Thursday, October 27, 2011

Grant for My School - Vote for Us!!

Vote for the grant so my school can get some much needed PE equipment!!! You have to register to vote online but you can also text - its a lot easier. Text clorox5594 to 44144.
Program Detail:
Sandy Ridge opened in August 2011 as a visual and performing arts elementary school in Durham, North Carolina. We have approximately 600 students in Pre-K through 5th grade. Sandy Ridge elementary school provides strong instruction in the core curriculum, but with a focus on the visual and performing arts. The Physical Education program utilizes the SPARK curriculum which is designed to involve all children, be more active, incorporate social skills, and emphasizes both health-related fitness and skill development. As a new school, we have very little Physical Education equipment and no available funds for staff wellness activities. This grant will allow us to build our equipment inventory as well as providing additional wellness programs for our students and faculty.
How this Grant will Help:
This grant would provide Physical Education equipment, a fitness course for our nature trail, and employee wellness activities. The Physical Education equipment will be used by students of all ages at Sandy Ridge Elementary. Students and faculty could access the fitness course at recess and during Physical Education classes. Equipment would be selected based on the developmental needs of various age groups. Employee wellness activities would include personal training, nutrition education, activity classes, and health screenings. Having this equipment would encourage enthusiasm for participation in activities leading to the improvement of the health and physical well- being of our students and faculty.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What to do during AIG pull out??

For the past 4 years I have worked with both AIG and EC inclusion.  I did work closely with an EC teacher to work on collaborative co-teaching during the inclusion time.  However, I was AIG certified and did not work with a solely AIG teacher to help provide differentiation and enrichment for the upper tier.  Now that I do (and its great), I have to figure out what to do with the other part of the class during pull out for AIG Critical Thinking Skills.  The first week, we had a mystery reader.  It was a parent who came in and she had a great reading lesson that really included the students in the reading (I think I might even copy her strategy.)  This past week, we did an art project.  As an arts based magnet school, I am supposed to be integrating art into all instruction with a specific focus during our last 45 minute block of the day - enrichment.  It is during this time on Fridays that the AIG group (plus some other high students) is pulled.
  • My group started with a read aloud of Tomasso and the Missing Line.  
  • Then we brainstormed all the different kinds of line someone can draw.  The kids came up with zip-zag, straight, curved, diagonal, intersecting, angled, wavy, dark, light, etc.  
  • Then, after passing out a handout on lines, students were able to make any type of art with lines - and lines only.  Some students when straight to a house or landscape art.  I began mine on the board and a few students began to see that they could make "designs" of lines into a work of art.  
  • Here are some of the great products (not completely finished but you get the idea)...

If I could do the lesson again, I would also introduce the students to some well known art that uses great and obvious examples of various lines.  Maybe my artist friends and help me know where to start?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Character Traits

So I know I haven't posted in a while but I'm finally getting around to it and I have some great ideas (at least I think so) to share!  Most of them I have borrowed from somewhere else online but here they are...all put together.

I started the week with "I am.." character traits.  We went over character traits using a great sheet from Read.Write.Think.  Then, (after modeling of course) students chose or brainstormed at least 10 character traits to write about themselves.  When I took their pictures, I made sure to ask for evidence of a few of the traits they chose.  It would have also been great to do a quick write.

We studied character traits the same week that the students had to take COGats (AIG) testing.  Since I knew the kids would be exhausted and its a movie with strong characters - we watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  The old, better movie of course.  Over the three days of watching the movie, students had to record the actions, words, and feelings of the 5 "kid" characters - Charlie, Violet, Veruca, Agustus, and Mike Teevee.  After the movie, students created a foldable with pictures of the characters, and character traits with evidence from the movie.  The kids loved the lessons and it showed that they truly do understand character traits.

Willy Wonka Character Graphic Organizer

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Feliz Complaneos

Sometimes kids forget to tell teachers how much they mean to them.  However, when birthdays come around we are showered with cards, gifts, flowers, and candy.  My birthday was a couple weeks ago but I wanted to share the love that they gave me.

I made Owl cupcakes for my kids.  Vanilla cupcakes and chocolate frosting.  You add 2 halves of an oreos - the sides with the creme and then Reese's Pieces for the eyes and noses.  The kids told me they were the BEST cupcakes that they've ever had.  I think it was just cause they looked pretty :)

Presents for the fabulous teacher!  Chocolates, teddy bears, lotions, soaps, and a few beautiful roses :) The best are the many notes/cards I got from my thirdgraders.
"Dear Ms. M, you'll never know how much I [heart] you! Happy Birthday Ms. M! I glad to have you as a teacher!"
This student wrote this little note, then folded it in half and stuck it in my sweater pocket.  My kids decided to shower me with gifts and misbehavior for my birthday so I just kept pulling out the note and it brought a smile to my face :) At one point in the day I even moved all kids back to green because I said that I was just going to pretend everyone was making good choices for my birthday.

Birthdays are not only special for teachers but students as well.  A week after my bday was one of my sweet ESL girls.  Her dad was supposed to come at lunch and bring cupcakes but he never came.  You could tell she was disappointed.  He made it by recess and it was raining so we were all in the classroom.  She gave him a big hug and he left us with a cupcake cake - pretty cool.  Before we passed them out, the class sang Happy Birthday and she started crying.  Uh oh, what did I do wrong? My poor little shy girl was crying.....crying tears of joy :) She said she was soo happy.  The class showered her with hugs and Happy Birthday wishes.  My students really have big hearts :)