I am very careful not to get up on my soapbox too often here! :) But I know many of you are in the midst of making resolutions for your classroom in the upcoming school year and I urge you to consider adding this one. There are so many easy ways you can incorporate this into your work products-especially in writing! It doesn't have to be messy projects (although I do believe kids should do those every once in a while too) but just give them more of an open-ended assignment. Let them come up with their own way to show their learning. Don't box them in with only giving them one way to respond to the question. It will give you a better idea of what they can apply as well when you are assessing their work.
Sometimes other teachers and administrators have told me that I take it too far and I do understand that. We are preparing them for STANDARDIZED tests after all-they don't measure creativity in any capacity. (Do you know we do not even have a curricular objective to cover creativity or critical thinking--I have to tie it into whatever subject area I'm teaching when I want to incorporate them). Worksheets and workbook pages do have a place, I do know that, I'm just not a fan. :)
When I attended TAGT earlier in the month (a GT conference) I left instructions for activities with the sub that we would normally do, but I also left a good supply of worksheets-just in case. I worked as a sub when I was just starting out, I know that panic that sets in, when you have 10 minutes left before lunch and you don't know what to do with them. So this was one of the worksheets-you are supposed to copy the sentence over with correct punctuation. Over 1/2 of my students answered the questions! Now I know, they should have read the instructions and been able to complete it correctly, however, I did have to chuckle. They just aren't used to worksheets, can you tell? :)
Ran out of room on how to make a flower grow! :)
Where do the stars go? With us! My little poet! :)
Many of them thought birds sing for people to wake up--too cute!
Just an idea for you to keep in mind as you do your planning for last semesters!