Tuesday, April 24, 2012

NC Culture and Folktales

This week my class has been learning about North Carolina Culture. We have been reading the textbook to learn background information. I have also found a unit on Connecting Folktales and NC Culture on learnnc.org that we are completing during our reading time. Each group has a different folktale such as "The Three Little Pigs", "Cinderella",  "Beauty and the Beast", etc. The groups have read many different versions of these classic tales and compared and contrasted them using Venn diagrams.While comparing them the students have been talking about how culture has affected each version. As a final task the students are starting to write their own folktales using the information we have learned about NC culture. So far my students are in the planning phase of their folktales but have been very creative and used several examples of NC culture. I'm eager to see the final product and will post more when they have more done.

Reading Marathon

I recently had a Read-a-thon in my class. I got the idea from the  fabulous in fourth blog. I thought it looked cute and fun so I tried it. I even encouraged one of my team members to try it and she did. The reading marathon is where students spend 110 minutes reading. But it isn't your normal silent reading time. The marathon has ten minute rounds. 

Round 1- Create a new book cover.
Round 2- Read
Round 3- Tell three details about your favorite character then draw a picture of the character.
Round 4- Read
Round 5- Summarize what you have read.
Round 6- Read
Round 7- Draw a visualization.
Round 8- Read
Round 9- Write three questions or I Wonders....
Round 10- Read
Round 11- Write a connection and/or theme from the book.

My students had a wonderful time completing this activity. They have been begging me to do it again soon. I would highly suggest trying this activity if you can fit it into your schedule. It incorporated many different skills and it is something your students will enjoy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day One of Blogging

So here I am after months and months of reading other teachers' blogs I have decided to start my own! I have become very addicted to blogging for several different reasons. I find myself becoming inspired by all the wonderful teachers in the world and finding lots of amazing ideas floating out in cyberspace. One of my favorite things that I've recently become obsessed with is the Daily Five/ Cafe. Since its coming to the end of the year I can't start using it yet but boy am I dying to next year. Although this is only my 2nd year teaching I can already tell that I don't particularly like using the basal. I feel like I'm not reaching all my children. So I stumbled upon the Daily Five and this seems like the perfect idea to get me started in the right direction next year. Some of my favorite blogs to read out there are Shepherd's Shining Stars and 4th Grade Frolics. They have some wonderful ideas and I love reading about the awesome lessons they are doing in their classrooms. I have already tried many ideas from the blog world in my classroom and my students have loved everyone of them. Hopefully I will be able to post some about some of them this weekend. For now it's time for American Idol!