Thursday, September 26, 2013

The year is off to a good start...

Hi everyone, I wanted to make a quick post and share some of the things we have been working on in the classroom.

Character Traits

Character traits have always been one of my favorite things to teach. Last year I noticed a lot my students did really well with identifying character traits within themselves and had trouble applying it to the characters in the stories we read. So when I introduced character traits this year, I took them out of the idea and strictly focused on discussing characters from a book.

I used this awesome FREEBIE from Workshop Classroom to start building the students vocabulary with character traits. We glued this page to our readers notebook and we're adding to the lists over time. 

Then we made this anchor chart to help the students thinking process on figuring out characters. I am currently reading The One and Only Ivan to the class and used Ivan in the center of this anchor chart. This showed the students that there are many ways to look at a character to help us better identify their character traits. 
(In case you can't read my chicken scratch)

*What am I thinking?
*What do I look like?
*What do I say?
*What do I feel?
*What do I do?
*What do others say about me?
*How do I change over time?

This anchor chart/lesson provided my students with many ways to look at a character to better understand them and identify their traits. 

Inferencing Investigation 

I loved the idea of kicking off inferencing with Babbling Abby's Snow Day Case Files. Though my only problem was that my Texan 3rd graders have no idea about what a snow day is. Haha. 
So I needed something that would better connect to their schema to make this intro lesson more successful.

So what I did was keep the same idea from Abby's unit but changed "snowy day" to a "no school".  In my version of the story, school is cancelled due to a thunderstorm that leaves the school with no electricity. 

The unit tells the story of mother who comes home and finds her son and grandmother missing from the home. They leave behind many clues and the students are asked to use their inferencing skills to help the mother discover where they could be. The contents inside this folder were:
- a note from Mom with a list of chores to do (only some where checked off)
- a chapter book with a book mark 
- brownie recipe
-a note from a friend to meet him at the park

My students were all over this activity and did an awesome job inferencing with the given clues. Check out the unit for more information on how to turn your students into inference investigators!  

Also, my very first giveaway announcement is coming soon. :) 

Until next time...

August and September S.L.A.N.T. box reveals!

Right before the new school year started Jameson from Lessons with Coffee started the SLANT Box for educators. This was a way for teachers from all over the world to connect with each other through emails and gifts. I signed up and so far it has been a blast!
During this process I have met some really great people! I wish I had more time to get to know these educators but my schedule has been absolute chaos. Which brings me to the double reveal of the SLANT boxes I received from Amanda (teacher and life blogger)  and Carol from Mrs. Cobb's Kinder Sprouts They put together some of the BEST packages!

Amanda sent me some of my favorite things to start the new school year. In my box I found fun shaped sticky pads, pens, stickers, and books. The best surprise was the coffee cup mitten that Amanda sewed for me and my morning coffees! She had just started knitting at the time and I think she did a great job on the cup mitten. Words cannot express how excited Amanda's package made me feel. My heart and cool hands thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. 

Well the secret is out, I love pens! Carol did an awesome job of putting together my September care package. She sent me some popcorn for my TV/ Movie nights, pens, a rocking orange tie (I LOVE it), and clear plastic badges. The plastic badges are huge help because they are something I wanted to use in my classroom this year to manage A. R. testing and never got around to purchasing them. Now thanks to Carol I have the badges to make my plan come alive! 

These generous and thoughtful boxes have left me feeling nothing but gratitude. I hope my SLANT boxes are doing the same for those I have sent them too. If you would like to join in on SLANT Box fun, head on over to Lessons with Coffee to get all the details on how sign up and meet new friends!

Until next time...