September 29, 2015

Tuesday Writing PaWs: Let the Fall Topics Continue

One of the best parts of the original Paragraph a Week program was that all of us teachers who were collaborating on the topics back in the 90's had a wealth of enthusiasm which lead to a plethora of ideas. Seasonal topics were among the most popular and populous, fall being a particular favorite. Last week's Writing PaWs set the stage for a mini-series of topics all centered on the season of fall. The next four to five weeks of the Tuesday Writing PaWs will continue with fall related topics.

This week you can download a PaW topic information sheet about Making Sense of an Apple HERE which will help your students write a five paragraph essay.


Other PaW (Paragraph a Week) FREEBIES currently available can be downloaded below. This list is arranged in no particular manner and contains single and multi-paragraph topics.

Leprechauns
Earth Day
Mother's Day
Finish the Phrase
Nice
National Pencil Month
Favorite Valentine Memory
Bird's Eye View of Spring
Abe and George
Journey of a Snowflake
Color
A Tribute to Johnny Appleseed
School Uniforms
Chocolate Rain
Good Substitute Teacher
Favorite Relative
Allowance
Best Teacher
Signs of Fall



September 27, 2015

Sunday Scoop 9.27.15

The weeks just seem to be speeding by. I can hardly believe that it is already another Sunday, time to join the Teaching Trio for...


Here's my scoop for this week.

 
 
What have you got planned for this Sunday? Join the Teaching Trio and me to share your Sunday Scoop.


September 23, 2015

Buddies Learn about the Pope's Visit to America

My kiddos are so excited about the Pope's visit to the United States! On Tuesday we met with our second grade buddies to help them learn more about this historical event. We used Catholic Cutie's FREE (for a limited time) pack designed just for this occasion. The buddies read a nonfiction article, answered questions, and created an illustration of the papal parade. The only negative of the whole
activity was that we didn't have enough time together!



September 22, 2015

Tuesday Writing PaWs Returns with Signs of Fall

FINALLY, The Tuesday Writing PaWs returns. I promised its return in late August so I apologize to all of you who have been waiting patiently for your weekly dose of writing topic. If you are unfamiliar with The Tuesday Writing PaWs, you can visit this blog post that tells a little about Paragraph a Week (PaW).

This week's PaWs is quite timely since yesterday was the first day of autumn. You can download the FREE topic instruction sheet HERE to use with your students.


Other PaW (Paragraph a Week) FREEBIES currently available can be downloaded below. This list is arranged in no particular manner and contains single and multi-paragraph topics.

Leprechauns
Earth Day
Mother's Day
Finish the Phrase
Nice
National Pencil Month
Favorite Valentine Memory
Bird's Eye View of Spring
Abe and George
Journey of a Snowflake
Color
A Tribute to Johnny Appleseed
School Uniforms
Chocolate Rain
Good Substitute Teacher
Favorite Relative
Allowance
Best Teacher




September 20, 2015

Sunday Scoop 9.20.15

I've been incognito for some time, busily teaching and even camping (check out yesterday's blog post), but I'm ready to jump in and join the Teaching Trio for...


Here's my scoop for this Sunday:


Since the first day of autumn FALLS in a few days, here's a little FREEBIE just for you. Just click HERE to download a set of brag tags that you can share with your kiddos to help them celebrate the first day of fall.




September 19, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Overnight Camping

This weekend I'm joining Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her weekly linky...


 I have taught in a parochial school for over 35 years, and although academics is an extremely important part of our curriculum, it is not the most important part. We are most concerned with our students' spiritual growth, how they  value themselves and each other, and how they live a faith-filled life. To this end our entire day, including academics, is built upon a faith foundation.

To help foster a sense of God's community within my sixth grade class and really motivate my students to live their Christian beliefs I involve my kiddos in an overnight camping trip (really an old-fashioned youth retreat).

We leave school on a late Thursday morning and travel about 30 minutes with all of our camping paraphernalia by bus to a beautiful nearby camp. Located directly on the southern shore of Lake Erie it is one of the most beautiful areas in our county. The presence of God is evident everywhere you look. God's gorgeous creation is just awesome!


Once we arrive, we settle into our lodgings and get started with team building activities. These activities are designed to help us learn to appreciate our talents as well as the talents of our classmates. We focus on problem solving, relying on each other, following directions, trying to succeed in a non-competitive environment.




 
 

The second day is all about God: God's beautiful creation, how we fit into God's creation, how we care for creation, what is our purpose in God's creation... some pretty serious stuff for 11-12 year olds.

A large part of this day is spent on a nature/scavenger hunt into the woods and along the lakeshore.

 
 
 
 
 

Next we gather in the arts and crafts building to create an artistic collage of our time spent together.


We end our stay at camp with an inspiring prayer service, held in a simple chapel built from felled trees during the building of the camp more than 60 years ago. Who wouldn't be spiritually inspired in this quaint building?


My students were required to keep a journal of their experiences, noting their feelings and experiences; however, they were unable to finish the journal before we left camp.  Many of the activities were purposefully not completed (our lives are not yet completed and are a work in progress) and will serve as starting points for discussions and additional activities throughout the school year. We will integrate our camping experience into all of our academic courses, from writing about it to creating a power point presentation, from doing science investigations to researching about fauna and flora we observed and especially into our prayer and spiritual life, our life lessons.

I can't wait for Monday morning to hear and see how my students have been motivated by this wonderful experience!



September 3, 2015

September Pinterest Pick Three

 
September would not be complete without fun reading assignments, awesome writing ideas, and ALL THINGS pumpkin! Just click on the pic of each pin to be whisked away to this month's PICK THREE!