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Monday, April 30, 2012

Time for Tech Tips!

The kids are really loving the ipad center. Each week we are adding new apps to the student "screen" on the ipad that target skills we want the kids to practice each week.

Here are some screen shots of the apps we have the kids using so far:

Great for kids building real words vs. non-sense words


Fun word building and reading.

We are using this to help our students who still need practice with penmanship.

May Freebies

Can't believe it's May already!
Here is the May CVC Freebie!

Get the May CVC Freebie at TPT

Friday, April 27, 2012

Covering the Standards

Sample copy of standards with marks on them.
At the beginning of the school year we had a staff development day with Dennis Parker.  He talked mostly about standards and the importance of targeting each one.  He gave us some suggestions of things we could implement in our own classroom.  One great idea is to take a copy of your grade level standards and  put a tally mark or plus sign next to it every time it is covered in class.  You can do this by enlarging the standards and posting them in your class.  Then every Friday you go over with the students what standards you have covered during the week and put a mark by each one.  If you don't want to do that, you can keep a copy in your lesson book and mark it yourself at the end of the week.  It really doesn't matter how you do it as long as you are aware of what standards you are covering.

Math Standards Coverage Chart
Language Arts Standards Coverage Chart
A few weeks ago we went to our second training with Dennis.  One of the main activities he had us work on was going through the language arts and math standards one by one and arranging them in a chart based on how well they have been covered in our classroom this year.  There were three columns: covered well, partially covered and covered little or not at all.  We used our standards list with our marks to help us fill out the chart.  The standards we have partially covered or not yet taught went on what he calls a "Hit List".  The idea being that you make sure to target those standards on your "Hit List" by the end of the school year.  This was a great exercise because it really helps you examine your own teaching and it ensures that you don't leave your students with any academic holes as they move on to the next grade.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Writing Dialogue

So our district recently adopted the updated Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Language Arts series called Excursions. We like the new components they have added to it and everything seems to be pretty well thought out. We wanted to try the lessons on writing dialogue. The following work samples are from our second day of working with dialogue. We read the book My Best Friend by Mignon Hinds. The story lends itself to this type of writing very well. Another idea was to read The Very Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. Students were asked what they thought the characters in the book would say to each other in the different scenarios. Afterwards, we asked the kids to think of a friend, a setting and what they would say to each other. Here are photos of the book as well as student work. We think they did a great job!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebrate Earth Day!

Here are some fun things to do with your students
to celebrate Earth Day!
This is our Earth Day book available at KLG.

Great book to read by Joanne Ryder.
Our Earth Day Project available at KLG in our Spring Pack.  
Sweet Earth Day Treat Ideas from Planet Pals.



Friday, April 13, 2012

A Virtual Trip to the Farm

In May we will be teaching our students all about the farm.    You are probably wondering why we are talking about a theme we don't teach for another month.  Well on April 18th at 1:00 pm ET the Discovery website is having A-Farm-To-Table Virtual Field Trip.  This is a great way to virtually transport your students to a real egg farm.  They will learn how an egg gets from a hen to their table.  It is a free field trip and all you have to do is visit their website and register to participate.  They are also having your students submit questions ahead of time and will answer them live during the field trip.  We are really excited about this event because we think it will provide great background knowledge for our students.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

Ever since our school became an Visual and Performing Arts Magnet we have been working towards arts integration. It is definitely a work in process!
What is arts integration?
"Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both."

  1. Arts integration practices are aligned with how students learn.
  2. Arts integration energizes teachers by providing increased professional satisfaction.
  3. Arts integration is aligned with some major trends in education:
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • The Whole Child
To learn more about arts integration go to: The Kennedy Center: ArtsEdge

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse is a wonderful book that encourages us to express our "inner artist" written by Eric Carle.

Eric Carle Website