School is in full-swing and it is time to think about the flow of your classroom routine. Topping most teachers lists is how to engage students for assessments, centers, partner tasks, individual activities, and those ever-elusive “fast finishers”. But fear not, below are FIVE, yes- five easy-to-do ways to use Order Up! in your classroom to simplify your teaching without sacrificing student learning!
What is Order Up!?
First of all, if you haven’t heard of Order Up! then you are missing out! It is a simple and effective resource that gets kids thinking, is self-checking, and is available for a variety of topics and subjects! It really plays like “I have, Who Has” for one! AND, I offer lots of different formats: Order Up! Let’s Learn About…. allows students to focus on a single topic such as Johnny Appleseed or the Sun. Order Up! Jr. allows even your youngest learner in on the fun. Order Up! Edit It! is a great opportunity to put your students’ editing skills to the test. And, then we have our regular line of Order Up! which covers many subjects and standards!
5 Easy Ways to Use Order Up! in Your Classroom
So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s look at FIVE easy-peasy ways to start using Order Up! today: Whole Group, Partner/Individual, Extensions, Homework, and Centers!
The first and easiest way that Order Up! can be used is whole group. Let’s say you are getting ready to teach a lesson on Decimal Comparing. A day or so before you are scheduled to give your full lesson, engage the students by using a set to test their knowledge. Not only will it give you amazing insight into their thinking and current knowledge, the students will have had a wonderful hands-on experience in the upcoming topic. Better yet, you can differentiate your planned lesson with the information you will gather. This allows you to move forward with your lesson in full confidence of where each learner really is!
When I was doing a review for a language arts test, I grouped the students with a partner and gave them a set of Order Up! on Prefixes and Suffixes. Students worked together to complete the set and then answered the journal prompt together on the BACK of the Order Up! work mat and turned it in. I loved reading their responses and I made it even more interesting by requiring them to trade off writing after each sentence. The same thing can be done with individual students. When they work alone, I have them glue in the completed game board and answer the journal prompt. Such a quick and easy way to engage students that allows them to have a hands-on learning experience.
Order Up! is perfect for extending a student’s learning. Fast finishers don’t need MORE to do, they need “deeper thinking” opportunities. Order Up! allows you to extend thinking with nothing more than a single copy. And, again, since you can target very specific skills in a single set, you can extend the lesson knowing that your kiddos are getting just the right skill practice!
Yup, homework. And the best part of sending home Order Up! sets is that ALL THE ANSWERS for ALL THE QUESTIONS are included on the page. Combine that with the self-checking format and you have the PERFECT homework assignment for students. Because it isn’t a traditional worksheet, I have found that families are actually more engaged in completing this assignment. It’s fun and educational at the same time.
And last but not least…
This is by FAR the most popular and most-loved way that Order Up! is used in classrooms around the world! CENTERS! The layout, the self-checking feature, and the ability to complete the activity in a shorter amount of time are all perfect reasons that it works in centers. Not only that, but, because you can target key skills to pre-assess, post-assess, or remediate, you know that students are getting focused practice!
Not only are they perfect for centers, but if you copy them on cardstock and laminate them, you can get years of use out of them.
Laminating not your thing? No worries- individual student copies are just as effective- and cheap! One copy per student (or two if you use the optional game mat).
These are just a few of the ways that Order Up! has been used. At least ways I have had shared with me or I used in my own classroom. I have had teachers enlarge the sets and do a strip a day with the whole class. Other teachers have mixed multiple sets together and let groups sort out the strips to the correct sets…PHEW! Talk about a challenge.
Now that I have made this big fuss about Order Up! why not try it out for yourself. Click on the picture below to download a FREE set (Or click HERE).
And now….Let’s Order Up!
P.S. If you are still wondering just how Order Up! works, check out this short one-minute video. It will give you a wonderful visual reference!