Saturday, January 18, 2014

Feeling the Stress of the New Year!

It's been a while since I posted. I started a new grad class the first week of the year, and am feeling the stress. My past 2 classes have really integrated our classroom into our work, so it didn't feel like we were doing a ton of "extra work" or it felt like it was benefiting our kiddos so much that the extra work was okay! This class is called "Educational Issues: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives." That being said, it's a lot more about becoming aware of and learning educational issues that affect us as teachers and gaining a better understanding and perspective on them. Well this is all well and good, but the assignment load is feeling unbearable.

The good news is my big research paper and presentation will be on Whole Brain Teaching, so hopefully that means a few WBT posts in the next 8 weeks!

Before I show you what's been happening in my room, here's a great project I took on the day before we went back to school after break. It was super easy, all you need is a glass jar (I re-purposed a pasta sauce jar), stickers and mod podge and if you want to paint the lid, I used acrylics. Oh, and a small notepad to tie to the jar or just have available near the jar. The purpose of the jar is to put happy memories in it during the year so at the end of the year you can open up the jar and read all the happy things that happened over the year :)

Alrighty, here's some of what we've been up to since the new year in my room...

We had one awkward day back (Thursday) pretty much knowing we'd have a snow day on Friday, so we did a lot of New Year themed things. Resolutions was our #1 project for the day...

Each kiddo shared with the group what their "classroom" resolution was. They they could take that resolution (or choose a different one) and tell what they could do to reach their goal...

We also started a non-fiction unit... so we made an anchor chart for text features.

When making the anchor chart we tried to focus on how the features help the reader rather than a "definition" for each. This proved to be a little difficult for some of the text features!

In the theme of non-fiction we've been doing a lot of animal "research" which the kiddos have LOVED. Here is a simple Can/Have/Are activity we did...

The next few are a mini frog and bat research project where the kiddos worked with a partner doing a KWL then doing "research" on frogs/bats by reading a grade level nonfiction text on bats. I plan on posting these in a "mini unit" on TPT soon so be on the lookout!

I differentiated these "by hand" writing in some "hints" for my struggling kiddos and questions like "why did you choose this fact/why is it important" for my high flyers.

Our next step is to read about birds and use our bat research to compare and contrast birds and bats. These will also be included in my upcoming TPT product. Currently I have 2 "levels" with more or less difficult vocabulary.

 Hope you enjoyed the catch up... hopefully I will post before the end of my 8-week class!

Here's a little puppy love to leave you with...

Teach Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at32149PM_zps10463e60.png

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