January 18, 2014

Six for Saturday and a SNOW Freebie

Well, I missed it again... Friday! I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for her weekly Five for Friday(Saturday) linky party!

This week I missed Friday for a good reason. I was really busy all week, a fun busy. I was working with my student teacher, Ms. Murphy. I first introduced her last week in this blog post. Most of my free time/planning time is now spent with her, talking over what I do/did, completing forms, planning her activities, etc. All of my students are really enjoying having her join us and are very motivated to help her learn to become a good teacher. I just love it! And her! So I'm also linking up with my blogging friend Joanne for her weekly Spark Student Motivation linky party.

Here you see Ms. Murphy presenting a two day lesson to our eighth graders. I asked her to introduce a non-fiction text to the students.

Her lesson centered around an article taken from K12Reader, a fantastic source of FREE reading/language arts materials for parents and teachers. The article was about cell phone usage by students in school and presented the pro's and con's. The kiddos were REALLY motivated by this topic since it is near and dear to their hearts. Ms. Murphy had a wonderful discussion with the students and structured her lesson to include whole group, small group, and individual activities. She provided follow-up with a writing prompt and concluded with a comprehension quiz (provided with the article). For a first time working with eighth grade English, she did a TERRIFIC job!

My sixers were really motivated this past week while we were studying the scientific method. I used two freebies that I found on TpT to help me. The first was a foldable and explanatory text offered by More Time 2 Teach and the second a water drop/coin experiment offered by Making It Teacher. My sixers were engaged and "silent" as they worked through the steps of the activity, truly self-motivated.

I was also very busy this week completing grades from the second quarter of the school year. EGADS! The year is half over!!!! I closed the books on the second quarter, finalized grades, and input all the necessary data in our online grading system. Report cards go out Tuesday morning. The secretaries were staying a little later on Friday to run the cards, put them in envelopes, and ready them for the mail on Tuesday (no mail on Monday due to MLK, Jr. Day).

Speaking of holidays... I was also quite busy this week making some new ZAP! games and literacy centers for upcoming holidays and special days. My kiddos love playing this fun, fast paced game that helps them practice rather ho-hum language arts skills. Even my eighth graders enjoy ZAP!

For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day...  Identifying Sentences, Fragments, and Run-ons.

For Groundhog Day... Principal Parts of Irregular Verbs

For Valentine's Day... Red Hot Synonym Hearts (a literacy center)

For Presidents' Day/George Washington's Birthday... Identifying Independent and Dependent Clauses

There are MANY more ZAP! games available in my TpT Store. There are even a few Math ZAP! games. Stop by and check them all out. Maybe there's one perfect for you and your students.

Finally, an update on the girls. It's been a bit more quiet in the house, a little less tension filled. Daisy occasionally chases Lulie, and Lulie still occasionally growls at Daisy, but they do manage to coexist in the same room. I did have to lose my cool with Daisy. She repeatedly was chasing Lulie up the stairs earlier in the week. I finally couldn't stand her bullying anymore so I actually chased her all over the house, yelling at her at the top of my lungs. What was I thinking! It's a good thing that it's winter and the doors and windows are closed. My neighbors would've thought I had lost my mind. Whatever... the outcome is that Daisy now totally ignores Lulie. It's like the little one doesn't exist... sigh. I've tried all week to get them in a photo together... double sigh. Will they ever get along?

One last item before I go... Maybe this should've been SIX for SATURDAY instead of Five for Friday. LOL! One of my blogging resolutions was to make sure I included more freebies with my posts. Like many of you I've been using some fun snow themed books in my Language Arts classes to teach skills and develop lessons. One of the books that I used with my fifth graders recently was "The Snow Globe Family" by Jane O'Connor, a cute story about two families who live a parallel life, one outside the snow globe and one inside.
As part of the lesson I had my fifth graders complete these four foldables for their notebook. I introduced the term "synopsis" as they continued working with "theme" which I introduced in December. After coloring the flaps and gluing them in order in their notebooks, they responded to the topic on the flap by PQA'ing... putting the question in their answers, writing in complete sentences, and citing something from the text to support their answer. Perhaps you might like to use these for your interactive notebooks as you read some snow stories. Just click HERE or on the pic for your copy.

Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6

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