"Happiness never decreases by being shared." -Buddha

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Making Nouns Plural

We had a brief discussion about the rules of plurals. We did write on the tables!! Don't tell the principal! We talked about our class and how we all learn differently. The students decided they wanted to teach the lesson using the way they learn! We will see what they come up with..

DAY 2: Student Lead Lessons
My students decided they wanted to teach the lesson and each choose the way they learn best. We have 4 different lessons taught by 4 different people!!:

TRADITIONAL LESSON- We were shown rules and given examples.

VIDEOS AND SMART BOARD- We were lead in a video discussion on the SMART board.

GAMES- We played a game called "Bang". We read our spelling words for the week and told what rule it followed or needed to make it plural. If you get the word "Bang" you lose all your cards.

MOTION- We played a game similiar to Hallaballoo..were you had to step on the plural rule that matched what was called out. Example if the word baby was called out...the rule you step on was "change Y to I and add ES"
We used a KWL chart and filled out what we know about plurals, what we wished we still knew.  Then we watched the video about plural from brainpop and filled in our what we learned portions to see if we learned anything new.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why Do Elephants Have Trunks? Sentence Building

Our sentence building question for this week was: 
Why do elephants have trunks?

Some favorites this week:
If they didn't have trunks they would not look like an elephant.
If they didn't have trunks they couldn't breath.
Elephants have trunks because the crocodile pulled it that way.
Elephants have trunks so they can paint.
Elephants have trunks so they can spray themselves with water.

Lesson objectives:

  • Review adjectives-how using describing words create better sentences for the reader
  • Review synonyms
  • Use the online dictionary to find synonyms
  • Create a colorful list of words to add to our vocabulary
  • Have fun while learning

I learned that elephants can paint! My students repeatedly said that elephants have trunks so they can paint. I asked them, "Are you sure"? Well, they schooled me this week. Check it out...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Why Do Pirates Wear Eye Patches? Sentence Building

A very quick sentence practice that we are doing in our class. 
(Question found on Pinterest)
Day 1
1. Answer the question with 1 complete sentence. Explain why we do not start a sentence with because.
2. Edit with "Gimme 5"
3. Present your answer to the class before adding it to the board (practicing our public speaking skills!)

Students can "Gimme 5" or tell me the 5 things a sentence needs:

  • Capital Letter
  • Subject
  • Verb
  • Makes Sense
  • Punctuation

Day 2
The following day we discussed ADJECTIVES. I love describing words! We played a game from the Florida Center for Reading Research, where there was an item in a bag. We needed to use our describing words to see if our partner could guess what it was.
We then filled out describing words for common things like Moon, Dinosaurs, Cats and Dogs.

Day 3 
2. Grab your sticky note sentence and highlight the subjects or nouns
3. Add the nouns you choose to the boxes and add 4 describing words
4. Transfer your adjectives to you new sticky note and improved sentence.
5. Present your new and improved sentences

Our new and improved 7th grade sentences!! We are shooting high since we are 4th and 5th graders. What do you think? 

The students loved it..and wanted to create the next few questions. Look forward to: Why do elephants have trunks? and Why do Ninjas have swords?

Common Core Standards:
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1a Introduce a topic or text clearly
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1b Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1b Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

Exit Ticket with Movement

In my quest to be a great educator, build lifelong learners, follow research best practice and to utilize what I am learning in my technology cohort class..I am trying some new things.

After listening to a webinar (BretfordUniversity) about movement and looking at the research, I created an exit ticket outside my door that was a review using a hopstotch game. This webinair discussed how, "Movement is an essential factor in how people learn".

Students reviewed 2 strategies that help us become better writers. 

Gimme 5- 5 essential elements to a sentence

  • Capitalization
  • Subject 
  • Verb
  • Makes Sense
  • Punctuation

MINTS-When do we capitalize

  • M- Months, Days, and Holiday
  • I- When the letter "i" is alone 
  • N- Names
  • T- Titles of movies and books
  • S- Sentences

The students had a fun time and increased their speed in saying what things go in a sentence and what things we capitalize with each time they did the hopscotch. They even asked if they could do it during lunch!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Homophones and Multiple Meaning Words

My students struggle with homophones and multiple meaning words. So they are creating a super visual to remind them of the difference. I found an amazing online site that has researched based activities that I have been using and the students love. The Florida Center for Reading Research has an amazing intervention page and has activities by grade level and reading subject click here.

