out a boring worksheet for every concept we covered. I would allow students to spend more than half the class period doing independent practice and mostly talking. Needless to say we never covered all the standards and that was when we didn't have as many to cover either. Looking back I realize I was CRAZY!!! We can't allow students to just sit around and waste time when we have so much to accomplish.
So how do we try to fix the wasted time issue? Well first we have to stop doing whatever we are that is causing us to waste time or be unproductive. Then we have to make a change; do something fun or outside of the box that will interest students. Also remember that you may fail several times before you figure out what works for you and your students but being a teacher is trying and never giving up.
For me I realized I had to actually try to teach instead of take the easy way out everyday by handing out a worksheet and calling that "teaching". I have tried several things over the years: group work, student whiteboards, interactive notebooks, games, and most recently technology. I am so thankful to have all these things in my teaching toolbox that make me more adaptable to my students' needs.
I'm super excited to share with you something that is new to me this year which I truly love and that is card sorts.
It's nothing spectacular just basically a worksheet put onto several different little cards that students get to sort different ways. Depending on how you design yours for a particular activity they could be sorting a problem with its answer or sorting the cards into different categories. The cool thing is there are lots of options. I have made a template in Microsoft PowerPoint which is totally editable for you to use, save, change, and share. I'm always looking for something great in my classroom and who really wants to spend money on classroom materials; shouldn't we be helping each other become better teachers for our students? Well hope you enjoy!!
Here are links to 6 card sorts I've already completed. I printed them in portrait mode and 2 slides to 1 page.
***There might be typos I was entering and solving pretty fast today so check behind me***
Factoring by Trinomials
Verbal & Algebraic Notation
Combining Like Terms
Solving Equations (with variables on one side)
Solving Equations (with variables on both sides)
Card Sort Template
The PowerPoint Template already has 1-32 number question boxes and A-X letter question boxes