Astrobrights’ Papers Colorize Your Classroom contest is back and better than ever, and I can’t wait to share all the details with you all.
It’s no secret that color can be an amazing medium for enhancing communication, decorating, and basically making everything look fabulous in your classroom. And who doesn’t want a fabulous looking classroom? But did you know that color can do so much more? Studies show that color can increase memory by up to 50% and help students remain engaged. As educators, we seldom think outside the color box to see just how amazing color can be for enhancing our instruction and helping us organize activities to make them better for our students. ColorizeYourClassroom.com gives teachers a go-to source for inspiration and ideas on how to transform their classrooms and instruction.
Here’s where you come in! You have the opportunity to win a yearlong sponsorship from Astrobrights worth $5000. That’s right! I said $5000, and all you have to do is show Astrobrights’ how you Colorize Your Classroom. This year the Astro Brights Minds are issuing four different challenges that tackle problems teachers face when creating the right environment for their students: classroom decor, organization, differentiated learning and memorization. These challenges will be your entry ticket to this amazing contest.
“Demonstrate how color can be used to organize or differentiate instruction in your classroom.”
When a teacher differentiates, they are purposefully taking notice and adjusting their instruction to meet their students’ different learning profiles, interests or readiness levels. There are so many ways that this can be accomplished. You could find ways to offer your students more choices, use various and interesting materials in your instruction, allow students different kinds of opportunities to ‘show what they know,’ offer a change in environment, incorporate small group instruction, tier an activity to meet your students’ readiness levels or develop instructional experiences that appeal to your students’ different interests. There are so many ways to make differentiating a reality in your class and color is the vehicle that can help you get there.
MY TAKE ON IT
One example of how I like to use color to differentiate is with this simple set of tiered numeracy activities.
Students enter any classroom with a broad range of readiness. Kindergarten is the extreme. When our little friends enter in the fall, I will have students who can count to and recognize numbers to 100, some who struggle to identify numbers 0-5, and still others that fall somewhere in the middle. If I teach only to those middle students, my high fliers get bored and my struggling students become frustrated. Both are a recipe for classroom management disaster. However, if they can all be involved in fun, engaging numbers practice at their own readiness level, I will have happy students challenged at their own level and feeling successful.
Here’s how I organize it to make it work. Before I even start, I pre-assess my students so I am familiar with their level of understanding. For this skill, students who are working on numbers 0-10 are Plasma Pink (Tier3) , students working with numbers 0-20 are Terrestrial Teal (Tier 2) and students working with numbers 0-30 (or beyond) are Vulcan Green (Tier 1). Your ranges may be different. You decide the number ranges that work for your students.
Each child has a name tag that corresponds with that color range. When they come to this math station, they will open up the station drawer and find three containers in three colors. Students who are green, pink or blue can easily identify the materials that they should use by the color. This creates an independent and well-organized station. Even with students in the same group using different colors, clean up and material management is a breeze.
And the best part, these containers cost you nothing! Yep, that’s right! I found a use for those are old frosting containers that parents collect for you. These are simply covered in corresponding Astrobrights Paper. Easy!!!
Students grab their corresponding colored materials and complete the activity or game with the cards appropriate for their level of difficulty. Four different activities can be played with these simple set of cards.
Activity 1: Start Your Engines
Cards are placed in a small pocket chart.
One student hides the racing trophy.
Other students take turns identifying numbers where they believe it may be hidden.
Activity 2: Race To The Finish
Students take turns drawing a card from the container without looking. If they get a number card and identify it correctly, they get to keep the card. If they do not know the number, it goes back in the container. Some special playing cards make the game a bit more exciting.
Activity 3: On Your Mark Memory
Played like the classic memory game, students place cards face down and take turns trying to identify and make number matches. If they make a match, they get to go again.
Activity 4: Linking Race Cars
A classroom favorite and one of the quietest activities ever, students work alone or in pairs to place their numbers in order by using plastic links to bond them together. You can use this activity for skip counting by 2s, 5s or even 10s.
Not only is it great for number recognition and order, but it’s a fun fine motor activity as well.
So you see, no matter which activity you chose, everyone gets to participate so there are no hurt feelings from kids who are left out, and all students can feel successful, because the cards are challenging but neither too hard nor too easy.
And you can show your administrator exactly how you are differentiating with the help of color just like this.
Astrobrights’ Papers and color make tiering so easy. Anyone can do it.
If you’d like to try this differentiated by color activity, just click HERE or on the picture below to download your free copy. Other materials:
- Three different colors of Astrobrights Cardstock (I chose Vulcan Green, Terrestrial Teal and Plasma Pink.)
- Laminate for longevity.
- A small pocket chart
- 3 small containers (I used recycled frosting containers.)
- Plastic links
That’s it. Just download the activity to get started.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Ok, so now it’s your turn to give it a go. Think you have a bright idea? Check out all the challenges on ColorizeYourClassroom.com, upload an image of your own answer to this challenge using color paper and enter to win! You can enter up to four times, once for each challenge. Visit ColorizeYourClassroom.com for details, official rules for entry and hundreds of ideas on how to Colorize Your Classroom.
I can’t wait to see how you Colorize Your Classroom!