Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Favorites Blog Hop-Home Challenge Projects

Happy Fall! I feel like I can say that because it FINALLY is starting to look and feel like fall here! I'm linking up with some blogging buddies to bring you some fall favorites so get ready for some fall freebies, giveaways, ideas and just general fall fun!


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.



There are optional graphic organizers and experiment sheets for some projects. I usually post these as individual files on my class webpage for parents to access.


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!

28 comments:

  1. What a great way to extend the learning in class! We'll be trying the apple experiment this week. Thanks for sharing!
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing. We are a school for technology and innovation and one of our focuses is pbl. This hits the nail on the head. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! So glad these projects will help!

      Delete
  3. These look amazing! I would love to see some winter ones so I plenty of time to get everything ready :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I just posted the winter version to my TpT store and to the challenge bundle.

      Delete
  4. I love these Challenge ideas. Excellent job!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would love to see some winter Challenge ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just posted the winter version to my TpT store and to the challenge bundle :)

      Delete
  6. What a great idea! I have some sharp kiddos so I'm can't wait to check out the freebie and your bundle. jaglanzer@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! My sharp kiddos are really enjoying the projects this year!

      Delete
  7. I would love to see some on animals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There will definitely be an animal version in the works. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete
  8. I love these challenge project ideas! I'd love a Christmas/Winter one as well as an animals one for spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christmas/Winter was just posted. I'll definitely be working on an animal version too. Thanks for the suggestions!

      Delete
  9. What a great idea! I love the idea of choices and for the enrichment for students who might want the challenge and easy to differentiate. Thanks for sharing!

    Krista
    Teaching Momster

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would be interested in challenges that could be done at any time...like folktales.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will definitely be adding some "all year" themes. Folktales is a great idea...I hadn't thought of that one. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete
  11. Great idea to provide that extra enrichment!
    Sebrina
    Burke's Special Kids

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the idea of Challenge Projects! Going to click through and check out your products. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. A snowman challenge would be great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just posted some winter challenges that include snow and snowman ideas.

      Delete
  14. What a great idea!! It is really hard to always have the time for enrichment. These would be great for early finishers, too!

    Debbi
    3rd Grade Pad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree-enrichment is always hard to fit in with the zillion other things we have to do each day! I love the idea of using them as early finisher projects.

      Delete