Monday, January 12, 2015

Now I Understand.... and Animal Dioramas...Two Thumbs WAY Up!!!

It really is true, now I understand why some of my favorite blogs will seem to just drop out of sight. Now I'm not saying I'm anyone's favorite blog, but I did drop from sight for almost three months, how is that even possible?

I really think the answer at least for me lies in my school and job change. I can't say that I am working so much harder because my lesson plans are a breeze at my new school. ;) I think changing schools after being at the same school for 20 years had more of an effect on me than I thought it would. I went from a school where almost all of the parents and students knew me to being a virtual unknown. This may sound crazy, but that has been much more difficult to deal with than I thought it would be. At times I have felt like a first year teacher. There will be things I didn't know, no one told me and I didn't know to ask. I really need to write those things down to pass along to others new to the school.

Now I am half way through the year and I feel like I have built some pretty good relationships with the students. I had one student tell me I was her favorite teacher because we didn't ever do any work in my class. :O I didn't know whether to take it as a compliment that I've made learning fun or go home and look for some harder things for them to do. That has been one of my biggest worries since moving to 3rd. I have been afraid I would be too easy on them, the only thing is, they seriously seem more immature than my first graders. I have had to go back and do things with them like I would have in first grade. For example, I just assumed that 3rd graders would be able to find the next blank page in their agenda without clipping it...WRONG. So I have had to take a step back with them and get them on the right track and I am happy to say that most of them find the correct page with or without the clip! PROGRESS!

The students just finished up making oral presentations on their animal reports and dioramas. I used Samantha Almaguer's Animal Diorama and Research Report Project Pack. It made my job so easy, there were sample dioramas to show the students, rubrics to send home with the them and another set for me to use for grading. The report was simple and easy for them to fill out, she also had a page they could use to do their oral presentation. It was definitely worth the money and it saved me so much time. The boys and girls were so excited to do them. I wasn't sure what to expect, I never sent
 home any projects for the kids  to complete at my old school. It was interesting to see which kids did the diorama completely by themselves and which looked to be completely done by a parent. LOL Here they are some of them,   It was hard to decide which ones to post, so I posted way more than I should have. SORRY. 

While they were giving their oral presentations, I had the other students take notes. They were supposed to write the student's name, the animal, what class of animal. one interesting fact and a nice comment. I'll be honest they didn't all get everything down, but I think it did help to keep them paying attention. Here are a few of the nice comments:
"Her speech has very interesting facts."
"I like the way you spoke clearly."
"I like how she read it loud and proud."
"Amazing presentation."
"I thought your diorama was outstanding."
"I like the placement of the scuba diver."
"Anthony amazed me with his animal."
"His box was really, really creative and it looks real."
"His diorama was very educational."
\"That was an interesting fact, I did not know about the heart disease."

All in all it has been a great project! I will definitely do this one again next year!

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  1. I've missed you!
    Love the dioramas! They turned out great. Very impressive!

  2. Your dioramas are fabulous!
    I know how you feel about being at a new school ... this is my second year at a new one and I'm feeling much more comfortable. But last year I felt like I was in this perpetual daze!