The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Read, Write, Think!

Each year I find myself writing about the same topic, and each year I find myself giving the same reason: I want parents who are new to my room to know about the things we are doing in my classroom. In addition to the typical core content that I teach each day, I have a couple of weekly things that we do to help make the year in general more fun.

One of the big things is what I call “Read, Write, Think!” This is not to be confused with ReadWriteThink.org, which is a website run by the National Council of Teachers of English. I did use the NCTE’s site as an inspiration for this activity, because I absolutely love how it captures the goal. The more general description used by teachers for this is “preferred activity time.” What it consists of is deceptively simple, but so very important.

Students are given about half an hour to engage in activities that help develop cognitive abilities. These include things like Reading to yourself or with a partner, Writing by yourself or with a partner, or engaging in cognitive games that make you Think, such as strategy games like chess or Connect 4, number games like Farkle or Monopoly, or word games like Scrabble. Read, Write, Think! Let’s my students practice problem solving, conflict resolution, creative thinking, and positive social skills all at once. And it is a way to celebrate a week of hard work!

My students love being able to participate in these activities. They know that they are only for Fridays and days when we have indoor recess due to rain or excessive cold, so it is something that they can look forward to. Today I introduced the activity and showed the students where the games are stored. During the 30 minutes they had for Read, Write, Think! I saw students playing Guess Who?, Battleship, Monopoly, chess, checkers, Chinese checkers, working on puzzles and brain-teasers, and playing Connect 4. I even joined in a couple of games of Connect 4. (I won both times.)

It was a fantastic way to wrap up a fantastic week of learning! Now I am looking forward to a three-day weekend and the Arthur (Illinois) Cheese Festival this weekend!

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2 responses

  1. Thanks for the ReadWriteThink.org shoutout! It looks like back to school is going smoothly for your class.

    September 3, 2013 at 10:02 am

    • Thanks! I hope you guys don’t mind that I’ve borrowed your name! 🙂 I’ve already shown my students some of the tools on the site and they love them!

      September 3, 2013 at 10:16 am

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