Thursday, September 27, 2012

Retelling Bookmark

I'm going to share something else that I use with my students.  I got the original idea from my amazing cooperating teacher during my Student Teaching, Lorissa!  I learned so much during those few months and am so grateful that she opened her classroom to me!  Hopefully, one day I will have my own "Intern" as they call Student Teachers in Florida.

This is a retelling bookmark that you can make with your students.  It can help them out in Reading, obviously, but can also reinforce what they do in Reading class into their own story telling in Writing class.  It is very easy for them to read and understand.  I have the students put it together themselves and talk about each part of a story as we glue the components onto the card stock bookmark. I have posted the file on my TPT account here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stretch a Sentence

Yesterday, I taught my students the joy of stretching sentences.  I made up a worksheet for them to complete and then we shared our work with the class.  You can download the file here!  Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated!! I began the lesson with an Anchor Chart demonstrating how to stretch a sentence.  After the kids understood what I wanted them to do, they each wrote their own.  I had each student share their sentence with the class.  They did a really good job and really understood the lesson.  I then was faced with the challenge of how to display their work?!  Half-sheets aren't always the easiest to hang up in a nice looking way.  I decided to go the route of a quilt.  Since we did this on 9/11, I was in a very patriotic mood so I went with red, white and blue and stars for the display!  I love how it turned out.

This is the worksheet I made.  Be sure to download it!

Anchor Chart

Close-up of finished worksheets.

While we read the sentences they wrote, I called each student up like it was a game show! I would call their name and say that they were the next contestant on "Stretch That SENTENCE!!" and the other kids would say it with me... So fun!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

*Cough, Cough*

It's been over a week since my last update.  I was attacked by germ monsters at school and have been resting up a lot.  In addition to being sick, I've been working very diligently on my ESOL certification class I'm taking right now.  Whoever says being a teacher is easy has no clue what they are talking about! Haha!  I have a couple things to share today and hopefully will finish doctoring up a super cool writing activity we did so I can share it soon!

First, I want to give a big shout-out to the ever fabulous VistaPrint!  I purchased the teacher contact information magnets that I gave my families at the beginning of the year from them.  They were wonderful quality and everybody was really impressed with them.  They also have a bunch of items you can get for free, you just have to pay shipping!  I go around every day initialing my students' planners to verify their behavior performance for the day and thought there had to be a better way!  There is, I got a FREE personalized stamp that fits perfectly in the designated spot in their planners.  I used a return address stamp that had a star.  Instead of putting in all 3 lines of information, I just put my name.  It automatically centers and turns out perfectly.  I know that some other teachers at my school are now looking into getting their own personalized stamps.  You should too!

So many of the ideas I find on Pinterest seem like such "Duh!" things.  I use to be a pretty creative person and I feel like Pinterest may be robbing me of my own inventing process.  I think it's making me lazy, if I want to get an idea I just type something in and *poof* hundreds of wonderful, already created ideas pop up.  This is one of those "Duh, why didn't I think of this" ideas.  Hot glue pom poms on the end of dry erase markers to make little erasers for the kids.  It's just like the big erasers I use on the board and saves on tissues or having dirty socks in the room.  I haven't used them yet, but hopefully the kids don't destroy them the first day... We all know how kids are with new things!

And, I leave you with a Transition Anchor Chart.  Hopefully I can break the kids of the "First, Next, Then, Finally" pattern of transitions!  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Writing Review Board

This has been a crazy few days.  I haven't been able to take pictures of any of the things I've done this past week at school, but I have been looking at my pictures from last year to refresh myself and wanted to share a couple of things.

The writing bulletin board was all ideas that my last years class came up with.  We were reviewing for FCAT Writing and were talking about all of the things we had learned.  They came up with the helpful hints and some of our favorite figurative language and verbs and such.

Our explosion of better word choice.  We came up with better ways to say things and discussed them and then wrote our better words on bright pieces of paper.  So fun!

Writing Review Bulletin Board.

Planning pages and helpful hints.

Transitions, Verbs, Figurative Language, Openings and SWBST.
Expository planning visualization.
We do an Oreo lesson at the beginning of the Expository unit to stress that it's just like a double stuffed Oreo.  There needs to be 2 reasons or examples and support for both of those!
Narrative planning visual. 

Metaphors and Idioms

SWBST.  I'll have to look and see if I have a picture of an anchor chart we made using this concept.

Strong verbs, the kids came up with all of these examples.

We took a day to brainstorm what the students thought was most important in their writing and then they came up with the examples and I typed them up and added the pops of color to display in the room.  It's always good to use the students' input and have their ideas validated by making them into a great learning and review tool.  I shared what we made with the other 4th grade classes too, so their work was shared with the whole grade level.  I will definitely be doing this again this year!