Thursday, April 26, 2012

Test Prep Stations and CRAFT introduction

A few months ago I found a great idea for Test Prep Stations (see previous post).  Here is a pic of what I created to use in my classroom.  I let the kids pick which station they wanted to complete each day, as long as they completed each one during the week.  If their name was already in the teacher group, they had to meet with me that day.  Those groups were skill based.  My AWESOME special education teacher ran the grammar review and monitored the task cards group. :)  Love her!!!


My kids LOVED doing this each week.  It hopefully will help them transition into my start of CAFE/modified Daily 5 (actually we are doing "CRAFT" from Ladybug's Teacher Files. You should really check out her website!!!).

We did start our CRAFT lessons this week during our NYS Math testing, but didn't have our full ELA time since we were instructing during our normal Math time.  Who wants to do double math on testing days?? I sure don't!!!

So far my kids have actually been really using some of the strategies I have introduced.  My remedial kids were remembering them while they were reading "Superfudge" in their literature groups today.  It was great to see that carryover.

For next week, we will continue our ELA block reading our novel, Bunnicula.  Then I'll be introducing a grammar/writing minilesson,and then my modified Daily 5.  Because of the time constraints (only an 75 minute block of time for ELA all day!!!), I am doing one round of "Daily 5" a day.  These will include:
1.  Read to Self--working on a strategy from the CRAFT board
2.  Work on Writing--free write or writing prompts of their choice
3.  Grammar: My special education co-teacher will lead (again, LOVE her!)
4.  Work with Words: at least 2 activities (pics to come)
5.  Teacher group: guided reading, skill based, or any other mini lesson

Right now, I am using these kiddos as my guinea pigs for next year since I have to teach all fourth graders ELA.  I really wanted to incorporate the Daily 5, but weren't sure how to do in a specific/limited time frame.  I don't know how to incorporate grammar, writing, reading (novels), and spelling into Daily 5 blocks.  Any suggestions???

Homeworkopoly

So I haven't posted in awhile as I am trying to still figure out this whole blogging thing. I LOVE blog stalking and seeing how awesome all of those blogs look... mine however, looks terrible...  So I'm been thinking about what to share with everyone, and decided to take a picture of my labor of love from 5 years ago.  When trying to find an idea to encourage completion of homework, I found a website with an idea for Homeworkopoly.

Here is what mine looks like:

How it works:
If kids complete their homework from the night before they get to roll a large die.  They then use their game piece to move that many spaces around the game board.  If they land on "Free Homework Pass" they get one to use on any one assignment (unless specified otherwise).  They can also land on "Chance" and pick a chance card and do what it says (move to a specific place, move ahead, or backwards).  Some years we do really have to monitor the board so kids don't cheat.  But since I have started using it, it was really encouraged completion of homework each night. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Teaching dialogue and computer help!

Anyone out there have a great lesson for teaching dialogue? I am finalizing my first "novel" to use instead of the basal series and need a mini lesson on dialogue. Also, I am in the process of looking to get a new computer. My laptop is super slow and our other computer is old and has a virus. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What to teach after the state tests?

It is spring break so first I've been cleaning like crazy, but my girls are napping so I am trying to figure out this blog thing more. I'm looking for some help on planning for math. I'm having some issues trying to plan for after the NYS Math test. I'm excited to get started with the Daily 5 and CAFE (or the modified CRAFT version) after the ELA state test in a few weeks, but I'm stuck on math. Any suggestions???