Tuesday, September 23, 2014

End of the Day Jar

     The "End of the Day Jar," is a great way to culminate the end of each school day. Everyday approximately ten minutes before the final bell my students must return to their desks, straighten their area, and then a student is called upon to "teach the class." I hang a list of students and their assigned days to be the "end of the day teacher".  As the "End of the Day Teacher,"  the student randomly chooses a card from the End of the day Jar. The student then asks each student one at a time the question or prompt from the card pulled from the End of the Day Jar.  There is no less than thirty cards in the jar. Cards may be used again and again. Examples of cards are: 1)What is one thing you learned today?  2)Tell about something you read today. and  3) Did you do something kind for someone today?.
     The "End of the Day Jar" is a positive activity on so many levels. First, it gives the students a sense of completion on their school day. Secondly, it gives students a focus point to gather their thoughts, and straighten their school space to be prepared to start again in the morning. Thirdly, The "End of the Day Jar" allows students to relax for just a second forgetting that school is over before bustling out the door to go home.  Simply put, it's just a nice way to end the school day. It gives each student time to reflect on their school day. The students share their answers that may all be different from each others to give each child a different perspective on the same question or prompt. Best of all, there are no wrong responses! So, everyone gets positive reinforcement.  Lastly, it gives the "student of the day" a little public speaking practice in a non-threatening environment. It also gives the student his or her day in the spotlight to be momentarily the leader. I think we all like to be the leader once in a while even if it is only for a moment.
   I first learned of the "End of the Day Jar" from Aimee Vanmiddlesworth on "Teachers Pay Teachers." When I learn good ideas from other teachers I like to share them. The more each of us do to help each other and collaborate the more effectively we can teach our students. I can assure you that this is a great activity that quickly becomes part of the daily routine.  Best of all students love it and eagerly look forward to their day to be the end of the day teacher!


Daily Parent Link:
Family Rules Template
http://www.growingwireless.com/learn-engage/tips-for-safe-kids/family-rules-template



Daily Parent and Educator Link:
Great Apps for Children with Down's Syndrome
http://nosycrow.com/blog/the-best-apps-for-children-with-down-s-syndrome-special-needs


Daily Educator Link:
Google Chromebook in the Classroom!
http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=1443255
@GingerLewman


Daily Book Review:
     Tonight's pick is Cross-Country Cat, written by: Mary Calhoun.  This is an adorable story about Henry a siamese cat who is accidently left behind by his family at a ski lodge. Henry is a clever cat who talks to the animals in an attempt to get home! Though I'm personally not quite ready for snow yet, children will love this wintry tale!