Thursday, April 20, 2017

Blackout Poetry - Update





Earlier I wrote about how to do Blackout Poetry using Google Docs. I was dying to try it! A friend, who teaches 4th and 5th grade ELA to gifted and talented students, was all over it and invited me into the classroom. 

We all did a poem together so students got an idea of how the tech worked. Then they were on their own for their poem. 

The fourth graders struggled with what made a poem (many of them just picked words that summarized the article they were using) however the fifth graders did such a good job! The pictures above are a sample of some of the really outstanding poems.

I would definitely do it again! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jazz Appreciation Month - StoryLine Online


StoryLine Online just released a new book just in time Jazz Appreciation Month (April). It is called Rent Party Jazz and is read by Viola Davis (of "How to Getaway with Murder" fame).

Rent Party Jazz tells the story of: "Sonny Comeaux, a young boy living in New Orleans during the 1930’s. Sonny works before school and during the weekends to help his mother make ends meet, but they continuously struggle to make the monthly rent. When Sonny’s mother loses her job, all seems lost – until Sonny encounters and befriends jazz trumpeter Smilin’ Jack. When Jack hears about Sonny’s troubles, the musician offers to help Sonny and his mother put on a party consisting of tasty food, good company and great music in order to raise the rent money."

There is an activity guide for teachers as well. The activity guide is recommended for grades 2/3. 

Enjoy! For an additional jazz tie in type in "jazz for kids" on YouTube for music that you can play in the classroom. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Test Prep Practice - 3rd Grade Math


I have been working as a ClassFlow Ambassador this year which means I have been getting a lot of practice using the site to make lessons!

I have been working with some of the teachers in my district helping with test prep. I just finished putting together a series of five "lessons" that are designed to be test prep practice for our third graders. Each "lesson" has 12 test like questions which gives students practice in subtraction with regrouping, rounding, multiplication, measurement, and fractions. All together there are 60 practice questions.

The reason for this push is that our state will be going to mandatory computerized state testing next year with the option to begin this year. We took that option (as we are a 1:1 district). These "lessons" (I am putting quotes around them because they are more practice then lesson...but the system calls them lessons) are designed to expose students to computerized test questions in math.

ClassFlow is free to use (you have to make an account) and allows you to deliver interactive lessons to students on their devices (so they can respond on their tablets and iPads). If you are a 1:1 district I would definitely check it out.

Here is a link to all 5 math practice sets for anyone wanting to check them out and use them.