Monthly Archives: October 2011
Friday, October 28th, 2011
So Friday was our last PEP RALLY. I’m happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I can now add about 30-40 minutes back to my instructional time. Yes, I do like to teach. 🙂 Sad because it is another thing that represents the END of my senior daughter’s time in high school. This pep rally was dedicated to the seniors so I got to walk out on the floor to stand with Taylor. Then I had the luxury of watching a slideshow powerpoint of the seniors (no, I didn’t bring any kleenex so you do NOT want to know what I looked like!). THEN, we got to sing the Alma Mater song-and I couldn’t even choke out the words to this! 🙂 Mr. Brady (my co-teacher) kept asking me if I was ok. You get the picture!!! Here is a picture of me and Taylor.
So, back to the classroom. We took 3 tests today. We took 1 test on possessive nouns-I was able to grade them while they took the other tests. The grades were horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So many failed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is it so hard for them to understand things that they have been learning since 3rd grade????????????? So-I will teach it again next week. and the next. and the next. Until they GET IT! 🙂
The other test was on the vocabulary words (I am really trying to expose them to more than just what is in our weekly story or passage that we read together). For the past 2 weeks I have been having them write a short story with their words-it has worked out fine because the words connect with each other-for example, hideous, sinister, ominous. I figure that this type of test helps in more ways than one.
1. I can actually see who knows how to use the word in the correct context-not just memorize a definition and forget it
2. They can work on their writing skills
Now I think I just need to take what they write and use it to teach from.
The last test was a “Fresh Reads” reading test. This is a passage from our reading program that they have never read before so it is a “fresh” or “cold” read. They read it and answer higher level thinking questions about it. This is a TRUE measure of their ability to read and comprehend. If they take a test on a story that we have been reading together all week they have had a guide on their side and the chance to memorize something. That is NOT a true measure of their reading comprehension. A fresh read is. So I will be interested to see how they did. There are only 5 questions (4 multiple choice and 1 open ended) so that is 20 points each!!! I did go over some of the words in the passage with them before the test-words like feline, affinity, etc. This was an on level reading passage and not all of my kids are on the 6th grade level with reading so I wanted to also use it as a teaching opportunity. We all know that a lot of times vocabulary is what trips them up-either not being able to decode and read the word or not knowing the meaning.
Friday night was senior night at the LAST football game!!! We got to walk out on the field with Taylor. Here are a few pictures from that SENTIMENTAL AND EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE!!!! 🙂
I actually did not cry at the game. It was too cold!!! And a little rainy! And too much going on!! I was also selling tickets!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I have an announcement! I would like to ERASE all possessive nouns and apostrophes from our English language!!! Who will sign my petition to get this done????? 🙂
It is looking like we might study these for another few weeks! Need I say more???
We took our english test today on subject and object pronouns. Part of their test was where they had to draw a t-chart and list the subject and object pronouns. I had told them on Monday that would probably be part of their test and they looked at me like I had sprouted wings today when I told them to study them before the test! 🙂 We’ll see if they start listening to me now!
I’m really trying to expand their vocabulary this year so I showed them a website that acts as a visual thesaurus.
We caught up on our emails from our truckerbuddy. He and his wife are a team and drive ALL over the US. The kids are loving this! We track his trips on a US Map (each student keeps one in their binder). He also asks us questions and we talk about them and respond with our answers. He and his wife are going to bring their truck to our school later on (we are going to surprise the kids with this and not tell them when they are coming!!!).
We read 2 more pages of our story “When Crowbar Came”. I showed them how to listen to their “inner voice”. This is just their thinking that is going on when they read. I read a couple of paragraphs aloud and then told them what my inner voice was saying to me-predictions, wondering, etc. Just my thoughts about what I had read. On the 2nd page (after I had modeled a lot) I had them share with a partner what their inner voice was saying. I walked around and listened to them (heard some good thinking). I heard 2 girls telling each other, “Hey, you stole my inner voice”-LOL! 🙂
I had some individual conferences with some student-during my 2nd class I had just dismissed them to do read to self and work on writing and had sat down at my reading table. I looked to my left and Tyler was sitting there beside me smiling. I asked him if he was trying to make an appointment with me, and he said he already had one and wanted to make sure that I remembered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too funny!!! They really like meeting with me individually! I just have to figure out how to work in some small group instruction now!!!
Here are some pictures of the kids that entered our “Drug Awareness” poster contest this week.
Tomorrow is Senior Day at the pep rally-I guess I need to take a whole box of kleenex!!!! 🙂
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Possessive nouns are certainly going to give me ownership of a heart attack!!!! 🙂 Although my afternoon class “said” they got it, my morning class was struggling with these. Isn’t this a 3rd grade skill? Why are they not retaining a lot of this stuff? Is it because of the way we teach it? Is it because it’s not important to them? What is it??? The 3 example words we are using this week are:
crows crow’s crows’
The 1st one is plural. The 2nd one is singular possessive. The 3rd one is plural possessive. I guess this is another concept that we will just have to continue to work on for the rest of the year! 🙂
For the rest of our word study words, we are just learning the meaning of them. Today we sorted them by their part of speech. This is what it looked like when we finished our sort:
English this week is subject/object pronouns. Still plugging away at those.
