Sunday, August 12, 2012
I love Pinterest! Each time I visit, which is daily, I find something that inspires me. Eventually, I follow the links to things I purchase or download, or I recreate them. Today was a recreate day. A while ago, I pinned this pin. It originally came from There's a Dragon in My Art Room. However, I am way too critical of myself to feel like I could hand-draw something similar. So, I hoped on my trusty computer and made something similar. I slightly changed the scoring and expectations to reflect my classroom. The best part for me is that I am working on improving a specific strand of our model of instruction, which is feedback. Our district asks us to ask ourselves "What will I do to communicate learning goals, communicate high expectations, track progress, celebrate success?" Hanging this in the room and discussing it is part of how I plan to improve in this area this year. The background graphics are from Be Artless. here.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
While I would love to share this, I don't feel quite comfortable doing that, as it is very closely based on this pin on Pinterest. It is something that the pinner purchased. Although it covered all the types of non-fiction I need to touch upon, there were things I needed to change to make it work for my classroom. First, I included "The Internet" instead of "digital media." Really, this was more for the familiarity/vernacular of my students than anything. Next, the definitions came out of the dictionary I use in my classroom; this way, the information is kept at a higher level for my older students. Additionally, although I included images, I wanted the written info to be the focus and the images a supporting piece. I also included a few items we discuss in my classroom that were not on the original, such as subtitles and subheadings. Finally, I made sure there was a place along the middle for folding. I will have my students glue this into their reading composition books. The page is too large, but I did not want to reduce it. There is a lot of info here, and it needs to be easy to access. They'll be able to fold it where the crease won't interfere with reading the words. Still, for younger grades, purchasing the preexisting one makes sense, and thus, I don't feel right about sharing mine for free. However, if you want to make your own, I can tell you what I did. The "books" are simple shape and line art. The definitions come from a source my class uses and trusts; I highly suggest that the definitions take into consideration the age of your students. If the wording is too high, the kids won't get what they need from it, and if it is too low, it talks down to them and lessens its perceived value. The images are from Microsoft--the ones that come with the Office software. I built my page in power point, as it gives me the most freedom to manipulate things; all I had to do was click 'insert clipart,' and search for images using keywords. I reduced their size to fit and gray-scaled the images for copying.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
It has been quite a while since I last posted, and a lot has changed since then. When school starts again, I am moving to a new grade and a new school. I have loved teaching 4th grade and didn't think I'd be leaving it so soon, but through a dear friend, a middle school principal heard I love teaching language arts. I've dreamed of teaching it all day for as long as I can remember. My friend's intervention led to an email, a phone call, an interview, and an offer to teach language arts, primarily to 8th graders. Of course, I said yes! This does mean that the focus of my little blog will change just a bit to reflect what I will be teaching, but many of my ideas for reading and writing will still be adaptable to upper elementary. In the meantime, I have started working on some words of wisdom to hang in my classroom. Here is the first. I have it in two styles/colors, as I am not sure which I plan to use. My classroom interior is going to be built around brown, blue, and green (to try and make sense of the very old and eclectic furnishings in my room). I was inspired by Dots on Chocolate, http://www.creativeteaching.com/c-438-dots-on-chocolate.aspx, which I think is mature enough to work in a middle school classroom. That color combo led me to look for digi fonts, which took me to http://www.etsy.com/shop/TracyAnnDigitalArt. I am still waiting for permission to share the items I make using her digi alphabets, and if I get it, I will have several new things to post. Anyhow, the second offering works with those colors. The first offering, instead, is rainbow-colored. Last year, I made my version of http://pinterest.com/pin/180707003768276016/, which I shared in an earlier post. I still want to hang this outside my classroom, as I think it is inspiring no matter what age the students. Since it is rainbow-colored, I made this poster to match, figuring that I will likely hang them together outside my classroom. This was made with various fonts (most from dafont.com and http://www.kevinandamanda.com/). It was inspired by http://www.scribd.com/tbentson/d/62787273-In-Our-Classroom-We-Do. However, I have changed several of the statements to reflect my ideas and the needs of older students. In This Classroom Documents
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Not something I can put up during testing, but I was in the poster-making mood, what with my new alphabet and everything! (See previous post for alphabet info.)
I failed to credit my inspiration for this poster in the original post. I have two teachers in my district (including one of my son's middle school language arts teachers) and helloliteracy.blogspot.com (the boarder was a freebie she posted on her blog as well!) to thank for sharing their ideas on how to get students to explain answers with the use of the word "because." I would never have managed this poster without their ideas!
After discovering KMP Doodles, I knew I had to have her alphabet to make a poster! I bought them this morning, had them in my in box within an hour, and of course, immediately started playing with them! Here, I used Alphabetsoup and Brightflowerpatch.
As always, I hope this is a poster you can use in your classroom too.
It's Kind of Fun Doc
Saturday, March 24, 2012
As I mentioned in the last post, I am on a poster-making binge, in order to decorate my classroom during testing (and beyond). Here is another one. My students have all learned that brackets  are used when you change or add to someone's words in a quote. If yours do not know this yet, you may need to explain it. The original quote uses the word "man," but I want my girls to relate to this as much as my boys, which I am sure is what dear Mr. Twain (or Samuel Clemens, which was his real name) intended.
The [Person] who Doesn't Read Doc