Sunday, 30 November 2014

December Currently

Wow! Two blog posts in one day. Well, I missed last months Currently and didn't want to miss it again. So here it is:
Listening: I am obsessed with Sam Smith. Every song he sings is brilliant.

Loving: Okay those of you who know me know this is not surprising. I LOVE shopping online. There are so many great deals to be had. If you are looking for some great deals check out my TpT store which is on sale for 28% off using the code TPTCYBER.

Thinking: We just bought a house and get to move in on Feb. 2nd. We want to redo the flooring in the main living room but cannot decide which type of flooring to go with; hardwood or carpet. It is a log home so we worry that wood floor might be too much wood. HMMM....

Wanting: If you have not tried a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks yet you have to stop reading this and RUN to your nearest Starbucks and get one. They are AMAZING!!!!

Needing: We have gotten a ton of snow and need a snow blower because I am tired of shoveling.
Giving: We just started Secret Santa at work and I spent part of the weekend shopping for little gifts to give my person each day! I am so excited about this because I love giving gifts.

Head on over to Farley's blog, Oh Boy Fourth Grade to check out more December Currently's 

Too Much Snow and a Literacy Center

Well we have been hit hard by Mother Nature these last couple of days. We had no snow (usually it snows at the beginning of November) and I was beginning to wonder what Christmas was going to look like when ... WHAM! We got a ton.  We had so much snow at once that Thursday was a snow day. Here on snow days school staff still have to go to school but the buses are not running. This also happens when it is too cold (-32 degrees Celsius). Hey, guess what... It got to -32 this weekend. BRRRR.
This was my back deck after ONE day of snowing. This doesn't include the snow that fell the second day of non stop snowing. 

Well what is a teacher to do when it is too cold to go outside and they are sick of shoveling. Laminate of course!!! My Snow Rhyming literacy center got worn out last year so I made a new one.
 This literacy center is super easy to make.

Just print and cut.


Cut again.

 The cards can be used with the headers as an independent literacy center or students can work together and play concentration (trying to match rhyming words). 


Monday, 24 November 2014

CAFE Strategies

Well it finally feels like we are in the swing of things at school. Everything is behind because of our late start so it is weird that we only have a few CAFE strategies done. Here is an update on our most recent activities.

We had a Seusstastic time with our Tune in to Interesting Words lesson! Throughout the reading of Oh, The Places You'll Go! students put up their hands when they heard a word they found interesting. After each page we added the words to our anchor chart. This was a fabulous book for the lesson because in typical Dr. Seuss fashion there are a ton of "interesting" words.   
One of my favourite CAFE lessons is for Make a Picture With My Mind. I always use the fractured fairy tale Trust Me, Jack's Beanstalk Stinks! 

Students can relate to it because most of them have already heard about Jack and the Beanstalk. 

Before the lesson, I chose 6 spots in the story to stop and have students sketch what image is in their head. At the start of the lesson we talk about what a sketch looks like (no colours, quick drawing, not a ton of details) and I demonstrate on the board for them. I hand out the papers for the activity (see below for a free copy) and tell students they will only have 1 minute to draw each sketch and then we will move on. This is key. Don't give them too much time or they will get hung up on the details and be upset when you have to move on. 
It always amazes me how silent the student are while I am reading. They don't get to see the pictures in the book so they have to listen closely. When I give them the signal to start sketching, EVERY student quickly goes to work. Yup, EVERY student. I have a couple behaviour designated students who are defiant and avoid work. Even they are busy sketching!!!  When I signal all pencils down, that happens too because they don't want to miss out on the next part of the story.
Here are  a few examples of what I got from my students this year :) 

 This year's class was pretty hung up on the wedding at the end, hence the kissing pictures. Most years I have had pictures of the giant looking through the clouds at Jack and his mother. Not this year

Click on the image here to get your free copy of the graphic organizer.
I hope your students enjoy this as much as mine did. Check back later for more updates on how CAFE is going in my classroom.
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