"Happiness never decreases by being shared." -Buddha

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Writing Workshop

Here is a great book about creativity and hard work. The students loved that Russell, came to the rescue and helped save Christmas.

This week with the help of this wonderful book we learned:

  • Building a Character Map: which included the skills of finding details in the book and drawing inferences
  • Using our creativity to find solutions for Santa
  • Paragraph writing skills- focus on indenting
  • Writing that is step by step-sequence of events
  • Writing that makes sense to the reader

 Some details about the characters were given right in the story. The others we had to come up with and then prove using details from the story.

 We played a game after everyone filled out their character map. No one knew which character we had picked. We gave our details and everyone tried to guess which character it was. With only 2 main characters..we had a 50/50 chance!!

 The next step was discussing the creative way that Russell helped Santa and what we would have done.

What if Santa got stuck in the chimney?? What would you do or how would he solve his own problem?

Some of the student's plans for getting Santa out of the chimney:

  • KS: I would pick up something heavy and throw it in the chimney and it would push Santa out.
  • AM: I would make a peanut butter and honey  machine and make him slip out.
  • CO: I would put metal along side of Santa and he would slip out.
  • BM: I would blink my magic eyes and he would magically be out. My family would be proud of me.
  • CM: I would take magic from his sleigh and throw it on him and then disappear.
  • MS: I would make a fire in the fireplace and it would be so hot he would jump out.
  • BB: The reindeer would get him out with their horns.
  • AB: Santa fell into the chimney because he was standing up in his sleigh. That is how he fell and got stuck. You shouldn't stand up in a sleigh.
  • IN: He would ask the reindeer for help and if that didn't work he would push himself out.
  • SS: He would push and push and push himself out. If that didn't work I would jump on him till he was out.
  • JC: I would pull and pull him out. If that didn't work I would go in the house and push him out.
Read Santa's Stuck by Rhonda Growler Greene

Linking to our Common Core Standards we:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Monday Reading

It’s Monday! 
What are you Reading? 
 Jen and Kellee’s meme have a weekly link for reading enthusiasts who would like to share what they are reading. This week we are reading Christmas books!

We wanted to work on our predicting skills this week. What we did while looking at this wonderful pop up book was to look at what we know about the celebration of Christmas and then predict what we thought each letter would be.

As we made our predictions we would discuss how some of us thought the same but on other letters we had lots of different ideas. We discussed that most of the time we have different ideas and how that makes things more interesting.

Each letter has an exquisite pop up and all of our smiles at each one was amazing. Everyone loved this book. Although..we wondered and discussed:

Why Y was not for Yo Yo?
Why Z was not for Zebra? Although we all laughed when we saw what Z was.
And Why R was not for Reindeer?

Check it out. It is a beautiful book.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Isometric Paper and the Brain

Building independent thinking is a challenge for students who have years of waiting to be told the answer. Or worse, students who just guess because "It is too hard." This activity was to review 3 dimensional shapes and get the brain working.

Simple instructions where given after we discussed how to use isometric paper to create towers and shapes.
Students were given no teacher support other than words of encouragement.

A whole new way of looking at how to create 20!! This student used blocks first then drew what she saw.

This student used paper first..after a couple of attempts drew the shape he wanted and then created his block tower.

This student used blocks first then drew what he saw.

This lesson turned out to be more about:
The many different ways that things can be done!