Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Friday

Happy Halloween!


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We did Multiplication Monsters last week with a sub :)
They turned out so cute!
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Our Mentor Sentence book is I Need My Monster, which we have been doing some cool visualizing with.
I love this book-you should definitely get it if you don't have it!
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We did Diane's Candy Corn Math-they worked so well together! (And were super disappointed when I said I didn't have enough for them to eat-made for a little bit of a happier teacher-no off the wall bouncing!)

Funnily enough, when I put the totals on the board, I was pleasantly surprise...
I don't think I could have planned that better! I just grabbed handfuls and put them into bags-how cool is that! :)

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We'll be starting our Rocks and Minerals lessons soon. We have someone come in from a local naturalist center to teach it.

To start it off, we talk about cookies! I had the kids make a list of ingredients that you find in a chocolate chip cookie.

Then we came together and we shared our ingredients.
We talked about how you can't see all the ingredients in the cookie. I explained that cookies are like rocks, and you can't see all the ingredients in them. So if the cookie is the rock, the ingredients are the minerals!

They'll be learned a lot more about minerals and how to classify them and study them. This was a good intro to a really fun set of lessons!

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I need some advice! I'm working on my seasonal tree series, and I need some opinions of which set to go with.

Set One-
or Set Two-?
I *think* I have a preference, but would like some double-checking! Thank you!

Have a scary one!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mind Movies

We've been working this week on visualizing while we are reading.

Of course, we started with an anchor chart. :)
Then we started by doing one of my very favorite visualizing activities (which I'll be using for my formal observation soon!).

I gave each student a piece of paper, and had them divide it into fours.

Then, I covered the the cover of the book, and read it to them without showing any pictures.

The book I choose for this....

Our Mentor Sentence book for the week!
I had the kids draw each of the monsters (with Gabe on the back).

This is a GREAT book! If you haven't heard of it before, it's pretty darn cool (and Jivey has a packet based on it) and you can find YouTube videos on it before you commit. :)

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of their very cool monsters :(. 

After we finished, we shared all our pictures, and talked about how even though we all had the same words, our mind movies were all different (because we all had different schema :)

Then, we moved onto their practice-using Teaching With a Mountain View's FREE Visualizing Task Cards.
They're doing a pretty good job! 

I love teaching them this skill-it's an easier one for them to get! (And, boy, would my class yell at me-I used the 'e' word! ;)

Smiles and Sunshine,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday

Happy Friday!

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After a few years of teaching social studies, I finally wised up enough to explicitly teach physical and human features.

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My district paid for a subscription to TeachScape, which is based on the Danielson evaluation model. It takes you through the domains and gives examples for each level. It takes a couple of hours per domain, but it's been cool so far!

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We have been making inferences again!
Video Here

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I had a half day webinar this morning on Math in Focus.
It was pretty good-a lot of justification of what I'm already doing, and I got some info on timing for the lesson.

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Since I was out, I needed to plan for a sub! We are doing double-digit multiplication, but I couldn't leave that for a sub.

Searching through my files, I found this Multiplication Monster (which I searched for the link and found for FREE!)

My kids loved it and it gave them some fun practice!

Have a great weekend!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Seed Topics and Hooks

Happy Monday!

We usually have our Monday Literacy time blocked off for teaching writing and writing skills, and I wanted to share what we did today!

We are starting a personal narrative unit, and I wanted to show them how to really zoom in and narrow their topic so they would have an effective story.

Enter-an anchor chart!
We talked about how you can start with a big topic, and keep narrowing it down until you are talking about a specific moment.

They then did this awesome sort so they could see how the topics kept zooming in.

After they did the sort and we talked about narrowing a little more, I had them complete the organizer again, but this time choosing their own topics-one of which they would eventually pick to write their narrative on.
Once we had shared a few of their topics, I showed them how they could really 'hook' their reader with a great intro!

(On a side note, when I typed in writing leads to the Pinterest search bar, one of my older charts popped up-that's so cool!)

We did this one together, and I picked my seed story of fireworks on the hill to show them how they could write different intros for one story.

After we had talked about different intros, I had them go back and pick one of their seed stories to start and write three different intros with it.

We didn't quite have enough time for them to write their leads three different ways, but at least it got them thinking about how to make their leads interesting!

We'll continue to work on this, and will be working in show, not tell and figurative language into our writing as well. We just have to start our stories!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Character Traits, Theme, and Main Idea

We have been working hard the past month and a half learning all about character traits and characters, what main idea is, what theme is and the difference between the two. (There's been lots of learning going on! :)

While we had been learning about character traits, I taught the kids how to FAST (which I got from the link). They really enjoyed it!

I've made it into one of the ways they can do a reader response, and have even taught my Guided Reading Groups how to do it.

Of course, it all started with a chart :)
I've also made a mini-version that fits into their notebooks.
We've also practiced it a bit
Hey look! You can also see a 321 Response and my very neat grading labels :)

After spending most of September on characters and character traits (which I'm going to move closer to October next year!), we moved onto main idea.
We started with main idea and determining importance first, because I wanted the kids to have a good handle on it before I introduced theme. We used our Scholastic News a lot for this!

After I felt they understood what main idea was, I introduced theme.
We had talked a little about theme before, but hadn't really defined it.

We scaffolded by doing Jessica's Big Idea and Theme activity (as a whole class with one book, then in partners and small groups with others)

To continue our practice on it, we did a reader response about theme.
My example-which stayed up for a few days!
They did pretty decently on this (graded most of them today!)

Now, as I was teaching all this, I got sick. :( And, miracle of miracles (a true miracle, since I never take sick days-PD days, but not sick days!), I took a sick day (after convincing from my teamie and the school nurse).

So I had to leave something for the sub that the sub (whom I didn't know at the time it would be) could do, and my kids could do pretty independently.

I had the sub read Ish, by Peter Reynolds, and had the kids come up with the themes of the story (very similar to what we did with The Dot-although they didn't get a chance to do their pictures).
When they moved into small group time (where they have independent work while I pull reading groups), I left Teaching with a Mountain View's Main Idea and Theme task cards. (We've also done her free sort!)
They did pretty well!

We did have to do a little reteaching on both, as we didn't do so well on the test-but we'll be taking a main idea test from my massive ELA assessments that I got from Kristine Nannini (we'll take the theme one after we learn about summary :).

We've now moved onto making inferences, and from what I've seen so far, we've been doing an okay job on that. We still need some more practice :)

Smiles and Sunshine,