Hey there, friends! After two days of benchmark testing, I am SO ready for spring break! At least the kids have a test to work on during the 4 hour testing window - I just had to walk around and actively monitor - booooooooring!
Anyway, I wanted to share just one more solar system activity we did two weeks ago. We read Margaret Wise Brown's The Important Book (I'm sure you all know it well!), and we discussed the way the author used lots of descriptions to explain to the reader why and how that item/object was important. Then, I told my kids they were going to write their own important book, but there was a catch - their whole book had to be about the sun, so everything they wrote needed to explain how and/or why the sun was important. I made each kid a book out of a single sheet of long construction paper, following this tutorial, and they turned out so great! Here's what a few of my kids thought was important about the sun:
|This student made his own copyright page - the little rocket says, "Better than Scholastic!" - haha!|
|Love this illustration (and isn't his handwriting beautiful?!).|
|He wrote, "The sun makes the moon gloe (glow)." - shows me he was paying attention during our moon studies!|
|I love that this student drew the orbital lines with his planets!|
|I was proud of this student's connection of the sun to the water cycle - great thinking!|
|I am so on board with what this girl drew - I'm ready for sun, bathing suits, and laying out by the pool!|
This idea (which came from our curriculum, interestingly enough - I'm not always on board with their suggestions, but I really loved this!) could easily be used with any subject or concept - you could make an important book about a character from a story, an animal, habitats, adding, subtracting, and whatever else you can think of! This activity was great because it was self-directed, and it showed me who had really learned the important concepts about the sun and who hadn't. My kids enjoyed making their books, and even asked if they could make more important books about the planets - my answer was an enthusiastic YES! :)
Now, on to this month's Currently, courtesy of Farley, of course! I created this yesterday, and then ended up not having time to post last night, so that's why my answers sound a little off, but still, here's what's up with me these days:
Your 3 words are supposed to be words that your students, friends, and family would use to describe you, and the words must start with the first letter of your last name. I think I'm a pretty reasonable teacher (I was also going to cheat and write "Really organized," but that's two words and organized doesn't start with R, but I thought it would be a good answer since my students actually DO tell other people that I am really organized!!), my friends know they can rely on me for just about anything, as long as it doesn't involve starting something after 10 pm, and my family definitely thinks I'm a bit random. I send stream of consciousness emails, I love tomato products but hate raw tomatoes, and I enjoy recreating the scene of Buddy the Elf on an escalator when I go to the mall. Maybe that makes me more ridiculous than random, but I digress...
Before I go, I found out yesterday that I was awarded a professional development grant I applied for a few weeks ago from my district (yay!). I'm so excited, because (a) this was my first time to ever apply for a grant and I got it (!!), and (b) it means I get to attend Debbie Diller's Summer 2012 conference in Houston. I'm only going to attend the first two days, since the third day seemed like it was geared more towards lower grades, but I was wondering if any of my blogging friends would also be in attendance? Since I won my funding through the grant, I'll be the only one attending from my school, and maybe even from my district, so it'll be a great opportunity to meet some new people. If you'll be attending, let me know, because I'd love to meet you!!
Now I'm off to start my spring break right - with a glass of vino and a line up of TV shows from Hulu. I'm already in my sweatpants; it can only get better from here. Happy spring break y'all!