Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Trip off Campus to Practice Some Spanish!

Today was such a fun and exciting adventure! Our wonderful Spanish teacher, Martina, planned a "challenge" for our 5th graders. Their job was to go to the local Mexican Market and buy 3 pieces of fruit and/or vegetables using the Spanish language to communicate with the cashier and other employees. It was AWESOME! (I also got to practice my Spanish, Pero, yo aprendi que necesito practiar mas :( I loved Martina's idea of giving the students a real-life experience in order to practice the language. The people who worked there were incredibly helpful by asking the students questions in Spanish and not using ANY English with them. 
Thank you to LaHuerta and its wonderful employees!

On our way!

Claudia asked students, "Como te llamas" & "Cuantos aῆos tiene"

Shopping from a list!

Weighing the produce to make sure he has enough diῆero


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Farewell to Manzanar: A final project

Students came back from Spring Break well rested and ready to share their Farewell to Manzanar book projects. At the end of every classroom novel, I assign students a project to complete. They get to choose from 3-5 different options. I try to make each book have a completely different list of choices and make sure that the projects reflect some of, what I think, are the most important themes or facts from the book. I also like to give a variety to meet the different interests and strengths of each student.

Project choices:
1. Make a map of the Internment Camp
2. Create a family tree using the terms to describe each Japanese generation
3. Write a newspaper article pretending to interview the people from the book

They never let me down! I love the creativity and excitement!




I introduced the unit with a Timeline and Activity WWII that can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Egg"cellent Review Basket: A fun way to incorporate a review of all skills taught

Easy and Fun!
I had this idea over a month ago when I saw the Easter eggs and baskets in Walmart. I was actually excited about Spring Break ending so that I could implement my new and awesome idea! (Of course, I did enjoy Spring Break with family, friends, and good food! No one can beat a Philadelphia Pretzel Factory Pretzel!!)

Notice the GIANT bag of eggs and 3 separate bags of chocolate. I don't know why, but I always seem to overbuy for projects! I will have to come up with more ideas for these items.

Students come in each day, take an egg from the basket, read the slip of paper inside and respond in their Personal Journals as a "first thing in the morning" exercise. I am also toying with the idea of students sharing their prompt, question, etc. at Morning Meeting.

Why I Love This
Each slip is a question or a prompt that relates to things we have already learned, but are not necessarily doing day-to-day. For example, I taught about Alaska at the beginning of the school year. A question on one slip reads is: The Iditarod Race is held every March. What do you think the mushers do to prepare for it ahead of time? What do you think they might do the night before the big race? 
I have also included math problems, other science and social studies related questions, and writing prompts related to St. Patrick's Day. If you have to use workbooks or worksheets at your school, you can always retype them on slips or cut each question out to fit in the egg. Have students go around the room and "put the worksheet back together" and answering them as a group or independently! 

The Set Up

1. I worked in PowerPoint to create the slips of paper and wrote all types of questions that came to my mind when thinking back to what was learned so far this school year. I cut each out and placed inside of an egg.

Math questions, writing prompts, read aloud responses, and short response science and social studies related questions.

Folded nicely inside 

2. One egg has a slip that allows the student to free write or read and, of course, there is a chocolate "golden" egg for later in the day.

Be sure to remind students that the first egg they touch is theirs! No shaking and handling before choosing an egg. 

3. I placed all of the eggs in the basket at the front of the room and wrote my morning message on the board.

I hope they enjoy this! I needed a fun and engaging way to remind my students of important things that they learned. Rather than doing a worksheet or quiz of some sort, I thought this would be much more engaging and fun! 

More Engaging Activities for Students...

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