Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Math Stations

This week, I'm trying something I've never done before - math stations.  We've had such great success with our literacy stations this year.  My students are awesome at working on a variety of different tasks simultaneously.  Recently, I'd been finding a vast span in basic facts abilities in my class.  So, I thought it would be best to try out some stations.  This will allow me to work with small groups at the rainbow table at their ability level. 

Today was trial day.  I didn't give them too much about my expectations, because I wanted to see where they'd take it.  Most did well, but there were a few who got out of hand.  Afterward, we debriefed and I'm excited to try again tomorrow. 

So, what are we working on?  I've made this station which is available at my TpT store.  You can click the picture to check it out.




I've also purchased some other stations from other great sellers:




Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Thumbprint Snowman Ornaments

 As a Christmas gift, we made these pretty snowman ornaments.  Ours were glass, and I was able to snag them for a great deal at the end of last season.  I've seen them in plastic before as well.

We swirled a bright and dark blue acrylic paint inside and turned them upside down to drip dry overnight.  (Rest them inside egg cartons so you don't get a mess!)

The next day we decorated them with fingerprint snowmen families and added details with Sharpie.  Quick and easy!



Helping to inspire,

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Sentence Fluency


Remember at the beginning of the year how I posted my blank "Use your writing VOICES" board?  Well, we have made our way through "Ideas" and "Organization" and are now onto "Sentence Fluency".  I thought I would share the results of a fun activity we did the other day.

The task is to use a single die to help you write a story.  The topic can be anything you choose.  The catch - whatever number you roll, you must have that many words in your sentence.  This is great for lower level writers, because they really needed to think about what constitutes a full, complete sentence.  Higher ability writers loved the challenge, especially when they rolled a "1".   

One ELL student had an "AHA" moment when she realized the elements that make up a sentence.  By forcing her to create a complete thought out of a certain number of words, she finally understood period placement.  I was so proud!
 
To differentiate, I purposefully passed out dice that were 6, 9 and 12 sided.  Here are a few example pieces from 30 minutes of writing time with no editing afterward.  They typically would have a higher writing output, but I like how this activity really forced them to think about the words on the page. 

Fish!
By Sydney
I have three breeds of fish.  Danios, bettas and goldfish.  OMG!  My goldfishes names are Clarance, Gidian.  Fish rock!  Bettas will fight.  Goldfish are cute.  Bettas will eat bloodworms.  Danios will eat anything they find.  So I feed them fish flakes.  Female bettas are grey.  Male bettas are colourful and big.  Betta poo is huge!!  Ew! Yuck!

The Best Sleepover Ever
By Calie
"Hey.  I'm throwing the best sleepover ever.  Want to come?"
"Awesome that sounds great!"
"Epic.  Bring a sleeping bag please.  We're having pizza for dinner."
"Hey BFF.  What up?  We're going to stay up late!"

Skateboarding 
By Colton
Skateboarding is a very hard sport.  What you do is you stand on a board.  You have to turn by leaning.  You have to wear skateboarding gear.  If you don't, you may break lots of bones.  Lots of people break bones by not wearing gear.  There are lots of different skate parks.  There are lots of cool jumps in skate parks.   Sometimes, you even do races.  Another dangerous thing is to ride behind a car.  Fort St. John even has a skate park.  My friend has a skateboard.  It is pretty fun.  Sometimes it hurts when you fall.  When you are a beginner, go slow!  Skateboarding is a very dangerous sport.  If someone hits you, don't get angry.  The end!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Jingles Boblobagus!

My class had a very lucky delivery at the beginning of December!  Our principal brought down a very chilly package marked from the North Pole!  My students were so excited and we ran to the back of the room where we do Circle Talk to open it.  They were very sweet and let my student with Down Syndrome open the package.  He was so thrilled!  Inside they found:





 After I read the story, we had a vote for names.  There was a great variety of names.  In the end though, we had a tie between two names.  So we re-voted on just those two.  We ended up with Jingles as a first name, and Boblobagus as a last.  Jingles spent his first day with us under the Christmas tree.  After that, he got up to many sneaky things around the classroom!  I didn't take pictures every day - but here is some of what he did:

A Christmas tree made out of snap cubes

Jingles checked out a brand new Christmas book from the library.

Lazy Jingles! Sleeping in a TP hammock.

Tucked away into a stocking!

Jingles toilet papered our class Christmas tree!

We had a pj/pancake breakfast day.  Jingles brought colouring pages while they waited for food.

He added these wooden snowflakes to our window for one day.  They were very pretty!


A movie for our Christmas party!