Monthly Archives: July 2012

Getting to Know You Activity – “Me In A Bag, 2012”

“Me In A Bag, 2012”

Dear 5A Students,

Welcome to Grade 5A and to a new school year!

Today I presented my “Me In A Bag”, and in this way I introduced myself to you. I put a few items into a gift bag, and each one told you a little bit about who I am; my interests, hobbies, family, friends and “favourites”.

In my sack, I placed my favourite book, a menu from my favourite restaurant, my favourite food (sushi! yum!), and pictures of my family and friends. I included my favourite CD, jewelry, a concert ticket, and my badge from The Peaks where I snowboard. As we sat in a circle I explained the significance of each item as I pulled it from the bag. You made some very insightful comments and asked some interesting questions. This discussion helped you get to know me a little bit better (and I had fun too!).

Starting next you will be required to present a “Me In A Bag”. Questions and comments are encouraged during each presentation. Please find our class schedule attached.

I am looking forward to seeing what you choose to put in your bag, and to learning much more about each and every one of you!

Sincerely,

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Novel : Responses to Text

Novel Responses – Student choice when responding to novels & books through design, drama, crafts, writing, math

If you were a fly on my classroom wall you would see that much of what we do is based on the concepts of “choice” and “authenticity”. Introducing choice into the curriculum whenever possible provides students with a sense of ownership and a heightened sense of responsibility. Their personal choices reflect their interests, build on their strengths and (when applied properly) address their needs.

Please find a list of some of the different choices that I provide for my students when they are asked to respond to text.

Cheers,
Ally

Get Crafty:

  • Make a gift & a design/write a gift card for the main character. Consider all that you know about him/her in order to choose the most appropriate present and card.
  • Design and write a postcard as though it had been chosen and sent by the main character.
  • Create a scrapbook as though you were the main character. What will you include?
  • Create a photo album for the main character. Use cuts outs from magazines, download pictures, draw, write, etc.
  • Create a giant mural or piece graffiti based on the novel – consider symbols, characters, setting, themes, etc.
  • Create a time capsule for the novel.

Design

  • Design the perfect bedroom for the main character – be clear as to your choices.
  • Design an ad campaign or the novel.
  • Design a movie poster for the novel.
  • Design a board game based on the novel.
  • Design a “look book” for the main character. What would he/she like/need to have in his/her wardrobe?
  • Design a test for the novel. Include a variety or types of questions (e.g. true/false, multiple choice, matching, fill in the blanks, short & long answer questions ….)

Drama

  • Dress up as the main character – include “clever” items and explain their significance.
  • Conduct a mock interview with the main character.
  • Write a script for and perform your favourite “moment” in the novel.
  • Write and perform a meaningful monologue.
  • Write a perform a puppet show based on the novel.

Writing

  • Choose a dream vacation for the main character. Create an itinerary for him/her.Turn the novel into a picture book.
  • Write & perform song based on the novel.
  • Create a newspaper. All the articles must somehow be based on or relate to the novel.
  • Retell the novel through a series of letters.

The Dynamic Duo – My Social Media PD Superheroes Part II – Pinterest

The Dynamic Duo – My Social Media PD Superheroes
Part II – Pinterest (http://pinterest.com)
(Part I – Twitter)

As stated in “Part I – Twitter”, with regard to professional and personal development I am always looking for the practical, the applicable, the relevant, the personal, the inspirational, the progressive.

& so … I addition to all of the wonderful teachers that I have met on my journey as an educator, there is no more of a Dynamic Duo for me today than Twitter & Pinterest. They are my PD Superheroes.

These Superheroes make me feel welcome within a community of learners who inspire me to be a better teacher … they make me want to look at what I do every day in new ways. These two social media superheroes show me what’s possible, point me in new directions and make me want to do better – they show me what’s possible, doable, workable, valuable. They are organic, flexible and progressive. They are always growing, changing, and moving forward.

For today’s post: I will focus on Pinterest.
I have decided to share why I love Pinterest below (alphabetically speaking).
* & If you aren’t already “playing” on Pinterest I encourage you to take some time to do so…. to see what’s really out there and available to you for free, 24-7.

