Desk cards are short activities that are taped to desks. They include puzzles, two-minute myseries, and trivia questions. Students use desk cards during those moments when teachers are doing housekeeping activities such as taking attendance or moving students between activities. When students are waiting for class or an activity to start, they can get distracted or disengaged. By providing a quick, non-graded activity for students to look at, minds stay thinking while transitions are taking place.
Page-A-Day calendars offer the perfect solution for teachers and students. They are often priced at 75% as the year progresses and their value decreases. The Page-A-Day calendars are the perfect size, and they have some calendar series that fit this use perfectly. They have series like ” Brainteasers, Mind Benders, Puzzlers, Mazes & More Page-A-Day Calendar” and ” Cranium Page-A-Day Calendar.”
Laminate calendar pages that do not require (crosswords and Sudoku puzzles should not be used, as they require writing. Tape the desk cards on to the classroom desks. Students quickly figure out that the answers are on the back of the card, so be sure that the desk cards are firmly attached. When it is time to change the pages and refresh the desk cards, teachers can make a bulletin board that reveals the answers to the desk cards.
A version of this article was originally published on February 9, 2009 by Alex Sharp on Suite101. You can learn more by reading “Decorating Desks for Gifted Classrooms.”