Take some time to slow down
To me this sounds impossible with all the things that I feel like I have to accomplish and get done, at some point slowing down is the right thing to do. Everyone will have a different point where this hits them. For me it is now.
So that is what I am doing. I am slowing down this week and I feel like I might actually get more done. This is not just for in the classroom, but in my life. :)
This week we are going to savour and enjoy all we can with reading and discovering different types of poetry, as well as creating and writing different poems. We began last week with an adorable poem about spring. The students had to read, think and respond. I try and introduce poems that the students can relate to, understand and comment on easily to start, and once they are comfortable, we move into some that require more time to reflect; poems that require you to slow down and think. Students should be able to think about what the poem might have meant to the author and what it means to them. Not all the time are these two things the same. I feel that the students I teach feel like there is always a right answer and a wrong answer when studying poetry. Understanding poetry is really all about what the individual thinks and being able to back up your thinking with proof from the text.
Here is what we are working on in poetry:
In Math we have been diving into fractions
Our launch was spent spilling out SpongeBob paper bags full of two colour counters and coming up with fractions for both colours. The students were able to complete this warm up independently after it had been modelled together as a class. I was able to walk around and see how different students worked together, which ones become leaders on an assignment and which ones take their lead from others in the group.
Just using the SpongeBob bags, and calling it something different, really helped engage all my learners. You might try this simple spin on an ordinary activity to create some excitement and enthusiasm in your students. The lesson I was looking at just used plain paper bags, and the activity didn't go as well last year, the students got bored and missed the purpose of the "hands on" activity.
In Social Studies, we are working on Urban, Suburban and Rural Communities
I found these incredible fold booklets by Christina Bainbridge on TPT. They are great for a review of what we have covered and discussed in class and the students enjoy making the book and filling them out.
Here is a site on the Internet that I enjoy using on the Smartboard when I am teaching communities, as well. Click on the Flat Screen
I think I am behind on a couple of my "Tweet Student's" of the week. Must been all the rushing.
Here are the last two incredible students. Special Thanks to their families for great "notes from the nests".
Hope everyone takes some time to slow down!