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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 16- It finally happened!!

I have never been so happy to see clouds in my life! No, it didn't rain, but that's OK. My students didn't care about the lack of rain, they were too excited. Today... the first day since school started 3 weeks ago... WE GOT TO CHANGE OUR WEATHER CARD! You read that right! Today we finally got to change the weather from sunny to... cloudy!
I wish you could have been here to see the looks of joy on the kids' faces. And then... they realized that the entire board gets changed tomorrow for the beginning of September. Well, Hallelujah! Something to look forward to! Actually, it is pretty cool. We are going to add a special segment to our calendar time. Shhh, it's a surprise! The kids will find out about it tomorrow.

So, aside from us getting to change our calendar card, what else was happening in General Delk's Army? Quite a bit actually.

In Reading we used If You Gave a Mouse a Cookie to work on our questioning skills.
 For the sake of the lesson, the students turned themselves into whiny 2 year olds so they could practice asking one question: Why?
We read through the book once, many of the kids had already heard it from kindergarten, then we flipped to the back and read it backwards; all while asking the question "Why?" The entire lesson was a chorus of children asking "Why?" in their most whiny voice, then having to answer their questions with a "Because" statement. Today we were focusing on questions words and sequencing, but we will visit this book again later in the year to extend our understanding to Cause and Effect situations.

Here is the chart of Why questions we created by going  backwards in the book. The Because statements were verbal, I didn't have room to write them down.

Skipping ahead to writing, this week we are working on Organization. We are doing 6 Traits Writing this year. The first trait was Ideas, where we came up with a list of different topics that interest the kids and they are confident in writing about. This week we combined their Ideas and added Organization: being able to put their thoughts in order.
We started by looking at our schedule. I pointed out that our day has a certain order we follow, we follow recipes, directions to go somewhere, there are LOT of things that need order!
Today we taught someone how to do an activity most people take for granted; putting on chap stick.

It sounds easy, right? Not so much. The lesson went like this: I told my students that I found this tube thing in my child's backpack at home and didn't know what it was. I thought that since my students were so smart, maybe they could help me figure it out.

My students, being oh so helpful, agreed to walk me though the process. One child told me that all I had to do was put it on my lips and it would make me beautiful! Oh happy day! As a mother of 3, I need something that is just that fast and easy! So, I put it on my lips.

Ummm... not so pretty. Then the kids realized that it's more than just "putting it on". We then walked step-by-step how to out on chap stick. Unfortunately I didn't have my video camera out for the lesson. Believe me it was great! We came up with 8 steps for putting on chap stick. Here's me finally getting it right. Kind of.
Once the kids realized that easy things take more than one step, we took it to the next level. Baking. As a class we charted the process of making a PB&J sandwich. It's harder than you might think! I told the kids that I was in charge of packing my son's lunch tomorrow and I needed to know how to make the sandwich and pack it up properly. They were very thorough.

Once we made our extensive list, we shrunk it to 8 simple steps, rewrote it, and illustrated it.

They got to start working before we started to pack up. Their homework is to finish it at home and walk a parent through the steps of making a wonderful PB&J.

Thanks for all your help, Soldiers!

Our Daily Brain

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