Friday, June 20, 2014

It's All in the Details

Since my students do tons of writing in class, I needed to make sure they understood the word details. I like to use my cake analogy because it's something students can relate to. I ask the students to imagine their birthday cakes. I ask. . .

Do you want it to look like this?
Or do you want it to look like this?

Or this?

Of course they all want colorful cakes with decorations all over it. . .or DETAILS! So I have the kids decorate their cakes with details and use the word details to tell us about the details they added to their detailed cakes. Then we look at a rubric to determine how detailed our cakes are.

The students are able to add more details to score a 4 candle cake.

Next we apply our knowledge of details by identifying important details from the perfect book. . .

 As I read the story, we stop and discuss the important events and write them on our cakes.

 Then we add "decorations" to the cake which are actually the details the kids have written.

From there we move on to other activities to develop a deeper understanding of details and how WE can add details to our writing to make it better. Click on A Dollop of Details below to get a hold of these activities and more.

Freebie Fridays

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Five For Friday on Tuesday

I'm definitely late. Better late than never?

1. My summer read arrived! "Literacy+Math=Creative Connections in the Elementary Classroom" Is it good? I don't know. I couldn't find any reviews. We'll see!
2. I made these chocolate chip cookies for Father's Day. This is the best recipe I have found. The secret is all in the butter!

3. I finished this unit. I love teaching writing and want every teacher to love it too!
4. I'm keeping up with my 5 day a week workout. Nobody knows that it took me 10 days to finish all 5 days. . . until now. But my goal is different this week. I take one day off and I NEVER exercise on Friday. So that leaves 5 days. I'll get it done!

5.I gave this dog a bath. He hates baths, but he seems so happy after. He's either relieved it's over or happy to be clean. I wish I could read his mind. He's so cute!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Top 10 Things I've Learned as a Teacher

10. When teaching a new concept, assume students know very little about the topic.
9. Children are all the same no matter where they come from. They all want love, acceptance, and boundaries.
8. It's helpful to have Ziplock bags and lunch bags on hand at all times. You never know when you'll need them.
7. Having a good "teacher look" will save you lots of energy.
6. Engaged students are much better behaved than bored students.So if they're misbehaving, chances are, they're bored.
5. Start the year with a discussion on tattling. Let students know what tattling is and is not. There will be a lot less tattling and a lot less headaches.
4. Get to know your students. Know where they come from and their backgrounds. Some need more love and self-esteem boosting.
3. Have procedures for EVERYTHING.
2. Before letting students work independently, tell them your expectations.
1.  Breathe. They're only 7.
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