Do you want to add instant fun to any lesson? Let your students write on their desks!
One of my favorite activities in 2nd grade was when our teacher let us "write" on our desks with shaving cream. We practiced math problems, spelling words and parts of speech. Something about not doing it with pencil and paper was exhilarating, exciting and loads of fun. I haven't let this year's class use the shaving cream on their desks (just yet), but they've been having tons of fun writing on their desks with dry erase markers. I've seen the idea floating around the internet for awhile now and I knew I had to give it a try with my own class.
My students couldn't believe I was actually telling, prompting and encouraging them to write on their desks. You can use baby wipes or wet paper towels to quickly and easily wipe the marker off the desks. No traces of marker are left behind!
Before we did this the first time I explained that the markers were very special. They could only write on their desks with these specific markers and only when I told them it was okay.
I walked the basket around the room and each child chose a marker while his/her eyes were closed. I didn't want any fighting about the colors - "But I-I-I-I (whiny voice) wanted green!" I told them up front that complainers would not be allowed to participate. Guess what? There were no complaints at all. I run a pretty tight ship! :)
We've been working really hard on two digit addition and subtraction - with and without regrouping. Sometimes they forget to look at the symbol and other times they borrow when they don't need to. I thought this would be a fun way to review these types of math problems. It saves on paper too. I do teach in San Francisco after all, so I'm always looking for ways to go green in the classroom!
We've also been working on different ways to show a number - expanded form, place value, base ten blocks, etc. There are so many ways to represent a single number.
If you haven't done this in your classroom yet - what are you waiting for?