Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Do you want to know what your students are thinking should be taught in the classroom?  This writing assignment is an eye opener!  Pros/Cons of brainstorming:  students have material to use while writing....students might limit their responses to the options listed on the board.   Makes a cute Class Book.   This can also be put on the website if you wish to share with others.   Will be a nice addition to the Journal/Memory Book at the end of the year.


I can't think of an easier writing assignment.  The guidelines are at the top of the page in question format. The students just need to answer the questions using complete sentences.  The questions also lend themselves to make it easier to capitalize and punctuate.  Tell the students that for each answer, they need to start with a capital letter and end with punctuation.  I encouraged the students to add a bit more: grade they were in, hobby, pets, sports, favorite subject...  We did a little brainstorm session before we began writing, so the extra ideas were on  the board, to help them.  A nice ending sentence could be:  One other thing I think you should know about me is _______________________.  I always had my students start a writing project with a Sloppy Copy.  Have the students bring their first effort to the teacher to be checked for spelling, capitalization, punctuation, idea...  On the Final Copy the students should be very aware of neat writing.  This project makes a great Class Book.  Remember to put in the Journal/Memory Book at the end of the year.

Monday, August 30, 2010


When November rolls around and you are talking about Pilgrims, pull this worksheet out for the students to fill out at home.  Have them draw a detailed picture of their ancestors coming to America and color it neatly.  While students are working, you can read the following book:

This makes a great Class Book for your Reading Corner.  Remember to put it in the Journal/Memory Book at the end of the year.  You might also post these on your website for parents to enjoy.




October is the month to celebrate Finger Printing and discussing why we do it.  Send the I.D. ME page home for parents to help their child fill out the information.  Have your students come to you to fingerprint them.  I used the stamp ink pad from my desk.The other students can be drawing a detailed picture of themselves and coloring it neatly. This is definitely a page that will go into the Journal/Memory Book after the students are finished reading the Class Book in the Quiet Corner.  Notice the cover is a picture made from finger tips.
See additional papers if you wish to extend the project: COMPREHENSION, SCIENCE INVESTIGATION, FUN ACTIVITIES from Copycat Press http://stores.ebay.com/Copycat-Store


Start October off with some spooky writing.  Begin by brainstorming ideas of what could happen one scary night.  List the ideas on the board.  Some ideas could be spooky characters, scary places, horrific sounds... Students write a sloppy copy on lined paper and have it checked by the teacher.  They copy onto the writing page after fixing errors.  Color neatly when completed.  A nice touch during the actual writing time is a spooky sound audio tape playing softly in the background.  Before you put into a class book, you might put some on your website for parents to read.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


If your school requires Data Folders on each child, this posting might be something that helps you.  Below are samples of The Data Folder, School Requirements, Mission Statements, Goals,  Students Tracking Charts, Student PDSA and End Of The Year Testing Results in one area.


Reading is such a serious endeavor in the lower grades.  Parents always want to know how their child is doing.  I filled these sheets out for each child and showed parents at report time or during conferences.  This report was based on a reading program from TOTAL READING.  You can set up your own requirements based on your grade level and reading program you are running.

Eventually our school went to the Accelerated Reading Program.  At the end of the year, I would send home the Student Record Report with a teacher note attached.    


I glued this onto the front of a file folder, put the student name and number on the folder tab, and attached record sheets on the inside.  I added record sheets when a student had filled out the prior one or was ready to move forward in reading level.  At the end of the year, a student will have his reading record in one folder.


Don't forget to write a Welcome Letter to your new students if you get the opportunity.  Everyone loves mail and if you have limited time, use the computer to type your letter and then change the name of the student.  Copy the letter on school related stationary for a nice touch.  
Also, after the first day of school, get on the phone immediately, and call your students.  You may have to leave messages, but that is fine.  It's the thought that counts.  I called from school.  To call 25 students takes about an hour of your time, but it is well-spent.  Let them know you enjoy having them in your class, you are looking forward to a great year, and you hope they had a good first day.  Tell them to go play outside, enjoy the rest of the day and you can hardly wait to seeing them tomorrow.  Parents love both these thoughtful gestures.  It starts the new year on a positive note.


When you find a paper that would help your grade level students, try to put it where it is seen frequently: in their textbook, on the wall, on a bulletin board, in a flip chart....


prior grade; a special friend; their pet; letter to parents for Open House; Grandparents; most valued possession; a time they had to be brave; a very happy day; something sad that happened; like being a boy/girl; three wishes; how they get ready for school; favorite animal; their neighborhood; when helped someone; favorite place; favorite holiday; a dream; my vacation; something that makes me happy; things that bug me; if my teacher peeked into my room; I think children should have summer vacation because; why I should stay up later; adults and children (cats/dogs-fingers/toes-rain/snow) are the same/different; things my mom teaches me; a riddle for the teacher
These are a few ideas for the younger grades.  Of course you have the students write about what you are learning also.  I always have them write about field trips, special days, holidays...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


This is a compilation of papers(Interest Inventories) that I used to get to know my students as well as for them to get to know themselves and their peers.  They can either go in the Journal/Memory Books or in Class Books after you peruse them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This is a really nice book report concept.  Students read their book for the month.  Get a white cardboard for each student.  Teacher can decide the size that is appropriate for the age group of the students.  Students draw a detailed picture about the book on the front of the cardboard.  At the top of the poster have the students write the name of the book, the author, and their name in black marker.  Students can then color the picture with crayons.  Remind them to fill all of the space, cover the white, and color in one direction neatly.  All of this can be done in class if you wish.  On the back of the poster students need to draw lines (with pencil) to represent puzzle pieces.  You may need to demonstrate on the board.  Teacher decides how many pieces are required.  Each piece will be a part of the book report requirement.  This will depend what you are studying in class and what your concept requirements are for your grade level.  Some requirements:  series of events; title author, copyright, number of pages; character...
The student will give his book report using a piece of the puzzle.  Teacher will need to have something for the student to put puzzle together on.  I used a cork board and gave the students push pins.  At the end of the report all of the puzzle pieces are together and the students get to see the picture.
I find this report keeps the students engaged since they are watching a picture come together.

Monday, August 16, 2010