Wednesday, May 27, 2015

 Testing Incentives and Teacher Appreciation...A Month Late

I think every post I make in the next few weeks will say, "A Month Late". I'm not sure why I have had so many problems making posts this year. My lessons plans are easy and they are only for two subjects since we are departmentalized, so I'm not sure what is going on.

I was a little disappointed that no one made any posters for the 3rd  graders to encourage them as they tested so my class and I made some the first day of testing.

We made one for each of the third grade classes and put the students names on the posters.




We had all of the 3rd graders sign this poster.



OK now to Teacher Appreciation. This year I wanted to try and reach out to those teachers that sometimes get left out during Teacher Appreciation Week. I have a good friend who is a SPED teacher and another that is a Title 1 Reading Teacher and they seldom receive anything. So I decided I would do what I could to make sure the teachers received some appreciation from at least my students. 

I made good use of the afternoons after my class finished testing. We made our Mother's Day cards, cards for the Secretary's Day and posters for those special teachers. 

This is the poster we made for the Title 1 Reading Teacher. My kids all knew her because she is also runs a book club that a lot of them go to and she is the one in charge of the AR challenges. Each of the students put their favorite book on the poster with a nice note to the teacher inside.
I got this idea from this pin.

This one was for our PE teacher, the kids were supposed to draw their 
favorite activity and the write her a note on the drawing.

 Next up the music teacher.

This one was for the librarian.
I had a the students who went to speech, gifted, and sped make 
smaller cards or posters for those teachers.

I thought I was finished, but no the kids wanted to make one for the 
reading teacher, math teacher, principal and counselor.


Mine look much different, 
but I got my idea from this pin. 


Here's a couple of things we made for Delaney's teachers.




I hope everyone felt appreciated!







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Saturday, April 4, 2015

 My E & I Art Class

I believe I have told you that we have a thirty minute session 3 days a week for students who are working below grade level to get Intervention ( the I of E & I) and the kids who are on level get to go to "E" or enrichment classes. 


This past nine weeks, I did an art class. It was a lot of fun, I had 24, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders so the ability levels varied greatly. I am not an art teacher so I looked at some great art teacher blogs to get some ideas. Since we were only in class for 30 minutes, I had to make some adjustments to the original projects. The students loved the class, I mean what was not to love they got to sit and talk while they drew and colored using smelly markers, sharpies and colored pencils! :D

For our first project, I combined two lessons the first one can be found here
As you can see this one is pretty simple and straight forward so I decided to take some ideas from this project.

Since we were on a tight schedule, I had them write their first initial instead of their names like the top picture and then to add a little pizazz they used sharpies markers and made zentangle drawings in the blank spaces.and then added some color. Here are a few of their designs.














One of the other projects I also combined two ideas. I had seen this one that I thought would be great for Valentines Day. It's called fractured hearts. The kids made their designs and then cut it into fourths. They kept one piece and traded the other three squares with classmates to make their heart complete again. I had three small tubs that I had the students put their give away ones in and then once all or most of the pieces were in I let them come up and select one out of each tub...I didn't want them only trading with their friends and grade level.
I overplanned for Valentines so I changed it up a bit after seeing this project. In this project each child only made one fourth of the circle. I decided I would make a page for them to color and already have the lines where they needed to cut.
Here is a link to the page I made, if you are interested.


Here are some of the ones the kids made.




I did this project with my class, but I skipped using two pieces of construction paper, I think I liked them better, here are a few.




I'll share some more later. :)


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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

 Charting and Graphing Success

My school was having a school wide AR Challenge. The students were trying to meet their individual point goal (based on STAR Testing) while keeping their test average at 85% or above and reading on their assigned grade (based on STAR Testing). As the students met all three goals their name went on a wall under their teacher's name. The class that had the highest average of students meeting their goal would get the privilege of claiming a giant trophy that will travel around to the different winners. 

My class decided that they wanted that trophy. They were reading books like crazy. They would come in from math and take tests before going to activity. Some of the kids thought that if they got more and more points it would help us win. One got himself in trouble, because he kept taking tests and ended up off the board because his average went below 85%...OOPS! Fortunately, he was able to get back on the board!

Here is a Venn Diagram I made to chart their progress, it's a little sloppy, I kept thinking I would make a nicer one, but that never happened. I cut the sticky part off of small post-it notes to put the kids names on so I could move them to show their progress. Once I explained the chart to them, they knew exactly where they needed to be. I also had a small chart that I would write their names down so they could see what our percentage.



All I can say is we totally beat the competition. Sixteen out of twenty-four that got their name on the board...67% of the class!!! It was cool to see some of my lowest readers hit their goals and feel so proud of themselves. Plus all of them were cheering each other, which hasn't happened much in my class this year. :( I also gave them the incentive of a pizza party for all that met their goal. ;) They were so excited and proud they could hardly contain themselves.





















I don't know if it has made much of difference in other classes, but it sure has in mine! the new challenge started on Feb. 27. Even with some snow days and Spring Break, we have thirteen that have already met their goals and several more really close! The principal overheard one of my stinkers, who doesn't really put forth his best effort, tell one the fifth graders that they would not beat us in the next competition! LOL I have a little boy who is a really low reader and he missed about three months of school because he was kidnapped by his mother. Fortunately, he and his brother are back safe and sound. During the first challenge, he wouldn't take any tests, I offered to read with him or assist him with the tests, but he just wouldn't do it. Some happened last week, all of the sudden he decided to try and meet his goal...he made it!!! I feel like that is a victory in of itself!

So my friend liked my Venn diagram and asked if I minded if she copied it, I of course said no. I wish I had a picture of hers, she took her time and it is absolutely beautiful. After seeing hers, I just couldn't stand looking at mine ( LOL) so I decided to make something different. So I thought I would make a mountain and draw some vertical lines to divided the mountain into three sections. the middle are the kids reading on grade level and testing at 85% or above. the left side are kids reading on grade level but their average is low and the right side are the kids testing at 85% or above, but not on grade level. Anyway, again I rushed through making it late one night and I didn't think it really looked like a mountain. That was confirmed when a 4th grader saw it and said, "I like your volcano." So now it is a volcano. LOL I also made a chart keeping track of how many 100s are made each day and another one keeping track of chapter books being tested on and passed. A lot of kids in my class read chapter books but some are way above their reading level and they have trouble passing the tests, so I have been encouraging them to read ones on their level. Here are my charts.
One of the kids asked me what the green meant, I told him it was grass and the students that were in the grass haven't taken any tests...the girl that was in the grass took three tests that day! HA!



We are doing so well this time, the class now wants 100% to meet the goal. We may just make it.

Happy Reading!


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