Sunday, December 16, 2012

~~Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary~~

My thoughts and prayers go to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newton, Conn.

When a child is apart,
even for a little while,
a parent says a prayer.
We ask the Lord to protect…
to be where we cannot be,
to go where we cannot go.
In Him we place our trust,
for He sees, He knows.
Though how your heart must break,
parted for now from your little one,
know that the Lord keeps your little one safe,
with Him, where we all belong.
He will keep your child in a loving embrace,
just as He keeps you, a child, too.
That is His answer to a parent's prayer,
that is His love --
forever, everywhere.

Monday, December 10, 2012

~~A Season of Hope~~

Advent is a season of hope.  As teachers, we hope our students are listening when we are introducing a new skill.  We hope our students turn in all of their homework and assignments. We hope our students are watching us as we model certain behaviors expected of them. We hope our students are treating others with respect.  We hope our students are loving others as God loves them. How do we expect this from our students if we do not teach them how to notice the good in others?  At the beginning of each school year, I introduce what a Bucket Filler is.  I have several different versions of the book.  I read each one and discuss what a Bucket Filler and Bucket Dipper are.  Also, my school adopted Rachel's Challenge.  I intermingle both of these programs to teach my students how to be a good friend and help others.  Instead of the usual warm fuzzies, my students write on strips of colored paper.  The strips are linked together to form our Rachel's Challenge Chain of Reaction. Students are asked to notice how others are showing kindness and compassion. I am constantly amazed at how my students are helping and loving each other more and more.  During this Advent season, my students are reflecting on how they treat others and how they are being treated.  We created a class book titled, We are bucket fillers because...  Feel free to download your free copy and begin creating a classroom environment that includes kindness, compassion, and love for others.

  Grab your FREE copy (HERE) and (HERE).


Monday, December 3, 2012

~~I want S'more~~

I LOVE S'mores, I mean really, really love them!  And...I also know that my students love them just as much as I do.  Making and eating S'mores in the classroom was something I HAD to do.  Sooooo, I decided to devote a whole week to this fun, oozy, gooey, little, bite of heaven.  Students wrote a nonfiction, how-to guide for making S'mores.  There wasn't a single student who didn't have chocolate or marshmallow cream everywhere!!  Not only were the students having fun, but they didn't know they were learning too!!!  Please check out our creations below.  I made up some activities of my own and borrowed some from fellow teachers.

I am linking up with Teaching Blog Addict: Freebie Friday and Classroom Freebies: Manic Monday to share my S'more Freebies. 

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

For a prewriting activity, students made S'mores and completed an activity involving their 5 senses. Last year, using the microwave took too much time with melting the marshmallows and chocolate. I changed it up a bit by using chocolate sauce and marshmallow cream (see first photo).  While enjoying the S'mores, students created a chart using adjectives. 

Grab your copy of the S'mores chart (HERE)


For the rough draft, students wrote a step-by-step guide for making S'mores.  I used Awesome in 1st: How to make a S'more packet.  Students wrote the steps first as a rough draft.  Then, they created a flip book with the steps.  I created some tabs for the flip book.   
Click (HERE) to download a FREE copy of the tabs. 
Here are some photos of our rough drafts. I helped the students do all the editing.  Usually, I send home the rough draft for the parents to edit.  Since this writing activity was not our usual 5 paragraph paper, I did the editing myself. I used the S'more packet for the rough draft.

Last, students wrote the final copy of the steps using stationary from the  S'more Packet.  They glued the final copy on black construction paper and made a small paper S'more for the corners.  Check out our finished products below.

I also created a S'more Rubric to grade the writing activity.  Grab your FREE copy (HERE).
 I hope you come back for S'more activities!!!

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