Cheers,
Ally

Part II _ Pinterest
Alphabetically I love Pinterest because I can find & share …

A place to organize/bookmark concepts / ideas for future reference –
Assessment tools/ideas –
Back to school ideas –
Blogs –
Books –
Brain Breaks –
Bulletin board displays –
Classroom posters –
Collaboration with others –
Cool ideas: projects, crafts, etc. –
Creating a virtual scrapbook –
Curriculum –
Engaged educators –
Evaluation tools/ideas –
Games –
Images to use in the classroom –
Inspiration from others –
Inspiration for lesson plans, decorating the classroom, etc. –
Math games –
Manipulatives –
Printables –
Reading strategies –
Science experiments –
Social Studies ideas –
Social networking –
Specialists to learning from –
Test taking & study strategies –
Tools –
Technology resources –
Trends –
Tutorials –
Virtual field trip – collect images, posters, ideas & sites –
Visuals –
Writers workshop ideas –

… & so much more!
… & it’s free!

The Dynamic Duo – My Social Media PD Superheroes

The Dynamic Duo – My Social Media PD Superheroes
Part I – Twitter
(Part II – http://pinterest.com)

With regard to professional and personal development I am always looking for the practical, the applicable, the relevant, the personal, the inspirational, the progressive.

& so … I addition to all of the wonderful teachers that I have met on my journey as an educator, there is no more of a Dynamic Duo for me today than Twitter & Pinterest. They are my PD Superheroes

These Superheroes make me feel welcome within a community of learners who inspire me to be a better teacher … they make me want to look at what I do every day in new ways. These two social media superheroes show me what’s possible, point me in new directions and make me want to do better – they show me what’s possible, doable, workable, valuable. They are organic, flexible and progressive. They are always growing, changing, and moving forward.

For today’s post: I will focus on Twitter.
To that end I have decided to share why I love Twitter below (alphabetically speaking).
* & If you aren’t already on Twitter I encourage you to take some time to play with it …. to see what’s really out there and available to you for free, 24-7.

Cheers,
Ally


Why I love Twitter Alphabetically Speaking:

Answering questions – Twitter gives me that opportunity to share ideas and things that have inspired me and worked for me – I love giving back.

Asking questions – Twitter is like a crystal ball: Once I post a question, suggestions, answers & opinions come flooding in from all over the globe.

Blogs – I have come across & bookmarked so many amazing blogs.

Brief – ther very nature of Twitter necessitates that questions & responses are short and sweet – we are forced to get to the point 😉

Building relationships – I have met so many amazing individuals through Twitter – I truly value these relationships – I laugh & learn every day.

Conferences – I have found out about and followed (mostly using hashtags) so many amazing conferences world-wide.

Easy – I love how easy it is to find and manage what I am looking for or want to share.

Fast

Free – Need I say more? 😉

Flattening walls – Twitter is an international, global community. It knows no bounds 😉

Hashtags – These are a great way to follow a community.

Information – It’s limitless.

Instant feedback / real time – … because time is of the essence.

Learning Curve – My learning curve is now ridiculous and I love it!

PD – Twitter is my first choice for PD.

PLN – I love my PLN!!!!!

Sharing – It’s all out there for me to grab: links, ideas, sites, pictures, courses, etc.

Webinars – I have found, attended and learned from so many amazing Webinars
as suggested by my PLN.

Websites – I have found, bookmarked and learned from so many amazing Blogs as suggested by my PLN.
5 Twitter Notes:

Characters – Twitter only allows 140 characters per post

Dictionary – Not sure what’s being said? Try these Twitter dictionaries: http://bit.ly/iBmGa & http://bit.ly/iBmGa

Hashtags – Use hashtags to find groups/people to follow, learn from, be inspired by and share with.

Numbers – Don’t pay attention to the numbers – it doesn’t matter how many people you follow or how many people are following you; it’s all about the experience, and what you want to get from it.

Purpose – In the beginning it’s a good idea to determine why you are on Twitter and focus … you can always expand later 😉

URLs – use Bit.ly (for example) to shorten URLs

P.S. Another wonderful Twitter-based outcome is that sharing and learning so much also helps to make me feel good about what’s already taking place in my classroom … and this can be quite empowering.
You see what I have experienced first hand is that feeling good about my current role in the classroom makes me feel good about me, which in turn empowers me. It gives me the confidence to move forward, ask questions, take risks, play with ideas and try new things. I really do want to grow and learn … to become even better.
(This doesn’t mean of course that I don’t have many moments of insecurity & doubt … I am only human after all 😉