Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Classroom Centers: Clothespins

Another idea for classroom centers I found on Pinterest, originally posted on the Love4thGrade blog, is a nifty idea for using clothespins.  Apparently, the blogger adapted this activity from something similar she also found on Pinterest (a great resource, if you aren't already aware).  Visit her post on centers so you can see how she made a wheel from tagboard and divided it into sections.  Each section can contain a definition, a category, a math problem, etc.  In a baggy, keep clothespins which are written with the responses to the wheel's sections.  Students clip the corresponding clothespins to the appropriate section of the wheel.  Two or three pins can belong to the same section.  You may want to keep the answers to specific clothespin puzzles (as I've come to think of them) somewhere so students can check their answers.  You can keep several different versions of the activity to practice a lot of subjects and topics.

Her class used the activity as a great way to practice vocabulary.  Another blog used the same activity to help younger students practice number recognition.  There are several other ways to used this idea:

  • practice identifying root words (example:  the section of the wheel can say "these words have to do with 'life' or 'living matter'" so students can stick pins with the words "biology" and "biography" on that section).
  • practice simple algebra problems  (Love4thGrade shows an example of this in the same post).
  • review social studies, geography and history (example:  the section of the wheel can say "Pueblo Indians" so students can stick pins with the words "adobe homes" and "cliff dwellers" on that section).
There are many other ways to use this activity.  In fact, it may be helpful for students to create their own boards and clothespin puzzles to trade amongst one another to help review a unit of study.  It will help them think of things in categories and analyze things they've learned in class.

Try it!


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