Monday, June 30, 2014

Student Reflection of Learning

I have lots of ideas and strategies that I will be adding this year to my classroom.  As the summer progresses, I will be blogging about some of them.  One of the components that I am going to make time for is student reflection.  One thing that I have done with my students for the last couple of years is a weekly student reflection form.  The students complete this form on Friday.

The students use the boxes to write a brief description of what they learned in each class for the week.  Then, the students write their favorite part of the week, set a goal for the upcoming week, and then my favorite part….they have an opportunity to tell me anything they want to share.  Sometimes, the kids tell me something that they are looking forward to or something they really liked at school.  Other times, the kids will tell me concepts they didn't understand or issues, like bullying.  These forms have been great tool for both my students and me.  If you would like to download this editable file, it's available for free in my TpT store.  You can download it here or by clicking on the picture below.  

I love these forms, but this is a once a week reflection.  I want to implement something daily, so the kids have a reflection time daily.  This summer, I stubbled across this file by Aimee VanMiddlesworth.  

My plan is to make an "End of the Day" jar with these reflection cards in it.  Each afternoon, I will draw a card out and have the kids think-pair-share their thoughts on the question.  This will promote student reflection, as well as, encourage students to practice discussing and sharing opinions and ideas.  

I will be putting together my "End of the Day" reflection jar soon, among other things.  I will post pictures when I have it finished.  Until then, I wanted to share with you some ideas for how to get your students to reflect on their learning.  :)  

Happy Monday!  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Flash Sale

Summer Flash Sale…all items in my store will be 20% off for today only

Friday, June 27, 2014

Miss Scarlett, in the Conservatory, with a Candlestick….

Before the school year ended, I surveyed my upcoming 4th graders to see what genres and topics interest them.  I thought I would use that information to plan for my Language Arts class for next year.  To my surprise, their interests were NOTHING like the students I had this past year.  I was excited because MYSTERIES were overwhelmingly the interest for the majority of the kids.  The results made this teacher very happy!  I love mysteries!  Immediately, I begin thinking about how I can incorporate fiction and nonfiction mysteries next year.  I am still working on this, but I wanted to share with you one of the ideas that I have already in place.  
When I was a kid, the board game Clue was one of my favorite games.  So, this made the wheels start to turn….are there books based on the game? (Yes, I have a class set of The Westing Game, which I love, but I wanted something else.)  I began my Google search and found that in the 90's, there were 18 books written by A.E. Parker that were based on the board game.  To my dismay, the books are no longer in print.  I did find a seller on Ebay that had almost the entire set available.  I purchased most of the books from her and found the remaining books used on Amazon.  I have all 18 books!!!  YAY!!!  

Each book contains 13 short stories/mysteries involving the characters from Clue that we know and love!  Each of the mysteries can stand alone and are about two-three pages in length, which are perfect for daily teacher read alouds.    

So, here is my plan.  I have created a sheet, like the ones that are included with the board game.  I plan to copy these and cut them apart.  The student can use the sheet for four mysteries before needing a new one.  :) While I am reading the mystery aloud, the students will listen and mark off the clues so they can INFER the answer to the mystery.  This will allow for active participation during the read aloud.  After I finish reading the mystery, I plan to have the students work with their "talk partner" to discuss each other's answers and reasoning behind their answers.  I think the kids are going to love this and I am excited because my read alouds are going to be more interactive.  If you are like me, sometimes you wonder if the kids are really listening.  Well, now there will be NO question! :)  I have included the link to the handout I developed if you are interested.  Just click on the image below.  

I have been working on some products and I hope to have them up soon, but while creating, I have become obsessed with a font by Monica Abarca.  It's called Monica's Peaceful Day.  If you will notice, I used it on the the Clue materials.  I just LOVE it!  Monica has several free fonts with very friendly terms of use.  I just had to share and give Ms. Monica a shout-out!  :)  

Happy Friday!  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reading in the Wild- Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!


We have some AMAZING bloggers and non-bloggers joining us over the next 7 weeks, and I cannot wait! Check out the hosts for each of the chapters/sections and make sure to follow them, so you don't miss anything. :) If your a blogger, awesome! Join us each week by linking up your posts/ideas. If you're not a blogger, that's great, too! You can read/follow and comment. We want to hear your advice, thoughts, and ideas for the classroom, too. The more teachers we have joining, the more amazing out classrooms will be this fall! 

Chapter 1: Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read (June 19th)
Chapter 1: Creating a Workshop Schedule (June 26th) *This is a SUPER short section (only 4 pages), but a great chance to share/showcase your workshop schedule and sneek a peek at classrooms all over the world!*

Chapter 2: Wild Readers Self-Select Reading Material (July 3rd)

Chapter 2: Curating a Classroom Library (July 10th)

Chapter 3: Wild Readers Share Books and Reading with Others & Conferring: What's the Point? (July 17th)

Chapter 4: Wild Readers Have Reading Plans (July 24th)

Chapter 5: Wild Readers Show Reading Preference (July 31st)

Aren't you excited, friends?!?! It's going to be a great few weeks! I'll see you back here on Thursday morning. Oh happy day! :)