Last week was spring break and I knew my students would come to class anxious to share their spring break adventures. Instead of the usual sit down and draw and write about your vacation...yawn... I wanted to come up with an activity that had a little more zip and incorporated more of the common core standards. Thus, Talking Tokens was born and boy was it a huge success! I have never seen my kinders more engaged and having such detailed conversations with each other.
First, students brainstorm events that happened to them over spring break. Then they drew a quick picture for each event. A picture that would serve as a symbol to remind them. They wrote one word on the line to sum up the event.
They colored in their tokens, cut them out, and put their initials on the back of each token. As students finished they gathered in groups on the carpet and took turns sharing their tokens. I left the expectations for the parter sharing very loose. I was amazed how students structured the share to meet their needs. This group below shared and put their token events in order!
Each kinder in this group shared one at a time. While a person shared, the others listened carefully and asked questions.
I constantly struggle to get my kindlers to share with each other, stay on topic, ask meaningful questions, etc! Talking Tokens was the greatest success I have had making this expectation list happen. Students who normally don't talk or are ELL's had a picture to use as a starting off point. Students who have a hard time retaining information and remembering events had a visual to jog their memory. No joke my students sat for a good 10-15 minutes chatting with each other, and as I walked around I could see the tokens in their hands and hear them staying on topic! Later in the day we turned our tokens in to a Spring Break Art project. Students glued the tokens down and made a flower scene.
I love the symbols this student used (the slide from pump it up, play date, camping tent with thunder outside, campfire and talking around the campfire, going to the park, and an Easter egg hunt)
Here are some freebies! Click on the picture!
For more Talking Tokens and very detailed directions for implementation I made a unit for sale in my TPT and Teachers Notebook stores. Check it out! Only $3 for a 21 page packet! Click on the picture below.
Non-related to school but fun nonetheless! Have you heard of Mixbook? It is a very fun online scrapbooking program. 2011 was a big year for me and I wanted to put all my favorite photographs in to a scrapbook. I received my book in the mail and wanted to share with you how it turned out!
My boyfriend and I met on eharmony! It works! Anyways, I included our profiles and all the juicy emails we sent back and forth to each other.
This was my profile:
I was even able to use photos from my iPhone and make one big photo collage. Drag and drop it was seriously that easy!
Mixbook has tons of layout options!
Photography is a fun hobby of mine and it was exciting to showcase some of my more prized photos as very large images.
I did this Mixbook in a week! Over 100 pages! Yes, I went cross-eyed, and developed a claw hand from hours at the computer. My goal this year is to create the scrapbook a little each month so that at the end of the year I have a gift to give myself. I was even thinking a Mixbook could be a great end of the year gift or memory for students.... hmmm...