Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Meet Up

I thought it would be fun to join The Teaching Tribune for Monday Meet-Up!
 This week, The Teaching Tribune asked us to think of 3 things we are thankful for.  I have to admit, I kind of chose the sappy route, but at least it gives you a little insight into me :)

I hope you enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Crafting Connections: Together We Soared Awards!

Today I am excited to be linking up with Deb from Crafting Connections to participate in her Classroom Tested, Teacher and Student Approved series to share my experience with her End of Year Awards & Writing Craftivity: Together We Soared Awards!

This is actually my second time participating in Deb's Classroom Tested series!  Deb has so many great craftivities in her TPT store, and they have made such a difference in my instruction.  So, I asked Deb if I could participate again to review/promote another one of her products.  (By the way, if you are interested in reading my first post from Deb's Classroom Tested series, you can click here.)

We used this end of the year craftivity during the last week of school, right after we had finished statewide testing.  I wanted my students to complete meaningful activities during the last week of school, but I also wanted to give them something fun to do.  Deb's craftivity was just what I was looking for!  Not only was it a writing activity, but it also gave my students a chance to create something for a classmate.

This craftivity came with everything needed to follow the steps of the writing process.  My students first began by drawing another classmate's name out of a basket.  This determined who they would be creating the award for.  I told my students that they weren't allowed to divulge who they had chosen.  This was going to be a special, surprise award for a fellow classmate.   

Once the names were drawn, the students got to work on the brainstorming sheet.  This sheet allowed the students to reflect on positive moments they might have shared with this person and any character traits they could come up with to describe them.

Once the brainstorming page was completed, students moved on to the rough draft.  This allowed the students to transfer their ideas from the brainstorming page into a rough draft.  Not only did students need to name positive character traits about their classmates, but they also had to provide support for each of these traits in their essay.

As students finished their rough drafts I met with each student and conducted a brief writing conference.  Once our writing conferences were completed, the students began working on their final draft. 

I had my students complete the final writing portion prior to putting the kite together.  After gluing the award cover to the completed final draft, I stapled a tail (yarn) to the bottom of the kite.  The students then attached the bows to the tail.  Each bow had a character trait describing that person on it.  Here are a few pictures of finished products:

Next came my favorite part- the presentations!  Since the students didn't know who had chosen their name, they were on the edge of their seats waiting to hear who the next award was for.  My students came up with really creative character traits and explanations for their classmates.  At the end of each presentation, the presenter got to give the kite they created to their classmate.  It warmed my heart to hear their presentations, and my students were so excited to take their awards home.  This craftivity became more than a writing project; it became a special souvenir from their 4th grade school year.

I think we often spend so much time focusing on our core subjects, it is easy to forget about doing activities that focus on building character.  Not only did this activity help to build a better sense of community in my classroom, but it allowed my students to recognize character traits in their classmates while still factoring in the writing process. 

Deb is going to give away this craftivity to a lucky follower!  Head on over to Crafting Connections to enter to win your very own copy!

Friday, June 27, 2014

My FIRST Five for Friday!!

 I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! This is my first time participating in Five for Friday, so I am pretty excited!

I recently signed up to participate in a Postcard Exchange.  My class will be exchanging postcards with classrooms in 49 other states (1 from each state).  It's a great opportunity to incorporate some extra Social Studies into our day!  Primary Graffiti has a great State Notebook (FREEBIE!!) that will allow my students to get even more out of this experience!

If you are interested in signing up for the Postcard Exchange, just click on this link to take you there.  As of this morning, Alaska, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Wyoming are still available!

The Learning Center is hosting a HUGE 12 day giveaway!  Danielle is giving away 6 bundles, totaling 60 products!! 

I donated my 2nd Grade Physical Science Posters to this great giveaway!  Hurry to enter!!  I am apart of the Bundle #1.  Each bundle giveaway will only be open for 48 hours, so remember to stop back often to enter!  Follow this link to enter :)

Today is my wedding anniversary!  Six years ago today I married my best friend in Las Vegas!  It was such a special day, and I couldn't ask for a better husband or father to our daughter!

After having back-to-back visitors at our house, our house is finally empty!  I love having family come to visit, but I especially love the feeling when everyone has gone back home.  We can get back to our regular routine!  Our first set of visitors came on the last day of school, and our second set just left, so I finally feel like our summer vacation begins now!  Oh, how I love pajama days!!

Tomorrow I am hooking up with Deb from Crafting Connections to review one of her end of the year products!  Can you guess which one it is?  I am such a HUGE fan of Deb's products, and I can't wait to share my post with you!  Check back tomorrow to see which of her products I chose.  There just might be a giveaway too ;)

Well, thanks for reading My FIRST Five for Friday!  I hope you stop back tomorrow!