Sunday, November 18, 2012

Prefix and Suffix Flipbooks

Hey everyone! How crazy has the last week been for you? It's been really crazy for us! We had a short week (only 4 days) and SO MANY OBSERVATIONS. My mentor teacher had an observation on Tuesday and one on Thursday and then she observed me on Friday. We also had a Thanksgiving feast with our kids on Friday with vegetable soup in the crockpot, cornbread, fresh fruit and berries, and cookies. So yummy!

One lesson I did this week was about affixes- prefixes and suffixes. This is important for fourth grade to learn new words they come across in their reading. We used flipbooks to teach the affixes. Have you ever seen these?
One side of the flipbook

Reverse side of the same flipbook
These are actually two flipbooks stapled back to back. This is how you make them:
1) Get some colorful paper- we had three pieces of paper per student (all different colors).
2) Cut each piece of paper in half lengthwise.
So much paper involved
3) Fold the pieces of paper different lengths, like the picture below. We kept one as a model while folding and folded the rest to match it.
Pictures are really needed to explain this part!
4) Stack the pieces of paper, one inside another, like a Russian doll, and then staple across the top.
5) Staple two books back to back so you can do prefixes on one side and suffixes on the other.

Once the books were made, each student wrote a prefix (or suffix) on each flap with the definition under the flap above. We did all of these together. Then they went to different spots around the room to read their independent books. As they read, they had to find one example of each in the book and write that, along with two examples they could think of, under the affix. They had a total of three examples per affix and then we went over everyone's and talked about what examples we found.
Sometimes we fit two on one flap.
The examples for mis- and non- are on the yellow.
The examples for un- are on the other side of the orange.
I love these flip books! They're great resources for the kids to keep and a lot of fun to make. I just used the list of affixes from the standard for Florida, but you can do whichever ones you need. I would recommend making them for the kids ahead of time and then having them fill them out. Also, I wrote sideways, but it would probably be easier to write normally. Live and learn, right?

This week we only have two days of school! Two days of school and five days off? Can we do this every week???

Monday, November 12, 2012

Decimal Activity

Happy Veteran's Day! We have the day off, and I've used my long weekend to recover from a cold. I had to use my first sick day this year on Friday, but I'm glad I did because Friday was the worst day of it and I was able to just sit in the bath tub and watch TV all day. Hehe, but some good news came to me Thursday night. I applied for Teach For America and was notified that I was invited to a final interview! I was just hoping to have a phone interview, but to find out that I can skip that step was so nice! So I have a final interview in December and will know the first week of January if I'm accepted. It would be really nice to know where I'm going by January- we'll just have to wait and see.
Eeeeeek! haha
Now that I'm starting to feel better, I thought I'd share a little activity I did with my kids last week. We're learning about decimals and they're expected to know through the thousandths place and how to pronounce them properly (which is something I have to be careful about, myself!) They really like using their dry-erase markers on white boards, so we came up with this:

So simple, but so much potential
Did you know you could put any worksheet in one of those protective sleeves and kids can write on them using dry-erase markers?! This changes everything. We did some practice like "Write the number one and three tenths" or "Write a number with a '4' in the hundredths place", etc.

Then we did a fun activity where everyone writes a number on their sheet, then passes it to their right. The next step is to write the number in word form, then pass to the right. The next step is to write in expanded form, then pass to the right. The fourth person has to check that everything is correct. Then you start over!
I have such great handwriting
You can mix this up in a bunch of ways. Sometimes we had the fourth step be "write an equivalent decimal", sometimes we made them stop at hundredths, sometimes they could go through thousandths. You could do this with normal place value, too! So many options. And when they're done, just erase!
I'm definitely going to be using these protective sheets for more activities. Hope you are enjoying your Veteran's Day weekend. We have four days this week and then two days next week before Thanksgiving break. Time is absolutely FLYING by!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Day 2012

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you enjoyed your extra hour of sleep this weekend- I know I did! It really threw me off this morning, though, because I kept thinking I was late with the sun being up already. No complaints here, though!

So for all of you who have been living under a rock, tomorrow is Election Day 2012. It's such a great opportunity to teach our students about democracy and how an election works and we have been doing some fun things building up to tomorrow. One really great website we've been using is actually a website made by a school. Check it out! They have a lot of really great resources and we used the quiz as a fill in the blank for the kids to do while we went through the powerpoint of how a president is elected.
Pop quiz: who are these men?
I also liked the link they had to the Scholastic website about the election. They have so many activities and lots of information! This would be a great thing for the kids to explore.
Can you SEE the potential?!
We talked a lot about the electoral college. This website is EXCELLENT to look back at previous elections. You can see all the way back to 1789- ha! It's neat though to see how close each election was. We also gave each student a couple of electoral college maps to color in for what the polls are saying now and one to color in Tuesday night as the votes roll in! I'm going to join in the fun ;)
This website is too much fun to play with!
It's so demanding: COLOR ME IN!!
Finally, a great activity to integrate reading has been doing research on the candidates. We gave each student a one page biography on President Obama and a one page biography on Governor Romney. The kids had to read each and highlight examples of the 7 Habits (being proactive, thinking win-win, putting first things first, etc) that show leadership. Don't you just love integrating subjects?!

We will be wearing red, white, and blue and anxiously awaiting the results tomorrow! I will also be showing off my "I Voted" sticker (hooray for early voting) and hope you'll do the same!! Happy Election Day, friends =]