Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lesson Reflections

Do you ever feel like students learn a topic and then forget it the next day? We all feel so crunched for time, I believe that all too often, we forget to give kids time to reflect on their learning. I have created a simple lesson reflection book that teachers can use for any topic. I have used it both with students and for adult learning during staff development trainings. It takes little to no prep work and everyone finds it engaging. Here is an image of what these lesson chips or sticks look like:

Here are a few images of the direction sheets in this pack. We copied the color version (it also comes in black and white) and then got them bound. It's so easy to pull a reflection stick and then put the directions under our document camera for a quick opportunity to learn. Some teachers prefer not to make the sticks and plan for a specific opportunity to reflect. The possibilities are endless!

Please chck out this pack on teacher pay teachers or teachers notebook.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Entry Twenty: Prompt Writing with a Twist

Historically, whenever we started the dreaded prompt writing our kids would sigh and we would have a mad rush of kids who, all of a sudden, needed to go to the nurse. It’s not fun…for teachers or kids. It never had a purpose except to help kids practice for the dreaded tests. We needed a change. This year we implemented community prompt journals and it has completely transformed this portion of our writing block!

We can do this during morning work so it doesn’t impair our writing workshop block. We pass out a different spiral to each student with a different prompt. The kids write to the prompt knowing that they have an immediate audience for their work. After students have responded to the prompt (usually the next day) we pass out the spiral to a different student to provide feedback. The students read work from each other and give one positive comment and ne comment to improve. Then they return the prompt back to its original writer so they can read the feedback. We are meeting standards galore because writing in different forms and giving feedback are our third grade CCSS and students actually enjoy writing because they have an authentic audience. Talk about a win-win!!!

Here is an image of the expections page we include in each spiral notebook:

Here is a sample opinion prompt that are students write to:

Try this prompt writing with a twist by checking out my store at teacher notebook or teachers pay teachers.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Entry Nineteen: Setting Goals

We believe in the power of helping students set appropriate academic goals and holding them accountable to achieve them.

We begin by sharing stories with kids about famous people who set goals and worked to achieve them. Here are a few of our favorite titles:

Then we made these simple posters (we need to improve these for presentation, but they are a start!) These goals are taken directly from our standards so kids can choose a special project as their goal that is standards-based.

These next two forms are a huge part of teaching our students that it takes effort to achieve their goals. They track their goals, make notes of the ways they are working on achieving them, and even graph their progress. We make a huge celebration when students achieve their goals!

It's important to give kids time to process the most appropriate goal for them. These kids are looking at the goal posters and discussing which goal is the best for them. We gave kids a quick sentence starter to begin this conversation.
I want to choose the goal____ because____ (it challenges me, it's something I have already wanted to accomplish, it will make me a stronger third grader etc. We had tthem set goals, we looked at their test data to set "teacher goals" and we plan to ask parents to set goals at conferences. It's such a wonderful way to show that we are all in this together!

Visit my store on Teachers Pay Teachers for a free resource to help you begin teaching students the connection between effort and achievement!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Favorite Freebie!

We are a proud participant to the favorite freebie linky!

Brought to you by...
2nd Grade Pad

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Entry Eighteen: Third Grade Reporters

With the help of our wonderful 21st century teacher, Laura Isrealsen, our students conducted field interviews to learn a little more about respect. Students worked collaboratively to generate questions, interview staff members, videotape the interview, edit, and finally publish their videos. We shared these videos at our first all school assembly and the school loved them!

Check out more detailed instructions in thie FREE back to school fun pack on teachers pay teachers or teachers notebook.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Entry Seventeen: Morning Meeting

Morning meeting is a dedicated time for students to gather together each day.  We use a very specific structure led by the host.  Students begin by greeting each other in a unique way each day.  My morning meeting kit includes 48 greetings that can be used over and over again to encourage critical thinking, review academic skills, and build classroom community.  After greeting, our host leads us in praising students for meeting goals, getting compliments, or any other topic worth praising.  We also build in time for individual celebrations like birthdays, new puppies, or dad’s new job.  Finally, we get topics of discussion.  During this time students work out problems they are facing.  This can be anything from the long lines at the pencil sharpener to sharing the swings at recess.  By building in this time daily, we have completely eliminated tattling!  Check out this complete morning meeting pack to help you design this important time in your classroom! 

Watch a short video of morning meeting in action!

Or purchase it on teachers pay teachers here.