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Sunday, April 26, 2015

If I Were the Earth....

Multiple Perspectives is something we focus a lot on in our class. It's a difficult concept for many of them because as you know the world revolves around them! :) It's hard for the students to put themselves in other people's shoes because often before they enter my class it's something they haven't been asked to do before.

So in honor of Earth Day and our activities about helping the Earth, I asked them to write from the perspective of Mother Earth-what would she say, see, hear, think about, wish for, etc.












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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cinquain in the Membrane

I am trying to introduce m,y kiddos to a bunch of different kinds of poems. Haiku was hard for them. But some of them really did a good job with the cinquain. We looked at examples of some and wrote one as a whole group. They got to choose their own topic and many were able to follow the guidelines. Here's what they came up with:

Miss Trayers
pretty, nice
working, printing, reading
I like having her for my Kindergarten teacher.
Teacher

Sun
hot, orange
warming, burning, moving
It makes me warm.
Star

Hip Hop
Awesome, better
dancing, beating, making noise
I'm a great dancer
Magic

(Her brother)
Playful, quiet
Playing, dancing, sleeping
He makes me sad
Brother

Heels
pretty, tall
move, lay down, dance
fancy have very different textures
Shoes

Models
fashion sassy
pop, rock, fun
Cute funny, love fashion shows


Mastiff
Gray, tough
Barking, eating, playing
I feel grateful
Mastiff

Houses
Brown, big
Protecting, helping, growing
Place to put stuff
Shelter

Person
Colorful, pretty
testing, reading, coloring
I feel happy sad
Me!

Mermaid
Funny, quiet
strong, ?, gracious
Sad of that sister seas
fishgirl

Jewel
Shiny, gold
Shining, exciting, dazzling
It makes me feel greedy
Emerald







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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Secretary's Day

We wanted to do something creative for our school secretary, however the creative juices were just not flowing. So we did an old standby. It is interesting to look back at them and see how trends have changed-the last one she was dancing the Harlem Shake and I don't think the term "selfie" had been invented yet!

What I do is have the kids name things in whole group so we can make a list of 10 things that a secretary does when no one else is looking. I assigned writers to copy that text and illustrators to illustrate and then all the students signed the bottom of the paper. Here's what they came up with this year: 





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Comic Strip Writing

I know newspaper comics are kind of old-fashioned, but I still like to read them! I can remember my parents reading the Sunday paper as a kid and them setting aside the comics for me-because that was the only part I was interested in reading. :) 

I recommend one square comics to start like Family Circle, Marmaduke or if you want to use ones with multiple squares-Peanuts or Garfield work well. I take the print off the comic and ask the kids to write their own little speech bubbles to describe what is happening. I think this is a fantastic activity for making inferences. It's also an easy activity to add to writing workstations after you introduce it and they get some practice.

This was our first attempt:




Time to go. Why?










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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Appreciation Week

The time of year is coming up where many schools have not only Teacher Appreciation, but Nurse Appreciation and Secretaries' Day, etc. Probably 7-8 years ago our Sunshine Committee started a tradition of doing some sort of decoration for the doors of all the staff. That committee has since dissolved, but I think it's a worthwhile tradition. So I have my Student Council members make and deliver them to continue the custom. I had a hard time coming up with something creative this year, because I feel like we've done everything already. But our mascot is the bears-so this is what the kiddos are making to hang on their doors this year. They are decorating the bag to kind of look like the teacher and then writing a note of appreciation on the back. It's quite an undertaking because I actually only have 5 members in Student Council this year and we have to make 65 to ensure everyone on the staff has one, so my students might end up having to do a few themselves, I don't think they will mind.







This last one is mine. I don't put my name on the list for them to make, but one of the students took it upon herself to do that this year. Isn't this just the most thoughtful message!!!!

We had an aide who retired last year and told me that she kept every single one of the door decorations that they had made-it meant a lot to her. Every once in a while I'll walk into a teacher's room and see theirs from the past years hanging up. And the kids love to make things for their teachers. 


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Friday, April 17, 2015

Backward Writing Prompts

We focus a LOT on our writing skills in my class. I try to challenge them and shake things up when I can. This is one of my favorite ways to do that. They are used to me providing the beginning of the story with a prompt...instead, I give them the ending. My favorite ones to do are "and then we had a pet", "and then the cookies were gone" and "then there was a knock at the door". I posted this idea before and Ian Byrd from the Byrdseed site http://www.byrdseed.com/ commented that he liked to give that last prompt idea as dealer's choice-they could use it at the beginning of their story or at the end.

So these are their stories about disappearing cookies:






















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