During language last week, I was looking to inspire my students to write about something. Finding topics that all students can be inspired to write about can be difficult. So, last week to my students surprise, they entered the classroom and were greeted by the wonderful smell of cinnamon pancakes. We have been learning about real maple syrup in our pioneer unit and I thought 'what better way to learn and write about real maple syrup than sampling some'. After enjoying our pancakes, the students were asked to write a paragraph about "pancakes". We had some of our best writing this morning, and all students were focused and working. Even the students that didn't want to try a pancake were intrigued and inspired to write. Some made connections to pancakes they have had from the past, and some told incredible stories about why they like or didn't like pancakes.
Once our rough drafts were complete, we started a new system for revising our writing. The students travel through stations that focuses on word choice, sentence fluency, punctuation, spelling, and text forms. I set up the stations around the room, and they would travel from station to station with their pancake paragraph and they were working hard at bumping up the level of their writing. Movement is the key. I found that just the movement of walking from station to station had the students focused and they worked longer on their paragraphs than staying at their desk with a check list to revise their work. Not sure if you are experiencing the same with your class or not, but usually after the writing process was complete on any assignment, it was hard to get them to look over their work. This seem to do the trick.
I found these on TPT, they were created by Nicole Shelby and called "Writing Centers for Revising and Editing". Thank you Nicole, they worked like a dream with my class. :)
In math this week, I had the students tackle word problems. Each day there was a new word problem on our Math board for the students to work on if they finished their work early. I also had them work on chart paper in pairs with different word problems. Once the questions were complete the students presented their answers to the class explaining the reasoning behind what they did. How interesting that a larger piece of paper and some smelly markers makes all the difference in getting students thrilled about their work.
New this week and HOT off the press!!!
Our class is beginning our Science Unit on Forces and Movement this week. We have been working all month on this unit and are excited to have it ready to share. You can get a glimpse of it here.
Hope all of you are enjoying your weekend.