Sunday, February 26, 2017

If I Were a Wordless Book.....

I LOVE wordless books! I love introducing them to my students because many of them have not read this genre of book before. It's harder to do a read-aloud with them, however, I stop periodically and help them make connections between the pictures and the narrative in their heads. There are many great titles, these are the ones we used this week:

Now after we read these books-I asked the students to think from the perspective of a wordless book. If I were a wordless book....(I would feel, see, believe, wish for, etc.). Of course, I got some who just wrote "I would have no words" or who wrote specifically about one of the stories-"I would make a snowman". But there were some students who dug deep and I was impressed by their answers.

I would feel weird because I have words in my title,
but not on my pages.

I like to be read by  Miss Trayers (love the detail in the illustration here-
down to the wheels on my chair).

I would live in the mall and I would be unlucky.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Our class book this month is all about inspiration. We discussed what the word meant and I sent the kiddos off to write about who inspires them. I LOVE the variety of different answers I received:

Shawn Mendes....because I listen all the time.

My teacher...she is nice.

J.J. Watt...he plays for the Texans and we live in Texas.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg...she says "I Dissent".

And I know we need to work on proper spacing and punctuation--but all 25 of my kiddos are writing!!!! :) 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Character Court

Every year my class has an annual tradition-we call it Character Court. We do a unit on fairy tales, reading different versions comparing and contrasting. One of the things we pay particular attention to are the ethical dilemmas--because they are full of them! Was it right for Little Red Riding Hood to talk to a stranger and tell him where she was going? Was it right that Goldilocks is basically guilty of breaking and entering? Should Rapunzel's stepmother had kept her in a tower away from the problems in the real world?

After we explore these concepts, I assign roles to the students in partners. So we will have a Baby Bear and Goldilocks, Jack and the Giant (from Jack and the Beanstalk). I try to vary the pairings so they are not all princesses with their princes-so Cinderella may debate her stepmother or stepsister instead. The students come to me in pairs and write a little debate. It was wrong that you...... but I wanted to ....... And in the end they come to some sort of a solution to their problem. Little Red says she will share her muffins with the Wolf if he tries to be a Big "Good" Wolf instead of a bad one, etc.

They also work together to paint a backdrop which is 2 tri-fold boards taped together. I really let them have creative vision over that board. Some of them came out very abstract or impressionist this year-but they are authentic! On the big day they come dressed in their costumes and recite their debates for their parents. A lot of work goes into it, but I think it's really a successful performance assessment.

Here are some examples from this year:

Gingerbread Girl-they took so much time painting the details of their kitchen.

Cinderella-this was the ballroom.

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

Hansel and Gretel-they painted things like spiders to make the witch's house scary.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Little Red Riding Hood

Peter Pan (are those the cutest alligators you have ever seen!)


Snow White

The Gingerbread Girl and the Old Man who made her

Goldilocks and Baby Bear