Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Topic Sort Without a Computer

Ideally, we would all have computers everyday, or everyday that we wanted them. As we all know, this is far from reality. Because of our pathetic computer availability, some of our computer/internet ideas must be changed into a non-computer/internet activity. I've posted before on using Lino and Wall-Wisher to post random facts about topics and then having your students sort them into categories. If you do not have computers available or just don't want want to use them, you can create a "topic sort" without the technology.
Topic Sort is a good way to get your kids thinking about what you've been teaching and a good challenge for them (I always make it into a competition). Think of 4 or 5 categories of information that you've been learning about. Then, you, as the teacher, list a bunch of facts for those topics. Cut them out, mix them up and put them all together in an envelop. Give each group (2 or 3 per group) an envelop and so "Go." The challenge is for them to obviously be the first group with all items organized into their respective topics. You could also have a specific sequence of events for each topic, so not only does each group need to sort the items, but they need to be in the correct order as well. This would raise the "challenging" factor. Have groups check each other's work for accuracy. The more items they need to sort, the better because it makes it harder. 

Ideas/Application for Education: Civil War Battles, Civil War Generals, Presidents, Parts of Speech, books you've been reading, etc. 

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