Mid fall is when things finally seem to start clicking in the classroom. The rules and routines have been taught and everything seems to start coming together...most days. I love this time of year because I feel like I can start to implement new ideas and projects. One of my favorite projects to start in October is my home challenge projects.
We all have those kids that despite differentiation, small groups, and challenge work they still want more! Those are the kids that are always craving more learning and more work. I feel like I do a great job with classroom differentiation and challenges, but some kids just want more, more, more! I could spend all day just coming up with extra ideas for them. So here is where my home challenge projects enter. They keep those high fliers happy, keep the parents happy, and keep me happy because they are so simple to implement! It is the happiness trifecta...students, parents, teachers!
In October I send home a parent letter explaining how these projects work. I also talk about it at back to school night...you can just see the parents' eyes light up when you mention the "ch" word! Each month I post a themed project page on my class website. It has 5-7 choices for challenge projects. These projects are open ended and many promote higher level thinking skills.
If students are interested in a challenge project they complete it at home and return it to school. When they bring it to school I let them share it with the class and hang it on our challenge wall. I also write a note to the student about their project.
Students are free to complete as many projects as they wish. They also have the option of creating a new project idea that relates to the theme but is not listed. Some months I will post two project pages (November will have November projects and Colonial Life projects) for more student choice.
The nice thing about the project choices is how open ended they are. They allow for a lot of creativity and individuality. It is always neat to each student's take on the project idea.
The project choices vary and include ideas such as write, create, experiment, research, brainstorm and compare. This allows for students to choose projects that they are interested in and can excel at.
These home projects are open to all students. I love how the higher students are able to expand on project ideas and the lower students can find a project to experience success. And everyone is always excited to share! I've used these for 8 years in kindergarten and first grade classrooms and they have always been a hit (even when they were Times New Roman and Microsoft clipart). The projects are open ended enough that they would work for second grade also.
You can grab a mini version of my Home Challenge Fall products for free here to try them out.
The full Home Challenge Project Fall pack includes 3 themes-October, November, and Colonial Life. It also includes editable parent directions, student notes, challenge wall sign, and helpful tips.
I also have a Home Challenge Project bundle that will include all of my challenge projects. These will be added throughout the year. What challenge project themes are you interested in? Leave a comment below. I have some eager kiddos so I'll be looking for more themes to add this year!
And now for the fun giveaways and sales...Enter below to win $10 worth of my products (perfect for the Home Challenge Bundle!).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And since it is a Fall Favorites blog hop, all of my fall themed products and challenge projects are 20% off through Tuesday. Happy Fall Y'all! Head to the next stop to collect some more fall fun!