Friday, January 10, 2014

Five for Friday

This was the best week ever!! I danced in my kitchen, saying,  "I love my job!" at least three times this week! That said, it's hard to narrow it down to just five awesome things this week, but I think I have it!  Thank you Doodle Bugs Teaching for the linky.

Look at my little ninjas!  Aren't they stinkin' cute?  I tweaked an idea I got from Brandee of Creating Life Long Learners. She turned her students into ninjas for word work, so I thought, why not "passage attack ninjas"?  Let's face it.  Working on analyzing texts can be really boring, but it's a must do to create critical readers.  The kids and I tied a red ribbon around our heads, practiced our best ninja "Hiyas!", and went to the "dojo" to do some "passage attack" work.  We had more fun this week looking at short selections and poetry.  The vocabulary and "close reading" conversations that came out of our work was AMAZING. We also watched this video to get us excited- Passage Attack.  Too much fun!

This next picture is an example of product choice in my class this week.  The students needed to jog their memories of the history we have covered so far this year, so we created timelines.  The diversity in the products was great.  Here's a sample of three different types. Some of my students used Inspiration. Others created a powerpoint of the "big ideas" we've learned about so far.  A couple of students had a terrific time with just plain, old-fashioned paper and markers. This took the kids thirty minutes and gave me a very good idea of what has actually cemented in the "Texas History" brains.

Remember these? On Monday, when they came back from the break, my students were very slow moving, especially during transitions.  I remembered the chapter in Teach Like a Pirate about how transitions will kill you, so I needed a quick fix.  I pulled up a "Just Dance" brain break and BAM! The kids got their wiggles out, I was also re-energized (and out of breath), and at the end of the break, the students were seated, pencils in hand, ready to work again.  Never underestimate the power of the brain break!

She was in tears when she dashed into the bathroom, so I quickly followed her in.  One of my little lovelies was picked on in p.e. for being "non-athletic".  I acknowledged her feelings of disappointment, and then reminded her of all her strengths, listing all I could think of that was wonderful about her.  She brightened almost immediately and said, "Let's go learn!"  What?  She made my heart smile.  

The best part of my Friday was meeting with the "design team" at my school.  In our district, we constantly discuss levels of student engagement and designing student work that is worthy.  Today, we discussed how we could continue to spread the desire for teachers to design engaging work.  A couple of my teammates shared their passion about this and now, I'm ready to start a revolution-an engaging work revolution!  (We've been studying the Texas Revolution, so I got a bit carried away!)   Truly inspiring stuff!

Have a terrific weekend!

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