Sunday, 26 May 2013

Our Values and 5 Star Work

Although this is an old item, it is something that we do at the beginning of every school year and that I believe I will continue to do with every class that I have. I think that in order to establish routine and expectations in a class, it is important to set out the values that are determined by the students themselves.

Here are the values we created this year: 

We value positivity, acceptance, co-operation, respect, honesty and organisation.
We also create a criteria for what qualifies as five star work in maths, reading, writing, handwriting and independent work. These are posted in the classroom and are referred to while students on working on activities in all subject areas. Before students can submit work for marking, they need to check that they have created five star work. 


Friday, 24 May 2013

Comparing and Contrasting Text

Like I mentioned previously, I really wanted to start finding great texts to use for teaching different skills in reading. In my post about Cause and Effect, I used some texts that worked really well. 
For teaching comparing and contrasting, I absolutely love the book "Mirror" by Jeannie Baker. It is a lovely book of comparisons between an Australian family and one in Morocco. The book is designed so you can see the pictures and story simultaneously. It also opens "left to right" as English books do, for the Australia story, and then opens"right to left" so you read in Arabic. 

It truly highlights both difference and similarities between families living in these two different countries and cultures. An absolutely wonderful story to use for comparing and contrasting and so many activities that can follow-up with it. 

Follow-up: Venn diagram, T-chart, self-to-text connections, etc. etc.

This website has a great blurb about the text and also some great activities:
Shopping in Morocco

Shopping in Australia

Friday, 17 May 2013

Comparing and Contrasting

I begin my unit on comparing and contrasting in reading on Monday. Below is my "Comparing and Contrasting" anchor chart. Fingers crossed that all my activities will work. I will post a follow-up with more comparing and contrasting ideas :) 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Place Value Poster

This idea is from Runde's Room's Interactive Maths Journals. When teaching whole number place value, I created a place value columns poster based on Runde's idea. The slight difference is that I added the place value houses as I believe it is an added teaching tool for place value.

I used this poster when working with small groups to help them read and recognise whole numbers up to six digits. My students eventually made their own posters and we were able to have small competitions with our posters. In small groups, I would read a number to the students and they had to create the number with their number pullouts on their poster. Other teachers in my area have used the place value posters in their maths class as well with great success. It is an easy poster to create and you are able to model so much with it. Definitely worth the time creating it!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Decimal Poem
I found this on Pinterest and loved it. It is definitely worth sharing.While teaching decimal place value, students often get confused with how to read decimals. Although I teach using place value columns and houses, sometimes it just doesn't stick. So, I found this poem, and even though song is more of a lower primary thing, it worked well for my kids in upper primary.

I highly recommend using this when teaching decimal place value. Whenever a student would read a number incorrectly, I would just point to the poem and students were able to self-correct. 

An excellent tool!!!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Texts for Teaching Cause and Effect

Every time I teach a new strategy/topic in reading, I try to find texts that work directly with that topic to use in my whole class focus. With the help of Pinterest, I was able to find a few books by an author called Laura Numeroff that related directly to cause and effect.

I only used "If You Give a Dog a Donut" with my class but read both the other two and they are as good to use. These are great texts to created cause and effect chains about as for every cause there is an effect and that effect then becomes a cause for another effect (I know that sounds confusing, just read the books and you'll understand!). I will definitely use these books again when teaching cause and effect, and they can be used for students at all age levels too! Enjoy! :)