Back to School
Start the school year by using some of our most popular classroom ideas and activities from Scope teachers. From close-reading strategies to skill-building activities, these fabulous teacher-tested ideas use Scope to engage students in meaningful ways.
Try these out in your classroom and let us know how they went in the comments below!
Lisa King's close-reading strategy helps students gain a deep understanding of a passage while practicing six key reading skills that build reading stamina. Check it out here.
Kim O’Bray’s colorful text marking activity is a key part of her close-reading process. Students engage deeply with an article by using colored pencils to mark everything from figurative language and unfamiliar vocabulary to central ideas and text structures. Check it out here.
Scope teacher advisor Kim Wagner was looking for an activity that would provide her students with lots of practice using text evidence—without being tedious. She found just the thing: a writing strategy called R.A.C.E. (restate the question, answer the question, cite the evidence, explain the evidence). Check it out here.
Sixth-grade teacher and Scope advisor Mary Blow shares her excellent gallery-walk activity, which familiarizes students with the challenging language they will encounter on high-stakes tests, reinforces key skills, and builds test-taking confidence. Check it out here.
Teacher advisor Jim Meininger also has a wonderful and creative gallery-walk idea. Not only is it a great critical-thinking and text-evidence activity, it also gets kids up, moving, and working together. Check it out here.
Welcome back teachers!
I hope you and your students are enjoying the September issue of Scope as much as I am. There are so many stories I love in the issue, but one of my favorites is the Short Read: “They Failed. (And So Can You.)”
The story explores the importance of experiencing failure and how it can help us succeed. It’s about having the courage to make mistakes—and to learn from them. At the start of the year, I can’t think of a more important message for all of us. And after hearing from Scope's teacher advisors about how important this topic is for their middle school students, I’m even more excited to share it with you. I especially adore this extension idea from teacher-advisor Mary Blow:
This is perfect to start the year. You can brainstorm the traits of successful people when you finish and create goals for the year.
—Mary Blow, 6th-grade ELA teacher
And don’t miss the suite of support materials, including a delightful "Famous Fails" slideshow, in which four accomplished adults (including our very own Lauren Tarshis!) share the mistakes that mattered most to them.
We are obsessed with Kahoot and we think you will be too. It's a rare tool that engages all students, is great for multiple learning styles, creates opportunities for collaboration and interaction, and makes assessment a breeze. It's also super fun. Bonus!
Kahoot quizzes are extremely versatile and can be used as fun practice with practically any Scope text. Kahoot is perfect for those last few minutes if you finish class early or for those first few days of the school year.
In this post, I'm going to show you how a Scope grammar activity can easily be turned into a Kahoot quiz.
What Is Kahoot?
For the uninitiated, Kahoot is a game-based learning platform in which a teacher's device becomes the playstation and student devices become the controllers. You create a quiz, project it for your class to see, and have students enter the answers on their devices. You can use player vs. player mode with 1:1 devices (for students to play one-on-one) or team vs. team mode on shared devices (for groups to play against one another). You can even use a screenshare platform like Skype, Google Hangouts, or Screencastify to play Kahoot with classrooms in one of the other 180 countries using Kahoot around the world. You can create your own Kahoot in the form of a quiz, survey, or discussion starter. Or you can use or adapt ready-made Kahoots from a growing public library of almost 12,000,000.
Create your free account here. (Students do not need their own accounts to play.) While you can play pre-existing Kahoots (such as my quiz) without an account, having your own account will allow you to save quiz scores and track your students' progress, and it will allow you to create your own Kahoots in the future.
I created my Kahoot quiz using questions from the activity sheet "Commonly Confused Words: Less vs. Fewer," which supports the Scope story “Grammar Steps Into a Glacier” from the December/January issue.
Here's how you can use my Scope Kahoot quiz in your classroom.
What You'll Need:
Teacher device (phone, tablet, desktop, or laptop)
Student devices (shared or 1:1–laptops, desktops, tablets, or phones)
The Scope article “Grammar Steps Into a Glacier”
My Kahoot quiz
10-15 minutes of class time
Distinguishing between commonly-confused words
1. Read the article.
Read Scope's grammar article “Grammar Steps Into a Glacier” with your class and review the grammar rules for "less" and "fewer."
2. Choose how you want to play.
Open my Kahoot quiz on your teacher device and project it on a screen for the class to see. Make sure your speakers are on. (Yes, there's music!) Here you can decide if you want your students to play one-on-one or in teams.
3. Have students enter the pin.
A pin number will appear on your screen. Have students go to https://kahoot.it on their devices (they can also download the Kahoot app, but using a browser is just as easy) and enter the pin.
4. Have students enter their nicknames.
Students will then be prompted to enter nicknames (these can be fun and creative) on their devices. These names will show up as a list of "players" on your projected screen.
Once everyone has chosen a nickname, press START and enjoy!
Here's what the first question on my quiz looks like on your screen (left) and students' screens (right):
Each student will have 20 seconds to answer each question. (When you make your own quizzes, you can choose a time limit between 5 and 120 seconds.)
At the end of each question, you will see how many players answered the question correctly and incorrectly. (It was just me playing the quiz pictured here, so there's only one player answer. I got it right! Wahoo!)
At the end of the quiz you will see a scoreboard with the top five players. If you've created an account, the scores and the quiz will be saved there.
Building your own Kahoot is easy. Here's a step-by-step guide. Kahoots are a simple and fun way to practice and assess any number of skills with your class. But be warned, your students will get hooked! (And you will probably too.)
Happy grammar gaming!
Lauren Salisbury is Scope's Senior Education Editor and a former classroom teacher.