Every year, my classroom participates in the Monster Exchange Writing Project! It is a FREE program that you can find here: www.monsterexchange.org
Students first draw and color a monster.
Once the monster is drawn and colored, students must create a set of directions for someone else to use in order to draw their monster. They are surprised to realize that this is a lot harder said than done!
Your classroom is paired up with another classroom and your kids have to draw their monsters while they draw your monsters.
Why not try this amazing program with your kids today??? I promise, they will love it! , even your reluctant writers If you need a cheap packet to help you through the process, you can click here!
We tried our hands at close reading by using a non-fiction article from the National Geographic Explorer magazine we get every month. I am sure this could just as easily be done with Scholastic News or Time for Kids articles. Here is a picture of a completed poster.
We followed five steps in order to make the posters. Students needed the article and access to a sheet of paper or post-it notes.
Step #1 We quickly flipped through the article focusing on pictures, headings, titles, etc. Students wrote 4-5 questions about what they saw as they scanned the article.
Step #2 We read the article and students wrote any interesting facts they heard down on post-it notes.
Step #3 We looked through the article in order to find 3-5 vocabulary words relating to the article.
Step #4 We focused on one specific section of the article and wrote a summary of it.
Step #5 We used all of these parts to construct a detailed informational poster about the article.
They turned out great!
How do you use close reading in your classroom? You can answer and share your ideas in the comments!
About once every 4-6 weeks, we complete a class book on a topic we are studying. The students have to choose a letter and then choose a topic that begins with the letter. We started with zoo animals because we adopt an animal from our local zoo each year and students were familiar with the topic.
Students research their choice using books and/or the Internet and then they write their rough draft. Once they have edited their rough draft with a peer, they type it. Students can choose the font and size they use as long as it can fit onto one sheet of paper. The students also have to illustrate the topic. We glue both pages onto a sheet of 12 x 18 construction paper and then I laminate them.
We display them like this at first, then I bind them into a class book. I am always amazed at how many times my kids read these class books! They love them!
I have a pre-made packet you can use, or you can just have the kids write the rough draft onto notebook paper! Click here for the link to the packet!
Why not try this idea during your next science or social studies topic?
Each month we participate in a monthly school-wide challenge. For October, the challenge was:
How many seeds does your pumpkin have inside? Is the number of seeds inside a pumpkin related to its size?
We cut our pumpkins into six slices, which was a really cool way to look at it!
We had over 800 seeds in our pumpkin and it had 27 ribs. Did you know that seeds grow along the ribs of the pumpkin?
Why not check it out the next time you carve a pumpkin?
This week we are working on becoming “Pumpkinologists”! Each table will get a pumpkin and they will be completing this packet. Click here for the link.
As one of our team building activities, I had the students work in groups to put together a 100 piece puzzle (from the Dollar Tree) without seeing the box or talking at all. They had to remain silent the entire time they worked, but they could use non-verbal forms of communication. All six teams were successful, the fastest in just over 15 minutes and the slowest in just over 25 minutes. Not bad, huh?
I created a STEM Challenge packet to go with the activity. It has a lab sheet and a group sheet as well as directions and rules. You could easily do this activity without the packet, but I used it as a way to get my kids to reflect on the activity. Here is the link to the $2 packet.
Looking for a way to get your kids to work in teams? You may want to give this idea a shot!
We are in year #2 as a STEM school and it has been a great way to infuse a lot of problem solving, cooperation, and excitement into the classroom! I believe that STEM is a philosophy of teaching! Here is one of the STEM challenges we have completed this year! It is so much fun to facilitate these activities and see and hear their thinking as they progress through each challenge! I have also created a new blog all about the STEM process! Check it out and see if you can use any of these ideas in your classroom!
This type of idea has been around awhile, and I can see why! The kids had a great time trying to be successful at this STEM challenge!
You will need (per group):
- 48 Tiny Glasses (got them at the Dollar Tree)
Super easy set-up and supplies! All of my STEM challenges use really cheap and easy to find materials!
Check it out!
You can check out the STEM pack to go with this idea here!
Hahahahaha! I have to say that as a mom of three I am thankful that I have yet to hear that statement from my kiddos, but I also have to admit that I would love to say it to some of the more difficult people I have to deal with from time to time.
This “Why don’t you make me?” moment is a positive one! Why don’t you make one of these for your classroom! I am going to definitely make one for mine!
Take a cardboard circle (like from a pizza box), or just cut one out. Cut out the center and attach clothespins (see the pics)! I plan on either adding washi tape or glitter to my clothespins! I will post pics once it is finished!
I plan on hanging this picture holder on the bulletin board right by my desk in my classroom! I will probably have some pictures on it, but I mostly plan on keeping all of those adorable pictures, notes, and other items from my students on there! What a great way to display those little items that my sweet students give me each year! They are sure to lift your spirits and make you smile every time you see them!
So…why don’t you make me?
I found this great tutorial on how to make glitter clothespins over at First Grade Brain’s blog! Go check out her blog and this post to see exactly how to do it! She gives some really easy to follow directions and hers turned out great!
Why don’t you make me??????