Always shine by using all your talents and skills!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Retell Forms and Rubrics

Tuesday; it will be a terrific Tuesday for sure!  But, first, my thoughts and prayers go out to any and all who are in harms way or know someone who is in danger due to Sandy!  May they all have comfort and strength from us, their loved ones, and our nation!

How do your students do with retells?  Do you have a scoring page to help you justify how you think they did?  Do you do nonfiction and fiction retells?  What do you score on their retells?  Have you ever recorded their retells?

In the past I have not used an "official form" but yesterday I found two on Reading A-Z that I will be using.
Here are the links to the forms:

Nonfiction Retell Rubric

Fiction retell rubric

If you use either one, please let me know!

SMILES and be safe!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Time For A Few Quotes...Oh How I Missed Reflecting On Them!


Do you need a quote to reflect, ponder, or meditate on?  (never mediated myself, but have heard only positive rewards for those who are able to get to a deep meditative state).

Here are a few for your Sunday, Oct. 28th afternoon:

  • You've got to take the good with the bad, smile with the sad, love what you've got, and remember what you had. Always forgive, but never forget. Learn from mistakes, but never regret.- Unknown
  • To teach is to learn twice. -Joseph Joubert
  • I promise to teach you on one condition that you will also let me learn from you. - Piyush Lodha
  •  You can teach better with your example than by your words. - Reed Markham, American Educator
  •   What a teacher writes on the blackboard of life can never be erased. -Author Unknown

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Similes are as Hilarious as Me Tripping and Falling into a Box

 Wednesday!! We are officially on fall break!   Oh..and it is 65 HEALTHY degrees here! Guess who will spending the day getting caught up vs watching the leaves gently glide to the!  Busy as the wings on a hummingbird! to the main content of this post!  SIMILES!!!  Have you introduced them to your students yet?
You know these good old guys:  Happy like a bird in flight.  Tight as fuzzy skin on peaches.  Cold as scoops of frozen peas.  Strong as an ox.  Stubborn as a mule.  Fun like writing similes.

Here are three wonderful like sleeping in on Saturday books to share with your students:

This one is also presented on:  pbskids

Here is a BrainPOP Jr. video:  Click Here
Here is a list of activities and ideas as helpful as a cube of Post It notes for you to try too:  Click Here

When we get back from break we are going to write smilies about ourselves and our parents and make them into a class book!  I will be as happy as a Blue Jay who just spotted a slab of suet to share them with you!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Family Pumpkin Presentations

HAPPY TUESDAY!!!!!!!!  So,  I need to say that again, Happy, Terrific Tuesday.  Why, because today was our "Friday."  Tomorrow we have inservice and Thursday and Friday we have Fall break!  Now, that is something to HHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTT about :-)

Today we shared our Family Pumpkin presentations.  This project was adapted from
Mrs. Shedan's Projects.  She is inspiring and creative teacher!! 

Here is  a presentation (my students record)

We are working forehead wrinkling hard on supporting presenters with positive, detailed, and helpful comments and feedback!  My Multi-agers have already have made huge steps!  We have gone from "That's nice" and "I really like it" to "You had wonderful eye contact." 
SUPERB, knock it out of the park, job!!!

Added thought or looking for suggestions question...anyone have any ideas to pass on for a Halloween costume for a 37 year old Multi-age 1-2 teacher (aka for me)???

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another Shout Out for Color Overlays!


Have you ever had students who seem like they are staining to read the words, rubbing their eyes during sustained reading time, or frequently blinking when reading black on white text?
Check this out:

A picture I posted in a prior post about colored 
I have used colored overlays for a few years.  As Dr Warren suggest on her Blog it is best to allow students to choose what color of overlay to use when reading.

Check out her Blog, it is filled with information that you will want to print, add to your Favorites, and share with colleagues!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mother Nature Fun!

Happy Terrific Taco Thursday-ok I only wish it was Taco Thursday!!!
We recently studies leaves and their parts-the stem, stipule, blade type, and veins.  We looked at the leaves with a magnifying glass!  THEY WERE AMAZED AT THE COMPLEXITY OF THE VEINS!!!  They marveled over the fact that these little guys and gals give are the means for the leaf to get its water supply!
Next we choose our favorite leaf picks and made a picture with the leaves.  We completed the picture by writing a description about it! 
Mother Nature Fun!




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flyswatter Slap to Practice Double Facts!

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!!!!!  We are halfway through October- hopefully did not BOO YOU!!!!
Today we are a slapping fun Multi-age classroom!!  We played Flyswatter Slap.  But, we did not slap disturbing insects, but digits.
I wrote digits on the board from 1-20 (of course scattered across the board to make it more challenging and work on number discrimination).  I called two students to the back of the room by me, gave them a flyswatter and a math problem.  Today's focus was adding doubles!  I quickly stated fact and off they "flew" to the board.   WOW were they flying-literally- to the white board to slap the answer!  QUICK FEET just like the wings on an insect!
Of course, because we had an odd amount of students, I got to go against someone!  CHALLENGE ON! :-)  After my opponent was chosen, then they all wanted to give us the problem!  What a rush of excitement!!  Fun, laughter, practicing math facts, engagement = learning!

Slap-compliments of a student photographer

Going Against My Opponent-compliments of a student photographer

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just Needed to Share!


It's Picture Day!!!!!! SMILE!  I always have the proudest smile on my face when I see how elegant and proper my students sit for their pictures!  Of course, many are in their Sunday best!!!  The hair makeovers always surprise me!  I am hoping our group picture turned out to be worthy of 5 stars!

On a side note...check out the maple tree that spends across our east wall of windows!

