Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kevin Henkes, STEM, and Wonderful Writing

WARNING:  A lot of randomness!
I have been spending so much time planning and organizing for the combo class, that I have not been doing any creating of my own.  (What did we do before TPT?!?!?!)  That being said, here is what we have been up to!

We finished up our Kevin Henkes Author Study.  I used Hollie Griffith's unit.  It was great! Click the picture below for the link.

The "What Do Good Readers Do" reading strategies are fantastic!  (I don't have a picture of our anchor is still in progress!)

The unit has differentiated response pages for each activity....perfect for my combo class.  I can teach a whole group lesson and then give each grade level a different activity as a follow up!   (FYI, this differentiation was great for the parents to see at Open House this week!)
Text To World is tough for the little guys!  Most made a connection to something they saw on the news that worried them.  (Shark bites were most popular...our school is a block away from the ocean.  I have to agree with them!)  
The comparison paper in the unit is great, but didn't quite fit the needs of my group, so this is something similar I created based on Hollie's.  
STEM--Spaghetti Tower Challenge
We have been using marshmallows for our science inquiry and investigation the last couple of weeks.  This tied in perfectly!
Students were given 7 minutes to plan and then 20 minutes to create!
After construction was complete, we compared and measured.  Then we went back and wrote about how we could improve our designs.  They did great!

Wonderful Writing! 
I refuse to spend our writing time spelling words for my students.  (Don't judge, I promise I let them know and keep reminding them of this in a kind way!)  I teach them to use their resources.  I LOVE that they were doing this without any reminders from me on Friday.....the 23rd day of school, Lol! Students are free to get up to get whatever resource they need.  
Students use our portable word walls that are kept at each table.  They can use familiar books from around our room.  They can look at anchor charts that are hanging around the classroom.

This year our school is using a writing program called Being a Writer.  So far, so good!  This week we worked on Silly Stories.  They are still in progress and I know it is not a complete sentence, but I love "Everybody was mindin their own business".  

Daily 3 is up and running smoothly!  WooHoo!

Here is a sneak preview of how it runs in my classroom....future post!


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