Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Breaking Down the Prompt

State Testing is soon approaching for my 5th graders, so we are buckling down and preparing for the upcoming tests. This week our focus was on point of view and writing in response to a text about the different viewpoints of the characters and how their point of view influences the events in the story.

Monday and Tuesday this week we read and analyzed the text. Monday we read the text the first time to get the gist and students worked in cooperative pairs on text dependent questions. Then we went back and analyzed the text for the main character/speaker's point of view about the text on Tuesday. Students made a 3-column chart in their notebook, noting the three characters, their point of view on the topic, and evidence from the text supporting their point of view. Finally, today we took on writing in response to the text.

Before we begin writing there are a few steps we must take when approaching the writing prompt.

Our learning goal is I can draw evidence from a literary text to write an extended response by :

  • reading the prompt
  • analyzing and breaking down the prompt
  • making a plan 
  • writing in response to the prompt
First we chorally read the prompt. (Prompt taken from i-Ready workbook) 

Then we closely read the prompt for testing verbs and broke down those key words in the prompt for better understanding. We make our plan in the margin and then have a discussion of the text with our partners and share out with the class our thinking on what we may include in our response also noting evidence in the text to use in our response to support our answer. 

Tonight students will re-read the text and tomorrow they will begin their writing response. 

What techniques do you use with your students to break down lengthy prompts? 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Read Across America Week

I am so excited to have brought Read Across America Week to my school. Of course, I came upon the idea through my PLN on Twitter. On February 15th, I participated in a Twitter #4thchat on the topic Read Across America. You can check out the archive of the chat here. A plethora of ideas were shared and one of them was hosting a Spirit Week for your students. I went straight to Pinterest for my ideas and found many already made flyers. I borrowed a few ideas and created one for my school. Here's a run down of our flyer.

Spirit Week included the following: 

Monday - February 29th - The Cat in the Hat Day
Wear your favorite hat

Tuesday - March 1st - Fox in Socks Day
Wear crazy socks

Wednesday - March 2nd - Wacky Wednesday
Wear your shirt backwards

Thursday - March 3rd - Green Eggs and Ham Day
Wear a green shirt

Friday - March 4th - Thing 1 and Thing 2 Day or 
Find a friend and dress like twins

Today was by far the most favorite of all the days! The students really got into it with finding a friend to dress as twins. My grade level even got involved!
Here are a few picks from the day: I'm all the way on the right with my 5th grade team. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Digital Learning Day

On February 17, my students and I participated in Digital Learning Day.  I first heard about this day which is celebrated around the country through Twitter. During my weekly participation in the Monday night #4thchat on Twitter, teachers were tweeting how they would take part in this day. There were so many awesome ideas shared which empowered me to become involved. About 15 minutes into the chat, I networked with 3 other teachers. We decided to have our students participate in a Kahoot game. @plnaugle hosted the game and set up a google hangout for us to view the game and each other's classes. We played against 3 other classes from Texas, Indiana, and Louisiana. It was exciting!! The first quiz was on identifying different types of Oreo cookies. @plnaugle's class won that game. Then we completed a quiz on logos. It was a win for us! Many of my students had not participated in a Kahoot game against another class let alone a Google hangout, so they were in awe of how cool it was to be live with other classes around the globe. It really was an awesome experience for everyone. Here are a few pics from our day. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

January Currently

It's that time of the year again to link up with Farley's Currently.  I am looking forward to an awesome and adventure filled year with my family and students.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veterans's Day! 

Do you know why we celebrate Veteran's Day? 

Do you know who first proclaimed Veteran's Day? 

Do you know who made it a law? 

These are some of the questions that my 5th graders are exploring this week through a Wonderopolis article.

Here's a great graphic organizer I found on TPT to go along with all the Wonderopolis articles we are reading.  It's Free! Click here to access the organizer.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Vocabulary Slideshows

So proud of my students this week and the products they are producing! They are engaged, motivated and acquiring new words to add to their vocabularies.

As I've written in past posts that you can read here and here, one of my goals this year was to increase  vocabulary study with my students. It is going well! We are talking, writing, and using new words, finding them in print, and playing games with new words. Kahoot is our favorite game by far!

This week I asked students to create a slideshow of their words using the Keynote app on our class iPads. Each slide was to contain the word, related words and a picture depicting the word. They were highly motivated and excited, and there was lots of discussion going on with partners on what picture would be the best one to represent their word.

Here are a few of the slideshows created today!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Vocabulary Family Reunion

This week my students were engaged in a vocabulary game modified from the book Word Nerds. In chapter 6 of Word Nerds they discuss a game to play called Block Party" where the students mingle with their related words. Well my class and I decided to rename it "A Vocabulary Family Reunion" because what do you do at a family reunion, but meet or reunite with current or new family members.

Each day my class helper passes out the lanyards and students write a sentence with their word. Today they wrote a sentence with their word, but were also asked to use a conjunction in their sentence since we are learning about conjunctions this week. Then each family of related words were asked to meet in a particular area of the room. After much modeling each day of expected behavior and what they were expected to do once with their families, they did great. Each person greeted a family member by shaking a family member's hand and saying, " Hi, Nice to meet you ____________. I am ________ and I am a (synonym/antonym) of your word," we did this on Monday. On Tuesday, they greeted each other the same, but shared their sentence with their family members. Today, they did both showed how they were related and shared a sentence.

At the beginning of the week, they started off not wanting to shake each other's hands, but by today they were making up their own handshakes and asking me when they were going to meet with their family.

I'm looking forward to teaching another set of vocabulary words next week!