 We reviewed that a multiple meaning word is 1 word (like a bug has 1 head), 1 word that has multiple meanings. Example for our bug is the word Bug: 1) an insect 2) to annoy someone

 We are looking for multiple meaning words/bugs to add to the ground at the base of our tree.

 Our homophone tree began with a pair of pears. Students have really been thinking about homophones and will even stop while we are reading when they make a discovery!! "Hey, I found a homophone." Anyone can add to the tree as long as the word or pair of words is not already there. We also are using this as our exit word wall reading practice.

It will be full by the end of the year!!...actually I couldn't wait to show you how much the kids have loved this..in just a couple weeks. The students come in at recess because they have found a word to add to the tree!!!

And because we want another way to remember what 2 words that mean the same thing..homophone pairs on a pear tree..pairs of shoes..we wore our homophones on our feet!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Flat Stanley- Daytona (Group 3)

Talk about an excited group of students!! 

At the beginning of the year when we sent out our flat classes on their field trips around the world I didn't consider the fact that I would have new students at the end of the year. These students watched as our flat groups returned and were patient but sad that they did  not have a flat version of themselves. 

With only a small hope that we could get an adventure squeezed in at the end of the year we sent our group to Daytona International Speedway. Ed Sweeney, guest service supervisor, hosted our group 3. These were our adventures in Florida:

Daytona Beach
Daytona International Speedway
Richard Petty Driving Experience (We did this!!)
Jimmie Johnson Car (winner of the Daytona 500!!)
The trophy case of all Daytona 500 Winners (with a student lead discussion about how many races are won before you can even make it to the Daytona 500 and how hard that is)

The students all got their very own Daytona car! The most exciting part for the kids was looking at the huge speedway and knowing that they were their eating pizza with Ed. Teachers favorite was seeing the students in the netting of the winning Jimmie Johnson Car! Wow! 

Thank you Daytona International Speedway!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Adjectives are FUN

I thought I better post lessons that went really well and that the students loved. This is one. There were so many opportunities to learn and review other concepts that it was like a learning snowball.
Day One:
  • Discuss the events of the weekend or break.
  • Watch Adjective Video from School House Rocks.
  • Relate video to how they used adjectives to describe their weekend. (Activating prior knowledge and linking to information each student knows)
  • Hunt for adjectives in the video (we added words that we thought should have been in there)

What we learned: An Adjective describes a NOUN...and what is a noun? Person Place Thing Idea

Day Two:
  • Have students use adjectives to describe the classroom. Post a note on something new or add to an existing post it with your own adjective. This is NOT a spelling activity...we are learning adjectives.

An added side note to the sticky note activity: students for days have been adding more adjectives and reading the sticky notes all over the room! More reading opportunities!! I LOVE it.

This stapler brought on quite a discussion about how different people have varied ideas..some thought heavy and some thought light! We decided it is okay to be different and opinionated.

Any student who says "helpful" when it comes to books...is brilliant in my book!!

accuracy I can read the "ADJECTIVES": flat, shiny, silky, and thin

 I have to agree with the adjective "slow" when it comes to my student computers. LOL

Day Two:
  • Write down adjectives that describe yourself. Use one word descriptors!
  • Pick 5 that describe you best and write 1 each on a color strip. Write your name in the cloud.

Day Three:
  • Have each student number a blank piece of paper to write down their guesses.
  • Read the adjectives and have them guess who it is.
  • Discuss which adjectives gave students away and how some adjectives are better descriptors.

Day Four:
  • Pick a very simple shape that is a noun. We brainstormed house, star, tree, flower, alien, football, hair, stick person, heart, butterfly, moon, and Pokeman.
  • We talked about ways to describe these items using adjectives

Day Five:
  • Have students create their chalk drawing
  • Have students go around and add adjectives to the drawings

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Flat Stanley- England (Group 1)

The first amazing fact about our arrival home from England was that we flew via Royal Mail!! We even went through customs!
We arrived home with a book of photos and a long story about all we did. We also had maps to look over and post cards to gaze at. All of these wonderful moments are going in a class scrapbook!

