December 18, 2012

'Twas the Week Before Christmas...

One more day and I am officially on Christmas Break! It's so exciting, I have to say.
I have a few random things to share, mostly about school. I just want to get this stuff on here because I won't want to come back and do it after Christmas and I know it will be a mad dash the next few days.
Last week, my kids finished their persuasive writing projects. They worked sooooo hard on them and I think they did great!
First, I had the kids research a pet they wanted and a pet they didn't want. They made lists of facts and opinions about both pets.
We've been using the following poster to write paragrahs for some time.
I didn't come up with this. I found it here. I love it because it's simple and the kids seem to really understand it. I usually have them even underline each sentence in green, yellow or red to help them out.
So, to guide them a little, I created this little tool to help them write their paragraphs. They wrote the first paragraph aboout the pet they wanted and the second paragraph about the pet they didn't want.
(I can NOT get this to turn around! UHHH! You'll just have to use your imagination...)
After they wrote both paragraphs, we used the following poster to edit and revise them both independently and with a peer.
I found this poster here. I LOVE it! I've used CUPS for years. But, I've never found a great way to explain the difference between editing and revising. The kids seemed to really understand this and they did a great job of helping each other make their writing better. Another fun thing that I'm finding out third graders can do!
Next, they wrote out their persuasive letters. When they were done, I let them make their pets out of paper because... well, it was Friday. Why not?
It was time consuming. They literally worked on all this for 2 and a half weeks. But, they turned out great and I can tell they're improving in their writing all the time. So, it's all good :)
Fast forward to this week. We've had soooo much fun! We did a couple Grinch activitites yesterday. One thing we did was make Grinch similies. I did this with my first graders last year and since similies are a third grade skill, I figured why not do it again. The kids' favorite part? Oh, that would be drawing the Grinch. They were NOT. MESSING. AROUND. We have some serious artists in our class!
We also did a fact/opinion activity with the Grinch.
In the afternoon, I had a parent come in and help me with this:
gingerbread houses!
Today, we had our class party and they got to decorate the houses! To say they had fun would be a major understatement. I looked up at one point and saw one little boy double-fisting candy into his mouth, another boy licking icing off his arm and a little girl with a knife full of icing (plastic, of course) hanging out of her mouth. Quite a picture, huh?
Free for all. That's what this was.
Decorating in progress...
Clearly the little Dears were just so timid about putting candy on their houses...
Ta da!
Okay, last thing. This sweet kiddo is Jackson.
He goes to my school. I'm friends with his mom. And, he pretty much adores Finley. He kept her for me some this summer so they are big buds.
Look what he bought her for Christmas!
Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? He made my day :)
He made her day, too. She's squeaking away on that chew toy as we speak.
Thank you, Jackson!
It's been such a fun week and I'm excited to give my kiddos their gifts tomorrow and watch the Grinch with them. Oh, and it's Pajama Day! And, pedicure day. But the kids aren't invited to that :)
Good night!


FourthGrade Flipper said...

Your Finley is just adorable!! Thank you for the chart picture explaining revising v. editing. That is great! I love all your holiday activities too. How fun:)
Fourth Grade Flipper