Sunday, 31 March 2013

April is Poetry Month!

April is Poetry Month!
Today is the last day of our Easter Sale....and a great opportunity to pick up some of our poetry packs at 20% off !
Click the images below to purchase.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

INSPIRING STUDENTS!

I know we all have students we want to brag about.  I walk into my classroom each day and notice improvements in reading, writing, behaviour, communication and social skills.
Our board has been pushing open ended questions in all subjects but lately focusing on applying these type of questions to Math.  I wanted to share with you a test one of my students made in class during her spare time.
At the beginning of each new unit in Math the class participates in some "Good Math Questions".  These open ended questions give me some insight to where the students prior knowledge lies.  I was introduced to this book in a workshop last year and  have been using it as my go to book for my questions. The students are aware of what good questions look and sound like, and we record our answers in our "Good Questions" workbooks. 
Lately, I have been using questions the students ask or come up with on our unit tests and quizzes.  The students recognise the questions on the test and are thrilled to be acknowledged for their work.  Last week during an indoor recess, one of my students worked on making a quiz for Math.  I try an incorporate and point out connections to other subjects when I teach, to give the class the real life reasons of why we learn and teach what we do in school.  I was just so impressed with this quiz, because first of all she did it in her spare time, secondly she has included open ended questions, and cross curricular links.  I was so impressed with it, I had her make a good copy and used it as the actual quiz for our unit.

So what was the end result of doing this?  Well lets just say, Children inspire Children, and Children inspire ME.   I had overwhelming support from the class on how much fun it was writing this student's quiz.  I have had two other students on their own create a test in different areas of study since.  Below is the test the student made.  Maybe this is something you might want to model in your class, or share as a story to inspire some of the same greatness.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter Weekend.  We made cute Easter Bunny Bags out of paper plates on Thursday.  I filled them with a kinder egg and some chewy fruit snacks.  They were a hit and made for a charming end to a busy week. 
 
 
 
I have informed my students that when they come back to school after the holidays that we are going to get down to business!.... AND THAT WAS NO APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!! 

It is National Poetry month, Earth awareness month, and Autism Awareness month. We are hosting as a school the Poetry Contest we made and are using the EARTH DAY AWARENESS as our theme.  Winners are to be announced on April 22nd EARTH DAY!   I want to Thank my administration for supporting this contest and I look forward to all the student entries.  I would certainly recommend this to any school.  I looked for a contest for the younger students and had a hard time finding one for the age group.  So when you can't join them, make your own. lol lol
So that is exactly what we did.  Made our own contest to participate in.

Happy Holidays. Don't forget to check out our

   EASTER WEEKEND SALE

Christine 

Friday, 29 March 2013

Easter Sale!

K&C Easter Sale!
Check out our store at 20% off Saturday and Sunday only!
 
Wishing you all a wonderful Easter weekend
~Kaitlin & Christine

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Preparing for Easter

In order to prepare the students for Holy Week, I sent the children home with some 'specific' reading homework this week. This picture bible for kids is GREAT {luckily we have a class set}! It is super kid friendly and easy to read. It kicked off a wonderful week of discussion, prayer and activity!
On Monday (following Palm Sunday), we read from our children's bible, discussed and then created our very own palm branches. The kiddos took them home what evening and read the corresponding bible reading. It was a good visual reminder :)



In Math, we have just begun studying Mass and Capacity. The students were each given a yellow and green sticky to take home on their agendas. Their homework was to find 5 liquids (mL/L) and 5 solids (g/kg). Upon returning, they added their findings to our anchor chart. It was a great way to start thinking about Liquids and Solids-- and create a home/school connection.


One of the read alouds this week was
"The Easter Bunny's Assistant" by Jan Thomas.
We are working on "using examples from the text to support our answers", so our reading response focused on just that.

We continued with a litte bit of poetry this week..... mostly writing our good copies of our acrostic poems. Next week Cinquain! I am using our poetry unit as a guide :)


We finished the week off with making Prayer Rocks.
The kids LOVED this activity!
Each student chose a rock and painted it one colour. Once dry, each student added designs or patterns.

 Finally, students added a word or name to their rock. It was very cute! I laminated the Prayer Rock Prayer, added a little treat and this is what they each took home as their "Easter Gift". I kept it very simple this year. And I am glad I did :) The kids enjoyed this and were very appreciative.


 I am looking forward to a restful 4 day weekend :)
Have a wonderful Easter!


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Questioning, Intro to Poetry and some Simple Machine Creations!

We kicked back into the groove of things this week {following a week off}!
This months writing focus is "Questioning".
A few great read alouds we used this week were:

We reviewed the difference between THICK and THIN questions. This was an important lesson because I am trying to teach my kiddos that asking questions that only require one word answers does not make their classmates think. In order to become better readers and writers, we need to ask strong questions.
At the beginning of the week I just showed my students the cover of the book. Using their inferencing skills, they generated questions about the book. By Wednesday, I read to the middle of the book and they created "During Questions". By the end of the week, we created "After Reading" Questions. WOW! My kids did an awesome job with this activity.
Our reading focus this month is FLUENCY. Every morning I have added a culmination of periods, exclamation and questions marks into our morning message. I use this a shared reading activity everyday. It gives my students practise with
intonation & clarity = fluency.
 We also began an intro week into our Poetry Unit.
I used these 2 pack this week. Christine and I decided to create these 2 packs because of our Provincial Testing results. We noticed that our students were really struggling with creating and responding to poetry.
 

Using our Poetry Response Book Pack, my kiddos made their personal poetry books.

 This week coming we will dive into 8 different types of poetry and begin responding to our classmates poems, as well as famous poet creations.
We are also creating a poetry contest pack to use in your classroom and/or school. So stay tuned :)

This week we in Science, my grade 2's completed their marshmallow launchers. I may be a little bias, but I definitely see some future engineers and architects!


We then took our completed launchers and tested them out in the gym! The kids were pumped! Would definitely do this activity again :)

Finally, using lines to create texture, we created unique lanscapes!
Considering these students are 6&7 years old, they rocked this activity!
Forgot to share this one.... But a few weeks ago we read the book "The Best Part of Me" by Wendy Ewald.
An award-winning photographer asked several children "What is the best part of you?", and presents their answers in this sometimes funny, sometimes moving, deeply personal book that includes striking black-and-white photographs taken by the author. Ideal for parents and teacher to use to discuss body image, self-esteem, and diversity with children.


I read this book to my class. Then, each student chose "The Best Part" of them, I took picture and then wrote about it. A very powerful lesson. Great discussion about our differences and how often we take our bodies and gifts for granted.




A 4 day BUSY week is ahead of us..... This weekend is going to be filled with lots of NCAA Basketball Watching and planning for Easter :)

Have a happy weekend :)
~Kaitlin~