The holiday write the room activity was a free download I stumbled across on my favorite thing in the world, Pinterest. (Okay, maybe not my very favorite, but top ten for sure!) I was looking for something for the kiddos to do while I tested a couple kiddos who have been absent a lot. This adorable Holiday Write the Room, from Greg Smedley-Warren, seemed to fit the bill! Such an easy download and so simple to implement! The only problem was, it was so much fun watching the kiddos work that I couldn’t tear myself away from the students!
“Girls and boys! It’s time to do one of your favorite math activities! Drumroll, please”, I say, and wait for the kids to drum their fingers on their desks for suspense.
After the drumroll, I exclaim, “Write the room!” to cheers and applause. We LOVE any sort of write the room. I mean LOVE it. (We’re a wiggly bunch.)
I no sooner get “Write the” pronounced, when several of my wiggliest wiggle monsters are already looking around for things to write and utensils for writing.
I draw their attention to really cute rectangles around the room decorated with groups of holiday objects. I show how to find the object on he recording sheet and the write the number that goes with the quantity.
“Are you ready to get started?! I ask/exclaim.
“Yes!” students cheer.
I have white boards stacked on the table closest to our meeting spot, along with pencils and recording sheets, so students can quickly and easily grab their supplies as they start walking and recording the numbers they count.
Students begin walking, counting, and writing, and it is fantastic. A few kiddos need a little extra direction, so I keep an eye on my buddies who may need support. I “swoop in” as needed, but this activity lends itself to careful observation. (I love that! Some of my favorite teaching puts me in a completely facilitator-like position. It’s not about me—it’s 100% about the kiddos.
As students begin finishing their green-edged set of write the room cards, I am so happy to announce, “But there’s ¨more!” Sure enough, this awesome, incredible free download is even differentiated! The red-bordered Set #2 has larger quantities, even into the teen numbers! We have hardly talked about teen numbers, except for at calendar. We count the items and carefully write them onto the ten frames.
I wouldn’t say it’s a pet peeve, but I tend to always give a 2-minute warning before we are finished with something. Those little kids that try to sneak past the end of the work time, pretending they didn’t hear that the lesson was over… I know they have ears! Well, this is an activity that kids love to complete so much—don’t be surprised if there’s more than one kiddo who just keeps on working. I remind my stragglers that we are finished… even if there’s a square or two left to fill in.
When asked about favorite parts of the lesson, students say they love moving around and filling in the boxes. I can’t help but smile as one of my buddies says he liked the hard part—he liked the bigger numbers. (Things tend to come pretty easily for this guy, and he truly enjoyed the challenge, which is wonderful.)