February 18, 2014

Tried It Tuesday... Crafting Connections Collaborative Project

I've been waiting for a long time to be able to share this special post; however, due to that polar vortex and persistent bad weather that caused us to miss eleven twelve days of school (we are off again today) I had to wait and wait and wait... FINALLY it's time and what a perfect time! I am able to link up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for...

This week (actually it took three weeks) I'm sharing a special collaborative craftivity project that I tried with Deb from Crafting Connections. Although this wasn't the first craftivity that I have completed with my students, it is the first collaborative craftivity project and the means by which I was introduced to these fun and engaging classroom projects. I blogged about my introduction to craftivities and to Deb in THIS POST a few weeks ago, and I blogged about using craftivities HERE and HERE, so I won't go into all the details.

Last summer Deb invited bloggers to join her in a collaborative project that she calls "Classroom Tested/Teacher and Student Approved"  wherein volunteers would test-drive her craftivities. Deb would send the volunteers one of her craftivity products to use in his/her classroom. After trying it, the volunteers would blog about the experience. I jumped at the chance and agreed to test drive her genre craftivity.

I had planned to do this during December, just before the launch of Literature Circles after Christmas break. However, my plans did not work out. There were too many interruptions, chief among them the Christmas program and the beginning of the bad weather. We actually missed a couple of days due to bad weather prior to Christmas.

I then decided to use the genre craftivity as an introductory lesson for my student teacher who started with us right after break. We did all the prep work and then.... the polar vortex. This craftivity lesson seemed to be doomed! But persistence paid off and we were able to finally complete the project early last week. Even with all the interruptions and delays, my fifth graders never lost interest! They learned the characteristics of the major genre and had a great time creating an attractive craft item.  Deb even includes a summative assessment piece to help track student learning accountability.

The following video captures my students' and student teacher's excitement, during both the learning activity and the craft.

Even though the craftivity was finally completed, the genre lesson was not. The students still needed a bit more practice with the material they had learned due to all the interruptions before they could successfully complete the summative assessment so I made a ZAP! game to help them review some of the fictional genre. ZAP! is the favorite classroom game of all of my students and a go-to review activity for me.

Here you see Ms. Murphy leading the fifth graders through the ZAP! game.

There was still one more practice activity before the students were going to complete the genre assessment. Deb also created an I Have, Who Has activity for genre.

I asked Ms. Murphy to do this activity with the fifth graders. This was a brand new concept for them so it was slow going at first. The kiddos actually asked to do it a second and third time, exchanging cards each time, so that they could practice a bit more.

After completing the craftivity, the ZAP! game, and the I Have, Who Has? the fifth graders were well-prepared and understood the various genre.  I am happy and proud to say that they performed extremely well on their assessment!!!

I am also happy to say that I am extremely addicted to craftivities, especially Deb's. 
Would you like to give one of Deb's craftivities a try? I guarantee you'll become addicted, too!

As part of her "Classroom Tested/ Student and Teacher Approved" series, Deb holds a giveaway for the specific craftivity featured. You can visit Crafting Connections to enter and read more about this fun craftivity. However, she is allowing me to offer the giveaway for her genre craftivity RIGHT HERE on my blog as well, AND she invited me to include my Fiction Genre ZAP! (or your choice of any other single ZAP! game) as well. WOOT! WOOT! THANKS, Deb! Good luck, everyone!

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Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6


  1. This looks like a great bunch of activities to help your students get better with the different genres. Thank you for sharing!
    On the Trail of Learning

    1. You're very welcome, Kay! Blogging has been so much fun and quite rewarding for me. I've met some of the nicest people via The Teacher's Desk 6 and blogs that I visit. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a warm message on this cold, wintry day!

  2. Thank you for sharing this fun activity, and thank you for the giveaway!

    Fit to be Fourth

  3. I'm not sure why but the word craftivity scares me! Your post makes it seem so manageable and fun! I loved the video. I need to check out Crafting Connections and explore ways I can use these activities in my classroom. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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