Two questions were so specific that there was not enough evidence to completely answer the question. This was a good conversation - students realized they could only find a piece of the answer but not the exact answer. This was a good talking point: making sure our evidence actually answered the complete question, instead of just being related to the question; a habit they are very guilty of!
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Using the structure I posted in my Five for Friday, post, the students wrote brief paragraphs about Earth Day and published them on some cute writing paper.
The next day, we read The Great Kapok Tree.
My purpose for reading this book was to, of course, introduce students to reasons for conserving our rainforests, but also, to have them take the fictional story and rewrite it as a drama. I wanted them to think about what would be the role of the narrator, which character voices they would need, and what would be included in stage directions.
We started off together, charting the introduction to the drama. After a conversation about how we should differentiate between the narrator and stage directions (the kids decided that they wanted the narrator to tell the actions, and the stage directions to describe. This was with some guidance, of course!), this is what we came up with:
Then, I divided the students up and gave each one a chunk of text that introduced a different animal. I had a small group of students, and there were many animals, so only two students had to buddy up. They wrote their chunk of the story as a drama and published it, using their animal's fur or markings to illustrate the border.
After that, each student got a paper plate and enough construction paper to fill their every heart's desire.
And this is what they made:
Jaguar (looks pretty tiger-y to me)
Porcupine - just noticed she made mistakes in her drama. Poop. Gotta go back and have her redo that one!
Toucan (kind of)
Bee.... with a ghostly reflection of myself in the background.
How funny that, in all the pictures, the only one I came out in is the Bee!
There's also a frog, but he's not done yet.
Stay tuned for my upcoming hallway display debut: It took me two weeks, but it is almost done!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
With fourth grade, I used the article as a way to review writing a nonfiction summary to process text. I wanted students to think about using the structure of the article (divided into sections with headings) to help them write their summary.
With third grade, I wanted to practice the same skill, but my third graders have trouble differentiating between the most important ideas, or main ideas of sections, and specific facts or details. To support this, I wrote a variety of statements from the article on sentence strips.
Some ideas (Meerkats live in burrows under the ground) were very specific facts from the article. Others (Meerkats help each other by taking turns looking out for predators) were main ideas from the article. Using these sentences in a pocket chart, as well as the headings for each section and the title, we made decisions about the following things:
1. Which pieces of information are important and which are specific facts?
2. Which pieces of information would be included in a summary?
3. How can the title/headings help us choose what is important and organize it?
4. What order should the important information be sequenced in to be in logical order?
We made a little chart to help us with interesting vs. important. I forgot to take a picture! But this is the general idea:
Interesting: a specific fact or detail. Makes you say, "Wow!" or "I didn't know that!". May not be related to the main idea or purpose of the article. (real-life example: toys. They're not necessary, but we like them)
Important: a big idea. Related to the main idea or purpose of the article. Headings/titles can give you clues about what will be important in the article. (real-life example: food. It might not be fun, but it's necessary)
Still, though, this was tough for my third graders. This is what we came up with. I marked the words in the sentences that helped us identify if the statement was related to the main idea/topic of the article.
Overall, not a bad lesson. Wish I'd had a little more time to spend with them, though. Half an hour was kind of rushed.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
It's over 80 pages of printable materials to work with the water cycle and weather! I've used these ideas in my own classroom, and it's one of the things I miss! The water cycle was such a simple and fun concept to teach. And weather is exciting!
This investigation was always so simple but so enlightening for kids!
Water Cycle Craftivity
Cloud Types Folded Flip Book
I have... Who has...
The complete pack at TPT includes...
*Water Cycle & Weather Word Wall Cards
*Water Cycle Poster
*Frayer Model for Vocabulary: (Weather, Climate, Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, Accumulation)
*Water Cycle in a Bottle Investigation (instructions, setup, and handouts included)
*Water Cycle Folded Flip Book
*Water Droplet Shape Book
*Water Cycle Mobile Craftivity
*Water Cycle Song
*Water Cycle Reader’s Theater
*Water Cycle Mix-Mingle-Team Up Activity (24 cards)
*Water Cycle Comic Strip
*Water Cycle Diagram Cut & Paste
*Water Cycle Quiz & Matching Handout
*Cloud Types Article
*Cloud Types Chart: Cut & Paste
*Cloud Types Folded Flip Book
*Weather Acrostic Poem
*Weather Jigsaw Activity (Includes readings, handouts,
and scoring guides)
*Daily Weather Log
*Water Cycle/Weather I Have... Who Has... (24 cards)
*Bonus: Internet Resources & Webquest
And grab your freebie at TPT too! This freebie set includes a water cycle poster, a water cycle song (color and B&W versions), and a cut & paste water cycle diagram!