Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Creative Family Trees

So Family Trees have been around a long time and I wanted to give my students an activity to really stretch their creativity. I asked them to come up with a different format for a Family "Tree". 

What else could we put our families on? I demonstrated for them with Family Clouds (and specifically told them they could not use that idea :) ).

My group this year is already impressing me with their ideas!

Family Balloons

Family Body

Family Diamonds

Family Robot

Family Flower

Monday, August 23, 2021

Introducing Multiple Perspectives

The first concept of Depth and Complexity that I like to introduce. I literally stand on top of a table and talk about how my perspective changed. Then I tell the kids to do the same on their chairs (I know *gasp*).

I read the book:

Then I ask the students to write about how our school felt, what it saw on the first day:

Friday, August 20, 2021

You Be You

Just a reminder that you will get to know your students and know what they need.

Don't worry about the should's-how you think your classroom "should" look. (Believe me, I know how hard this is-I walk past classrooms and get jealous of the organization and creativity all the time). You know me, I don't do "cute". I don't like the focus being on things that are not for the kids.

Don't worry about How prepared you think your students "should" be. We always have students across the spectrum and this will not be any different this year.

 How you "should" teach. Each class has different dynamics and academic needs. Plan for your students. Yes you can collaborate with others, but you don't always have to do what they do.

You give your students what they need. Fight for them. Advocate for them. 

They can throw a bunch of programs and initiatives at you but you know your students.

I have had a lot of anxiety this week as we return for our pre-service activities. Things changing last minute-which is fine, I'm just frankly tired of pivoting :) I'm tired of hearing things like "learning loss" and the focus on data, data, data. Some of the students on my roster have not been in an actual school building in 18 months. There has to be a focus on SEL first. There has to be a focus on routines and I think sometimes that is forgotten.

Anyway, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and healthy school year! I know no one asked for my opinions but here they are. You be you. Don't forget these kids are relying on you.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

S.C.A.M.P.E.R for Back-to-School Read-Alouds

If you are not familiar with S.C.A.M.P.E.R. it's a way to increase the level of rigor and critical thinking in your classroom. 

It's an acronym that stands for:

P-Put to another use

I like to use it based on my themes. Terri over at:  just posted some great resources on the subject.

These are some of the activities you can do with the book David Goes to School.

Here are ways to incorporate S.C.A.M.P.E.R. with this story:

1) Substitute another location for David-what would David at the mall look like? the zoo?
2) Adapt a classroom so that it would be an ideal learning space for David-maybe stain-proof carpet.
3) If you were the teacher, how would you have to modify your instruction because of David?
4) Another use for a paper airplane.
5) Rearrange the classroom so it would become David-proof.

So we substituted the mall for school--how would David act knowing what we know about him? These are from my Kinder class.

1) Substitute another accessory for Pete's "school shoes"-Rockin' in my school ________.
2) Adapt Pete's shoes for another occasion other than school.
3) Modify Pete's shoes for different settings-space shoes, desert shoes, wedding shoes, etc.
4) Another use for shoes-you could plant a plant in a shoe, etc. (I would give them shoe cutouts and a blank piece of paper and let them glue the shoe on where they wanted and decorate around it with their idea)

1) Substitute another creature for the raccoons in the story-what changes?
2) What if Chester was going somewhere else other than school, adapt the good-bye technique for antoher setting.
3) Modify that goodbye technique for maybe Dad or brother/sister-someone else in your family or another character from a book. If you read First Day Jitters-what do you think the teacher's technique for the first day would be? What would Pete the Cat's be (probably something very cool! :).

1) Substitute something else for her dot-how would the story have changed if she had made a different mark on her paper.
2) Combine her dot and the little boy's line at the end-what could they make together?
3) Adapt-adapt her dot for other people-what would Santa Claus' dot look like, a giant's, the principal's, etc.
4) Modify-the dot for different settings-a dot in the Arctic, underwater, etc.
5) What is another use for the dot? Again I'd give them a cutout and let them design around it-it could be the bottom of an exclamation point, etc.