Friday, December 16, 2011
This is an activity that I did with my Girl Scouts. It is very easy to make and several of my teacher friends have used it in the days leading up to Christmas (it can easily be combined with a writing assignment. I have a friend in a second/third grade class who will be doing a winter unit in January and will be calling these stars "snowflakes" for the unit).
This is the last day of school for us before the holiday break and I had two fifth grade girls help me make a how to video.
One of our fifth grade teachers changed up her spelling words the day of her weekly spelling test. The kids moaned and groaned but hunkered down to do their best with their new words.
The teacher ran the spelling test just like every week. She read the word and put it in a sentence.
1. Merry (Merry is not a name. It means happy.)
2. Christmas (Christmas is celebrated on December 25th each year)
3. You (You will be attending the winter dance tomorrow)
4. All (It is difficult to talk with you all talking)
5. Get (In the morning you get ready to go to school)
6. One (One is the number before two)
7. Hundred (I would love to have a hundred dollars in my wallet)
8. On (Jasmine sits on her chair.)
9. This (This test counts for a large percent of your grade)
10. Test (Every Thursday you have a vocabulary test)
By the end many of the kids have caught on but she allows no talking during the test so they all just are smiling at her and each other. At the end she has a child read the spelling words out loud to review from 1-10. The child catches on while she is reading the words back and then everyone gets it.
I thought it was a fun way to give students a surprise 100 on the test.
Earlier I wrote a post about this fun pop up card site. I haven't had a chance to use it in a classroom but two Social Studies teachers I know have.
They had their fourth grade students make the pop up explorer ship and write facts about Christopher Columbus. One teacher had her students put it in their notebook and the other teacher put them out in the hall. They turned out very cute!
I did do pop up cards with my Girl Scout troop using the turkey and though that might make a good ELA lesson. Students could practice their writing skills and let their families know what they are thankful for.
A teacher that I worked with years ago did a fun assignment with her students around the holidays. She had her students rewrite Christmas carols to go along with the units they were studying. She wrote about it in her blog.
I filmed a few of her students singing their revised carols this year and thought I would share.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
I love love love the site Pinterest. For those of you have not heard of it it is a site that acts as a virtual pin board of things you come across the web and want to save.
In this example of a 3-2-1 review for the notebook students drew a pyramid. On the bottom part of the pyramid the students had to list three facts. The second part of the pyramid they had to list two “whys” and at the top they had to write a summarizing sentence. I liked this as a right hand assignment.
I have friends that are in an astronomy unit and they can use this structure to have children write three facts about the sun, two reasons why the sun is so important, and then a summarizing sentence.
I did this with a fourth grade class yesterday and in the planning stages I decided to nix the popcicle stick frame because of time…plus I decided I really wanted them to write on the back of the viewer. I also nixed using a prefab cloud viewer frame because I really wanted children to draw their own representation of the clouds – rather than have it handed to them.
The teacher the day before had introduced clouds to the class so they had some prior knowledge before I came in. I started the lesson with a water cycle review and then a review of the clouds. I went over a “recipe” for making clouds where the students got to act it out.
Take water vapor (kids stand up and make water vapor signs with their hands) and chill it well (kids went into a “brrrrr” stance with their hands and bodies). Collect more chilled water vapor (kids move toward each other until they are standing pretty close). Pack it as close as possible (children start squeezing in tight) and voila the water vapor turns into a cloud (the kids put their hands in the air and yell “Poof we are a cloud”). (I’ll video tape it and post it to give a better idea of how it looks in a classroom).
Sure it is a bit oversimplified but it got the kids moving out of their seats and the general concept that clouds form by water vapor chilling, collecting, and condensing.
Then I reviewed the three basic types of clouds (adding in the bonus fourth cloud not mentioned in our standards – cumulonimbus). We have hand gestures for that to help them remember the three types which I definitely will have to tape.
I explained that they were making cloud viewers and that they had to draw and label the clouds in the front and tell me something about the clouds on the back. Once they were done they came up to me and I checked it and handed them a blue colored pencil to shade in around the clouds on the viewer. Once we had everyone done we went outside and looked at the clouds through our viewers and tried to identify the three basic clouds. The sub came in handy at this point because anyone not done had to stay in with her while we went outside. I allowed 10 minutes for the outside part of this lesson (which included traveling in the halls and moving around the school to look for different clouds).
The viewers are going to be stored in inexpensive sandwich bags that will be taped in their notebook on the right hand side. The left hand side had the information the teacher went over the day before.
NOTE: The child in the last picture is looking through her viewer the wrong way. The kids should be looking at the drawings they made.
Loved this idea! One of the school’s I go between is doing this project on the fourth and fifth grade hall. The idea came from Angie Peterson, one of the fifth grade teachers.
The teachers created and laminated a large turkey for the hall. They gave each student a feather to take home with the instruction that parents, or family members, were to use the feather to explain why they are thankful for their child. They (the parents) had the freedom to decorate anyway they saw fit. Students get to share their feathers with the class and then they get placed on the large hallway turkey.
They are precious to read and you can tell the children loved reading what their families wrote about them.
The two teachers heading up the project said that because November is such a short month for us (we have fall break at the beginning of the month, followed by veteran’s day off, followed by the Thanksgiving break) that they put a Santa hat and red nose on the turkey display and let the display ride through the month of December.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Earlier I wrote a post about an origami shirt - see post here. I had my Girl Scouts do the activity as part of an energy badge we are working on. The girls had to make an energy pledge and depict it on the shirt. My example is pictured above.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
About an hour after I made my last post, where I uploaded an embedded YouTube video, I made one of the popup cube wallets. It wasn't that hard. I probably wouldn't have any grade below 4th try it. It would be great if I can get our art teacher to do it with the kids (not sure if he would be willing or not). That way they can work on what goes on the cube in science class. I would like it to be a little bit bigger but I am thinking that I can enlarge the template on the copier. You definitely have to use card stock paper for both the cube and wallet for stability purposes.
Above is a short (30 second) video of my finished cube.
Friday, October 14, 2011
I think the game would require some modeling and I found some easier tasks cards for that (abbreviations and initials looked like a good one to start with).
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
At the end of the Bill Nye videos he always has a fun song that goes with the episode. You can find many of the songs as stand alone videos on YouTube.
This came in handy because today I am teaching a lesson on layers of the atmosphere and found a song from his Atmosphere video on YouTube titled "Fresh Aire." I really wanted to remix it and put the lyrics on the video (so the kids could sing along and see how the lyrics matched the lesson). The first thing I did was found a site that has all the Bill Nye lyrics posted used my YouTube downloader (see instructions here) and downloaded the song. I then imported the video into Movie Maker Live and used the caption feature to put the lyrics on the different frames (cutting and pasting from the lyrics site into Movie Maker Live). I saved the video and reposted to YouTube so other teachers could use the video with lyrics (the finished video is posted above).
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I was just recently awarded a grant through Donor Choose for science themed reading material for a classroom at our school. I was required to write a grant through a class I was taking as a final project (we didn't have to get it funded we just had to write and submit). Several of us in the class got our requests funded. Mine was flat out funded but a friend of mine got hers funded through a series of donations to the project (which is a great way to get parents involved by asking them to contribute a little bit to the materials you need).
I had seen a project on the internet that involved a pull out tab on a teapot and I have been thinking about how it can be used in notebooking. Today I had my "Aha moment" :)
Sunday, September 25, 2011
This class made origami t-shirts that they then decorated with items that represented themselves. They wrote about the decorations and how they fit into their lives in the computer lab (using Microsoft Word). The teacher took pictures of their heads and they were cut to fit the t-shirts.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I taught my constellation activity today. It didn't go as well as I hoped (Monday???). One class didn't finish. The other class did with lots of complaining (about coloring)!
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
A teacher in one of our district shared this YouTube video on letting children earn "Pop Culture Points" in the classroom. I love it! One of my favorite things about teaching is when a child comes in and has made a connection to what we are learning in class to what they are watching on TV, reading, or listening to.
We all know that making connections is powerful and helps students remember. This teacher now assigns points for it. I like what one of the interviewed children said, "It makes you think about learning when you aren't normally thinking about learning."
I saw this video a couple of days ago and really started looking for points of reference in the shows I watched. In this weeks Warehouse 13 the dangerous artifact was a pair of binoculars that were on the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan. On Eureka the entire town was focused on an upcoming launch to Titan, the largest moon on Saturn. I thought both worthy of Pop Culture Points and related to content we teach at the elementary school level :)
Thursday, September 1, 2011
This was an assignment I did when teaching one class of ELA in fourth grade. I stole the idea from a teacher friend of mine (thanks Jamey!). She used the book The Best Part of Me as the literacy tie in and had students write about the best part of them.
One of the third grade teachers in my school loved the assignment and had her kids do it the first week of school.
The first picture was a fourth grade example of this project and the second is a third grade example.
Very excited to be working with one of our third grade teachers notebooking this year. It is my first time with the third grade curriculum (outside of my student teaching) and it is nice that the teacher will let me offer up suggestions and ideas for right hand assignments.
Above you will see some of the title pages student worked on and classroom safety posters (the safety posters also went into the notebook...those who finished early got to make larger posters for the classroom).
In this 3rd grade class students are using notebooks for the first time this year. In this activity children learned about tools a scientist use on the left hand side of the notebook. On the right hand side students were asked to cut out and match up names and uses of each tool.
This was a pretty nice notebook example. Most of the other notebooks looked willy nilly (matched up appropriately but with not super neat cutting) but the children like the activity and we know that the students will get better with notebooking as they progress.
I liked this start of year math activity. It was done with 3rd graders. Student's learned how to measure their height using the floor tiles in the classroom. They then traced themselves on bulletin board paper and measured aspects of their cut out - waist, arms, neck, head, etc. The cut outs were then put out in the hall and made great wall decorations for our open house.