Saturday, October 27, 2012

Inferencing Lessons - 4th Grade

We have had lots of fun learning about inferencing. Each day for two weeks we practiced inferring with stories, videos and real items.

Day 1 - To start our lesson we watched a great pod cast from a class on inferencing. Check it out!

After watching the video my 4th grade students sorted through my trash. Yep, trash! I brought in 'clean trash' (mainly items I was recycling). From the trash the students created inferences about my family and me. After sorting through the trash the class discussed what the items said about me. It was fun to listen to the students come up with ideas of what everything told them.

Day 2 - We watched a great short film called Pigeon Impossible. It is really funny and has lots of opportunities to pause and infer. The kids loved it and everyone had their hands up to answer questions. These are some of the questions I asked: What is the man's profession? What is the setting? What might happen? As you watch the video you will see many other questions you can ask. 

Day 3, 4 & 5 - We looked at cartoons that have one empty thought or speech bubble and inferred what we said or thought. After discussing, inferring and using background knowledge for two days each student created their own comic strip. 

Cartoons - I only used the cartoon pages. 

Week 2 - The second week we read mysteries and inferred the answer. This was a short week for us so we did not have a full week of lessons. 

After all the different way that we practiced inferring my students had a better understanding of inferring than any class before. YAY!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Inferencing Lessons - 5th Grade

We have had lots of fun learning about inferencing. For two weeks we talked about an practiced infering with books, videos and real life situations. 

Day 1 - To start our lesson we watched a great pod cast from a class on inferencing. Check it out!

After watching the video we looked through a packed suitcase to make inferences about the person the suitcase belongs to and where they went. I packed a suitcase with a few of my husbands things as if he was going to a baseball game. I would show the class 2 or 3 items and then let them discuss with their group.

Day 2 - We watched a great video called Pigeon Impossible. It is really funny and has lots of opportunities to pause and infer. The kids loved it and everyone had their hands up to answer questions. These are some of the questions I asked: What is the man's profession? What is the setting? What might happen?As you watch the video you will see many other questions you can ask.

Day 3 - Crime Scene

This was my favorite day!! It was so much fun! Check of the post I made about our crime scene

Day 4 and 5 - Riddles 

We read a few different riddles and then students created their own riddles. For my higher students I had them write a riddle about something that is not physical; wind, love, etc. Each riddle included 4 clues and the answer. 

Week 2

We read poems and discussed how to infer what is happening. I used kids poems and poems by Robert Frost. We also read a mystery and discussed the clues that help us infer what will happen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Biography Reports

5th Grade Biography Report
Our projects on display in the library.
This year I switched up the biography project for my 5th graders, they made gift boxes. I found the idea online but can't remember or find the site. Everyone picked a person that they would like to research, the only limitations is that there must be a book on their level about that person in our library. Our library has a great selection of biography books so the kids were able to find a book easily for this project.

After completing the research they began working on the shoebox. The students wrapped a shoe box and made 4 gifts for the person they researched based on what the person would like or want. I LOVE, LOVE how they turned out. The students were so creative with their gifts. Check out the projects below.  Biography Gift Box Project

Leonardo Da Vinci - copy of Mona Lisa, paint, paint brush

Amelia Earhart - pontoon boat, GPS, Iphone, and parachute

Martin Luther King Jr - bus, picture of 'I have a dream' speech, peace necklace, cross

Benjamin Franklin - American flag, kite, calendar, American history book

4th Grade Biography Report

My 4th graders also just completed their biography reports, I LOVE this project. It is so much fun and the kids are able to really show their creativity and personality. Everyone picks a person that they would like to research and a book that is on their level about that person. After reading their book the students then complete the written portion of the project.The report is done in a file folder.  

The best part is the project are the presentations! I am kicking my self for not taking pictures of the AWESOME outfits my students wore :( 

Theodore Roosevelt

Jerry Rice

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Classroom Crime Scene

I am super excited about the lessons on inferring that I taught my 5th graders today!!! It is so much fun when we can do something different that really gets the kids thinking. 

