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We packed a lot in the first four days of school in addition to doing math, writing, and word study assessments. We read many read-alouds about our Star Qualities. My students LOVE TO READ. We focused a lot on being respectful listeners and following directions. One story we read that has been floating around Pinterest was Lacey Walker Non-Stop Talker.
We read another story about being a respectful listener called Listen Buddy.
After reading these two books, the students blogged about text-to-self connections. We brainstormed situations where the characters didn't listen and the consequences that resulted as well as situations where the characters did listen and the positive consequences. Then the students shared their own experiences before I sent them off to blog!
The platform I set up for the students is through Kidblog.
It's free and is super easy to set up! The students have a login and password so that only our class can view the posts. They can also access it at home! I also set it up so that I have to approve a post before it's published.
We also did many community building activities. My favorite activity we did was the giant web of yarn. I learned about this activity at New Teacher Orientation from another teacher.
I started with a ball of yarn and passed it to a student while holding on to one end. This continued until we had the giant web above! We had a discussion about how we needed teamwork to create the web. Then I told one student to let go of his piece. I asked the class what happened when that student let go. They responded that it became weaker. Then we discussed how we are stronger when we work all together. The web was such a great visual, and the students seemed to have a lot fun with this activity.
Our Time Machine also made an appearance last week! Our grade level's theme is The Time Travelers so I'd had this dream about one of my classroom parents (who is also a friend and colleague) making a time machine for our class. SHE ALSO HAD THE SAME DREAM!!!! So we thought it was meant to be that we create a time machine! She got a cardboard rocket from Target (by Rose Art but in the Crayola section), and we spent one Friday night decorating it with two of her kids (one of which is in my class!).
Too cool, right?! The kids can actually go in it! So at school on Friday I had this exact picture on the SMART Board, and the students made observations about it. Then they went on a I-Spy Time Scavenger Hunt where I had numbered Mini Judy Clocks around the room. Each clock also had a letter attached. The students had to tell time and record the letters in the appropriate blank, which spelled out "time machine".
Then I brought our Time Machine out from it's hiding place in my classroom closet! They were amazed! I don't think they were expecting to actually see a time machine!! The last thing we did was vote on a name for it...the name "Mr. Jaffee" won. That's my last name. Too funny, right?! They want it to be my husband. Oh the minds of 7 year olds! Throughout the year we will use "Mr. Jaffee" with the curriculum (i.e. If you could go in a time machine which famous American would you want to meet? or If you could go in a time machine which Native American tribe would you visit?). When students are Porter Patriot of the Week (star student) they will have the opportunity to go inside and leave an artifact related to the curriculum.
Hope you're having a great start to the school year!! Here's to another week!