Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gimme 3 Three in a Row...Gimme Tic Tac Toe!

Here and ready to play, Lori

Friends, it has been a shameful long while since I've been able to blog.  How I've missed it! 

Our 8th grade STAAR test is over, so that means two things: 
  • Prepping for the re-test and lots of tutoring.
  • Continuing to make every day in the classroom matter for EVERY kid.
But let's face it...teachers are tired! If Suz and I are great at anything, it's re-inventing the wheel and finding six different versions to do the same thing in a new way. 

So to keep you afloat in the days leading up the retest and even the days after, I bring you Genre Tic-Tac-Toe. 

Cruel metaphor for the school year?
(Sorry...I couldn't help myself!)
This little brain child of mine has been noodling around in my head for weeks now, but I finally brought it to fruition. It's a great way to turn a classic game into a meaningful measure of student mastery. It will help you and your kids in two ways:
  1. It is your lesson for the day (maybe two). And I've done all of the planning and prep for you [except make your copies]!! At this point in the year, we're not teaching much that is new. This is the perfect time to see what kids still don't get and fix it before they move on.
  2. It is your tutoring lesson! Hallelujah! If kids cannot complete their chosen squares to mastery, then you can teach a mini-lesson on that in tutoring and they can re-attempt the square. 
Download Genre Tic-Tac-Toe and you'll get three separate activities along with links to the accompanying texts. The set comes with:
  • Fiction Tic-Tac-Toe--Based on a fast-paced and high-interest excerpt from Tangerine by Edward Bloor, this assignment is a crowd-pleaser.
  • Expository Tic-Tac-Toe--Have you ever wondered why we all sing our ABCs? This informational article from The Wall Street Journal tackles the science behind music and memory.
  • Expository and Poetry Tic-Tac-Toe--Random acts of kindness brighten our day. A lovely poem from Naomi Shihab Nye communicates the delicate relationship between sorrow and kindness. In addition, an informational article from Edutopia describes the importance of teaching kindness. 
I've enjoyed creating Genre Tic-Tac-Toe for you! It is based off of the 8th grade TEKS, but you could use it at other grade levels. Each square pushed me to think creatively and have kids do something different to demonstrate their mastery. 

Let me know how you use it in your classroom!

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