Monday, October 24, 2011

Animal Reports

Again, my kiddos have uuuuumazed me!
I asked each student to choose one animal book
from the library.  They then followed the same 
sequence of events used in our penguin study. 

Step 1:  Read the book and harvest facts.
Step 2:  Write a topic sentence and 5 sentences about your animal.
Step 3:  Revise your writing with your teacher's help.
Step 4:  Rewrite (this time type) your report.
Step 5:  Draw an illustration.

I wasn't sure if they could handle the typing part of this
project, but they accomplished it with flying colors!

Tops and Bottoms retold by:  Janet Stevens

Love, love, love this story!  One of the first I bought for
my classroom during college.  There are so many great ideas
and lessons that work so well with this story.  We focused
most of the week on cause and effect.  Our final lesson
consisted of a quick SmartBoard mini lesson, quick partner
match up of cause/effect, and then wrapped up with a 
vegetable activity.  I ran out of time and ended up doing it 
whole group, but each veggie has a cause listed on it.  Students
helped me identify an effect to go with each.  

They did awesome!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Friday Morning Fun!

We love Friday mornings in our room.
That's the time we break out Alan Katz's crazy
and hysterically funny songs.  He's written several
books in which he takes familiar tunes and rewrites
the words that make you laugh!

My personal favorite is Stinky, Stinky Diaper Change.
(sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
It goes a little like this:

Stinky, stinky diaper change.
Boy my brother smells so strange.
He made something in his pants.
I sure hope it won't attract ants.
Stinky, stinky diaper change
Boy my brother smells so strange!

But guess what everyone this is a great teaching
tool.  I've used these songs to cover new vocabulary,
contractions, rhyming, rhythm, beat, stanzas, 
compound words, and many other language skills.
IT'S been a great reading fluency tool and the kids
don't even realize it.....that's even better.

Now, for anyone who knows me, knows I don't sing
well and can't carry a tune in a bucket.  However, Alora
and Alan (hubs) know that I love to sing loud in the car.

Thank goodness my kiddos don't care if I can sing or not.
We have a blast trying to make these silly songs turn out
right.  It's a HOOT!

Check out this book and more for some laughs!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Our journey with penguins began with a great non-fiction
story in our Reading Street Basal for 3rd grade, Penguin Chick.


Like any good 3rd grader, we first made a KWL chart of
our schema about penguins together.  Wow, we actually
knew quite a bit about this flightless bird, but still had plenty
of questions!

After reading our story and learning so much we embarked
upon our first, but not last "research" project this year.  
Mrs. Scholes took us to the computer lab where we were
assigned a particular breed of penguin.  After a quick lesson
on using google and how to search for "good information" we
were on our own.  We needed to find 8 facts about our penguin.

This was certainly not a one day project.  It was completed over
a 2 week period with lots of work.  Once we collected all of our
facts about penguins, it was time to get busy writing.  OHMYWORD
Mrs. Scholes made us write about these birds, and you won't believe
it, but they had to be in complete sentences with correct 
capitalization and punctuation!

The pictures below demonstrate our 4 step process:

Step 1:  Research about penguins and write them down.
Step 2:  Write a short paragraph with a topic sentence and
5 supporting details. (correct capitalization and punctuation)
Step 3:  Bring to Mrs. Scholes and she will correct any mistakes.
Step 4:  Rewrite the paragraph with changes and create an 
illustration of your particular penguin.

WHEW!  That was a lot of work Mrs. Scholes.

A note from Mrs. Scholes:
I was so very proud of the students' focus and attention
to this "BIG" project.  I hope you learned about patience
and how a project is one step at a time.  I was truly amazed
at your writing abilities and can't wait to do more with you
in the future!  GOOD JOB!