Thursday, 30 January 2014

Nylon Coat Hanger Art

Tonight I'm going to share some very cool art that the super awesome teacher, Jo Anne, at my school did with her Grade 6 class.  First she cut blocks of wood and drilled a hole.  The children took a metal coat hanger and formed it into the desired shape.  Then they stretched nylon (as in knee high panty hose) over the sculpture.  They painted it with a water/glue mixture and let it dry.  Then they painted it.  Here is a similar link in case my ideas aren't clear - as I did not do it.  As you can see, some of the students splatter painted after painting their sculptures.  Jo Anne had her students title, write about, and reflect on their art.  Don't they look amazing?

And I'm going to leave you with these words of wisdom we discovered at lunch time.  So true!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Roots of Empathy and Fraction Sort

Sorry for the absence, Friends.  I was simply hibernating!  I am so tired of the freezing cold, ridiculous temperatures.  I have been so good at fitting in my runs for the 500 miles in 2014 running challenge but it is really hard when the windchill has been close to -30 Celsius.  I don't remember ever having such a long cold winter.  I guess it is payback for our last few mild winters.  Anyway, less than 10 miles left in the next 8 days.  I can totally do that!

Anyway, have you heard of the Roots of Empathy program?  This is my first year participating in this amazing program.  Each topic is presented in a three-week format.  So far we have covered such things as emotions, bullying, stages of development, costs of diapers...  The teacher comes the first week and introduces the topic with a story, song, group activities.  The second week the teacher comes with the mom and the cutest baby in the world!  The baby wears a t-shirt that says "Teacher" on it!  Lol!  Then the teacher comes alone on the third week to recap, discuss, etc.

My students are consistently amazing when that baby is there.  They love her so much!  They have seen her since she was just over one-month old and they feel like she is part of their family.

Last week we did one of Meg from The Teacher Studio's fraction activities from Concept Sorts: A Set of 5 Fraction Sorts for grades 4 and 5.  I LOVED this activity!  All of the students were absolutely engaged.  And I learned that many of them did not understand the concept of equivalent fractions.
(My apologies for the poor photos!)
In groups of 3, my lovelies sorted the various cards as Exactly ½ or Not ½.  When they agreed with their placement, they glued them on chart paper.  Then each student walked around with a Post-It note and cut off a tiny piece to stick on ones that they thought were incorrect.  Great activity!  Stay warm and have a fantastic Friday!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

A Peek at My Week - Word Work

I'm linking up with Jennifer at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for A Peek at My Week.  (Have I ever told you how much I love her?  She is so sweet!)
I feel like all I did today was work.  I know it's not exactly true but it sure feels like it.  I spent a long time thinking about root words, prefixes, and suffixes.  I looked at other teachers' ideas, googled, and thought and thought and thought.  Then I came up with this layout.  It still needs tweaking but it's a good start.
I figure letting them select which word they use would differentiate the activity.  My strong students may use a dictionary and learn some fancy new words.  Win win!  I also made a SMART Notebook activity for prefixes.  We are also working on our persuasive writing and media analysis of advertisements (one of my favourite things to teach).
In Math, we are continuing on with fractions.  Did you see Meg at The Teacher Studio's post about Concept Sorts - Deep Thinking about Fractions?  I love it!  We are totally doing the ½ concept sort this week!
We are also starting province/territory file folder projects.

My biggest wish for the week?  No freezing rain, polar vortex, or indoor recess!  Enjoy your week!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Slim Down Saturday and Kindergarten Anchor Charts

Happy Weekend!  Today I am linking up with Gina at Third Grade Tidbits for Slim Down Saturday.

My ultimate goal is just to tighten up!  Once the forties hit oh boy!  I'm not a huge fan of the scale and have only weighed myself twice in the past six months (and both were since starting this), so I don't actually have a specific weight loss goal.  I have definitely made better snack choices this week. Now I don't know about your neck of the woods but mine has been ridiculous this week with freeeeeezing cold temperatures and such thick ice everywhere.  Today it was pouring rain all day.  This has put a real damper on my love of going for a run.  I only got out twice this week!  Grrrr!  My goal for next week is to only get one breakfast sandwich on my way to work and fit in more runs.  I LOVE the breakfast sandwich!

One thing that has helped so much is my new fitness friends (you know who you are - Rachel and Jennifer).  I have been using the app My Fitness Pal to track all food consumed and exercise completed.  Now that sure makes you rethink the junky snacks!  Best part of the day?  I signed up for a 10 km race in April.  I can't wait!

To finish, here are some beautiful anchor charts my friend Rebecca has hanging up in her Kindergarten classroom.  Didn't she do any amazing job on them?

Have a great night!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Thursday Throw Down - Media Style

Today I am linking up with Erin of I'm Lovin' Lit for her Thursday Throw Down.  This is a linky to show ways you make learning more interactive for your students.
My favourite type of writing is persuasive writing - and I love to connect it to advertisements, commercials, media.  We will watch this awesome little video to get their minds a whirling:
This will (hopefully) spark a discussion on thinking about advertising.  We will talk about how the advertiser only says the positive things about the product so we need to use our brains and think think think!  We will watch several different commercials and complete this flippable created from Erin's Ultimate Interactive Notebook Template Collection.
We will end our unit by creating commercials in small groups and presenting them to the class.  I'll keep you posted!  
We have a windchill warning here - it's -36 Celsius/-33 Fahrenheit windchill right this minute.  It's so ridiculous that I'm not going to leave my house!  Stay warm, Friends!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year - New Look and January Currently

Wow!  I haven't posted all year!  Last night my hubby fell asleep really early (7:45 pm!!!) so I played around with my blog.  Did you notice the new header/button/background?  Anyone?  At least they are clearer now - I didn't like that the words were fuzzy before.
I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for January Currently.  (Since I'm an early riser, I'm hoping to be one of the first 100 to link up!)
We just got a large order of cat food delivered.  The box came with tons of crinkly paper inside it... a.k.a. Cat Heaven!  Abby is having a blast!  She is not cooperating with photos though.
I am just so happy that we have this whole week off.  I know I am very fortunate.
Maybe I should be more productive on my holiday - do something like put away the Christmas tree with the broken lights.  (Aside - Who makes trees where the whole string of lights does not work if one bulb blows.  Isn't this the 2010's?!)
As I said yesterday, I signed up for the 500 miles in 2014 challenge and am itching to go for a run.  My mom and I are hoping to go but the temperature is not cooperating.  It has been a nice tradition that my mom and I run on New Year's Day and start the year right.
I need to get stuff put away around here.  Who's in the same boat?  Say "I"!
So many great memories were made this holiday.  We spent tons of time with both sides of the family.    We shared many delicious meals and laughs.
Have a great year and an amazing day!