I love running dictations. This week I got to do one with my largest class here at St. Martin’s! All of my classes are small, especially compared to the 35+ I once had. One of my third grade classes has 19 children in it. I decided to try something new with the running dictation and move us outside. This activity really does need more space, especially since I do allow running, and younger kids are much more likely to run into each other and bonk heads or teeth or something. Yikes!
It took more prep than usual. I wrote out a story based on one we had acted out the day prior, and cut it up into sentence strips. Then spread those (about 15 of them) out all over the playground, buildings and playsets. I taped them up in random places where the students would be running in all different directions and really spread out. Then I placed 10 clipboards with lined paper on the end of the basketball court.
Each student was paired with a friend (sometimes this is important in elementary, especially for motivation). They had to decide who would start as the runner and who would be the secretary. The runner’s job is to run around reading the sentences (input input input) and run back to their partner, the secretary, whose job it is to record those sentences on the paper. The best part about this is usually the lazy child who doesn’t like to run chooses to be the secretary while the student who hates writing chooses to be the runner, but after 2 minutes of them sprinting around, I blow a whistle and inform them that they have to trade positions! HA! This class LOVED the game. They ended up sprinting all over the place and one very athletic student told me that they liked it more than gym class that day, and that they had excersized more! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
If you are in the classroom, you can do a modified version of this. Change the sprinting to jogging or fast walking 😉 and have all of your sentences taped up on one end of the room and the secretaries lined up on the other. 🙂
Until Next time,
La Maestra Loca