Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cute Clips = Copy Organization

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for new strategies for organization...

Recently, I found these cute clips at Lakeshore.  They have really helped me keep my papers organized!  It's hard to tell with the glare, but the collection includes:  Reading, Language, Math, Science, Social Studies and Homework.

I run off the papers in the office and clip them with the "subject specific" clips.  This way, when I get back to my classroom, there is limited thinking necessary when I need to put the papers in the right bin, box or pile.

They are labeled on the front, back and sides, so no matter which way you look at them, they still show the label.

Sometimes it is the littlest thing that makes my heart happy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blog Roll Help?

Has anyone dealt with this glitch before...

Although I have posted something new... my "appearance" on my Bloggy Friends' blog roll won't update...Blog rolls are still linking to LAST week's (10/14/11) post... and let's face it, those paper plates just weren't that interesting!

Okay, maybe this week's discussion on parts of speech (10/21/11) wasn't exactly earth-shattering either.. but at least picnic-ware was not involved.

Since my postings are not updating, it looks like I have stepped away from my Blog Post.  And few people are stopping by to say Hi--although I am so THANKFUL to my pals who did visit.

So... I am not complaining, I just wanted to know if anyone has experienced this--and fixed it. 
I have looked at lots of Internet listings that say it is happening to others... but no one has reported a fix-up strategy--that worked.

Okay.  Enough techno-talk.  Just to prove I appreciate that you have read (or at least skimmed)  twelve lines to get this point, here's a secret:  Check back soon for a giveaway...  

I'll be celebrating YOU!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Week Ending October 21st: Parts of Speech Pick Up

I've heard it said:  If you want something done, ask a busy person.  And a busy week it was!  Between running Student Council elections, chairing Red Ribbon Week, and serving as PTA Membership chair, it was non-stop chaos fun!  Oh, and there was teaching too!!

Yes, if you want something done, ask a busy person.  Just don't expect her to get everything done perfectly or exactly on time!  (Ahhh, the [expensive] miracle of RUSH shipping!  Who knew the shipping would be more expensive than the red ribbons!)  

So, now that everything is almost ready and/or finished, I have had a chance to reflect on the week that flew by...

We had a particularly good time with an activity called "Parts of Speech Pick Up." It's a lot like "Mad Libs," but there is movement involved....

My tables are arranged in groups that seat six.  At five of the six chairs, I put a page of words/phrases.  At the sixth chair, I set out two sets because I needed seven parts of speech for this activity (Think ahead, next time, perhaps!)

Students were given a collection sheet.  I told them that I would ring a bell to signal a move to the next chair--and that we would move clockwise (an all-but-forgotten word in the age of digital time telling, I quickly learned!) from chair to chair.

For the past two weeks, we  have been generating and charting lists of words for each part of speech, so the lists we used for this activity were comprised of kid-generated words.

At each stop, the students would look over the collection of words and phrases on the page and then choose the one that they liked best.  This word/phrase was written on the line on their "collection form" that matched the part of speech displayed.

prepositional phrases (time)
Saturday afternoon
just after midnight
last summer
one day in July
in the morning
at 2 am
when I was five
as the sun set
when the school bell rang
in 2009

prepositional phrases (place)
in the park
on the playground
at Target
on stage
on the corner
at Disneyland
in New York City
in Australia
in the forest
in the middle of the ocean



common nouns
soccer coach
basketball player

Proper Nouns
Lady Gaga
President Obama
Peyton Manning
Sponge Bob
Justin Timberlake
Kobe Bryant
Kit Kat bar

ran/ran away

Every time I rang the bell, the students moved around the table to a new seat and added a word to their collection.  Once they had moved six times, their page was full.  This meant it was time to craft a sentence...

We decided in advance that verb tenses could be changed to meet the needs of the sentence, that nouns could be made plural, and that articles could be added as necessary.

It was blissfully quiet, punctuated by giggles.  (I was so sorry I didn't video this lesson!) 

We use class cards to select who will share, and kids' eyes were riveted on the deck to see who would be chosen next.  (I love this strategy, by the way.  It eliminates all that hand-waving...).

We could have gone on for an hour.  Most of the sentences were mildly silly, but that was just what we needed on a Friday afternoon.  And almost every sentence shared was detailed and grammatically correct!  Further, I was genuinely surprised (and delighted) by the variety of ways in which they arranged words and phrases.  Each sentence was unique and varied in vocabulary and word/part of speech order.

It was fun to laugh together, and this lesson ended our hectic week with a warm,"together" feeling. 

Two of my personal favorites were:

On the playground, Payton Manning awkwardly tackled the melancholy principal when the school bell rang.

Just past midnight, Lady GaGa suddenly kissed a joyful whale in the middle of the ocean.

Our pages had 20 choices, but I used a truncated version to shorten the post. I included a link, but it would probably be easier (and better) to create your own, using words that your students generate.. Nonetheless, here's the link.

I am sure that every BlogFriend that reads this post is a BUSY person with an endless To Do list. Enjoy the weekend. You've deserved it!

Click the "Peek in My Planbook" picture up above to link back to the party!