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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 121- The Power of Good Leadership

Today we talked about two very different leaders, Yertle the Turtle and George Washington. We can learn so much from them!

First, the King of the Pond, Yertle the Turtle. We read the story during whole group. For those unfamiliar with the story, don't worry... I found it on Youtube!

So, Yertle learned that he should be content with what he has... and that dictators will always be overthrown by the people when given enough reason and time.

General Delk's class learned that stacking turtles is a great way to practice ABC order! Not everyone stacked their turtles, I guess they didn't want to cause any pain, but they still put them in order!

 Mucho impressive, huh? And, thank you, Ms. Williams for holding them up so I could get the picture!

 And, just for kicks and grins, check out this clip from the mini movie Searching for Dr. Seuss. I watched this then it came on tv years ago and I loved it! (yet another reason to love Youtube!)

The tune will stay in your head for days! You're welcome!

Now, on to the real leader of importance, George Washington.

Yesterday we looked at {THIS) power point after creating a KWL chart. Today we finished the chart with what we learned and we went back and fixed anything on the 'Know' section that happened to be wrong.

Even after going over the power point, watching the BrainPop video, and using Google searches, there were still some questions that we couldn't answer. (One reason was that my school computer was running slow.) But I explained that it's OK to have unanswered questions. Having unanswered questions doesn't change the fact that we did learn a lot.

I am going to put what we did in math in a different post, but probably not tonight since the Quarterly Assessment tests are due tomorrow by 8am and I still have over half my class' tests to grade!

Just know, parents, your students learned some very advanced mathematical skills.... Algebra! In particular.... the Associative Property of Addition! I know you're impressed! Look for a Mini Math Lesson tomorrow.

Our Daily Brain

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 120- George Washington (not Carver)

We are studying American History and Government, and who better to start with than the Father of Our Country?

The hard part of this lesson was that my students have already learned about George Washington Carver from when we studied Famous Scientists and during our Black History lessons. When we started our KWL chart, most of what they "knew" was about Carver, not Washington!

Now, I ask you, how can there be any confusion? Washington and Carver lived a hundred years apart, in different states, and grew up to have different occupations! I mean, they don't even look alike! Washington wore a wig!

Now, any teacher worth her salt knows to write whatever the students come up with in the "Know" section, that way, if it's wrong, we can fix their misconceptions in the "Learned" section. But after a while, I had to start asking my students, "Now, was that Washington or Carver?"

Here is what we came up with. Tomorrow we will fill in the "Learned" section. Some of my students get pulled at the end of the day, and I don't want them to miss anything.

In order for us to fill out the "Learned" section, first we have to learn something! We went through a Power Point I made just for this occasion. If you'd like the Power Point on Washington, click {HERE}.

I see us creating a Venn Diagram tomorrow too! I think it will help us visualize the difference between the two.

I don't have pictures from this morning because I wasn't in my classroom this morning! I was pulled into a math Professional Development (the last one with this particular presenter). Never fear, my soldiers were in good hands with Mrs. Matthews!

The note she left let me know that she enjoyed my class and they worked hard. As if there were any doubt! Thank you. Mrs. Matthews for your hard work as well!

Sentence Sort for 3-5th grades

One of my teacher friends said she loved the Sentence Sort activity, but wished I had used the terminology from the upper grades. (interrogative, declarative, exclamatory, and imperative)

Her wish is my command!

To get the Sentence Sort for grades 3-5, click {HERE}

If you grab it, please leave a comment- It will make me smile!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sentence Sort Freebie!

I made a literacy center to review the different types of sentences; statement, command, question, and exclamation.

Statement- a sentence that tells something and ends with a period. (My students are showing that it is a 'soft' period)

Command- a sentence that tells someone to do something and ends with a 'hard' period.

Question- a sentence that asks a question and ends with a question mark

Exclamation- a sentence what shows excitement and ends with an exclamation mark

To get a copy of the Sentence Sort Activity, click {HERE}
I'm still getting the hang of making and 'publishing' activities, so let me know what you think!

Day 119- Fake it till you make it!

This week is going to be a doozie, and that's me thinking positively!

First grade was volun-told (instead of volunteered) that we were going to be on a revolving schedule from the end of January until after the TCAP test, which is the last week of April, in order for 3rd-5th grades to get extra TCAP prep time. This week we are on 3rd grade's schedule which involves our going to related arts and lunch during 3rd grade's regular time.

In other words, our lunch time is an hour and a half later in the day than what we are used to. So, what does this mean for parents who are reading this post?

**WE NEED SNACKS!** Our kids start getting hungry around 10:30 since our lunch is at 11:05. This week our lunch is at 12:30, and that's hard on six-year-old bodies!

If you're able, please send your student with healthy snacks that will feed 18 small bodies. Cereal would be the best idea! Please, nothing with nuts, we have one student with a nut allergy.

With all that being said, are you seeing why this week is going to be a doozie?

The most important things we accomplished today were getting our new story vocabulary, starting our new unit in math, and taking the County's Math Quarterly assessment.

Here's our new vocabulary with the definitions we came up with as a class:

Acorns- nut that grows on trees
Beautiful- pretty
Branches- part if a tree
Careful- stay safe
Different- not the same
Interesting- holds attention
Poisonous- has poison- can make your sick
Types- groups of things

High Frequency words for this week:

about, because, part, teacher, draw, tiny, happy, added, loves, planted, tells

Here are some vocabulary 8-squares we created during small group reading time. Students wrote the word, put the word in a sentence, and illustrated the sentence.

In math we started a new unit- finding strategies to help us add. Today's strategy was Doubles. A doubles fact is when a number is added to itself. like 1+1, or 400+400. It's any problem where the numbers are the same and added together. 