Breath taking....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tomorrow is National Boss Day!

Happy Monday-half way through October-yes...that's right!  But, I SPOOKED by the fact that it is!

Tomorrow is National Boss Day.  Do you see your principal as a "Boss?"  In our school, we respect our Principal, see her as a motivator, leader, and initiator.  But, a boss-not sure if I would call her that. 
Word choices aside, how do you honor and celebrate the gift of your Principal?

Here are some ideas that are popping around in my head:
Picture Collage-filled with pictures that reveal the wonderful person she is!
Personalized Principal Cartoon-one can not laugh enough in the day, right??
Book of Quotes
 Decorated Tote Bag
Personalized Picture Frame                                             

Do you have any to share?


Friday, October 12, 2012

Do You Have A Student Who Stutters?

Happy Friday- night!!!
Today was the first day I was gone all day- Prayed before I left for conference, during the conference, and on my way back to school to see how things went...was it, should have listened to the little teacher angel on my shoulder who said, "They are fine and all will go well."  In fact, when I did get back, and entered my classroom after taking a deep breathe, my Sub did a WONDERFUL JOB and so did my Multi-agers!!  SIGH!!!!!

 On a different note, do you have a student or know someone who stutters?  Have you seen or used this website:  Stuttering Foundation It is decorated with WONDERFUL information and even has videos for one to watch on stuttering and how to support the student who stutters, has videos for students who stutter to watch and realize there are other students who stutter too, and beautifully encourages all to support the students who stutters by linking them to Q&A about stuttering, providing tips to deal with a bully or someone who doesn't understand what stuttering is and has an array of links for parents also!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CORN-Are You Up To Your Ears In It?

We were up to our earns learning about corn!  Today we read a nonfiction book about Corn-From Kernel to Corncob!  It give wonderful information about the life cycle of a kernel! My Multi-agers were captivated by the wonderful pictures and thorough information about the life of a kernel!  Furthermore, the author does a A+ job making sure to highlight and revisit key vocabulary terms-kernel, husks, silks, pollinate, etc. After we read the story and shared many wonderful connections stories we complete a nonfiction-information graphic organizer to map out the main idea and the details!  They copied down the notes in their Response Logs! 
Next we made a corn stalk!  They were given a sheet of green paper to use to make the stalk and a few pre-made corn cobs to glue on!  Many wanted to add a foundation-field for their stalk to grow on!

The wonderful book-a "Hot Read" in our classroom!

A sample corn stalk in the making! (the food if for the Food Pantry)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pine cones-Are They Rain Predictors?

We continue forth learning about plant parts, functions, adaptions, and how we depend on plants to live.  On Friday we closely examined a pine cone and asked a variety of questions about them-where do they come from, why is it shaped like it is, when do you see a pine cone on a tree?  why is it sticky?   I asked them can they predict if it is going to rain?  I told my students I heard that they can, so we set up an experiment to see if my friend was correct.
First, we examine the pine cones with a magnifying class and discussed the features we observed.  Next we dropped our pine cones in a bucket of water. Then we watched!  Within minutes the pine cones had closed!  WHY?  We pulled or pine cones out of the water and they had all completely shut! 
I told them that pine cones tend to close when it is going to rain or has rained!  Thus, my friend is right...they are helpers to assist us in knowing if has rained or is going to rain.  But why do they close?  Furthermore, why are they open when it is dry outside?  We discussed how when they are open, this is the best time for the pine cone to release-disperse its seeds!  When it is wet, they shut because the conditions are less favorable.  Furthermore, they also open when it is dry because there outer 1/2s shrink more than their inner 1/2s, thus pulling away from the inner core.  When wet, the scales swell shut.  By the way, did you know there are female and male pine cones?  That's a seed of trivia for you!

Just dropped into the water!

After a few minutes in the water!

                                               Pine cone after being in the water for a few minutes!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Three Big C's-Cans, Coins, Clothes

Happy Saturday!!!  It is a bright one here- but chilly!!!

This past week my Multi-agers have been working very hard to get ready for our Community Presentation on Wednesday!  On Wednesday my students need to teach the rest of the school the word of the month-Community!  We decided to do a skit, make posters, and do a movie!  Little did I know that I would have such a wealth of talent- I have 9 Hollywood actresses and 8 actors!  We thought it would be a fantastic idea to help our community and show community by collecting the three Big C's-Cans, Coins, and Clothes!  From there we decided to videotape and demonstrate how to collect each one.  We had two students taped putting coins in their Noah Buddy (goes to the Church), and two students putting clothes in the St. Vincent DePaul box.  Finally we taped us putting coins in a shopping cart which holds the food for our local food pantry!  I allowed students to do the taping-they were so proud to film!
When we got back to the classroom we added the title and credits!!!!!  Of course, they wanted to watch the movie repetitively!
Have you made movies yet?  If so, please share what the topic was and the results!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Back to Back or Hot Seat to review CCSS

HOT SEAT or BACK TO BACK...have you played it?  We did today!
Two students sit back to back in chairs or on the floor.  Next, choose a topic or concept to review.  Quickly ask them questions about the topic or concept.  For example-Plants- What part holds the plant in the ground?  What part makes food for the plant? etc.  I aso choose math topics-subtraction and addition facts, turn around facts, double facts, even and odd, adding and subtracting 10, 5, 100, and place value.   Social studies topics can also be used- Who is our President?  How many continents are there?  I also use English topics-Name a verb.  What comes on the end of this sentence (How old am I?)? What type of sentence is this (Sit down.)?   etc.  Of course, I through in random questions-How old are you?  What is your first name?  How many letters are in your first name?


If you play it, let me know how and what your students think of the game!