Thursday, June 19, 2014

 Reading in the Wild Chapter 1

If you have not heard of Donalyn Miller, stop reading this post and go to the library or book store right now.  Find a copy of The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild and read them.  Then come back and join the summer book study for Reading in the Wild

 Here are your chapter 1 hosts:
The first chapter is about dedicating time to read....not just in your classroom, but in everyday life.  I really like what Donalyn calls, "Edge times".  Read when you wait for the car people, read when you are at a siblings soccer practice, etc.  I love the idea of having kids come up with a list of places that may provide "edge times".   Oh my gosh...could an edge time be waiting in line at recess?  (Could I give up control and let them take a book outside)  Something to think about..... Last summer, while in New York, the 30 minutes Subway ride was my daily edge time in the midst of a busy vacation. 

Kids could also share about how to make edge times happen.  Do they make sure they always have a book with the car, in their bag.  They take their ipods they have a reading app on it?  Books at their fingertips.  My purse buying criteria always involves whether or not it can hold at least one book.  

Chapter 1 Application to Classroom:
Anchor Charts-
"Where Can Readers Read...for a Long While?"
"Where Can Readers Read...for a Short While (Edge Time)?"
"What Tools Do Readers Need to Read During Edge Times?"

What do you think?  When to you cram in some reading time?  What are your reading plans this summer?

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

 Summer Plans

Summer Plans in Pictures-

Happy Friday,
PS....already finished 8 books for my bookaday challenge!

 Fractions and Literature

The Math and Literature series by Marilyn Burns is one of my favorite math teaching tools.  The book suggests books and lessons that tie math and story together.  Kids come up with al kinds of ideas to explain because they have such an unstructured way to respond to the math prompt.  The story form gets kids who often get stuck a different way to think about math concepts.   
This lesson was all about how to equally share cookies based on an event from Little House in the Big Woods.

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

 Reading Response Journal Gallery

I love reading what kids have to share about their reading!  Every week, students have to turn in their journals.  Five students each day, so I don't end up with 29 all at once to get back to them!  Recently, I went to an amazing conference with Mary great!  She inspired me to add creativity to our Reading Response Journals.  I showed my students some examples.  They searched for ideas and we brainstormed them.  Here is the awesome-ness that was found-

Problem and Solutions
Character Descriptions...Look closely...he made new words from each of the two descriptive words.
Pictures and descriptions of bad guys or memorable characters
Coded post it notes
A story map
She made a symbol for combining the parts of the book.
This guy drew a picture and then bottom sketches are symbols he made up that would represent each of the characters.
Comparing two books in a series
Comparing two books with similar ideas.
Then we had a gallery showing and shared our work with our friends.
So fun and it put more life and energy into writing about reading!

Happy Wednesday,

Monday, April 14, 2014

 Expert Groups...from Science/Social Studies to Math

Originally this post started out a State Testing Bashing Rant...however, I "Pollyanna'd" it and am, instead going to share the good that came out of preparing for the test.

To trying and at least get some practice with the stuff we haven't learned yet, we have been using expert groups.  They are not my own creation, it is a modified version of something from GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design).  I have never used expert groups with math before.  Usually a small group studies something then shares out.  For example, during science we are studying birds.  Groups worked together to learn about different bird habitats, then shared with rest of class.
I thought why couldn't something like this happen with math.

Here is what we have been doing-
Friday-Students are chosen to be expert group leaders.  (Before Monday I figure out what I want them to do.)
Monday-we have a "working lunch meeting."  I go over the three or four concepts I want the class to work on.  They choose the one they feel most comfortable teaching. 
Monday-Share their lesson with two groups of studnets
Tuesday-Share their lesson with two groups of students.

Then we repeat the process with new groups on Wednesday and Thursday. 
So far we have gone through the process twice. 
Round 1-Three Expert Groups
Shapes with lines/no lines of symmetry
Names of different polygons
 Balanced equations-apparently the class photographer missed this group:-)

Round 2-Four Expert Groups
Exploring 3-D shapes
3 dimensional shape organizer
Different kinds of lines
Different kinds of angles

I am amazed at how well it has been going.  I don't think it is something I could keep up with all year long, but it has been far more smooth than I thought it would be and everyone is learning something better than if I tried to do giant whole class lessons about all these different topics.

Happy Monday,

Friday, February 14, 2014

 Five for ValenFriday

This week flew by!  Monday was a snow day, yesterday was our Valentine's Shenanigans, and today is a teacher work day.  So how bout a 5 for Friday Review?

1-Heart Art
Sharpie, Markers, and a Rule.  Two colors for the heart and two different colors for background.  Color checkerboard style.
2-Valentine Party Shirley Temple Floats
Easy Peasy:  Cherry 7Up, Ice Cream, Cherries, and Whip Cream
3-Fraction BINGO Valentine Book Swap
Instead of exchanging cards, students wrapped up a book and we played BINGO for books!  About half the class still did bring and exchange cards:-)
4-M & M Sorting
We began fractions...hoping candy tricks students into believing they are fun!
New Read Aloud
The Miraculous Journey of Edward!  I did not get to read this last year, because I looped with half the class.  So happy to be sharing it with a new group of Chickadees!

How was your week?  Have you survived the Snowpocalpyse....Full Moon/Valentine Combo???
And just a have 11 more days to enter a custom made canvas giveaway.  Can I enter my own giveaway???
Happy Friday,