Of course, I found a song! This is for #s 1-5. 

Here's for #s 6-10.

I feel that my students did a good job with this lesson, but only time will tell if they have mastered the concept!
I know my students have a concept of adding doubles, but mastery will show if a student can turn the addition fact around, and be able to recognize and solve the related subtraction fact.

I will be in a Math Professional Development for the first half of the day tomorrow, so I will be in the building, just not in the room. I have no doubt my students will be perfectly behaved angles!

This hug is for my students and classroom parents! We are going to need lots of love this week!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Simile Activity

I was looking for an activity for my students to practice their similes, and I found this rockin' awesome website!

Bruce Lansky, the author of If Pigs Could Fly... And Other Deep Thoughts, shared a poem he uses with students, along with another simile activity. 

I loved the poem, and just changed the ending a little bit, and turned it into a literacy center activity that I will use with my students next week!

To get the Simile Activity, click {HERE}

For the poem, click {HERE}

Let me know what you think!

Celebrity Story Saturday 25

Hello, Mrs. Hughes!

Mrs. Hughes is our Literacy Coach here at the Hills and I know I've blogged about her before. (Because she's awesome!) You can see her introductory post {HERE}.

Mrs. Hughes is a wealth of information and ideas, and she's just crazy enough to understand me. I like that in a person!

I grabbed Mrs. Mrs. Hughes was kind enough to volunteer her time before she left for the weekend. She had the wonderful idea of starting next week's Read Across America activities early by reading There's a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss.

Click {HERE} to hear the story, or watch it below!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Black History Program

Unfortunately, I didn't get video of every group. Everyone was up and down so quickly, then there problems with the microphones... well, you get the idea.

On the plus side, I did get video during everyone's favorite portion... music through the decades!

I apologize for the video quality- the lighting wasn't great and I didn't want to move away from my students.

The Supremes

The Temptations

Jackson 5

Aretha Franklin

Michael Jackson

Whitney Houston

Destiny's Child

Boyz 2 Men

President and First Lady Obama
(I didn't get the beginning of the speech, and in the middle I had to get on to my students. Sorry!)

Wonderful job, 5th graders!

And, thank you Ms. Harper and Ms. Brewer for all the hard work and practice. I'm pretty sure the school would fall down around us without you two!

Welcome to Camp Half Blood!

 I've mentioned before how much I love the Percy Jackson series. There are 5 in the original series, and there are 2 so far in the extended series. The most recent book is The Son of Neptune.

I love the series because they are imaginative, adventurous, and educational. I seriously missed out on 2 night of sleep because I had to finish the book!

The main character, Percy Jackson, finds out that he is the son of Poseidon, who is the Greek god of the sea. It's though Percy's adventures with his friends from Camp Half Blood that the reader is introduced to Greek mythology and all it's sorted stories.

Now, I know what you're thinking... "But the book title is The Son of Neptune. And Neptune was a Roman god!"

How right you are! The extended series is about another Camp that is for the Roman half- bloods. Fascinating, right?

You might remember from {THIS} post that we studied the Roman gods when we studied space. In fact, we learned the stories behind all the planets on our Solar System, and created a Family Tree of the Roman gods.

Well, imagine my students' surprise when we were walking through the halls on the way to the bathroom and we see this on a 5th grade door!

And, the door was covered in other 'houses' with more Greek names! It was time to investigate!

As it turns out, Ms. Guardiani's class was reading the Percy Jackson series, and learning about Greek mythology at the same time! Their door was covered in the different Camp Half- Blood houses, and each student got to choose which house he/ she would want to join.

Now my students refused to leave the door alone and wanted to have an entire conversation in the hallway about the different gods and goddesses that they remembered. I, on the other hand, was hungry and wanted my students to hurry so we could go to lunch. 

This was my solution- I asked Ms. G if she had 1 or 2 responsible students who would be able to teach my students about the Greek gods on their door. This way my students would have their curiosity appeased, 5th grade would get to show off what they've been learning, and everyone would have a lesson in across-level cooperation. Score!

 So, without further ado.... Here are two wonderful 5th graders from Ms. Guardiani's class to tell you about what they've been learning about Greek mythology! (according to Percy Jackson!) 
I also went to Wikipedia for the 'real' definition.

In Greek mythology, Demeter (/diˈmtər/; Attic Δημήτηρ Dēmētēr. Doric Δαμάτηρ Dāmātēr) is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth.

In Greek religion and mythology, Athena or Athene, is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.

Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.

The god of travel, messengers, trade, thievery, cunning wiles, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry. He is the messenger of the gods, a psychopomp who leads the souls of the dead into Hades' realm, and the son of Zeus and Maia.

Queen of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings and empires. She is the wife of Zeus and daughter of Cronus and Rhea. She was usually depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a crown and veil and holding a royal, lotus-tipped staff.

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.

He is the son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Gods - or else, according to some accounts, of Hera alone. He was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes.
The god of wine, parties and festivals, madness, drunkenness and pleasure at forever young. He was depicted in art as either an older bearded god or a pretty effeminate, long-haired youth.

The god of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and the creator of horses; known as the "Earth Shaker". He is a son of Cronus and Rhea and brother to Zeus and Hades.

The god of war, bloodlust, violence, manly courage, and civil order. The son of Zeus and Hera, he was depicted as either a mature, bearded warrior dressed in battle arms, or a nude beardless youth with helm and spear.

The god of music, healing, plague, prophecies, poetry, and archery; associated with light, truth and the sun. He is Artemis' twin brother and Hermes' elder brother, and son of Zeus and Leto.

And last, but not least, the Head-honcho of the gods... Zeus.
The king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and fate. He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea, whom he overthrew after Cronus swallowed his brothers and sisters and he is brother-husband to Hera.