We received the English flag which is now hanging in our classroom!

We don't want anyone to be jealous but we did go to:

We had a wonderful time with our hosts! The highlight...the motorcycle rides! Image that. When we were there our littlest host got sick and had to go to the hospital! We were glad we were permitted to visit and cheer him up. We loved it so much our flat group is going back to live. We hope we bring you as much joy as you brought us. Thanks again!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Flat Stanley- Minnesota (Group 1)

Our world wall is really getting full of our adventures!  Our next trip was to Minnesota.

Our flat class arrived back with 2 hardbound books of our adventures (a class copy and 1 to pass around our homes)

The book had sticky notes inside that told us to open individually wrapped gifts during our reading of the book. We got a hockey puck when we were reading that most kids play ice hockey there. We went to see a huge event that had 28 different ice rinks.

We all received our wings because we got to fly the plane!! And we learned that mice do not like dryer sheets, so we got some for our backpacks. That is how Minnesotans winterize their boats with dryer sheets!

Other highlights:
Photo shoot with a winning basketball team from Los Angeles
Dinner with Cuban food- who wants Yucca?
Contra Dancing
Bluegrass Music- we sat with the band, in their pockets!
Mall of America
Ice Castles in parking lot of Mall of America
Ice fishing
Guthrie Theater

There are so many you will need to come on over and read our amazing book!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Flat Stanley- Sweden (Group 2)

Group 2 has just arrived from a wonderful trip to Kristianstad, Sweden. Thanks Meredith!! (and Felicia!)
We stayed in a small city that was built around 1600 AD according to our host.  The adventures we had and things we learned:
  • Students take off their shoes when they enter into the school
  • School is never cancelled for bad weather and student have recess even if it is raining
  • Sweden in Swedish is called "Sverige"
  • For holidays people often eat fish, such as Herring
  • They speak Swedish
  • Soccer and Hockey are very popular

Even the stamps are amazing!

Adventures we had and places we visited:
  • Elementary School
  • Army building (Legibus Et Armis)
  • Cathedral (built 400 years ago)
  • Public transit
  • Biking around town
  • Feeding ducks
  • Walking on frozen river
  • Castle ruins

We received a special surprise...another package from Sweden! Our flat class also got to go to Ullstrop, Sweden. I loved the milk container in this picture!! Mjolk...beautiful.

What we learned:
  • It is usually raining and cold in Sweden..unlike the hot desert that we live in
  • High School is optional
  • English is taught at the age of 11
  • For fun people hunt mushrooms in the forest
  • Hiking is very popular in this area because of the untouched land

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Flat Stanley- Blacksburg (Group 1)

On our adventures south we went to Blacksburg, VA. 
Home of Virginia Tech.
Our school is all about being ready for college and we say every day,  "WE ARE COLLEGE BOUND. NO EXCUSES!"

Our adventures in Blacksburg were exciting and tested our party and guest manners. Sadly, some of us just could not remember our manners and repeatedly put our flat feet in the drinking glasses! We wrote some apology letters and hope we will be invited back. We went to a birthday party and all got wonderful party favors. We ate chocolate sauce on ice cream while staying in a cabin in the woods. How lucky are we?
It would take 31 hours to get from Riverside Elementary School to Blacksburg VA. That is 2,120 miles away!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Flat Stanley- South Carolina (Group 2)

 South Carolina

The kids went wild for this package!! They have studied a few of the places we visited and just glowed when talking about how our flat selves had been there. They also loved the gifts that arrived for each of them. We loved the massive amounts of pictures of us in all of these fun places.

The highlights:
USS Yorktown and Patriots Point- I wish you could have seen the students when they heard we went here! "I know that ship!" "I studied that!"
Fort Sumter- "Whoa, we just learned about that place!" Civil War history comes to life!
Megalodon- "Is that a Megalodon tooth!!! Is it? Is it real??!!" (shh don't tell, but I didn't know what that was until now. But the kids sure knew what the teeth were from. So, I now have a fossil Megalodon tooth and my husband is so jealous!) Everyone was ecstatic about having their own tooth.
Isle of Palms Beach-we did wear our swim suits for this trip.
Charleston Historic District