Saturday, February 25, 2012

6 Days of Writing Mini-Lessons



While there are many mini-lessons you can do with this 27 slide PowerPoint, the main lesson is using commas after transitional words or phrases and in compound sentences. Mini-lessons should only be 10-15 minutes.






Friday, February 24, 2012

Classroom Newsletter

2.24newsletter

I finally found a premade newsletter design I like! It's in Microsoft Word; I simply had to DELETE four pages. Who wants to write a six-page newsletter each week? :-)

The PDF version shows the document in Peggy Font - one of my favorites! If you download the word version (so you can revise to make your own), the font changes to normal unless you have Peggy Font on your computer too.

Link to download Word version:  http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/82778629?access_key=key-2aa98adymodotqiu7vxl




Thursday, February 23, 2012

Parts of Speech/Editing Quiz

Wacky Wednesday Feb 22

We do Writer's Workshop each day, but it's difficult to get grades unless you grade tons of writing. I read students writing and confer with them each week, but I only formally grade a few pieces each quarter.

Each week, I give an editing quiz similar to the one above for a grade. These are "cold" assessments - meaning students haven't seen or practiced the skills until the quiz. The skills were taught earlier in the year and now they're simply held accountable for learning.

11 students made A's on the quiz, and the lowest grade was a C-. Not only do students score well on the quizzes, they apply the strategies in their writing.




Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Science Experiment - Displacement









iPad or Interactive White Board?

Turn Your IPads into interactive white boards for FREE with the Screen Chomp app.



Mrs. Harris, our Tech Specialist, prepared a special lesson for students complete with iPads to use when solving problems. They loved it!

Link for App:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/screenchomp/id442415881?mt=8





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Conversations Increase Comprehension





Reading Lesson Plan:
Mini-Lesson:  Discussed story elements of fictional text [characters, setting, problem].
During:  Students chose a fictional story from the reading basal. Then, they chose whether to read with partners or in a group. Group reading was set up like this:
1.  Read a section (usually about three inches)
2.  Summarize
3.  Ask a question
4.  Answer the question
5.  Predict or infer
(Then, rotate roles.)
After:  We had a class discussion to see if students identified the characters, setting, and problem in the different stories. Students didn't have time to FINISH reading the stories, but they read enough to complete the mini-lesson for discussion.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about sequencing main events and continue reading where we left off today. Each group will be in different places reading different stories, but they should still be able to participate in class discussions.


I Can Analyze Nonfiction Text


Poster Design by:  Jen Mueller :-)


Fact/Opinion
Compare/Contrast
Graphics Add Meaning
Turning Headings into Questions


Friday, February 17, 2012

Does Air Have Mass?

\Does Air Have Mass?



There's a yardstick suspended from the ceiling, and we used balloons (one empty and one full) to conduct the experiment. Then, we checked the mass on a balance. We placed two balloons on the balance. Then, we added air to one. 



Conclusion:  Yes, air has mass!

Disclaimer:  You gotta love science! The yardstick experiment should have worked, but in reality, it didn't. We had a hard time getting the yardstick to balance, so we held the string to try to balance it. When we did this, the balloon with air didn't demonstrate that air has mass like it should have. My students hypothesized that when we held the string in our hands to balance the yardstick, we actually balanced the balloons too. That's why we checked the experiment with a scale. We found a video on youtube and watched how it was supposed to work.  Then, we had a wonderful discussion on the importance of conducting an experiment correctly before drawing conclusions. 




Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Still More Tangled Word Wall Words






SMART Notebook Lesson.
Students LOVE untangling word wall words with these anagrams. Words included in this lesson are: anyone, are, buy, countries, don't, exciting, getting, hidden, hopeless, I'm, it's, knew, let's, off, pretty, terrible, then, they, thought, threw, too much, whether, winner, won't, write.

There are five words in each slide. Once you've untangled five words, press the arrow to go to the next slide. You'll know when you've reached the end of the five words because it'll prompt you to reset the slide. Instead, go to the next page. It's easy to do. :)




Monday, February 13, 2012

More Tangled Word Wall Words





SMART Notebook Lesson

Students LOVE untangling word wall words with these anagrams. Words included in this lesson are: almost, also, didn't, everybody, except, friend, getting, into, myself, probably, really, something, there, they're, through, very, what, whole, wouldn't, you're.


There are five words in each slide. Once you've untangled five words, press the arrow to go to the next slide. You'll know when you've reached the end of the five words because it'll prompt you to reset the slide. Instead, go to the next page. It's easy to do. :)




Math Performance Event - Fuzzy Creatures

Click to play this Smilebox photo album
Look at how much fun students had creating their fuzzy creatures. Then, check out the math they were required to do first. It was no easy feat.  They LOVE learning. :)
Create your own photo album - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own photo album


Link to download lesson: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fuzzy-Creatures-Math-Performance-Event





(4th-6th Grades)The kids LOVED this! Before they could create their fuzzy creature, they had to do the math to divide the supplies evenly among the teachers and then again among the five groups of students. They also had to estimate the cost for the teachers and determine the fractional pieces of their creature. For the first time, I had a student that never saw the point of division asking me how. He WANTED to divide. :-)