March 29, 2017

Shoestring Teaching: It’s in the Bag!

Need a simple cheap review strategy that can take you from day one to year end ? Would you love it even more if it truly could be used from early primary grades through high school? I’ve got your back. With this article, I’ll show how you can review any concept, any time using only a paper grocery sack and some index cards. Is that cheap, or what?

Here’s what you do: Label the outside of the sack with the game title “In the Bag”. Using the index cards and writing tool, record various questions from material covered thus far such as quotes from known literary characters, plots for book titles, glossary definitions, math problems or even spelling words.

Next, put them all in the bag and shake. The next time you have a few minutes between classes or dismissal time and need a sponge activity, call on a student to come up and select a card from the bag. This person will get to read the question and call on the person who will be required to answer. For example, if you use spelling words the person called can be expected to both spell the word and use it in a sentence. Or, if it’s a famous quote from history, it can be a matter of reading the card without giving the class the answer.

Still not cheap and easy enough? Check out these additional time and money saving hacks: Take the word cards down from your weekly spelling lists and put them directly in the bag, skipping the additional writing requirement. Don’t want to have to worry about 3-4 separate review games in the elementary or middle school grades? Put all of the various topic cards in together and make it a multi-subject review every time you play.

For educators working under extreme conditions where even index cards are a major budgetary indulgence, this can also be accomplished with donated scrap paper cut into squares. Whatever you have to do to get the job done, right?

With this strategy, you should be able to meet your review goals easily, regardless of the financial parameters of your school or home teaching budget. Happy teaching!

Photo Credit: Tanakawho

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