Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Brain...

Hello again, I guess you can blame my forgetfulness throughout the day on my "Monday Brain". I know that I am not the only one feeling it, haha...
I totally forgot to mention my star struck moment that I had at the Sean Covey, Leader in Me Conference that I attended a few weeks ago. Sean Covey's father is the 7 Habits author and an inspirational speaker from around the world. It was so refreshing to walk into schools and her testimonies of students taking ownership and leading in the classroom. I have a long road ahead of me but it was a huge sigh of relief to get away with some AMAZING ladies from my school. Here we are with Sean Covey himself:
The day after returning home from this conference was the 100th day of school and I think that I actually felt 100 years old after that day. To celebrate the day, we challenged our little ones to dress as if they were 100 years old and to bring in 100 pieced of their favorite snack. It was nice to take the morning and relax and read, as old people do I guess. For writing that day, we read a sweet book about grandparents and then brainstormed a list of things that 100 years old can and cant do. Here are some of the things that they came up with...

These kids think of the craziest things don't they! We also took some time out to mix our favortie things together, since one of my students claimed that old people cant even taste their food anymore, and spent some time talking about measurements! Just when we thought that we had enough, one of my sweet blessings of a practicum student came in and gave each of my students one of these pintrest inspired treats! I don't know about you but college aged future teachers are a huge blessing in our classroom and we are so fortunate to have a college right down the road from us that is full of eager student teachers!
Here is a picture of my team getting our 100 year old lady on!
On another note, we have been preparing for our upcoming "Living Museum" where each student has a significant symbol or person to research and become. In preparations for that we watched a brain pop video on what American symbols were and did an informational writing piece on facts that we learned. I wish I had a picture to show you but I guess I didn't get one of those. I did get one of the Statue of Liberty lesson that we did! This is always on of my favorite lessons because we involve more than one subject, I guess you could say common core... haha..... But we started out by watching a video about the Statue of Liberty and then read an informational piece to give us some more facts. For writing, we wrote some similes for the statue such as "The Statue of Liberty is a green as_______."  "The Statue of Liberty is a tall as_____" and "The Statue of Liberty use to be as shiny as______." After writing and a directed drawing, we did the penny experiment to see if we could turn the penny green. After a few days it worked and my kids were floored! I never seen them so engaged! So good....

Forgot to mention that the week before, we studied constellations and the students were so mesmerized that I let them create their own constellation and write a fiction story about it!

Also, one last thing I promise, I have been trying to come up with some fun ways for my students to practice spelling, please let me know if you have any advice. I feel like they are bored to death with the ways that I have out for them so any fresh ideas would be amazing!
Here is one of their favorites though....

How-to teach how-to's!!

Hey there blogging world. I have to be honest when I say that one of my least favorite subjects to teach is writing. My team totally has my back on coming up with some amazing ideas.. LOVE THEM.. I could not survive without them and definitely would not be the teacher that I am without their guidance. Be sure to give some thank you shout outs to your awesome teams members this week!

Last week our focus was writing how-to stories. We started off the week extremely simple and taught the students what a how-to was by reading the book," How to Ride a Giraffe". I of course looked everywhere for a book and stumbled upon this one in the very last minute before the lesson. This is prefect for teaching students to use an introduction, materials, steps and closing sentences (And they get to learn how-to to ride a giraffe, how cool is that??) But seriously, they enjoyed learning about something that they didn't know how to do. After modeling how to write a how-to book, we all wrote a how-to make a peanut butter and sandwich sandwich. We brainstormed all of our ingredients and I had all of the students describe the steps to me. The kicker came next when I overly exaggerated some of their cues like, put some  peanut butter on the bread. I actually stuck my hand in the jar without a knife because they didn't tell me to use a knife. This was one of those moments where I wished there was a camera in my room to witness their faces once again! Then I asked them to write their own steps independently. The next day, we asked students to get with  a partner and make their PB& J according to the directions that were given. They learned that details are the key to successful writing! He are some samples of what really took place.....
Here is one of my students enjoying her reward after a hard day of writing and you better believe that I took part in some PB&J time as well!
After I modeled this strategy several times, I had the students write their very own personal how- to books. I made them pick a topic that they knew a lot about!They turned out so precious! Her are some samples...
This is my favorite! This sweet little one goes to the same church that my husband is a pastor is at and when she told me her topic I almost melted!

Let me know if you have any cute ideas on writing how-to books because I'm like every teacher and trying to fill my idea bank as much as possible! Enjoy your week!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Back to the Grime.....

Hello all,
WOW has it been a while. Yikes.... Please forgive me as I have enjoyed some sweet, much needed time away with my amazing husband, friends, family and self! Taking time away from my love of my computer at home is something that was on my New Year's Resolution list. When I am home with my husband, we are home. I absolutely LOVE my job as he does too, but spending time resting and relaxing is vital to our health and peace of mind. All that to say, PLEASE FORGIVE ME for not posting anything all of last month..yikes.. how does that much time get away?
Here's what we have been up to lately.... (I'll add more from last week as soon I get some pictures taken!
We started off the year creating our very own New Year's Resolutions... Her are some examples of what they said.

Too cute....
My favorite part about teaching science is having the ability to tie together writing, art, reading, math, etc. Our last science unit that we focused on was stars and constellations. The goal was for students to understand that their were more stars in the sky then they can count. Well when you start showing them pictures, they start seeing shapes and begin creating their own constellations. I fed off of their energy and we drew our very own constellations and made up stories to go along with them! the Orion constellation as nothing on these 6 year old!
This very hands-on week ended with us learning about verbs. Of course we couldn't just do something simple, that just wouldn't be tin foil action figures here we come. I introduced this lesson talking about what a verb was and why we use verbs in our writing. Then we brain stormed a list of actions that our class could do. They had to actually demonstrate the verbs that they called out to show everyone else that it really was something that they could do! They loved this although at times it got a bit loud! Altogether we made our tin foil action figures and they had to think of a way to make it look like it was doing the verb that they chose! Here are some examples of what we created!
(Thank you to someone for this very clever idea, not sure where I found it exactly... sorry)
I hope that you enjoy your week and take sometime to rest and relax. I'll be update a lot sooner I promise!!
 Blessings, Kelly T.