Sunday, September 30, 2012

Marshmello Challenge

Last week for our PAT time, the kids did the Marshmello Challenge.
Each group was given
20 spaghetti noodles
1 yard of masking tape
1 yard of string
and one marshmello

Their challenge was to create the tallest free-standing structure using only those materials 20 minutes!
The marshmello had to be on top of their structure intact.

I took videos, but they all came out sideways and I could not rotate them.
(Lesson learned with video on my iPad.)

Afterwards, I had them write post-its with what they liked about the activity, 
and what they found the most challenging.
Their limited supplies were their biggest challenge.

They really had fun and worked well together.
Only one team was able to make a structure that held up the marshmello and stood on its own, 
but a couple others were close.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Showing Not Telling With Writing

We have been working on improving our writing by trying to show with our words instead of just telling, sooooo...
I decided to try out this activity.  
I chose some common feelings and emotions and we talked about what someone 
did or said, or how a person would act if they were feeling that way.
We completed this brainstorm chart together.
(Sorry the pic is blurry.)
Then I gave each group a chart to complete themselves.
Each person had to use a different color pencil or marker so that I could see that everyone was participating.

Here's what they came up with.  (Sorry they are hard to read.)

Their challenge during reading workshop was then to find examples of showing, not telling while they were reading.  They kind of missed the boat on that one, so the next day I had some passages marked and read them aloud as examples.  (Those are the post-it notes on the posters.)
They are beginning to get more descriptive in their writing.

I found this FABULOUS book full of great examples of showing!
It is awesome I tell you!
It's out of print, but I was able to snag a used copy.
Check your library and beg, borrow (or steal :( ) a copy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Recess - Won't you weigh in?

How much recess do your kids get?
How is it built into your schedule?
Do you take it away as a consequence?
What are your thoughts?
Please weigh in...

The Importance of Recess
Brought to you by:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pencil Sharpener Love, a Giveaway and More!

Holey Cow!  Where did this weekend go?

I have been so busy, I have neglected my little piece of bloggy heaven, 
so I'll try my best to bring you up to speed.

First off, over the summer I had the opportunity to try out this fabulous pencil sharpener.
**SOLD OUT** Firehouse Red
I was truly in pencil sharpener heaven!
Pencils seem to be the bane of my teaching existence!
I absolutely HATE having kids sharpening pencils down to nubs 
and having pencil shavings littering my floor.  

I ♥ ♥ ♥ it!  
I loved it so much that I bought 8 of those bad boys for my classroom!
Now each table has their own sharpener.  Sharpened pencils abound and no more mess.
Head on over and get your very own (or 8!)  You will not be disappointed!

Giveaway time!

I have teamed up with Leah at Learning 4 Keeps to celebrate 100 followers for her blog.

Hop on over and check it out!

Anchor Charts and More

We have been doing a lot of reading and writing!  
Here are some of the anchor charts we have created in the last couple of weeks.  
I can't believe I waited so long to discover the awesomeness of anchor charts. 
 How did I ever teach without them?

Here are some pics of the kids coaching each other on their writing.
They did an awesome job of helping each other to revise and improve their writing.

I will leave you with my ADORABLE new mini me!
I won this from Nikki at Melonheadz Illustrating.
I just love it!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Currently, Waxing Philosophical, and the rest of my catching up

Man-oh-man have I loved having the extra day off this weekend!
I was feeling kind of yucky last week, but have been able to rest up, 
relax at the lake with my family, and re-energize for next week.
It's all GOOD!

First up, linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade
for the September Currently.

Hubs has been working all weekend on an electrical "project," so my internet and cable have been intermittent.  My closet and bedroom are torn apart, so I cannot kick back there, but hopefully he will have it all finished up in a bit.  At least the internet is back up!

At least I got a book read since I had no internet or cable.  Yesterday I read
The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
Loved it!  If you haven't read it, grab it.  Totally worth the $1.99 for my Kindle!

The last line of the book really has me thinking today...
"...that each affects the other and the other affects the next,
and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one."

I am wondering who my five people would be
and why they were a part of my life and I a part of theirs?

It has me thinking also about my students,
about the divine intervention that has brought them to me,
and what, besides knowledge, am I here to teach them?
More importantly though, I think, is that they have been brought into my life too.
What are they here to teach me?

Have I told you how much I love my class, especially this year?
They are simply AMAZING and I cannot wait to see them every day.
 My life is so much richer because of them.

OK, enough drama.  Back to the fun of the last couple of weeks.

My kids have really been enjoying our Reader's Workshop time when they get to move about and read wherever the want to.

We have been doing a lot of writing too!
They love being able to share their writing and thinking with partners.

Here are pics of some of the anchor charts we have made.

Last week we were working on writing elaborations, adding detail and depth to our writing.
Four Square has some terrific writing resources.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

Before I go, I just finished reading this book, The Memory Bank to my kids.
It was new to them and to me, and we all loved it!
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