Friday, April 26, 2013

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears...Oh My!

We have finished our novel study on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz this week and the students absolutely loved it! They were super surprised at the amount of changes from their favorite, the movie, to my favorite, the book. I do believe I converted a good number to favor the book over the movie :)

For the end of our study I decided to steal some pretty awesome ideas from Pinterest. (FOLLOW ME!!) The first activity we did was with the fantastic foldable cubes. (Here's where I got it!) I have done cubes before...but more on a what's your favorite character, what's you favorite scene type ideas. This one on Pinterest just blew my old ones out of the water!  

Talk about practicality through foldables! I did alter the assignment a little. We actually reviewed some literary terms throughout novels and stories. We did our cube with the Characters, Setting, Climax, Theme, Mood, and then a Title Page side. The title page side was for the title of the novel, the author, and the name of the student. I also told my students to get creative in how they represented these parts to their cubes. Students were instructed to use pictures, and as few words as possible! I absolutely loveee seeing their little minds thinking of how they will represent the theme and mood through pictures! Here are some of the absolutely adorable cubes I got!

Also, for the end of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I assigned a PROJECT! The dreaded project. I did get lots of moans and groans when I said that there was a project...and even some gasps when I told them they only a week to do it! (Whoops!) However, after explaining that, hey, it had Instagram involved, I did get some smiles. I also took this idea from Pinterest. ** I'm telling you... Erin Klein is awesome! She has sooo many ideas worthy tweaking for your own classroom! Mad credit to her!! ** I posted about how it was a wonderful idea a while back...but I am finally now going to use! Whoop Whoop! Finding new things and using them :)

Here's where the idea came from..and here's how they represented it:

Following the end of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, (SPOILER ALERT) all the main characters are separated into different lands. How perfect for a reason to Instagram, right? I mean, how else are the characters supposed to keep in touch with each other? My kids are eating it up! Students are going to choose one main character (Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, or Dorothy) and give them an Instagram account. Then they will make one picture for what that particular character has been up to since they got separated. Finally students will choose a second character and comment on the original picture! I love it!! So, here is my assignment paper and rubric for my students making the project. I can not wait to show some of these off! 

Until next week..and the Instagrams get rolling in, have a great weekend! Love, The Dolphin Team :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Japan, The Korea's, and Cause & Effect..Oh My!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. It has definitely been an exciting Monday here for the Dolphin Team. We have started this week (maybe like most weeks) catching up and finishing up things from the week before. Aren't we always behind in something? :)

We finished our study of Japan and the Korea's today. (Check out our fabulous SmartNotebook Lesson here!) We were specifically looking into Feudal Japan and the Korea's and understanding their history. Students first completed a map of the area that we are studying. (We did about two weeks ago before moving on. We discussed the locations, islands, peninsula, seas, and oceans that make up the area we are studying!)

Next students created a foldable (my favorite!) for Japan and the Korea's physical geography, history, culture, civics and government  and economics. As we went through that fabulous SmartNotebook file (find the link above), students wrote down three specific facts for each category, and then highlighted the information with a picture. I love including pictures in the notes because I feel like students find the information more relate-able when they can express it in pictures. It also seems to keep their interest to watch me draw. I definitely did not get the best drawer award growing up! Here's some my wonderful foldables on the Dolphin team:


The students always seem to love getting the foldables completed and seeing how interesting they look. They always choose such creative little pictures to display and represent their information. Now it's time for a little ancient civilization review with the Dolphins before jumping next week into the Middle Ages (focusing on Europe). Bring it on! 

Finally for today, check out what the Dolphin team has planned for the rest of the month in our APRIL NEWSLETTER. I know it is the 15th already (Ah! Tax Day!) and pretty much half-way through the month...but I'll take the whole "We weren't back at school until the 8th because of Spring Break. Therefore, I'm only a week late" excuse. ;)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Well My Oh My!

First, let me start off by saying I am completely full of shame. I am embarrassed with myself for not blogging in close to 2 MONTHS! What is wrong with me? That is just ridiculous! I guess let me explain a little of what has been going on (OK, OK...let me make some excuses maybe). I am currently in my second semester of my Master's program (Middle Grades) at Appalachian State University. I absolutely love the program, but have found myself a little preoccupied with it the last two months. I am currently in a curriculum course, and a technology course (probably my favorite two!). Therefore, I have been devoting A LOT of time to those and it definitely took away from my blogging. Also, more personal, my husband and I have recently sold our house (Whoop Whoop). We started thinking of selling and figured we could put it on the market now and have it sold by the end of the school year. Yea Right! Our house was only on the market for 2 DAYS! So, within the last month, our house was put on the market, sold, closed on, and we have moved into an apartment (we are building in York!). So needless to blogging has fallen away.

But never fear! It is the third day back from Spring Break and I am ready to roll. You may get overwhelmed with my goals of blogging for the next few months :)
Before we got out for break, the Dolphins read the novel Touching Spirit Bear. It is a wonderful novel and my students absolutely loved it! We did lots of activities throughout the novel (Check out our Smart Notebook file here!) as well as a final project. I have always done cute little presentation projects for this novel (check out the project selection list). However, this year...I wanted to do better. I found a site that mentioned students creating Book Trailers. Basically movie trailers, but for the novel. I collected some materials, made an information sheet, and rubric, and gave it a try this year. We created the trailers through Animoto and it has definitely been my students favorite program this year. Check out what my students received for their information sheet and then check out some of their amazing work below!

Until the end of this week (when I blog about the fabulous first week back at Cramerton Middle) have a great Wednesday through Friday :)