Monday, December 17, 2012

Essential Questions

Post the standards, make sure you have essential questions on the board.........Of all the things we teachers have to remember, these are things I can very easily forget to stay up to date with.  I must admit, I have always thought that essential questions were very beneficial.  They give students big ideas to focus on understanding.

This year, I tried a different approach to posting my essential questions.  I really wanted to make posting these essential questions not only easy for me, but also meaningful for my students.  So, I decided to post questions on the board, with an area where my students can respond to them by putting their answers up their on post-its.  My goal is to start pulling them down on Friday's and reviewing them as a class. 

My Genre's Book

So, I was looking for a fun new way to teach literary genres with my kids.  This is a skill we work on through the year, but I wanted to take a week to just really look at the four main genre categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama.  I wanted to do more than just teach my kids about genres and show them different examples.  I wanted them to actually apply it and practice it. 

That's my example I made as an exemplar for my kids---->

Each of my kids made a "My Genre's Book."  We picked a theme (that week we did spiders since it was around Halloween) and wrote different stories, informational pieces, poems, etc. all about spiders for each of the genres.

To do this, I used 1 piece of construction paper and 2 pieces of white copy paper.  I just put the white paper in the middle, folded, and stapled.  We discussed a different genre each day and added a story to our book.  I think it helped make this somewhat abstract topic a little more concrete for them since it was more hands on.

My Heart is Aching....

    My plan is to take time later to post some of my recent activities with my kids, but right now I just  need to unload some of my many feelings....Alongside the rest of America, my heart is aching right now....I feel pain and anguish for the families of Newtown, CT.  Like everyone else, my heart is burdened.  I feel the pain of this tradgedy as a person, as a parent, and as an educator.  As a person, I can't believe something so horrific happened.  As a mother, I can't imagine being one of the parents who lost a child, or even just a parent having to help my child cope with this experience.  As a teacher, I am reminded of my daily committment to do far more than just simply "teach" my children.    

      This weekend, I hugged my daughter a little more, snuggled a little longer, and found her actions that are usually frustrating to be endearing.  My daughter is amazing and is truly one of the most amazing blessings that God has ever given me. 
My wonderful husband Chris, my amazing daughter Tenley, and me!
Today, some of my many actions were similiar. I hugged my kids even more frequently than usual.  I let them goof off a little more.  I smiled at their actions that can be trying at times and thought about how blessed I am to get to work with these precious children everyday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Main Idea Tables

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  I sure did enjoy some wonderful time of with my family, and I got to spend some time with some wonderful friends that I don't get to see as often as I would like.  Things are back in full force at school though.  We have hit the ground running in hopes of making the most of these next 3 1/2 weeks before Christmas break!

This week, the new reading skill that we are working on is the main idea.  I am not even going to lie...this is one reading skill that I don't particularly love to teach.  It just always seems to be one of the more difficult concepts for my kiddos.  I did some searching around on TPT and found some great main idea activities that I just can't wait to use!  I LOVE TPT!  What a time-saver it has been for me!

On top of that, one of my wonderful co-workers shared a cute main idea activity with me!  It is a little foldable main idea table.  It is such a cute way to visually show the main idea as the center, the big picture on the table, and representing the supporting details on the table legs since the legs support the table....just like the supporting details "support" the main idea! :)  How brilliant is that!  Anyway, after about 30 minutes of trying to draw and cut out little tables, my perfectionism got the best of me!  I quit, went straight to powerpoint, and created a template to use!  Just thought I'd share it because these are so stinkin' cute! Click here to download the template & instructions for FREE!  :)

I can't wait to do thise with my class this week!  They're going to be so cute!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mr. Manny Magnet

Well, we needed to take notes about magnets, and what better way to do it than with Mr. Manny Magnet.  I made this cute foldable for my kiddos to use to label the various parts of a magnet and fill in some definitions.  We included notes about: magnet, magnetic poles, north pole, south pole, attract, repel, magnetic field, and the various metals that magnets attract.  Along with some fun magnet experiments, this was a fun way for students to learn about magnets and organize their information! Click here to download instructions and the eye printables FREE!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trying to Have Fun with Adverbs! is not usually a word that many associate with adverbs. I didn't want to do just another boring grammar lesson, so...I twidled my thumbs and thought for a while. It's almost Thanksgiving, so naturally, I think turkeys! So, we made adverb turkeys. All the sentences we used to identify adverbs and their modifiers were facts (and one opinion) about turkeys! The kiddos were engaged and it was just fun! Find my Turkey Adverb Craftivity at my TPT Store!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Entering Into the World Unknown...

Well, today I enter into the world unknown....the world of blogging! While this is common place for most my age, this is something that I haven't really ventured into. I've decided that it's time that I dip my toes into the water and give it a shot. I'm hoping this will serve as a way to reflect on my teaching practices and to just share some of my fun teaching activities! I'm so thankful for some of my favorite educational bloggers and all the fun ideas I get from them, I thought I'd start sharing too! So, blogging world, here I come!