Thursday, October 18, 2018

Ethics and Spider Webs

Our chapter read-aloud right now is Charlotte's Web. We have gotten to the part where Wilbur is a little horrified to find out that Charlotte captures and eats her prey. She goes into a whole explanation of why and how spiders are born knowing how to weave webs to catch their dinner.

I asked my students to think about the concept from Kaplan's Depth and Complexity-Ethics and is it right that spiders catch insects in their webs? And why do you feel that way? Most students actually did say it was right, because they had to survive. Circle of life-right?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dios de la Muerte and Shapes

We have been learning about different people and traditions in our Hispanic Heritage unit. We have also been learning about shapes in math. I wanted to do a project that incorporated both. So I cut out various shapes and had the students look at paintings of the skulls done in the Hispanic tradition. Then they made their own. What a fun way to assess what they learned. I just listened to them talk about the different shapes (can you hand me a square? is there a bigger circle?) and I could see who knew them. And we ended up with a project I could hang on the bulletin board.

Here was their finished product:

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Power of Novelty

My students are already getting a bit bored with their routines. We eat at the same time every day, go to recess and ancillary at the same time every day. We do our reading workshop, writing workshop, math workshop. When we celebrated Dot Day, my kiddos got so excited I decided to try to find more ways we can celebrate this year.

We have been working on a unit about bats this week. When my students arrived on Friday, they were in awe. Who did this? What happened? I decorated our door very primitively and on a Dollar Store budget but they were really excited. We wrote under the tables with clipboards with the "cave" above their heads. We played a game where they were bats and practiced using their ears and sense of smell instead of sight. It was a really fun day!

A little bit of novelty can go a long way to helping students LOVE school and keep them engaged.

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Wild Thing Ethics

Where the Wild Things Are is just one of those stories that never goes out of style! It's one of my favorites and one of the few stories I actually know by heart. We read the story and talked about how Max decided to leave the Wild Things. I asked my students to think about the concept of Ethics and decide if it was right or wrong that Max left the Wild Things. Here is what they came up with:

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Leaf Man

Since fall has officially started (even though it doesn't quite feel like it yet here in Texas), we read this story:

The author has some amazing illustrations of leaf cows, birds and of course the Leaf Man. We took a walk outside to find materials. The students then created a self-portrait using their materials. They never cease to amaze me with their creativity.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Giving Tree Ethics

I love introducing Shel Silverstein's the Giving Tree to my students.

Our reading response activity had to do with Ethics. The students wrote whether they thought what the tree did was right or what the boy did was right. And then they made an argument to support their opinion. The consensus was that the tree was right to share. 

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