Our reading story this week is “When Crowbar Came”. Yesterday we activated our schema about crows. Today I introduced the vocabulary from the story by having them write the words in a 4 column chart. The 1st column was the word list, the other 3 columns were headed like this: Know, Have heard but don’t really know, Don’t have a clue. They had to read each word and decide what column to check for their knowledge of the word. This is how it looked on the board:
We read the 1st 2 pages of our story-stopping along the way to act it out, infer, etc. After we finished the 1st 2 pages, I had them write a short summary. Then we wrote the summary together using our HAND graphic organizer to help us get started with the main idea. This is the summary that my 2nd class helped me write:
We FINALLY added our names to our CAFE reading menu board (that I have not been too good at using this year). I’ll try to remember to take a picture tomorrow of what it looks like so far. I have not been good about putting up strategies/skills as I have taught them. I think I only have about 4 up on the board. I have GOT to start doing this as I review each strategy now.
I gave a book talk on Clementine’s Letter by Sara Pennypacker. This is a 4th grade level book, but is one of the funniest books I have read. Clementine is hilarious!! I am now reading Clementine (the original book). I absolutely love this character-she makes me laugh out loud!!! I have to compare her to Alex in Skinnybones! You’ve got to read all 3 of these books. 🙂
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
We are learning about subject and object pronouns this week in english. We wrote them in a t-chart today-7 on each side. A subject pronoun is the subject of the sentence. An object pronoun receives the action in the sentence. Here’s a picture of the t-chart that I put on the board:
I read aloud Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse again for the 2nd time. We are trying to learn how to analyze a character. And Lilly is indeed a character. If you haven’t read this book-YOU NEED TO! It’s one of those books that will make you laugh out loud! 🙂
So before I read it to them today I told them to write down a few character traits and share them with a partner. Then I told them to check the trait off if they heard me read a part that proved the trait and to write down more traits as they think of them. When we finished this reading they had to write a quick write character analysis of Lilly.
We are going to start our Scott Foresman story “When Crowbar Came” tomorrow. So today we activated our schema about crows. They wrote down their schema and shared with a partner. Then the partners got together with the rest of their row and shared. They decided on 2 important pieces of knowledge to write on sticky notes. We put these on our chart.
I read them a read aloud story from Scott Foresman about crows and they took notes as I read on things they thought were important. I can’t wait for them to read this story and realize just how smart crows really are.
We had almost a complete hour left in each class to devote to Read to Self and Work on Writing and individual conferences. I met with lots of students today! One of my boys had chosen to read voraciously (all the time a lot) as his goal to work on. He has been recording when he reads on a sticky note and here is his proof! 🙂
So it was another great day! I even was able to fill out my Partners in Education grant application, make a copy of it, and get it to the post office to be postmarked by 4:00. I started at 3:25!!!!! Can you say PROCRASTINATOR???????????????????? 🙂
Then drove 40 miles to Alex. City to help my stepson upgrade his southern linc phone to a DROID! I.want.one.now!!!! 🙂
Monday, October 24, 2011
Busy day. Good day.
English- Well, I wish I could tell you that I taught subject and object pronouns today during our English time since that was on my lesson plans, but I didn’t! I guess it was a typical Monday where I had left my brain at home so we labeled a sentence (and no, I didn’t even put a pronoun in it!!!!!). I’ll get on track tomorrow! Maybe! 🙂
Word study- Spelling-I’m teaching the use of apostrophes for possessives-yes, that is a 3rd grade skill that we are still having a hard time with. What’s funny is that they were actually asking questions about it during the teaching!! Which means they were thinking! 🙂 I used the following 3 words to teach this: crows, crow’s, crows’ – I told the kids that they would not be tested on these 3 words this Friday, they will be tested on the rule and have to apply it to other words.
I read several more “scary” stories to them today-the last one really got them because I had to yell at the end! We were all laughing because it sounded like I only had girls in the class with all the screaming that occurred! 🙂
We went over our “Old Yeller” reading test today-I wanted to use it as a teaching tool so they would know the correct answers and WHY they were the correct answers. Hopefully, this helped them as much as studying before the test!
Gave out graded papers. YES, you should be proud of me! 🙂
Read to self and Work on Writing time went well. I was going to “shush” two of my boys for talking until I realized that one was helping the other one write his reading response letter! 🙂 Gotta love that kind of teaching!
We had a faculty meeting after school about student engagement and the new ARMT+ state test. The student engagement was good-reminded me to do those exit slips that I have only used 1 time this year! The ARMT+ just scared me since the questions are now more higher level thinking questions than they have been in the past. This higher level thinking is what is just plain hard for some of my kids!
This afternoon I went to a soccer game as requested by a couple of our 6th graders-THEY ARE GOOD PLAYERS!!!! 🙂 Go Tyler, Tanner, and Clay!!!
Hope the rest of this week is as good as today was!