Friday, March 29, 2013

Conference Ideas And Resources

We had our last conferences for the school year last week, but I am just getting around to posting about them.  Is it just me or is that week before Spring Break the LOOOONGEST week ever???  Today was our last day before break and boy do we all need a break right now!

Anyway... I just wanted to share a few things that I do during conferences.  If possible, I have the student run the conference.  I have them complete the sheets below which I found from Lesson Plan SOSThis really helps them guide what they tell their parents and I have found the students to be VERY honest.  Their reflections usually match their grades closely, and light bulbs seem to go off in many of their heads about their work habits.

They are often tougher on themselves then I would be, but that is often a great teaching point in itself!
 
 
 

This conference I also asked them to write a short note to their parents telling them one thing that they are proud of this quarter and one thing that they are still working on.  It worked great for the conference but also as a mini-assessment.

 
 
I also found these forms from Ms. York's class that I think I might use next year.  I will use the ones above for the beginning of the year conference, and then the ones below for the end of year. 

Do you have your students write self-reflections for conferences?  Do you have any other tips for having successful conferences?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Book Review and Freebies!



On Monday through Thursday my class has specials right after our first recess.  Hands down their favorite special is "Mr. Shea".  Mr. Shea is the counselor at our school and he comes in once a week to work with the kiddos on a variety of topics from team building, self-esteem, and character education. 

But... they were really excited to learn that Mr. Shea was an author!  His first book The Adventures of Bob: To Doodledip For Soup was just published this month.  Our whole school got a sneak preview a few months ago during a special assembly.



The basic premise of the book is that a man named Bob is whisked away to a faraway planet where he is invited by the King to enjoy some soup.  But... Bob doesn't want to eat the soup. His punishment for not eating the soup? He is forced to take home a fat, purple, servant cat named Bongo who doesn't listen to anyone!  He should have eaten the soup!



Mr. Shea has also created his own TPT store where he has several free activities to accompany the book.

Since the assembly, Mr. Shea and Bongo (one of the main characters of the book) have been busy making cute little videos available on YouTube.  The one below is my son, Luke's favorite.




You can purchase a copy of the book at the link above or at Amazon here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Learning About Point of View and The Powers of Persuasion Plus A Giveaway


We have been working on a unit of persuasion, point of view, and opinion. I found this idea for Point of View using Dear Mrs. LaRue Letters From Obedience School on Teaching With Style. We worked together to complete the chart below similar to what she had on her site.

 
 

Then I divided the students into groups and gave each group a copy of the pictures from the book.  They each wrote their own charts with "the truth" and Ike's Point of View.  They did a great job!



 We have been working on persuasion for the past two days, and I will be sharing some of their work soon!  They used their persuasive abilities to convince me to try on the birthday hat last week for my birthday.  Ever since I began teaching I have forced convinced my students to wear the hat on their birthday (even my middle schoolers!) On my birthday my hubby stopped by with cupcakes for my class and they persuaded me to wear the hat.  Hubs HAD to snap a picture. (Am I the only one who hates having my picture taken???)




Speaking of persuasion, hopefully I can persuade you to check out one of my favorite blogs!

One of my favorite parts of blogging is the camaraderie that exists among teacher bloggers.  I love sharing ideas and resources!  I especially love helping other bloggers celebrate their success by donating to their follower giveaways!  I am excited to help Nikki over at Sent From My iPad celebrate her milestone 100 follower giveaway.  I am giving away an item of the winners' choice from my TPT store, but there are also some other fabulous prizes including an iTunes card and a Wal-Mart card!  Besides the great contest, Nikki always has AMAZING technology resources and ideas, so you will want to follow her anyway :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learning About Point of View

Have you ever had one of those impromptu lessons that really ends up working better than what you had originally planned? That happened to me this week when we started our unit on point of view and opinion.  I had originally planned to introduce the topic using Dear Mrs. LaRue, but I accidently left my copy of the book sitting on my counter at home!  Panic mode hit, and I began scouring books throughout my classroom.  Somehow I stumbled upon the book No David - and inspiration hit!

We worked together to complete this last minute thrown together chart focusing on David's point of view and his mother's point of view.
It worked amazingly as an introductory lesson, because there are very few words in the book, and we were able to complete the chart.  I loved the ideas that the kiddos came up with for both sides.  We completed the chart above together then I had the students complete their own chart for the part where David is playing baseball in the house.  Here are a few examples of their work:

 
 
A few of them had a hard time with writing in the first person, and what they were thinking, but we were able to talk about it and their revisions showed they understood.
 
What ways do you teach about point of view? Have you ever had to resort to a new plan?
 
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