Monday, September 24, 2012

Dog Theme Student Work Display


          This display shows student book reviews for My Brother Sam is Dead or The Keeping Room, with a Student Rubric at the top. Students wrote and typed their book reviews, choosing their own fonts, and striving for a Distinguished score. They were to tell about the story and hook the reader in the first part of their book review. The second part consisted of their opinion of the book. All 20 students scored their own work, and the top 6 papers went on this board. We love the bones and paws on the border, too.

          The black paws are from the Ellison machine and compliment the Dog Theme classroom environment. Students wanted a dalmation on this board - I found one in a magazine!

          I planned to put the title, "PAWS-itively Perfect Papers" on the board, too, but there just wasn't room. I realize now that I could put it above this small bulletin board, so when I do this I will replace the photo.

          Displaying student is very important. It should be celebrated, and changed often. Students should sometimes have a say in what gets displayed. I always have many things in the hallway display but this area is right beside my desk and the students know that I look at it often! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

War Timeline of Soldiers

                                                      REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER

        My PLC team had been talking about how the students sometimes get the wars mixed up and there's a lot of Social Studies to learn!  So, that got me to thinking about HOW we could impact their retention on what war happened when and how it relates to other wars.
                                                             CIVIL WAR SOLDIER

        I talked to the students about this and they wanted to do research AND art. That sounded perfect to me. We started researching wars covered in Social Studies. We had a couple of students interview the teachers who are known as the "Social Studies King or Queen." We decided there were too many wars and we needed to choose the most important. We voted.  We then had students doing Google Image searches and choosing their favorites.
                                                          WORLD WAR ONE SOLDIER

                                                     WORLD WAR TWO SOLDIER

        Then the students had concerns about "drawing so large!" I asked them what was the worst that could happen and they said, " We mess up.....and we start over?"  Exactly!  I drew the first one and they painted it with "Biggie" watercolors.  They loved it and after that they had no more fear!
                                                      VIETNAM WAR SOLDIER

        This became the project the students were most proud of, especially when our teacher who had served in Iraq for a year complimented them, along with several other parents and grandparents.
        I don't know if it helped them keep the wars straight, but they all thought it would. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Double Fudge by Judy Blume

        One of my classes is reading Double Fudge by Judy Blume. We are working on character details and this is how they used what they've learned. I told them that each day, after they had read, if they'd paid attention to details and could answer my questions, we would do a piece of a special project. Their attention to details was impressive!

         One day we drew the head of our chosen character from the book, using markers, and then cutting it out. The next day we choose colored paper and learned to accordion-fold. Another day we wrote in important details about our character. The last day we made arms and feet from the scrap paper and hung them in the hall.

                                        This is what I drew on the board for their example.

  One boy had already read this book, so he was reading Island Book One: Shipwreck. He made his favorite character, too. This could work for any book! I hope you try it.

        I was surprised that everyone chose a boy character, even all the girls! We have Peter, Fudge, Mini-Fudge, Jimmy Fargo, and the shoe-store salesman. The students love them and I even saw one mom come in and snap a photo of her son's with her iPhone.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dragons of the Red Dawn - Magic Tree House

My second grade class has just finished reading Dragons of the Red Dawn from the Magic Tree House series.  We have had a wonderful adventure with this story. A couple of days I had Japanese parasols, fans, a black gi or two, several  lengths of red shiny fabric printed with a Japanese garden motif. I let the students dress up however they thought would look good and add to the story.

The day that we were to read chapter eight, this dragon head and green fabric was on one of the classroom tables as they entered the room. That got them wondering about the chapter! We enjoyed it so much.

I made the dragon head from the box my Mac came in. The box opens up and has a handle - I thought, " What a great box - this should be turned into something....."  I literally opened it up and put it on my head with the long part stretching out in front of my head, on my arms. At that moment Ii could see the dragon head in MY head!

I covered the box with green paper and cut green foam for the ear-horn sections, the teeth, etc. I cut two styrofoam balls flat on the bottom so they would sit on the snout, then cut off the back of them, flat, so they sit against the forehead part better.

The foam came from Hobby Lobby - 12 x 18. I also had to have that little feather boa. Part of it is on the top of the head and part of it is on either side of the head.

The large green fabric is bright green felt, with pom poms in a pattern on either side. This can be put on a table, like in the pic, so that "Jack and Annie" can sit up on the table and rifde the dragon, OR it can be used to move around the classroom. If you put a student under the head and 3 or 4 students under the green fabric, you can have the dragon move around the classroom!

 Have fun, and make every book you read MEMORABLE!