Saturday, June 4, 2016

Do You Have Your School Pants On?

The last Friday before summer break is one of my favorite days of the school year.  It is our annual talent show (LOVE IT!).  This is the day that the students in grades 3 through 6 can showcase their talents.  This usually includes a lot of singing, dancing, instrument playing, skits, etc.  It is so much fun to see the kids show off their cool talents....I just love this day!!!  This school year marked the 7th year of the talent show, and there has never been a teacher to participate in the talent show.


My team member, Melissa (who teaches math), my school counselor, Debbie,  and I decided to do a spin-off skit from Jimmy Fallon's Tight Pants skit with Will Ferrell and Christina Aguilera.  If you have never seen this skit, then you MUST watch this!!!  Let's take a moment to watch....

Hilarious, right?!?!  

So, Melissa, Debbie and I decided to do a spin-off skit and call it "School Pants."  Instead of wearing "tight pants", I wore "read pants", Melissa wore "math pants", and Debbie represented "test pants".  We took Jimmy Fallon's transcript/song lyrics and altered them to fit our "School Pants" version.  We shopped for matching shirts and labeled our "school pants" using letters cut from our school cricut machine.  We practiced and rehearsed on stage only a few times before the day of the show (and by practicing I actually mean giggling and goofing around).  Between our continuous laughing during rehearsal, stage fright, and the food poisoning I got the night before the show....I honestly didn't think we would be able to pull off the skit.  In the end, I think the talent show skit turned out well and we seemed to have been the hit of the show!  

I hope you enjoy our skit as much as we enjoyed performing for our students, staff, and families.  

Happy Summer!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Flip Flops, Beach Chairs, and Teaching With Mentor Texts

Happy Summer!!!  I don't know about you, but this was a very long school year and I am super excited to relax and recharge this summer.  And by recharge, I mean exploring new books and new ideas to bring into the classroom for the upcoming year.

One book I would like to share with you that I think is super fun for teaching students about perspective is called A Weed is a Seed by Ferida Wolff.  I came across this gem at Half Price Books and immediately knew it would be a keeper for my classroom.  After reading it once, my teacher brain kicked into high gear.  So many different lesson ideas were forming.  Theme.....creative writing.....cause & effect.....perspective......growth mindset.  I could go on and on.  As teachers, we know that we can do just about anything with a picture book.

A Weed is a Seed teaches children about what the word optimism means (which is such a powerful word to teach to any age).  This picture books is all about finding the silver linings that nature has to offer.  Ferida Wolff points out the down side perspective of such natural wonders (such as moths, sand, earthworms, and air) and then celebrates or finds the positive side of their virtues.  This is a great example of looking at things from various perspectives that could generate a thoughtful discussion among students.  This is a fairly easy picture book, but it will provide a lot of great lessons!

This book can be used for many different lessons, but I would start by using this text to teach students about perspective.  After giving the definition of the word perspective, I would create an t-chart chart on the whiteboard to complete while reading whole group with the students.  Record the two perspectives of each object, event, or activity.  The anchor chart will be a way for students to see the different perspectives visually rather than just orally.  With the students, discuss how the readers can see that the same object, event, or activity can be viewed in two different ways (and stressing that both ways are true).  It's even fun to hear the students generate a second perspective before turning the page to read on.
What's another perspective of dealing with the sand when you are at the beach?

The freebie is to be used after the whole-group read aloud.  It can be used in a work station or as a scoot activity.  The perspective-taking cards can even be used for a creative activity writing exercise.  If you are using this freebie in a work station or scoot activity,  print the cards on card stock, cut apart, and laminate.  This will ensure that the cards last longer.  Students will use the Perspective-Taking Activity Sheet to record two different, but true perspectives for each situation. I did not include an answer sheet because there really is no right or wrong answer.  The purpose for the activity is to get the students thinking about different sides or perspectives to every situation, object, event, or activity. Grab your freebie HERE!  This would be a great lesson before teaching growth mindset!!!

Before you head on, don't forget to enter our group giveaway.  It will be open until June 10th.  Good luck!!
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To see what else is available in our link up, check out the list below!  Enjoy!