Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ritz vs. oreo

5th grade.  compare/contrast.   venn diagram.  food.  there we go.  now i have your attention. :0
here's a simple yet effective to teach compare and contrast for nearly any grade level.

1.  gather in baggies:  one ritz cracker and one oreo cookie for each student
2.  dry erase boards and markers
3.  students will draw the Venn diagram on their boards
4.  label--ritz, oreo
5.  ask students to take a minute to examine their tools (cracker and cookie)
6.  in a small group/workstation you can open up for comments as they occur
7.  guide the discussion/comments as necessary
8. what is the same, what is different about these two items?
9.  use descriptive words as much as possible
10.  transfer learning/pr0cess to another topic--maybe a novel the class is reading, maybe two characters, the possibilities are unlimited

my mom has a pig on her head

well we had some fun learnin' today in kindergarten.  we talked about, read about, drew, and sang about the letter P.  each student (groups of 2 or 3) drew a pizza then put "P" toppings on the slices.  some of the choices included pretzels, pepperoni, peaches, peppers, pie, pigs...
while we drew/colored/discussed/practiced the beginning sound /P/, i remembered the great Laurie Berkner song, "my mom has a pig on her head"....and she keeps it there all day.  i was laughing at my brilliance, and then realized i was singin' a solo, and then horrified, noticed that the classroom teacher was lookin' at me out of the corner of her eye.  maybe i should teach her the song.
overall, we had a great time singing ridiculous objects onto our heads, and eventually the students gave into the silliness, and one fell on the floor laughing.  and i am glad.  pleased as pumpkin punch.  please laugh in kindergarten, and have a little fun with your learning.  
here are the lyrics as i best recall:
my mom has a PIG on her head (3x)
and she keeps it there all day
you can insert any object specific to your category--/P/ words, fruits, veggies, etc.

the photo is laurie berkner, not me--just to be clear

Friday, September 25, 2009

autumnal apron giveaway

rabbit trails.  my mind follows them every day.  all day.  and sometimes into the night.  blog lurking is right up my alley (or garden path).

over here at this lovely lady has taken her time to sew up an adorable apron and is hosting a giveaway.  so hop on over to her blog, follow the directions, and enter your smart self in her drawing.

maybe i should do a giveaway.  maybe i could make an apron.  ( i do know how to sew)
and paint, and scrap, and  and and....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

raspberry thankfulness

     our neighbors were out of town over the weekend so they gave us their "share" of produce from a co-op garden/farm to which they belong.
     in addition to great tomatoes (salsa!) we received some banana peppers and an adorable mini-eggplant.  he's just hanging around for decoration now because i don't have the heart to stab him.
     additionally, chloe and i had the opportunity to pick raspberries from the heavy-laden bushes.  the hour or so we spent together was one of those times you can't plan for, but once you realize the greatness of the moments, you are immediately grateful.  i was reminded once again what a good little worker our chloe girl is.  she's not afraid to get dirty, and she didn't complain even once about the prickly bushes.
     so thanks again to the neighbors for the food, but thanks more for the time and place to spend a good hour with my daughter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


at the other end of the rainbow...
6th grade book club
maniac magee
6 6th graders
40 minutes at the end of the day
and we get the school library all to ourselves
if we could just get an espresso bar, it would be perfect
read-aloud, critical thinking, group discussion
this is super
i love the give and take of a literature circle
i love recommending other books
i love helping students learn (or reaffirm) critical thinking skills
and at some point we will feast on Mars Bars- newly disguised as the Almond Snickers
and shortly after that we will sample some Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets
because you've got to bring the story to life
it must be relatable
and it should include food
and a lesson plan, state standards,and objectives
today some of our fantastic words were:
and suddenly all i can think of is
Rosa's New Pet/Puppy
she has pink curtains and a green couch
and is apparently an only child because there is an awfully small swingset in her yard with only one swing, and the illustrations show an immaculate home where the fresh flowers stay upright in their vases
good night
sleep tight
i'll be back when i untangle my brain


we like
we like sand castles
we work together
we can play
we can read
we like books
now i know my abc's, tell me what you think of me!
from 9:00-9:45 every day i work with small groups of small people with large personalities
i am loooooving these windows of opportunity.  every morning  get excited about trekking down the long hallway to the land of kindergarten.  i looove laying out the magnetic letters and helping the students sound out and spell WE. you would think it could get old, but it doesn't.  the lightbulb moment (you know what i mean) is priceless.  it warms my heart.  i care (and so does their teacher) whether or not they learn their letters.  i want to put forth my very best effort to help each of them in any way i can to give them the necessary tools to be lifelong learners.  it is about reading and writing, and it is about so. much. more.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009