Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thank You Cards

I’m a big letter writer and LOVE teaching kids about writing.  One of my favorite things to do is teach about writing a thank you card.  We begin in our WN (writer’s notebook) and have a section toward the back of the notebook dedicated to the thank you cards we will write throughout year.  As a class, we brainstorm about our thank you cards.  Who is the card for?  Why are we thanking them?  Kids write their what they are going to say in their WN checking for punctuation, spelling and sentences that make sense.  Reading our words out loud helps us in the editing process.  We also talk about what greeting cards look like and why people buy a card in the store.  Color, design and effort are all ingredients that we add to the cards we create.  Our cards are completed over the course of a week and are AMAZING.  I will deliver our first batch of cards to 826michigan on Monday! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Spiral Multiplication…makingour own rules
This was an outstanding way to practice our multiplication facts.  They worked in teams of four and each team member was responsible for making one rule for the game.  No one could disagree with your rule and all rules MUST be followed for the duration of the game.  As I walked around the room, I heard and saw wonderful conversations between team members.  They worked well with one another and were having a great time practicing their facts and creating crazy, sneaky or difficult rules. 

Try playing it at home!  Here are the rules they created:
If you roll a 3, you lose a turn.  JaVonte
If you roll a 5, the next person loses a turn.  Shantell
If you get two 1s in a row, you get to choose the player you want to lose a turn.  Richie
You can choose to go two times in a row, but then you’d miss a turn.  You can only do this 3 times.  Miles
If you get a 6, you go back one space.   Jacob
If you get a 1, you get another turn.  Sandy/Collin
If you roll the same number that is on the card of the next player, you can bump them back two spaces.  Nico
If you roll a number that is next to each other in sequence, you must stay there.  The 4th time, you choose someone to go back a space.  Elise
If you get SNAKE EYES, you get to choose a player to move back five spaces.  Justin/Ella
If you roll a one, you go back a space.  Lexi
If you get one six, and the next turn you get another six, you can switch places with another player.  Arjun
If your card and the die has the same number, you get to go again.  Josef
If there is a card over six and you get a six on the die, you get to go again.  Annalise
If you get the question wrong, you go back one space.  Max
If you roll a five, you get to choose someone to go back a space.  Adam
If the answer to your multiplication problem is six, you get to move ahead six spaces.  Jane
If you get the answer wrong two times in a row, you must go back a space.  Drake
If you get a 50 in your answer, you move ahead five spaces.  Kristina
If 5 seconds go by and you didn’t answer, you were safe.  If you said the answer right away, but wrong, you moved back 2 spaces.  Aidan
If you roll the same number that is the card ahead of you, you get to switch places with someone.  Colin

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spiral Multiplication
I am always on the lookout for FUN ways for kids to learn their multiplication factsand I found a new one recently!  The game Spiral Multiplication is an easy to play game with very few materials needed to play. 
You will need:  a deck of cards, 1-2 dice and game pieces (we used anything that works last week, we used my business cards!).  How to play:  The cards are put on the floor to create a spiral and kids put their game pieces in the middle of the spiral.  The first person rolls the dice and uses the sum of the dice to multiply the first playing card.  If they answer correctly, they move one space.  If they answer incorrectly, they don’t move.  Kids had a great time playing this from the onset and started to think of new rules as they played.  How fun will it be to make up new rules for this game?  Kids can add dice in order to make the problems more difficult.  So many great things are going to come out of this new game.  I can feel it. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

What does it mean to INFER?
Good readers make inferences, or conclusions, as they read.  It’s an important skill for understanding text, as authors often imply themes and ideas, without stating them outright.  During our first discussion about inferencing, I made a mean and nasty face and said, “Pretend I’m your mom and you just asked me for something.  Are you going to get it?”  “NOOOOOOOOO!” came the loud answer.  How did you know?  What led you to believe that you had NO chance at getting what you wanted?  J  Easy.  Next, we talked about what they know about me.  They had a ton of things to say...and they were all quite accurate and meaningful.  I then produced my backpack and asked them to think about what might be inside.  After thinking about it, everyone had a chance to tell me one thing they thought was in my backpack.  It was fantastic!  They came up with a lot of great items and were right about most of them.  (Yes, I really have a toothpaste and toothbrush in there!)  Today, I put a picture in our morning message and had them write about what they thought was going on.  We reviewed our previous inferencing lessons and then wrote about our thoughts.  Bravo 4th graders!  Tomorrow, we share what we wrote today during our PM POWWOW.

Good Morning!
I hope you had a spectacular weekend!

Get out your WN and start thinking about this picture.  What do you think is happening?  What is going to happen next?  Remember to use EVIDENCE to make your inferences.  This is what we did when you figured out what was in my backpack!  Use clues in the picture!

Market Wednesday

There is nothing better than a great Farmer’s Market.  We are lucky to have The Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market so close to us here at Haisley.  I like to stop at the market before school to grab a treat for the kids.  They LOVE applesa LOT.  Wow.  It’s wonderful to have kids clamoring for fruits and vegetables.  I was the kind of kid who tried anything and ate a lot of wacky foodsand I do my best to get my chiddlers to try new food too.  The apples in this picture were an delicious peck grown and picked by one of my favorite teachers from elementary school.  My PE teacher Mrs. Wolfe sells her apples at market and I LOVE stopping in to see her.  She proves a few points: Eating an apple a day CAN keep the doctor away.  Staying active and fit means you will enjoy many years of retirement.