Sunday, December 14, 2014

Countdown to the Christmas Holiday

Like any teacher, as much as I love being with my students, I also love any reason to count down to just a smidgen of a break from school. Our last day before Christmas break is in five days. Friday is our last day. It can be a fun five days, but at some points during this week, I'm sure I will have a "pull my hair out" kind of day. I plan to keep pushing my 4th graders through our novel study for The Witch of Blackbird Pond and my 5th graders through their independent research using Wonderopolis is worthy of its own blog post. I'll work on that over break. 

In between all the seriousness, I plan on reading some winter and Christmas stories during our new ESOL Reading Club that meets every morning (K-2nd). I think I'll even throw in a few days of popcorn and hot cocoa. As our ESOL team sat together and planned last week, I once again missed teaching the younger students. They are always in awe and so imaginative, but at the same time, they are so eager for the teacher's input. Last year during this time, I was reading the series that started with Snowmen at Night

The students enjoyed it so much! We followed the reading of the book and discussion that included higher order thinking questions with a short narrative... "If I were a snowman at night, I would..." Students then created their own snowman designed on ABCya! Be sure to click on the image below and follow the link. I posted the students' writing and a printout of the their snowmen on the bulletin board. I also found a phenomenal packet by Lita Lita on Teachers Pay Teachers that helped students complete an expository text about building a snowman. This is great for practicing this genre but also helps students practice using sequencing words.

So, I love reflecting, and I'm poor about simply doing the same plan twice. I don't have my younger grades this year, but if I did, how would I up the ante on this plan? I would incorporate my Ipad. The app Chatterpix is like the app equivalent of Blabberize. If you're not familiar with either, the purpose of the programs is to take a photo and put a mouth on it. Once you've done this, you can record yourself speaking. The app and the website will then animate the mouth so that your voice looks like it's coming from the photo. Here is my little sample below. So much fun! Hope you enjoy this little activity and find a way to incorporate it into your week. Happy counting down!!

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