Saturday, December 25, 2010


People continue to amaze me. We just had a proposal on Donorschoose filled and I'm so excited to get back from break and tell the kids. There were 20 little donations that added up to enough to complete the project-someone must have posted it somewhere to be getting the attention it did. The very exciting part is it's all art supplies to foster that creativity I just believe is so important, but are also so expensive: paints, little hardcover books the kids can use to become authors, tissue paper, googly eyes (always a crowd pleaser), etc. We are going to be making much more exciting projects this spring. I just think it's a wonderful example that people are setting for these kiddos. What a generous gift!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ethics and The Grinch

Some days my kids really impress me! When we first starting talking about Ethics and how to justify your position-it was hard for them. I would assign girls to be pro and the boys to be con, or vice versa. Then some of the kids started wanting to take on the challenge of defending the undefendable (hope I'm not creating future public defenders :). I love when they challenge themselves; when they don't necessarily take the easy way out. That's definitely encouraged in my classroom.

This was one of those assignments. Writing about the Grinch using ethics. And some of the kiddos stepped up and offered to defend how he was right. The big defense was-he showed everyone Christmas isn't about presents and decorations. I can't argue with that logic.

Christmas Comparisons

I'm always looking for places to compare and contrast. We read an adapted version of A Christmas Carol and the Grinch story. They made a representation of the 2 main characters and wrote about the similarities and differences between the two. The more you do activities like this, the more automatic it becomes. I hardly have to explain anything anymore-just write about the similarities and differences. I love that.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


A treasured colleague of mine recently loaned me the Frames book that I remember from my original GT training, but I never really found a use for it. It's one of those things that when you go back and see it again with more experienced eyes, you can envision activities from it working with your kiddos.

My class used one of the activities in response to the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. They drew a picture of Edward in the middle, then around the outside we did Edward's Perspective, Unanswered ?'s, Ethics (they could choose any part of the story where something was right/wrong), and the Big Idea (which for this story is a doozy). Then I held my breath! We have a lot of experience with the icons, however, I've never asked them to combine them like this before. I loved the outcome-some of them even got the very deep Big Idea of the story.