Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Space Real Estate

I use the end of the year as an excuse to do fun units that do not necessarily go along with our regular curriculum. My kiddos had 1,000 questions about space and the planets so we did a unit on on the solar system. We learned about all the different planets and their characteristics.
Then I asked them to use the concept from Kaplan's Depth and Complexity called Language of the Disciplines. We were thinking like real estate agents. They were to sell land on one of the planets. We looked at brochures and I wanted their product to look more like a brochure but this is what we ended up with. They also recorded a commercial hawking their planet to buyers. With this activity I was truly able to see who was able to apply what they learned.

He chose Saturn because you can ride around the rings. 

He chose the moon because you can hide in the craters.

Jupiter because it's the biggest planet.

You can find special things on Saturn.

Neptune-it has rocks.

Makes you want to suit up and take some space travel, doesn't it?

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Only One You

When choosing stories to read to my kiddos in this last time we have together-I'm trying to choose inspirational ones. I LOVE this book! Parents are giving advice to their little one about how to be himself. We watched snippets of different graduation speeches where people are giving their life advice and I asked the students to write their own advice-if I was a parent I would tell my child to..... Now for some this just turned into rules like do not steal but some of them really dug deep and came up with some good life advice!

Be happy!

(I believe she was thinking in the context of the fish-like characters in the story).

Be nice.

Don't go and be lazy and say gimme your money. (Maybe a future Republican here. :) .

When your old friends are mean, make better friends.

Be nice to your parents.

Respect teachers.

Be nice to people. Clean your room.

Make friends.

Don't let go of your dreams.

Help each other out.

Travel everywhere and see the world.

Be happy in your own family.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Painting Like Michelangelo

I think art is a very important facet of education. Not only does it teach us another way to see the world and analyzing works is full of depth but it's also fun! Art is something that has become frowned upon in our highly academic setting. There are art standards, but we are not asked to include them in our lesson plans and to teach them we have to be ready to justify them with another activity-for example-we are writing about that painting. We have an art teacher for the students' specials once a week, but they rarely actually make art there. Our classes are often combined for other activities or any time one of our teachers is out.

But if you know me, you know I'm a bit of a rebel. :) I still teach my students about art and famous artists. One of those is Michelangelo. They are amazed to find out he is not just a Ninja Turtle.  Michelangelo had such an incredible mind of that man and I have always been impressed with his commitment to paint the Sistine Chapel (I haven't even been able to muster the energy to paint my bedroom that I bought paint for several years ago). Now I know experts now don't think he actually did lie on his back to paint the ceiling and I do tell the kids that there are differing theories. 

For this activity we tape paper to the underside of the tables. Each student works with an assistant who hands them the brush. I use watercolors because I think it's the easiest to clean up if there are drips. They can paint whatever they'd like-the exercise is just to see how it feels to paint in a different way, from a different perspective. After one partner is done, the other has a turn.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hashtag Awards

Let's face it--this generation is growing up in a completely different world than the one we grew up in. 21st Century Learners has become cliche but we are preparing our kiddos for a world of technology being used on a daily basis and they need to know the vocabulary.

When I was doing their awards this year I thought to myself-maybe I should just do #awards! For example: #futurepresident,  #futureFridaKahlo, #classfashionista, #stellarspeller. I didn't get my act together in time to create something for my students before our awards day so I asked the students to make their own certificates and create their own hashtags (or tic-tac-toe boards as they call them) to describe themselves. Now let me preface this by saying, I would usually send them back to sound out their words better but we just have so much going on right now I just wrote their dictations for many of them. I also cropped their names out so I know it's hard to get the full picture of the frames they made.

This is my future rock star (he's already a ZZ Top fan) so this one was perfect.


We just read Ramona the Pest where the teacher tells her to "sit here for the present" so we just talked about what that word means. She said she's here every day so #present



#bffsandbooks--that about sums up a Kindergarten experience! :)

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