Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SPLITTING the Sentences

In our class we call this "splitting the sentences." The activity/lesson is to take two basic sentences and have students add details to make each sentence into two sentences or more--hence the name "splitting the sentences." This activity really helps students that struggle with "IDEAS" or just want to write the minimum amount and call it good. When we go through the editing process, I will tell them that they need split sentences to add in those ALL important details! After the lesson, I wrapped their tables/desks in white butcher paper and had them write the new version of the provided sentences on the paper in marker and then the students walked around and saw how different the SAME two sentences could turn out. It was a great ending activity for the lesson -kinda like publishing for everyone to see. This would be appropriate for 2nd grade and higher. Here is a student sample.
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inspiration Poem

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I used the following "questionnaire" in a Six Trait training this past week. Teachers had a wonderful time trying to figure out the correct trait. Some of the questions could fit more than one trait. I think this would be an appropriate activity for 4th grade students and higher to try. It could open your lesson to a lot of conversations with your students.

 **adapted from the Northwest Institute--Download here page 1
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Thursday, October 10, 2013


This is kindergarten artwork. 
We gave all the students dry erase markers and let them illustrate their vocabulary word of the week right on their desk!!! The word of the week was CHEERFUL and they illustrated things that made them cheerful. The desks erased nicely with small foam erasers. After they were finished we told them NOT to do this at home because these are special markers that will erase. Students had an absolute BLAST!Pin It

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Know My Class Survey


I attended a national conference a few years back and listened to a speaker that really spoke to me! During his speech he talked about REALLY getting to know your students...not just teaching them, but really getting to know them. He spoke about giving classroom surveys to students so that a teacher could reflect on their teaching practices etc. He also talked about getting to know your students' PASSIONS. As I thought about this, going through my class list, I realized that I really didn't know what a lot of my students liked to do for fun outside of school. I was really excited to share this with the group of people that came to the conference with me. As we sat at lunch that day I told everyone that I was going to do a survey with my students and find out what they really thought of my class....An anonymous survey! One of the teachers I was sitting with immediately replied, "I don't want to do that!" I said "WHY?" and her reply was that she didn't want to know. Well I decided that I DID want to know.

SOOO the SURVEY has been given. I tried to keep the survey specific to my classroom and writing. I have given the survey to all 3rd and 4th grade students. (about 100 students) A trend has emerged! One thing I noticed was for the most part students were very positive. I also noticed that when students were asked the question- Does my family think I am a good writer?, if they answered NO!, they also answered the question Do you think you are a good writer? with the answer NO! WOW! How enlightening.

As educators we DO have a huge impact on the students we teach, but as the survey showed, in many cases what the parent thought of the students accomplishments became their reality. I also intend to use the information to reflect on my teaching practices and make my classroom a BETTER place for students to learn and accomplish their goals and dreams.

**Something to keep in mind** The speaker that I listened to also said that you can NEVER have 100% satisfation on your survey. He stated that if you walked into a room of 100 people, 3 people won't like you and they haven't even met you.

I have also given my students the task of writing a paper called MY PASSIONS! They are excited to write about the things they love and share it with me. I'm excited too! I have already found some shoppers, campers, barrel racers, swimmers and turtle lovers! GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY SURVEYING!

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