Power Pix and Brain Toys are the subjects of today's two webcasts. These are both new to me as well, so another exciting morning of new learning for me! (I am really getting antsy to start the school year. My Professional Development Notes notebook is brimming with things to try! I love spending my summer learning!)
Power Pix are downloads that teach Common Core knowledge. (Yes, please!) These resources use visual and motor cues to teach abstract concepts. Each card shows a picture and a word.
-The words are color coded by syllables.
-A blue border means language arts, a red border means math.
-There are gestures to go with each card.
-There is a definition to go with each card.
-There is a lesson to go with each card.
Everything you need is on the front of the card. These cards are based on the Common Core Standards. Yea! There is a set for each primary grade and a higher set for older kids. These cards help you start with the concrete and build up to generalizations.
Critical Thinking Connection:
Have students use the words in a sentence and use the because clapper. Have students write a letter to someone to explain the concept. Have students compare and contrast two of the concepts.
The best news, as with all WBT products, they are free! You can find your first grade Power Pix cards here: Power Pix
Now, onto some great new learning about Brain Toys! Brain Toys are gestures students use to develop critical thinking skills and make lessons more fun! Brain Toys are going to be used to develop the CT skills. The focus for this webcast was on the Air Whiteboard, Sockless Hand Puppets, and Props. These strategies get students from being passive listeners to active learners!
1. Air Whiteboard: Students simply make a whiteboard in the air to illustrate a teacher's point. Have students make the whiteboard with a gesture outlining the board. They can even make sure the corner is squeaky clean with a little air circle. The uses for this whiteboard are limitless.
In the beginning of the year, I can see using this strategy for all types of math and reading connections. The kids are going to love this because they are showing their learning, but doing it in a fun way that uses their imagination. It engages the brain's visual and motor cortex. Also, making large gestures can wake up the class if they are sleepy. (Perfect for that after lunch slump!)
2. Sockless Hand Puppet: Students pick up their hands and make a handpuppet without the sock. You can use them for anything from summarizing a story to discussing letters and sounds. This is a very silly strategy that students are going to love. (You can even use it with funny voices to show the right and wrong way to follow procedures in the classroom.)
3. Props: Props can be anything. Your students can turn something as simple as a pencil into a prop like a timeline (or anything you can imagine) in order to help with the learning. Another great, free, easy way to get students engaged!