Monday, July 30, 2012

Words and Lists and One More Week

Hey everybody,
  Sorry about being MIA this week.  I was able to get in and start setting up my classroom.  I set up my tables and some bookshelves, but that was about it.  We have one last week of summer, and part of me wants to just enjoy it and not do anything school related, and another part of me realizes that there is SOOOOOO  much to do that I really need to get in there and get things done.  One of the things I've been working on is making some of those really cool pennant banners.  I was inspired by Mrs. Bainbridge over at
Bunting Books and Bainbridge
She has a Smilebox showing pics of her classroom and you can see her pennants there. I went and bought this really cute scrapbook paper
and am making them from that.  It's really a lot of work, so hopefully I'll get them done in time. 
Needless to say, I've sorta put reading the Primary Pizzazz book on the back burner (which is where things usually go in the last weeks of summer - you know, things like laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc).  But I did get some time to read today.  The second writing skill discussed in the book is writing words.  One activity that really looked like fun in this section was the "Mission Impossible Word Assignment".  Basically, you take the plastic or foam waffle weaved sheets and use the Ellison machine to cut out letters.  Put one letter in an envelope and seal it.  Pass out one envelope to each child.  Have them rub over the hidden letter with their crayon to reveal their "secret" letter.  Then, they turn the envelope over and write as many words as they can think of that begin with that letter.  Playing the Mission Impossible theme music would make it even more fun!
The next writing skill discuss is making lists.  As I read this section, it made me think about how important lists are in our everyday lives.  I mean, maybe it's 'cause I'm a teacher, but I make lists for everything!  I then started thinking about how much time I spend in class using lists as a writing activity.  I realized I probably don't spend as much time as I could.  The book talked about showing a picture of a familiar place such as the beach or a farm and asking the kids to help you make a list of nouns and verbs that they see in the picture.  This would be a good activity for the beginning of the year.  I could show pictures of school or, to make it more personal, find out where the kids went on summer vacation and show them pictures from those places.
A list making activity they list for later in the year is to show pictures as described above, but ask the kids to think of things that might be in the pictured location, but aren't necessarily shown in the picture.  This would be a great way to incorporate some critical thinking.
So how about you?  Are you a list maker?

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