Sunday, October 26, 2014

Using Noticings and Wonderings in the Classroom!

People always ask me about my Noticings and Wonderings board when they visit my classroom, so I thought that this morning I would share one of the best things I learned from the IFL trainings.

Noticings and Wonderings are just like exit tickets, but with a twist that the kids LOVE!

When we finish some of our lessons, we do Noticings and Wonderings.  The great thing about Noticings and Wonderings is that is gives the kids a choice of what to write.  (This is a must have for any evaluation lesson!)

The kids can write a noticing about the lesson or their own learning.  The can write something they are wondering about or unsure of.  This is a great chance for a child to tell you something they don't understand without having to say it to the while class.  Or my favorite, answer the question on the board or make own up of your own.  This one takes some time to teach because I always have a few folks that want to make up something that deals with another lesson.  I always remind them that what they put on the sticky note has to be able what we just did.

The kids write on sticky notes and then stick them to this board.  Nothing fancy, but they sure do love to this!

Here are a few of the kids notes from Friday's lesson on adding 2 digit numbers.

This student wrote a noticing and answered the question  that I wrote on the board.

This kiddo made up with own problems to solve.

Sometimes I go over some of the sticky notes before we move to the next lesson and sometimes I save them for the next day.  It just depends on what I see in their writing.  I really love using this and more than anything the kids can't wait to do it.

I also wanted to share on of my favorite October stories!  Where's My Mummy?

This is an adorable book about a little mummy that just wants to play instead of going to bed.  I use it to teach adjectives.  I read the book to the kids and we talk about it during our reading block.  Then, later on that day we bring it back out and talk about adjectives.  We make these cute mummies and the kids make lists of all of the adjectives in the story to cover their mummy.  It is so much fun and makes a cute decoration in the hallway for October that isn't Halloween.

Here is the book!  What isn't to love about this little mummy?

Here is the display I put up in the hallway.

OK - so I am not the best drawer.  I wish I was, but I do try.  I made tracers out of manila folders and the kids traced and cut out their mummies.   They wrote their adjectives in their best "spooky" writing!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Halloween week!  I know the kids are so excited!

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's been A LONG TIME!

Moving to a new grade has kicked my tail!  Between the new grade and all of my son's baseball practices I have really left my blog hanging.....  tumbleweeds are rolling across it!


So I have lots and lots to tell you about.

We are really reading a ton of non-fiction texts in my class this year.  Each morning when the kids come into the room, they are greeted by a special book on their desk picked by ME!  I found a bunch of old leveled readers in a storage room and organized them into sets so I have a huge collection of fiction sets, but not many non-fiction.  So to make sure that everyone gets a chance some of the non-fiction that I only have a few copies of, I have been making our early bird into some quick math review and and then read your special book.  The kids love it!  Plus our AR points are going up!

One of the few non-fiction book sets that I have is on bats.  We worked on this story for three days and they really enjoyed it.  We have been focusing on picking important details out of the text and taking notes, so that we can write good informational paragraphs.  So instead of taking notes on paper we took them on BATS!

I just made tracers out of manila paper and BATS we have!  The kids loved making them and even though our spelling isn't the best (we are working on that one) they look cute on the wall!

We took our bats and shared facts so that we could write paragraphs.  Here is a picture of the display we made for open house.

I wanted the book to also be on display to help my parents see the type of books that they need to be reading with their child.  I just used clear tape and a page protector.  I know it isn't pretty but several parents commented on seeing the book, so it worked!

Here is one of the kid's finished writing.  We have been using a combination of Pow Tide and the Stoplight to learn to write good paragraphs.  After some thought, I have decided to stick to the following formula for every paragraph we write:

Topic sentence, 5-6 detail sentences, and a closing sentence.
I know kind of hard for second grade, but they are doing it!  AND SMILING!

We are doing great on the detail sentences, but are struggling with the topic and closing sentence.  Go figure!  I know they will get it, it is just going to take some time.  I can already see a HUGE improvement already.

We also have completed our first BOOK REPORT!  I was really pleased with how GREAT they came out.  We have been talking about making things VISUALLY APPEALING and they nailed it!  I hated to take them down today, but we needed to get a new project up.  Here are some of the kids projects. You can click on the picture to go to the packet on TPT.  Everything is in it for the kids to make a book report poster at home, all you need to do is making copies.  It even has the a parent direction page already made up!  I am all about working smarter this year!

I wanted to make something cute for their desks for open house that was sort of Halloween, so the day before we made these 3D pumpkin life cycles.  This project is part of a larger science unit and you click the picture to go to the unit.  The kids really enjoyed coloring all of the pumpkin pieces and it gave me 30 minutes of quiet to tidy up the classroom library before the parents came to open house!

Well I have lots more, but it will have to wait until the weekend!

I hope everyone is making each day count with your kiddos!

Happy Teaching!