Above is what my 5th graders found when they came to class in the afternoon. I walked them to class and when we reached the door they all started asking questions, most asked if someone had died. LOL! My only instructions before we went in was 'this is a crime scene so you should not touch anything'. This is what they found.

After the students came in they took a few minutes to just look at everything. Then they create two columns on their paper, Clues and Meaning. They then wrote down everything that was out of the ordinary for the area of the crime and what it might mean.

I reminded the students that they had to use their background knowledge of the room and the clues given to understand what happened and why. 

*There was a missing round chair that only two students noticed. Which was funny to me because the chair I removed is their favorite of the comfy chairs. 

The students had tons of ideas of what happened, how and why. After we talked about the scene of the crime and what they inferred we then looked closer at each clue.

When we looked closer we saw the magazine was a gaming magazine and that the receipt was from Game Stop. We also talked about the missing chair that some of the students had not noticed. When we put these final three clues they all known what had happened and why. It was fun to watch the kids put everything together and figure out the crime. Below are the details of our classroom crime. :)

Crime Scene: 
- one of the reading chairs was removed
- chair turned over
- snack and drink left on table (empty Pringles can and a half empty soda)
- open gaming magazine
- crumpled up receipt from Game Stop on floor
- Target bag with extra snack and drink left on another chair

What happened? 
Someone came into the room and ate a snack while reading their gaming magazine. They stole the chair and left behind their extra snacks and the receipt was from Game Stop. We inferred that the person had bought snacks to have while playing games and stole our comfy chair to sit in while playing games.


I have to thank my husband for the crime. I racked my brain and could not figure out what to do, but he came up with the whole crime.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Explorers and Compare & Contrast

In my 5th grade class we have just completed our study of explorers. The students completed a project where they each studied an explorer and presented the information to the class. We used our information about the explorers with our compare and contrast lessons. 

Compare and Contrast

I broke compare and contrast into two weeks, one week for non-fiction and one week for fiction. The first week we compared and contrasted non-fiction we discussed Christopher Columbus and Ponce De Leon for two days and then Sailors and Pirates for two days. 

After reading the article about Christopher Columbus and Ponce De Leon we discussed how they were alike and different. The students took notes as they read to help them with easily finding information. The students then worked with a partner to write down three other ways that they were alike and different. They wrote their answers on sticky notes and then posted them on the board. 

The students also recorded information on a Venn Diagram worksheet. We then wrote together as a class a paragraph explaining how the explorers were alike and different. I gave each student a Compare & Contrast list of words to use when writing. As we read the articles and discussed how the Christopher Columbus and Ponce De Leon were alike and different I also discussed with the students why they were important explorers. This was actually a two day lesson because of all the discussion that went on. It always amazes me how many questions students have when we learn about American History. 

On Thursday and Friday (we were out of school on Wednesday) we compared and contrasted life at sea for Pirates and Sailors. We followed the same format the students read the articles taking notes as they read, complete the Venn Diagram, and wrote a paragraph discussing the differences and similarities. The students loved reading about pirates, they are my favorite too! After reading each article I asked the students if they would be a sailor or pirate. It was fun to hear their thoughts.

Explorers Project

Each student picked an explorer to study, created a mini poster and gave a presentation to the class.The project directions are found at this link, Explorer Project. Check out the students projects below.
Students researching their explorer.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Comparing Cinderella Stories

I love using classic stories like Cinderella in a new way when I teach. This past week in my 4th grade class we discussed compare and contrast with fictional stories. The class read Rough Faced Girl by Rafe Martin and Smoky Mountain Rose by Alan Schroeder. After reading each book we discussed the setting and how the location affected the story. (Smoky Mountain Rose is written in a very heavy Appalachian Mountain dialect.) 

We created a character trait list for each of the main characters. Then, the students completed a story map for each story and discussed how the stories were different from each other and the original Cinderella.

Instead of a Venn Diagram worksheet we created Venn Diagrams out of paper plates. The students loved this and it looks much better than a worksheet. :) 

The students also wrote a paragraph comparing and contrasting the two stories. The students used a worksheet with a list of words for comparing and contrasting: Words Used to Compare and Contrast.