Wednesday, April 23, 2014


With this wonderful weather, and the snow finally melting off the outdoor basketball court, we've taken to the outdoors. We've gone up to the airstrip almost every evening, and have seen moose out grazing across the river and Max saw an early flock of geese flying over. We've also hiked down river, and noticed that it's starting to get pretty dangerous out there. Not many people are traveling on it anymore other than just going straight across to hunt birds. 

 Yesterday we spent an hour outside collecting trash for Earth Day. The class was totally into it, and I think a huge factor in that was that they were working for a reward and are very externally motivated. They tallied every piece of trash they collected, and in math we created data charts and graphs to show the information about what types of trash and how much of those types we collected. Now we're in the process of writing a problem and solution essay about littering, and how we can keep people from doing it so much around here. One of my students suggested that the main reason is that there are no outdoor trash cans, and if there were they would need to have lids because the ravens would get into them. Their writing and thinking has developed so much this year, it's incredible. 

This is our Earth Day art project from last week, each student decorated a square with 1/4 of a circle, and were told to make sure that the emphasis was on the difference between in inside and outside of the circle. They did a fantastic job, and were so excited when it all went together. 

Today for art we borrowed some sidewalk chalk, and created different drawings that students could draw and combine with themselves for a good picture. This was a great way for them to use their brains while doing regular sidewalk chalk art. They had so much fun accessorizing, and loved having their pictures taken. 

Of course, for those less artsy students, we brought a basketball, and by the end of our time outside they were playing a 4 on 4 full court basketball game. These kids love ball more than anything in the world. 

*all of my students have signed permission forms to release their photos for use on the web*

I don't plan on putting much else up in my classroom, and things will probably come down soon. I'm not sure how much of this I've already posted, but I want to have these around for future reference. Here are some anchor charts and posters that I've put up in my classroom: 

This one has been very beneficial, students use the words on the right when writing about these things and it's nice to have them handy so that they can keep referring back to it. I wish I would have done this anchor chart earlier in the year. It also works well with with CM sentence frames. 

My students lack the academic language to write without inhibition, so these posters really give them the words to use to express themselves. They refer to it often, and it seems to really help them. 

Perseverance has been an issue this year, this poster gives them other things to say beyond I can't or I don't know. 

Our classroom expectations are not things that students get in trouble for, but rather are things that students need to be successful in class. We refer back to them on a regular basis. 

Our class incentive program has worked very well, and gives students ownership of their behavior and rewards. 

We've begun the classroom countdown, 
only 16 days of school remain
I'm seeing some students that are regressing back to their fall behaviors due to lack of sleep. Some are also acting out because they know they're so close to the end, and they would rather be doing other things. However, I have noticed that I'm much better at dealing with these problems than I was in the fall, which makes me really glad. This has been such a wonderful experience for me as a teacher, and as a person. I'm looking forward to going back to Oregon, but I'm definitely going to miss it here.

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