Animated! Outspoken! Challenging! Tech-Savy! These are a few words that describe my students. As a result of being born into and growing up in a tech-savy world my students are always in a hurry to finish a task or to find the answer; unfortunately, sometimes the results are haphazard or the students move on to one assignment without having a complete understanding of the last task completed.
It is time to slow down!
The higher level thinking that is expected of this generation requires that we spend time making connections between ideas and sparking new thoughts based on previous assumptions. This thinking requires students to confidently engage in real discourse with each other and adults and although my students have much to say; my challenge is to give them instruction and experiences to provide them with the tools for critique and creative expression.
Playing scrabble is one way for students to develop executive functioning. Students use random letters to build words and keep score as they go. Students play in small groups and even partner together with classmates who may need extra support with spelling and/or figurative language. The executive function skills of planning and organization are required because students need to build off of each others’ words as the game progresses. As an extended learning activity, students will look up the definitions to the literary or novel vocabulary words they create and/or use the word in a sentence before points are scored.
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