Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Scaredy Squirrel Christmas!

Well, we had such a great time with our other Scaredy Squirrel activities that I made a few more for that LONG, and eventful week we have before our Christmas break.  Just a few fun things to keep them occupied!


Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Show, Not Tell

I love teaching the kids how to use show, not tell in their writing, but sometimes it is so HARD for them to get!  When they finally understand what it is and how to use it, their writing is AMAZING, and I love that.
Here are a few things we did this week to help us with show, not tell!

I explained what show, not tell means by reading some examples from some familiar books we have used this year.  A few great books we looked at were-

How Many Days To America?
by-Eve Bunting
Great example: "A part is broken that cannot be fixed," my father told my mother, and her face twisted the way it did when she closed the door of our home for the last time.

by- Julie Brinkloe
 Great example: I held the jar, dark and empty, in my hands.  The moonlight and the fireflies swam in my tears, but I could feel myself smiling.

Baseball Saved Us
by- Ken Mochizuki
Great example: Teddy got up, kicked the crate he was sitting on, and walked away. 
There were a lot of other examples in these books as well as others, but we really focused on these examples.
After trying show, not tell for a couple days, they were still struggling with it a little bit.  I was searching for ideas on how to help them and came across an anchor chart on Pinterest.  Here is my example-
We acted out some of these and discussed how we could add them to our writing.  They wanted their own copy to refer to, so I made a little 1/2 sheet for them to add to their writer's notebooks. (The class was so excited about this!)
To reinforce show, not tell and practice it together a little bit more, we used this flipchart:
(a few pages of the flipchart are shown below)


I was so excited to see that they were understanding show, not tell and using it in their writing.  I was so moved by one student's writing, that I asked him if I could share it. 
This is a little sample:
One day, when I was in kindergarten, I went to school.  My dog was really sick.  When I got home, a pile of dirt was in my backyard. I told my mom. My mom said our dog died.  I thought she was kidding. But she was not.  I laughed a little bit and then I looked at the dirt.  Then, I believed my mom and tears came out of my eyes.
WOW!  I thought that was an amazing first attempt at using show, not tell!  I was so proud, and so was the rest of the class when I read it.  They were silent...totally into the story.  It made a big impression on them and they couldn't wait to get started on their own stories!

Prefixes and Suffixes!

This week we were learning a few prefixes and suffixes! We introduced the lesson with an anchor chart.

Here is a super cute flipchart I found on Promethean Planet. It uses Mr. Potato Head to explain the root word, prefixes and suffixes.  The class loved it! It includes a short quiz at the end. We used our ActivExpressions for this!


We then made these flipbooks to add to our reader's notebooks.  We used the books to quiz partners on prefixes and suffixes. 
 As one of our reviews we completed this page: