Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How do Text Features Help Me?

'Twas the question of the day! err.. I mean, yesterday. 

Before we dive into actually using text features as a resource when reading informational text, I felt it was important to refresh our memories on the different types of features. To do this, my students created their own anchor charts in small groups with examples of text features snipped from magazines. 

First, we compiled a list of the features we already knew - which was quite a bit! Then, with prompting, we generated a decent list of features. After tossing around dozens of magazines, I sent students on their merry way to cut, snip, and glue examples of text features. 

To start our reading block today, small groups shared their posters with the whole group. Now, our posters are hanging in the wall for all to see - and to gain a bit of refresher before reading their informational text. 

What tricks do you have up your sleeve for text features? Share with me!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SCIENCE RULES! Making Lava Lamps

Our Friday was rather exciting in Science because we made our own lava lamps. I'm sure parents and bus drivers were turning their heads when several kids were walking out the door with water bottles filled with colorful liquid. A great conversation starter if you ask me! 

Last year, a fellow 5th grade teacher created lava lamps with her students and had the best time doing so. I didn't want my kids to miss out on this experience, so I knew I wanted to add it to my scientific method lesson plans. What a great way to hook kids onto science experiments!

Here's how we made our lava lamps:
  1. Fill an empty water bottle 1/2 - 3/4 full of vegetable oil.
  2. Add 10 drops of food coloring to the oil.
  3. Fill the rest of the bottle with water - leave room at the top of the bottle in case it overflows. Yes, I speak from experience!
  4. Break an antacid tablet into tiny pieces and drop into the bottle. 
  5. Watch for the reaction!

I couldn't help it - I even made a Vine video during the madness. Do you Vine in the classroom? I'd love to hear about it!

It was an awesome experiment and perfect way to end the week. 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Teaching Like a Pirate!

I know for a fact I am not the only teacher out there obsessed with Dave Burgess' book, "Teach Like a Pirate". It captivated me this summer and I encouraged several of my coworkers to read it as well. We are constantly swapping pirate-like ideas and love speaking out Burgess' book like he is an old friend. If for some reason you haven't jumped on the Pirate bandwagon - now is your chance! 

Hop to it!

Fresh Out of the Amazon Package!
In the book, Burgess walks teachers through his first three days of school. One of the activities he does with his new students is with play-doh. He gives each of his (high school!!) students play-doh and asks them to create something that describes them. While students are making play-doh creations, he walks around the room getting to know the students on a personal level. 

As soon as I read this idea, I knew I had to try it with my class - plus, who doesn't love play-doh? One afternoon, I passed out play-doh and gave the students the challenge of creating something with the 'doh about themselves. As I moved around the room, I witnessed a variety of objects being created. I had softballs, flowers, bow and arrows, high heels, horseshoes, and so on. It also gave me time to ask students why they were creating what they were. What that bow and arrow or softball meant to them - it was an excellent time to really get to know my kids. 

A Horseshoe for the Horse Lover

How do you get to know your students at the beginning of school? Do share!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Classroom Blueprints

We are starting the fifth week of fifth grade and I am just now blogging about our first week activities! Oops, I guess with the start of a new school year something had to take the back burner and my poor little blog was the one that got tossed. 

Thanks to an inspirational blog post by a teacher blogger, I decided to have my students draw blueprints for the tables and chairs in the classroom. (I could have let them move the bookshelves...but I stuck with just tables!) 

In small groups, students collaborated on a set up for our classroom. They had to agree upon a layout for our five tables. My only request was for there to be at least four chairs at each table. Once groups were finished with their blueprint, it was hung on the board for class voting. 

To end the activity, students walked around the room and added a tally mark to the layout they liked the best. It was a really fun activity, and I was quite impressed with the table arrangements my kids came up with - very creative use of space! 

Happy Monday! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

French Connection Opportunity!


Earlier this week, a teacher of 9-10 year old children reached out to me with an opportunity to exchange post cards. I was THRILLED when I saw her email and thought of the amazing opportunities this was for my 5th graders. How exciting to be receiving post cards from France! 

In her email, she mentioned that she has reached out to several teachers and heard from little in response. Her goal is for her students (pupils as she called them) would like to receive a post card from all 50 states. She found us in Missouri and I've made it my mission to help these students out in France. They should have postcards filling their mailbox daily! 

Will you help them? 

Email me at [jordon.furnell@gmail.com] if you wish to connect with eager students in France. Imagine the possibilities for your students! Once you've emailed me, I will pass along the teacher's name and email for you to exchange information. I'm simply the messenger. :)

Add This


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...