Today I have a fun, multi-sensory activity for you that is sure to liven up any classroom review. Yes, I know that I teach kindergarten, but trust me, this will even work for those cool high school kids. So what is this secret weapon that will turn boring into hands-on fun? For the answer let’s play a quick game of 20 questions.
1. Is it edible? (We all know food gets their attention.) No
2. Is it a person? No
3. Is it a place? No
4. Is it a thing? Yes
5. Is it living? No – but it does grow!
6. Is it colorful? Not really but sometimes it does start as a color other than white
7. Is it hard? No
8. Is it soft? Yes
9. Can you sit on it? I wouldn’t suggest that!
10. Is it a toy? No
11. Is it expensive? No
12. Does it have a purpose? Yes
13. Are you going to use it for that purpose? No
14. Is it safe for kids? Yes
15. Is it made for kids? No but some teenagers might use it
16. Does it smell? Yes
17. Smell Bad? No
18. Is it cold? No
19. Can you buy it at a grocery store? Yes
20. Does it require electricity? No
Well, do you have a guess? Before you guess – let me summarize: It’s an inexpensive, inedible, good smelling, white, soft thing that grows and is sometimes used by teenagers, but does not require electricity. So what do you think it is?
Yep, you read that right. Shaving Cream will help you review ANYTHING in a way that your students will be engaged and remember!
So to get started, simply have your students clean off the top of their desk. Then walk around a squirt a little mound of shaving cream in front of each student. I usually count to three as I squirt it in front of each student. Have the students spread it around to make a work area in front of them. It’s not necessary to cover the entire desk. I usually have my students make a space about the size of a piece of paper. I can generally do a shaving cream activity for my class of 21 with 1 can of shaving cream, but I usually have a couple cans on hand just in case.
|Work space made and hands are up showing me they are ready.|
Once the shaving cream is spread out, you are ready to review. For me in kindergarten, review sounds like “Make me a lower case S” or “Make me a 13.”
|Make me a 2.|
|Make me a 4. Look how clean she is!|
|Make me one group that is greater than another group.|
But for you, it might sound like “What is the product of 8×4?” or “What is the quadratic equation?” Looking for a new way to practice spelling words before the big test? This just might be your answer. Wanting to know if your students know the different types of landforms? Create them with shaving cream! There are really no limits on the content area you could practice or review with shaving cream. The students could draw, write or even create a 3D models.
Now, some of you might be thinking about the mess. I promise it’s really not bad. I was very skeptical about using it with 5 year olds the first time, but was really surprised! Lay out the ground rules first. My rules include not touching anyone or anything except your desk, and you must be doing what the class is doing. The activity is so fun and engaging that I have yet to have a student who doesn’t follow the rules. I usually end the time with a few minutes of “free time” where they can draw, write or create what they want.
When we are done, its time for the magic trick. I tell them to start rubbing the shaving cream all over the desk and make it disappear. The more they rub, the more it disappears. Pretty soon the shaving cream is gone and their desks are clean! Clean-up really couldn’t be easier.
|Here they are making it disappear!|
I hope you give it a try. I think you will like it and I KNOW your students will LOVE it!
Amy is a kindergarten teacher and the blogger behind Teaching in Blue Jeans. No, she doesn’t get to wear blue jeans everyday, but she uses her Blue Jean Mentality to make her classroom a place where students are comfortable, active and willing to try new things.