Anywho, our schedule is set up strangely so that we have an awkward time of 35-40 minutes at the end of the day. We've played around constantly with what we're actually going to do during this time. We decided to play off of Daily 5 and create stations for each subject (Science, Social Studies, Writing, Read to Self, and Math). Students go to one station per day and therefore, visit each station once per week.
We've mostly focused on group/collaborative learning activities with a few (writing mostly) independent activities. The students have been doing really well with making sure they're working. However, I came upon the problem of students getting confused from station to station. Students had a hard time remembering which ones they should work together for and which to work individually (even though there were instructions in each folder - another battle for another day).
To solve my problem, I naturally went to Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/lizschmidt3). I saw many of the voice-o-meters available. None of them quite worked for me. So I combined a few of the ideas and came up with:
0 - No voice
1 - Questioning voice - Ask a question to a group member only when necessary
2 - Partner voice - 2-3 group members working together
3 - Team voice - whole group working together
From now on, each station will be ranked. Students will know exactly what is expected of them. Hopefully, all will continue to run smoothly.
In the wise words of Ellen, "Be kind to one another"
PS Thanks to http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/4013/1/1/how-to-draw-wimpy-kid.htm for helping me draw Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid!