Saturday, 22 February 2014

Setting the Stage for Narrative Writing

This week we started looking at story elements in hopes that soon my students will be able to write their own story with well developed story elements. I decided to start with teaching them setting.
The first day I introduce setting with this anchor chart.
As I was going through the anchor chart, I went around the room and had students give me examples of a place, time, and environment a story could take place in. I do have to say there were some very creative ideas as students tried to one up the precious response :)
After we went through the mini lesson students were given a chance to design a setting and brainstorm words to describe their setting. I used a page in Sarah Cooley's super cute Setting Scavenger Hunt Activity to inspire my students. They had to take a character from the ones provided and create a scene for the character. The character was then glued onto the scene to finish it off. My students were very excited to complete this activity.

Most of them got it right away but there are a few who still need practice.
The next day, I read the class one of my favourite books, The Great Kapok Tree, and students had to brainstorm adjectives to describe the setting and then write me 3 sentences all about the setting.
In other classroom news, I received some new books for my classroom library from Scholastics. The Boy Who Cried Ninja is way too cute!
We are getting very close to our goal for a class pet.
Each day the class is given a score, 1-4, for their lunch behaviour. I told them if they could get 40 fours I would get them a class pet ( a moment of weakness or desperation). Well they are going to make it and now I have to think of a good class pet. I would love some suggestions if you have any.


Saturday, 15 February 2014

A Busy Friday - Valentine's Day Art and 100s Day

Wowzers !! Friday was a busy day for us. Not only did we celebrate Valentine's Day but we also had our 100s Day celebration. It was a fun filled day and I was proud of by kiddos for keeping it together and not being to wild and crazy (especially when candy was involved).

This past week we finished up our Valentine's art and I got it displayed on the walls. Here are some pictures of the final products!

For this first project we worked on our cutting skills. No tracers were used to make the hearts, just paper folding and cutting. I was impressed with how well they turned out.

To link hearts, I showed my students how to make a slit in one of the hearts and then to link it around a second heart. When they glued the hearts to the background you could not tell where they cut the heart.

For our second project, I gave students a square piece of paper. In the middle they traced a heart shape. Using a ruler, they drew vertical lines over the entire page. They chose 2 colors to create their heart picture with. They had to alternate colors and when they got to a line they had to change the color they were using.

Tip: have them put a color dot on each section. This will help them make sure they are using the correct color.

This was the biggest hit in my class. Students LOVED to see their final product and the different color choices of their classmates. 

I got the inspiration for our door art from the Bright Ideas Blog Hop I was part of recently. Blair, from Change the World One Lesson at a Time, had this brilliant idea.

I was very giddy about the project I planned for 100s Day. A couple days before I took all my students pictures and used the app Aging Booth to age them so they looked older. I couldn't stop giggling as I was working on them. I then put their pictures on a worksheet. You can see a picture of it below. I couldn't post their pictures here (they are super cute by the way) so I made one with my scary picture.

I knew that they would all want to see each others' pictures and I didn't want chaos when I handed out the worksheets so I created a PowerPoint to introduce the activity. They had NO idea why I took their pictures earlier in the week so they were very surprised when we got to the part in the PowerPoint where their pictures started to come up. It was great to see and I would love to have video taped their reactions. The PowerPoint gave students prompts for their writing. Where will they live? What job will they retire from? How many kids will they have? What will life be like?

It was fun reading the responses. There were comments like: I will retire from working at McDonalds, I will have no kids or a wife...Life will be good!, and my favourite... I will retire from being a teacher :)

A couple days before this I read my students the book 100th Day Worries. The girl in the story is worried about not finding 100 things to bring to school on 100s day. It is a cute story showing how she solves the problem in a creative way. After the story was read I gave my kiddos a Ziploc bag for them to fill with 100 items and return to be displayed. Not everyone returned a baggie but that was okay by me. 14 of my 19 students brought a bag in and only 2 were the same.

Well now to enjoy my weekend and find new ideas for this weeks teaching.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Bright Idea Blog Hop

I am super excited to be part of this blog hop. I am always looking for new ideas and I know I will be hopping around collecting them today!!!

For my bright idea I thought I would share something that has changed my classroom routines so much this year. Usually when students were leaving the classroom they just left unless it was to go to the bathroom. If they were leaving to go to the bathroom they had to write their name on the board under my cutely designed boys/girls headers.

What kept happening was students spent way too much time writing their names and doodling. Or they decided that their line separating the two sections was better than the last person who drew it so they would erase the old one and draw a new "straight" line. I was tired of constantly saying "Just write your name and move on!" I just got my new shipment of washi tape (newest obsession) and bought some more magnet strips and the bright idea just came to me !!!

That night I created name circles, printed them, laminated them, and stuck magnets to them. The next day after school I created my students leaving board. Not only did I have a place for students to move their name if they were going to the bathroom but I added a spot for the adults who they left the room with. I have more than half of my students leaving the room to work with learning assistance at some point in the day and it was getting hard to know where all my students were.

This board is AMAZING. Yup all caps worthy. Let me say it again. This board is AMAZING!!! There is no longer a student doodling on the board, I don't have to replace markers, or have student scream dramatically when the container falls on the floor. Oh yeah and I can easily see where my students are. I will be doing this every year for sure.

If you are looking for more great ideas, please visit the next blog on this blog hop, written by Rebecca ! She is the wonderful author for Darlin' Little Leaders and is sharing some great tips on accountable talk.
You may also want to visit the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you!

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