Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teacher Tips - Restroom Time Activities

The dreaded “Restroom Time” – how do teachers get through it every day and maintain their sanity?? They don't teach you that in college! Try my "teacher tested" tips for incorporating "Real-life Math" learning activities into Restroom Time while decreasing inappropriate behavior!
Before I designed these activities, “Restroom Time” was taking approximately 10 minutes for my 4th Grade Class. It was difficult to keep kids quiet in line as well as supervise in the Restroom and at the Water Fountain at the same time.  Finally, I had a "Brainstorm", and these activities are the outcome. The results were a shorter Restroom Time, a decrease in discipline problems, and an increase in instructional time, as well as incorporating Higher Order Thinking Skills. Activities may need to be adjusted according to the ages and ability of your class.

The Restroom Math Plan 

Students line up in Number Order and walk in one line to the restrooms, and then walk to appropriate restroom. Restroom Leaders (1 girl and 1 boy, alternating weekly) are at restroom doors with girls and boys in rows at each perspective restroom.  

A “Timer Leader" carries the class digital timer or a stopwatch.  When the Restroom Leaders are in place, “Timer” Leader calls out, “Go!” and starts the timer as students take turns in restroom.  After restroom, students go to the Water Fountain while Drink Leader supervises. If students finish Restroom/Drink Time quietly in 4 minutes or less, a spoon of popcorn is placed in the Popcorn jar. 

Please Note: If there is a major disturbance, a spoon of popcorn may come out of the jar (very rarely).

Flashcard Leader – goes down the “finished” restroom line showing math flashcards to one student at a time until answered correctly.Then go to next card; next student, etc.

Whiz Kid Cards – You may use purchased cards or science and social studies terms/questions, etc.  Leader asks one question to one student at a time until answered correctly (see above).

Estimation using floor tiles. Measure the length and width of tiles in inches. Do perimeter and area of a designated "block" of tiles.

Estimation using wall blocks (cinder block building). Measure the height of a wall block in inches. Estimate the height of the hallway in inches by counting the number of blocks and use calculators to multiply. Divide by 12 for the height in feet.  

Math Terms Review – Example: Timer leader calls out the restroom time, “3 minutes, 42 seconds rounds to ___”.  The class says, “four minutes”.  On the way back to class, math questions are asked, and students answer in unison.  Here are some examples:

·         How many seconds are in a minute?
·         How many minutes are in a hour?
·         How many hours are in a day?
·         How many days are in a year?
·         How many days are in leap year?
·         How many months are in a year?
·         How many days are in a week?
·         How many weeks are in a year?
·         How many feet are in a yard
·         How many inches are in a foot?
·         How many inches are in a yard?
·         How many objects in a dozen?
·         Etc.

Upon returning to the classroom, if a spoon of popcorn has been earned, you may place it in the jar, or, a “Tally Mark” is placed on a class wall chart, and popcorn can be placed in the jar when a certain number of tally marks are earned.  Students keep a “Restroom Data Chart” in the Math notebook to record date and number of minutes the restroom break took.

Periodically, you can use the collected Restroom Time Data to construct a Line Graph and also to determine mean, median, mode, and range.

When the Popcorn Jar is full, it’s “Party Time”!!  Popcorn can be popped using a hot-air popper, if available. If not available, take the popcorn home, pop it, and put it in Ziploc bags. Provide drinks and graham crackers, and watch an instructional video! Then we start filling the Popcorn Jar again...

Nancy's Notes: 
I am a firm believer that Math should not be taught during just one block of time per day; it should be integrated into all subjects throughout the day. One year when my class earned their first party, I was surprised and very pleased to see one student making an array with his popcorn! He then promptly told me the matching multiplication and division facts for his array. Another was lining pieces of popcorn on the edges of her napkin to estimate how many pieces of popcorn would be required to go around the napkin! It was a very good day!

No comments :

Post a Comment