Friday, April 6, 2012

Break the Rules!

Inspired by wonderful educators and thinkers I've met on Twitter, Pam Moran, Ira Socol and their work with schools here, I went out on a limb and broke the rules last week! I was further inspired by the work of Michael Thornton shown here.  After privately testing to be sure that the dry erase markers wouldn't stain the desks, I carefully planned my surprise.

As I talked with students at the beginning of the day about our plans, I casually walked up and began to write on a student's desk, sharing that I had been invited to discover a new way to illustrate our learning. Gasps and giggles erupted as I showed how I could erase my work easily. "When can WE do that?" was of course, the next question.  And, by the way, this question has been asked nearly every day since.

During math, our lesson ( as described by our curriculum) required students to practice drawing lines of different lengths. This was the perfect activity to practice measurement, both drawing these lines, reporting their lengths in different units, and then later measuring and calculating the perimeter and area of their desks.

Enjoy a few pictures, with faces omitted due to school policies.

There is something really fun about "breaking the rules!"

Students all brought in old socks the next day in anticipation of needing more erasers :-)

100% of the students are engaged when we write on desks!

I'll take that heart as a symbol she is having fun!

Students who often draw other pictures instead of answering problems on white boards did not get off task.

By the way, the marker wipes right off and if there is residue, dry erase cleaner or disinfectant wipes get the surface clean!


4 comments:

Amanda Klein said...

Love this! This is one of those activities students will remember FOREVER!

Anonymous said...

My grade 1/2 teacher did this and the kids did so much writing. All because they could write on the tables and floors

Joan Young said...

Thanks for the comments! Pretty amazing how such a simple "tool" can inspire students :-)

Carmela Ianni (@carmela_ianni) said...

I'm sure they'll remember that lesson because they were allowed to do something different. Great, Joan!