Friday, October 30, 2015

5 For Friday - Oct. 30, 2015

It has been awhile since I've joined in with DoodleBugsTeaching for Five for Friday, but since I have the day off today in honor of Nevada Day, I really have no excuse not to!

In Nevada, we celebrate Nevada Day the Friday before the official Nevada Day (October 31st).  So, since today is a day off of school, we had our Halloween celebrations yesterday.  The kids had a blast!  I am not going to lie and say that Halloween is NOT my favorite day of the year as a teacher, but I do enjoy seeing them have a good time.

Because today is a holiday, we took our weekly math tests yesterday morning.  You could imagine my students' surprise when our principal (dressed as Sandra D), vice principal (dressed as a T-bird) , school secretaries (Pink Ladies), and school counselor (T-bird) burst into our room singing and dancing.

They had a little speaker with them that was playing You're The 
One I Want from Grease as they came in.  My students just sat there in shock.  As they walked out one of them said, "I think that song was from a movie." LOL!

I was able to attend the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) conference last week and learned so much!  I can't wait to share the ideas with my students and also with you here on the blog. Stay tuned to Sunday's blog post for the science lesson I used with my students this week.

We have had a crazy few weeks as a family as well with Tyler's first Homecoming and Cody's first band concert.

In honor of Nevada Day, some of my fellow Nevada sellers have gotten together to throw a sale at our TPT stores.  My sale is running today and tomorrow.  You can visit my TpT store here.

Hope you have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reluctant Writers Lesson Idea and Giveaway!

We are using the Lucy Calkins Units of Study for our writing program, and she really encourages lots of free time for students to just write.  While I love this idea, some of my reluctant writers absolutely do not!  They spend the entire time hemming and hawing over not knowing what to write about, and end up with a sentence if I am lucky after 30 minutes of writing!  

I know that students become better writers by ACTUALLY WRITING, so I am constantly trying to think of ways to spur my reluctant writers on. 

One thing that I have been working on is giving my students mini-lessons with strategies for developing ideas to write about.  One strategy that we use often is the use of a mentor text.  I found this book, I Didn't Do My Homework Because... and I knew my students would LOVE it!

It looked like it might be a fun read, so, I purchased it, but when I read it, I knew I hit a writing mentor text gold mine.

When you open the text it begins with a teacher asking her student why he didn't do his homework.

He begins to list a variety of outrageous excuses.

My students roared with laughter as we read each of his reasons.  When we finished the book, I asked them to think of additional ideas they could add to the book if they were writing a sequel.  My students actually jumped at the chance.

Their ideas were hilarious!  Here a just a few examples...

And one of my favorite pics... look how proud of himself he is!  A full page of writing!  Woo Hoo!

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