Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MIA: Playing Catch Up

Hey everyone, I'm very sorry for my absence from blogging. I am right in the middle of finishing up 9 weeks of maternity sub plans!! (I only get 6 weeks of maternity, but because my 1st baby surprised us 3 weeks early, I have to be ready just in case.)

I have a bunch of stuff I want to share with you, so please accept my apology for being gone for so long.  Follow along as I play a game of "Blogging Catch Up!"

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Rachelle just shared her awesome Substitute Survival Kit (which I love and am totally using a couple of her pages!). I wish I had a substitute pack of sorts to share with you too, but everything I've made for my maternity plans is so specific to my class/school that I'm afraid nothing will be applicable to anyone else.

I do have a cute binder cover that I can share with you, if you'd like. :)
(Clip art by Thistlegirl Designs)

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We just had our BIG state writing assessment.  Let me tell you, my life for the past 2 months has revolved around persuasive writing. It is so nice to have the assesment over!  I won't know my students' scores for a little while, but I am pretty confident that they ROCKED it!

I do want to share some Persuasive Writing stuff with you all, but I'm still putting some finishing touches on everything. In the meantime, have you ever heard of a TAP F? I never had until my new team member (thanks Kathy!) introduced me to it this year. It's basically a way to brainstorm your persuasive writing. You teach your kids how to make a TAP F and you train them to do it all on their own. After weeks of practice, your students can do ALL of this all by themselves.

This is just an example of what one of my struggling writers produced. I was blown away!

Here's the quick explanation of a TAP F:

Have your students fold a blank piece of paper into thirds. They write the letters TAP F down the left hand side (T=Topic, A=Audience, P=Purpose and F=Format), they make a T chart for pros and cons on the right side, and the middle is for a mini outline of their paper.

For the state assessment, I read the testing instructions, said they could begin, and my students got busy working on their TAP F's. It was amazing to see. The quality of the essays they produced was outstanding. I can't wait to see the results!!

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For fun (and to reinforce synonyms) my class has been playing the Hink Pink game. They LOVE it! If you have a subscription to Super Teacher Worksheets, they have a bunch of different worksheets you can download.
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As always, I'm behind in my social studies teaching. I am now just barely finishing the Revolutionary War. My students did this cute project where they wrote about the differences between the American and the British soldiers and drew a picture of each. Their work turned out so cute! 
Oops... sorry the above picture is so blurry... 


Here is a copy of this download for you. Since I'm sure you're all much farther along in your history teaching, I have also included a similar project where they compare Union and Conferderate soldiers from the Civil War. 

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In math, we just finished up our BIG fraction unit and are now moving on to Geometry. Since Geometry is so rich in vocabulary, I always give my students a blank vocabulary sheet that they can glue into their math journals to help keep track of all the new words we learn.

Here's a copy, if you want one.
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Well... We've been doing tons of other things in class too, but I have about a million things on my baby to-do list that need to get done. I promise to try to blog more in the near future.

Oh, and please expect some darling pictures of my little cutie when she gets here! :)
She should be here in 3-6 weeks! SO EXCITING!!

11 comments:

YearntoLearn said...

Oh how I wish sub plans would write themselves. No such luck.
Congrats on baby to be.


Yearn to Learn Blog

Tammy said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! I love all of the great things I see on the teaching blogs! Thank you for the sub plan cover sheet download, too! Do you have any suggestions of where I could buy fonts that are creative, like the ones you used on the cover? I only have your standard word fonts!

Tammy
Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher

Miss Squirrels said...

You have some amazing artists in your class!
WOw- planning so far ahead! Were you teaching when your first child was born? I am just curious how your class did while you were gone.
Staci

Going Nutty!

misssquirrels@yahoo.com

Tessa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tessa said...

We do something similar for writing but we do RAFT and we do it for a variety of writing, not just persuasive.

R- Role
A-Audience
F- Format
T- Topic

Our first graders have even had success using it!

Tessa
Tales From Outside the Classroom

Christine said...

Thanks for your ideas! I love your soldier activity. I'm just finishing up the Revolution myself! :)

KRISTA said...

Thanks for sharing your TAP-F. ... I've been searching for something I can use with my students for persuasive writing. This looks perfect! I can't wait to share this with my colleagues in my grade level.

Good luck with everything and how exciting!
Krista
stellar-students

talklessdomore said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tiggeriffic 2nd Graders said...

Wow! You have to do all the sub plans for 9 weeks??? In our district, teachers do a few days maybe a week to get the sub going and then the sub is required to do the plans. When I was a sub, I did work with the teacher at times and she gave me her files and showed me some of the activities she did but it was up to me to write the plans. I also talked with their partner teacher and got help from them. I can't imagine trying to get ready for a baby and doing sub plans for that whole time! Good luck!
Stacee

Anonymous said...

Wow! Why do you have to do all the sub plans for 9 weeks??? I am having my second in May and I am doing my end of year cum folders and a few other really important items, but I don't have to do all my lesson plans. I am SO sorry you have to do that. Best of luck to you and congratulations on your baby.

By the way, I LOVE your blog!!!

Erika
essvedy@aol.com

April Walker said...

Loved your pictures and comparisons of the Patriots and the British. I agree that your students are great artists.

I think RAFT is a great writing strategy. It really gets students to think about audience and point of view. I did a persuasive unit back around Thanksgiving. We started with this lesson from Writing Fix:
http://writingfix.com/genres/persuasive_lessons/Thanksgiving_Protests.htm

It is super cute. You write from the perspective of an animal asking not to be eaten.

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