“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!”

Linda Silverman~Gifted Development Center Denver

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Week 2 in the bag!

Here are a few things we were working on this week!

We took these ^^^^^^^^

Picture of Growth Mindset Tree from teachingisagift.blogspot.ca

And started creating this ^^^   
That is our "growth mindset" tree.  By the end of the day, Friday we had lots more leaves and many more apples added to the tree.  I love the way our tree is continuing to "grow".  Now, I just need some text to add to wall.  I am thinking something like "Watch Our Growth In Grade 5".  Still pondering on other options.  If you have a suggestion I would love to hear about it in the comment section found at the end of the blog post. 

In Science and Technology, we started our unit on Properties of and Changes in Matter this week.  I loved teaching the students this song.

This is a great Youtube video of a family singing this song which I shared with my class after I taught them the lyrics.  

In language arts I have been reading aloud one of my favourite novels of all time. This year the book is celebrating it's 50th year! The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster was first published in 1961. It has wonderful black line illustrations created by Jules Feiffer. This is the adventurous story of a bored young boy named Milo who is unexpectedly gifted with a special tollbooth one afternoon and, having nothing better to do, decides to drive through it in his toy car. The tollbooth soon leads him on an exciting trip to the Kingdom of Wisdom. Along the way he meets Tock who becomes a faithful companion. There are lots of wonderful, highly imaginative characters in the book and the text is full of puns, and many events, such as Milo's jump to the Island of Conclusions, which I love to use to help students to better understand the literal meanings of popular English language idioms.  It is a wonderful way to introduce figurative language to my class.

In writing I introduced "Paragraph of the Week".  This has to be one of the best purchases I have ever made.  I discovered it last year when I was looking for a way to help my students improve their writing skills, starting with basic paragraphs. 

The day by day format is really easy to use.  This week I started out by modelling each day using my document camera.  I project the page each day, and demonstrated how to write each step of the process.  

For the brainstorming, I projected this page and then showed the students how I could create a WEB in the middle of the page to help me brainstorm all my ideas.  
On Tuesday, I demonstrated how to take three details from the brainstorming and start to write detail and explanation sentences which will form the body of the paragraph.

On Wednesday we talked about how to form a topic sentence and how it should HOOK the reader!  Using the document camera, the students helped me go back over the details and explanation sentences from the day before.  From there they helped me to form my topic sentence.  We took a break at that point and students were given time to reread their own work, and to start drafting their own topic sentences.  They also had a chance to share their draft topic sentences with a peer.  After they had finished the topic sentences, I modelled how to read the topic sentence, the detail and explanation sentences aloud to start to create flow.  This helped me model how to form the closing sentence.  We didn't want to repeat what I had said in the topic sentence, but we did want to summarize what he had written and "mirror" what we had said in the topic sentence.  The students gave me many excellent suggestions.

On Thursday, I modelled how to start putting the whole paragraph together.  Using the document camera again, we started by writing the topic sentence, and then adding the detail and explanation sentences.  I modelled for the students how the writing process can be messy, by showing them that some of my detail sentences and explanations were choppy and did not flow together.  We discussed revising as we wrote, and adding in transition words.  We will follow up with my directed lessons on transition words in coming weeks.  I finished my modelling by adding the closing sentence, and I let my students know I was still not satisfied with what I had written, but I would think about it for awhile and revisit my writing later.  

One thing I do with my students is give them time on Friday to peer revise and edit.  After they have had time in class, they take home their paragraph folder, and complete a "good draft" which they submit to me on Monday morning for assessment purposes.  I have already reviewed the success criteria with the class, and have given them a copy of the rubric provided in the package.  

I actually really enjoy assessing the student work, knowing I have worked along side them during the writing process.  Each day, I have tried to provide feedback and encouragement as they complete the daily tasks in class.  I tailor specific lessons to meet the needs of my students based on what I observe in their writing.  Last year, the lesson on writing an effective HOOK were a real eye opener for the students and for myself.  

Finally, I thought I should mention another one of my monthly favourites for math.  It's called Math by Month and it was created by my sweet friend Jennifer Runde (yes, the one who created the wonderful Back to School Craftivity and the FAMOUS Interactive Math Notebook).  

Like Jen, I use these posters as a take-home activity once a month where the students work on the posters at home, after I have explained the concepts included and reviewed the success criteria and rubric (which Jen includes).  The students demonstrated excellent perseverance completing their September poster. 

We had three fire drills this week, we got outside to practice soccer and cross-country running, the students had music twice and continuing to work on their desk mats for art.  It was a busy, fulfilling week!
You can read more about this project HERE

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You have been busy! I love the tree and your desk mats. Very inspiring:)