Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Knots on a Counting Rope

I found an amazing story called Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr. If you have never read this book it is wonderful story about a Native American boy who ask his grandfather to tell the story of when he was born. There is symbolism and theme all throughout. I love the story and wish I had found it years ago. It is a 5th grade Common Core book. 

I did so many things with this book! 

First I read the book aloud but did not show the pictures. Then I gave copies the story text only, no pictures, to the students. They created list of character traits for the grandfather and Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses. The students used their story text to find proof from the story to support each character trait. 

On day two the we discussed the mood of the story when the boy was born and when the boy raced for the first time. Again students used the story text to find proof for the mood of the story. This was a great conversation! On day three we discussed the theme of the story.

Day four was the best day! The students had not seen the pictures from the story at this point. The students had discussed the book so much they were very excited to see the pictures and story. We watched a read aloud on YouTube, Knots on a Counting Rope. After watching the read aloud the students realized that Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses is blind. A few of my students had caught on to this earlier in the week but we did not discuss it until now. The students looked for clues in the text that showed that he was blind. 

Our week was cut short because of county testing or we would of spent another day on this. :(

This has been my FAVORITE lesson with 5th grade this year! It was so much fun to read this book and spend so much time digging deep into a book.

Cereal Box Book Report

One of my favorite book reports my students complete is the cereal box book report. This report allows the students to be creative with their report. The directions are of the Cereal Box Book Report are on my Google drive. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five For Friday

This is my first Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

1. After several busy weeks and not being able to post on my blog I have been able to post 4, YES 4 new post!

2. We started the week with 5th grades American Revolution Trading Card Day. It was fun to watch the kids trade and bargain for different cards. Some student loved their cards so much they were VERY particular or would not trade at all. I loved watching them take so much pride in what they created.

3. My 5th graders are in the middle of studying the American Revolution. After looking at and discussing political cartoons from that time period the students created their own political cartoon. Check out my post on this activity. 

4. My 4th graders completed their cause and effect paragraphs for the story A Bad Case of Stripes

5. Today my daughter and I took our first train ride. It was the birthday of my friend's son, we took a train ride on a real Amtrak train. It was so much fun!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cause and Effect with A Bad Case of Stripes

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon is my favorite picture book! I love this story! Anytime I can use this book with my students I do :) We just finished studying cause and effect and learning to write out cause and effect paragraphs. We first watched a GREAT read aloud for the book from storylineonline.net. If you have not seen this site you should check it out. They have read alouds for many different books. After listening to A Bad Case of Stripes the students wrote a summary using cause and effects words. The students then colored Camilla Cream's face and posted their writing. The idea came from the site Mrs. Heeren's Happenings.

Political Cartoons

The hand represents the 13 colonies.

We have been talking about the causes of the American Revolution for the last few weeks. This unit is stretching out longer than I planned. The kids love it and we are having fun learning about the American Revolution so it is ok if we take a few extra weeks. 

After talking about the Boston Tea Party we begin talking about political cartoons from the time of the American Revolution. We talked about how they were used to spread a message to other colonist. My students then created their own political cartoons about the Boston Tea Party. 

The flames are labeled for each of the colonies.

The small fish to the left of the net are labeled as different colonies.

The only requirements that I gave the students were they they could not draw a picture of what actually happen at the Boston Tea Party. I must say that they fought me on this, it took A LOT of encouraging and A LOT of re-dos. They did not think they were creative enough and that it was to abstract. Let me just say that I have some VERY creative kids that can DEFINITELY think outside the box. I love those moments when you push the kids and they are able to be really creative. 

The hands represent the colonist.

Monday, February 11, 2013

American Revolution Trading Card Day!!

Today was our trading card day! Some of the students were very firm that they would not trade their cards but once the students started trading the cards they began joining in the fun. We had three classes meet in the library and it was fun to watch the students interact. There were students that treated the trading like a business and did a great job. The trading card directions, parent letter and template are found here on a previous post.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Field Trip Day!

Today we went to the Student Museum. I love this trip. The museum is actually in the school that was built in 1902 in our town. The students were able to learn the history of the building, schools in our town plus visit the rooms. Each room has a grad student from UCF dress in time period costumes as a tour guide.

There is a Native American village in one room. The room has huts, a cannon and lots of hands on artifacts.

The second room was the pioneer room. There is a real log cabin with all the things found in and around a cabin.

The last room is the classroom from 1902. The students are expected to follow strict rules and get a change to see what class was like.

This trip is so much fun and the students learned so much about Florida history. Warning lots of pictures below ;)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

American Revolution - Trading Cards

This year we tried a new project for the American Revolution, trading cards. That is right, just like baseball cards but each card is focused on one topic from the American Revolution. Each student was given 6 cards and a few directions to go with the cards. The parent letter, directions and template is below. After the cards were turned they were laminated and graded. I think they turned out great! 

We will have trading card day next week. The fifth graders will meet in the library and the students will be able to trade cards. I am looking froward to that but couldn't wait to post. Once we our trading day I will post pictures.