1 Rote Skills Tip= Fun & Easy Learning
I know, rote skills being used with the words fun and easy, unlikely. Right? Well, I've got a simple idea that might help.
I recently heard Lizz from Learning with Lizz R say that we don't give enough credit to the lower levels of Depth of Knowledge. That really struck me! We often say that we are pushing for creative thinking and aim for higher level questioning, but what if they don't even have the basics down? I think it's safe to say we are all in favor of introducing new vocabulary is powerful and meaningful, while having rote skills well under control is helpful and makes learning a little easier.
BUT WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?!
What if you could make it easier and a classroom management piece, as well?
It's easy! Using electrical tape (because it peels off the floor without leaving residue), put small pieces where you want your students to line up. Then, using a silver sharpie, write the skill you want students to practice. For example, I started a year in kindergarten with uppercase letters then switched to numbers, lowercase letters, and started sight words mid-winter. In first grade, I started with simple sight words and progressed through to harder words and simple math facts.
I've got a tip on how to make the tape spots faster.
Then, I use velcro dots and paper feet cut-outs to make the chart. You could use anything, but I found these feet already cut out at my local teacher store, so I went with it! Write the letter, word, number, math fact, etc... on the foot that matches the tape spot on the floor.
Then, assigning these is another chance to make the connection. When students are on the rug for morning meeting, I have them bring a dry erase board and we practice writing the words/etc... on the boards while I raise them up. This also helps kids from getting bored while we go through the process of handing out new words.
I get asked all the time how often I update these. No, I would never have enough time to do it every day. And sometimes I hit a good combination where all the kids who need to be separated are actually separated, and then I stick with it for a while! I certainly don't stress over how often they get a new line up spot. It's just a quick and simple way to get them lined up and practice a rote skill.
I'd love to hear how you sneak rote skills into your day to make every moment a learning moment!
I kinda don't want to hear how your custodian won't let you put tape on the floor (#SaveTheDramaForYourMama). One year I just did it and told him I'd personally come in a scrape the floor if it left residue and that it was FOR THE KIDS! It worked.
Happy Rote Skills!
P.S. All of the products I use are available via my Amazon Affiliates links below or on the "Products I Use" tab above!