December 26, 2017

So...what's new?

Hi friends,
     I don't know about you, but the last few months have seemed like a whirlwind of stress and excitement!
    I have the sweetest class of 20 students, which I can hardly believe! Teaching where I teach, 20 students is unheard of--however it is a welcoming change from the class of 31 that I had last year.
 So what have we been up to? Here's a few of the highlights  :)

    Here's the hub of the's my favorite place! The library outlines two large carpets and the tree is the center of the board. We were "falling for figurative language" where the kids wrote examples of figurative language they found in their independent books on the leaves. When they were detectives on the lookout for examples of figurative language, it added a whole new level to independent reading. {For the tree, my hubby skillfully crafted it using brown fadeless paper, staples, tape, magnets, and a lot of time!}

We went on field trip to a pumpkin patch and the kids were able to paint their pumpkins and as they dried, we went on a fun little hayride. As a way to add to our narrative writing unit, the kids wrote from the point of view of a pumpkin being picked from their patch. They used their trip to the pumpkin patch as inspiration for their stories! They took about a week to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish. The kids chose a pumpkin and drew its face. We attached a leaf with the pumpkin's name using pipe cleaner.

Every year, just before Halloween, our grade boos one another. This year, I embraced the tradition and had my class make these adorable crows! The kids had so much fun crafting these using black cupsyellow paper cups, orange paper cups, googly eyes, buttons, yellow paper cut into a beak, and glue dots to affix the eyes, beak, and button. We also put a some candy under the crow's hat as an added treat :)

Aside from the crafts and fun stuff, my school is focusing on Impact Teams. We are using data to drive our instruction and build student efficacy. {I'll talk more about this in a later blog post--it really is fascinating work :)} One of the third grade teachers has higher level students that she wanted to push, so I offered to host her students in my room during reading in a lateral book club. The club focuses on the 4th grade reading standards and piggy-backs off the lessons within my 4th grade classroom. The girls chose The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo as their first book. I'm so impressed with their level of discussion and thoughtful analysis of the characters and symbolism represented within the text! I'm so excited to see what book they choose next! 

On to December, to wrap up the year, I read a post from Edutopia on The Great Gingerbread Project. It is a fantastic read and is definitely a worthwhile activity to do just before break! I tried it out and it was an overwhelming success! The kids used alternate ways to find the area of irregular shapes without explicitly being taught and then applied those areas to the formula for area. It was remarkable to watch and listen to the discussion and mathematical thinking. I'm happy to have given them the opportunity to explore and make those math connections--and get messy in the process :)

So...what have you been up to? I'd love to hear from you in the comments :)

I was provided products from Learn365 by Oriental Trading for the purposes of this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

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