Thursday, March 27, 2014

Paragraph Revisions

Writing is a HUGE focus for us now as we are gearing up for the MSP (which is only 4 short weeks away!) so today we revisited the process of revising!  Students have really been slacking on their writing and really creating no revisions of any meaning in their writing - what a shame!  So today I took an actual paragraph that was submitted in our last final draft and we are completely remodeling it!

We started with the paragraph a the top of the page - BORING!  Together we came up with a real character description of the looks AND actions this character could have.  Tomorrow students will turn in their revised paragraphs and I can't wait to see what they came up with!

March Reading Madness

March Madness has entered the classroom and we are voting our hearts out for our favorite books of the year!  The idea was inspired by this wonderful classroom post and I just HAD to get things started in our classroom!  The rules are simple, I created and laminated (for future use!) a bracket system like we see in the NCAA tournament.  Then, I assigned books to each of the bracket positions - a mixture of books we have read together this year and some of my favorites that are quick reads.  Then, we let the voting begin!  As you can see below, I have each child's picture laminated and that is their voting ticket - I give students a few days to vote for their favorites by placing their picture in the coordinating pockets and we see where the voting falls at the end of the voting period (I usually give students two days, but depending on the excitement for a particular book, we don't need that long!)

 Here are our "Sweet 16" books - Holes, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Frindle, Knuffle Bunny, The Junkyard Wonders, Strega Nona, Sarah, Plain and Tall, A Light in the Attic, Alvin Ho, Paul Bunyan, Clementine, Treasure Island (Graphic Novel), Owl Moon, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, Stone Fox, and The Talking Eggs.

Students are given two choices to vote between and we see where the voting falls!

Below, in baskets, are set of books that we haven't already read together - it gets kids reading and sometimes even reading books they normally wouldn't have chosen on their own which makes any teacher very happy!  

Write MM on your planner for MONDAY for bonus points!  I will be out tomorrow so show the sub what great students P4 has!  :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Class Dojo - Our New Management System

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to go to the annual technology conference.  At the conference they talked about a digital app that teachers can use to monitor student behavior throughout the class.  Too often the kids who are demonstrating excellence in the classroom don't get the recognition that they deserve!  And too often teachers become white noise of redirections when students aren't listening!  Enter: ClassDojo.  ClassDojo is a mobile app that I have on my laptop and my mobile phone where I can track student behaviors all day - both the good and the bad.  The best part is that YOU (as parents) are able to track their classroom behaviors from home and get daily or weekly updates on your student.  Today students got their passwords to login for both students and parents.  Please check homework folders tonight to get the information.  Students can also login and change and customize their own avatars!  So far it's been working great for our classroom and really helps the students reflect on their actions in a more immediate way.  We check in on student points at the end of the periods and during quiet working times (reading and writing) we often project the points so students can see a live feed of points!   To learn more, or to login as a student or parent, visit the CLASSDOJO site!  Be on the lookout for an invitation via email to view student progress as well.

Write DOJO on your planner for Tuesday for bonus points for your table!

Monday, March 10, 2014

MSP Monday

The MSP is right around the corner already! Where has the year gone?

As you may know we have 4 days of testing as 4th graders and our first test (writing) will be April 29th. The second day of writing will be May 1st. The reading and writing tests will be computer based and will happen 2 weeks after the writing tests.

We are under way with test prep for writing and have started dabbling in test taking strategies to demystify the test as much as possible before the big days.  I know we will all do our best which is all I can ask for!

Reminder that the COMPLETED science fair project and poster board is due Wednesday for in class grading and actual science fair judging will be Thursday.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sorry for the Delay!

Things have been absolutely CRAZY around here in P4 and blogging has, unfortunately, gotten the back burner!  Thank you to those of you who continue to check it and there are TONS of back-logged blog posts coming soon so thanks for being patient!

Write a STAR on your planner for bonus table points and keep an eye out for new posts soon!