As we all finish up our winter breaks, it's time to face the harsh reality that not only do we need to head back to class after the new year, but we need January activities for our classroom that will engage our students. We weren't the only ones "on vacation", but we can help our students ease back into the routines of school life. Students need to "relearn" how to focus on academic ... Read the Post
Spring Bulletin Board Project: Writing, Culture Building, Creativity
Every year I try to break us out of our long Wisconsin winters by taking an hour or so of class time to create a spring bulletin board that brightens our spirits! Today I thought I'd share a little bit about what we do--and why we do it! I so often hear people say, "We don't have time for cute projects anymore." I certainly agree that I do LESS than I used to--but I definitely believe that ... Read the Post
Happiness is “Chillin’ with a good book”!
I have done this project every year for quite some time, and I have to say--I don't know who loves it more, my students or me! I love that I can have fun with my students, can encourage creativity, BUT can reinforce the writing skills we have focused on so far this year. Our previous unit was opinion writing and we are now deeply in the trenches with informational writing--so what a ... Read the Post
“Me as a Reader”…a reading goal project
Every year I love to help my students really reflect on themselves as readers--and I strive to help them understand that reading is more than just getting the words right...as we start the year I really try to help them understand all the different factors that impact the ability to read and make sense of texts... reading "behaviors" such as book selection and focus accuracy and fluency ... Read the Post
“Me as a Reader”
Those of you who have been following me for some time may recognize this project from last year. I saw a version of it on Julie Ballew's website and adapted it to use with my fourth graders. If you haven't snooped around her site, I highly recommend it! We have been working hard at our reading behaviors and I felt my student were ready to get a little more personal--to take all the ... Read the Post
We LOVE to Read Bulletin Board Project
Last year my student LOVED the bulletin board book project we did so much that I knew I had to do it again. We have recently finished our opinion writing unit, so this was a perfect way to review the concept that you can express an opinion and then give a reason so it makes your opinion more compelling! My students loved sharing some of the favorite books AND getting their creativity on. We ... Read the Post
“Chilling Out” with a great book!
One thing I love to have my students do is recommend books to each other. We do it during book talks where I "advertise" books, we do it during status of the class where I ask students to tell a little bit about their book once in a while, and sometimes I ask them to do something a little more formal. I was beginning to think it was about time to take our world map projects down from ... Read the Post