Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stressed Much??

Anyone else feeling overwhelmed and stressed????? I know I am! It has reached that time of the year when everything starts to pile up. The crazy part is in the last two weeks we have had two days off and I still feel like I need a break. At times like this I have a love hate relationship with teaching. I love the kids, the actual time that I am teaching and coming up with new ideas for lessons. I dislike all the OTHER stuff we as teachers do. There just isn't enough time in the day to be a teacher, wife, mommy, housekeeper and cook. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband that supports me and makes my life easier. He is always reminding of what really matters and that stressing doesn't help anything. With that in mind I am going to finish watching Cars with my little girl. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Native Americans and a Bit of Theme

 Native American Project

In my 5th grade class we have spent the past few weeks researching the 5 regions of Native Americans. The class was split into 5 groups and each group picked a region they wanted to study. As you can see by the map above there were more than 5 regions, we looked at the regions more commonly known. Great Plains, Eastern Woodlands, Southwest, Northwest Coast, and Middle America.

Each student took notes on each region's presentation. The students then wrote an essay on their favorite region and completed a poster and presented on their region. Several students came dressed as Native American's for their presentations, others created props. I also tied theme into this, see below.

An Igloo, drum, and Totem pole.
Below is the requirements for the project, rubric and outline for the essay.

Native American Stories and Theme

We also were discussing theme, I used Native American 
stories to tie the two areas together. There are tons of stories online that you can use, below are the stories that I used. The students read the stories, taking notes to track their thinking as they read, and them wrote what they thought the theme would be for the stories. We discussed their answers and I was amazed at how well they understood the stories and themes. Theme is a hard concept for students to understand, but my class this year seems to be truly understanding theme. YAY!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Buddies!

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post. The school days fly by and before I know it is the weekend. Today, my fifth graders went to see their kindergarten buddies. The kids love meeting with the buddies, it is sweet to watch the classes interact. The past few weeks we have been practicing the pledge of allegiance and write about our buddies. I am not sure who looks forward to our time more the kindergarteners or fifth graders. 

Buddy Stories and Kindergarten People

Our buddies created a mini person that looks like them. As they worked my students asked their buddies questions to help them write a story about them. The stories were great and the kindergartners loved them.

American Flags and Pledge of Allegiance

The kindergarten teacher created a fill in the blank Pledge of Allegiance. My fifth graders worked with their buddies to fill in the blanks. After finishing the fill in the blank the students created an American flag.