Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Figurative Language

Class 3-6 is learning about Figurative Language!
My best bud Melissa at TeachingFashionista.blogspot.com had this helpful info on her class page.

What is Figurative Language?
Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else,
you are using figurative language. 

A simile uses the words “like” or “as”
to compare one object or idea with another to suggest they are alike.
Example: busy as a bee

The metaphor states a fact or draws a verbal picture by the use of comparison.
A simile would say you are like something; a metaphor is more positive - it says you are something.
Example: You are what you eat.

A figure of speech in which human characteristics are given
to an animal or an object. Example: My teddy bear gave me a hug.

The repetition of the same initial letter, sound, or group of sounds in a series of words.
Alliteration includes tongue twisters. Example: She sells seashells by the seashore.

The use of a word to describe or imitate a natural sound or the sound
made by an object or an action. Example: snap crackle pop

An exaggeration that is so dramatic that no one would believe the statement is true.
Tall tales are hyperboles.
Example: He was so hungry, he ate that whole cornfield for lunch, stalks and all.

According to Webster's Dictionary, an idiom is defined as: peculiar to itself
either grammatically (as no, it wasn't me) or in having a meaning
that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements
(as Monday week for "the Monday a week after next Monday")

A cliché is an expression that has been used so often that it has become trite
and sometimes boring. Example: Many hands make light work.

Check out this site for some great games to use in centers!

Youtube Downloader

So if you teach in New York City like I do, you probably can't access YouTube because it's blocked! SO frustating, I know! There are so many wonderful videos that could be so useful in the classroom. Well, after spending nearly my entire prep trying to search for a video yesterday, I spoke to a co-worker of mine (Denise! Thanks!) who gave me some really helpful advice. Here goes....

The secret is YouTube Downloader! It's a free download. I found it by googling it and it came up right away.

Once you have this downloaded you are ready to start. 

1. Find the video you want to use in your classroom. 

2. Copy the video's URL. 

3. Click on the SAVE TO icon and choose to save it on a Flashdrive. 

Finally, enjoy the video with your students! 

Thanks again, Denise!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Communities Around the World

My class is beginning to do research on CHINA! It's such an interesting place to explore for my 3rd graders. They love learning about the Martial Arts, the dragon festivals, Chinese New Year, and so far the most popular feature seems to be the Great Wall of China. They are simply amazed about it!

The final project that they will be completing is a Brochure about China. They are learning how to research facts about topics, use multiple resources to locate facts (i.e. the internet, trade books, text book), write "perfect" paragraphs, and remember to include features of non fiction where applicable.

These are some of the resources my students are using:

National Geographic has an amazing section on countries. There are videos, photos, facts, and printables. My students have enjoyed visiting this site to get facts for their brochures.

Ancient China for Teachers 
Lesson Plans & Activities This website is great!  I discovered this when I taught my students about Egypt last year. It offers tons of great lesson plans ideas. My favorites are the power point presentations. I plan to show my students the Great Wall power point presentations since that seems to be their favorite!

Monday, January 2, 2012

January Writing Prompts

Happy New Year everyone! 
I hope that 2012 brings everyone much joy, happiness, and luck. It's important to just sit back and appreciate your life and the important people in it. I'm extremely lucky to have such wonderful family & friends & most importantly adorable, loving, and healthy children. 

2012 is going to be a great year! Looking forward to what life has to offer!

Here are some writing prompts for January.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Aerobics for Kids!

This year, I am implementing aerobics in my gym class. I plan on teaching students how to take their heart rate and calculate their BMI. I think it's imperative for kids to know just how important keeping active is. It's recommended that kids (and teens) get at least 20 minutes of good aerobic exercise 3 times a week. While searching online for some resources, I found many videos that I can use to show my students before they learn their own routine.

To begin this with  my student, I plan to start with the basics. I will define and explain what aerobics is and we will discuss the importance of living an active lifestyle.

The Many Benefits of Exercise

Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Kids who are active will:


Taking Heart Rate

I found this on this great site

Your heart is a pump which pumps blood out around your body through your arteries. You can feel the blood pumping where the arteries are close to your skin. These are your pulse points, and if you feel gently with your fingertips you can count how fast your heart is beating.
The idea of aerobic (air-oh-bik) exercise is to get your heart pumping faster, which will exercise and strengthen your heart (see our topic Fitness).
Learn how to take your pulse, and you will be able to see how well you are doing in your aerobicexercises.

How to take your pulse

You can find your pulse in several places. Here are two of the easiest places to find it.
*To find your pulse in your neck
Put three fingers of your left hand onto your Adam's apple in your throat (that's the bit that sticks out and goes up and down when you swallow.)

Feel gently to the side of it, and you will find your pulse beating (you can feel it going up and down).
neck pulse

*To find your pulse in your wrist
Hold your hand in front of you.wrist pulse
Stick your thumb up in the air and turn the palm towards you.
With the first two fingers of your other hand, stroke from the top of your thumb down the side until your fingers reach your wrist.
Let your fingers slide downwards onto the inside of your wrist, and gently feel for your pulse.
When you have found a steady beat, count how many beats in 15 seconds (use a watch or clock with a second hand).
Times your score by 4, and that will tell you your pulse rate per minute.
To see how well you are exercising, you need to:

exercising*Take your pulse before you start - this is your 'starting pulse'.
*Take your pulse after you have been doing high level exercise. You should be aiming for over 150 beats a minute (if you are well). Aim to keep it at the higher rate for 15 minutes.
*Take your pulse when you have finished your cooling down exercises. It should be the same as, or a bit lower than your starting pulse.
To really improve your stamina and endurance, you should do 20-40 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times a week.exercising

My hope is to create a 10-15 minute video of an aerobic routine with my students. 

Multiplication Number Stories

I love integrating literacy into everything! This book is about Kangaroo’s birthday, but no one will play with him: not the emu, the platypuses, the koalas, or even the dingos. They all have too many things to do. What exactly are they doing? They’re using multiplication to figure out just how many things they have to do to plan a big surprise for Kangaroo!s This past unit in Math focused on multiplication and division. We learned the key words for number stories. The students used their Student Reference Books (Everyday Math) that have a Variety Store poster that shows items being sold in different amounts. They were told to select a few items to use for Kangaroo's birthday and create a number story with the information they were given. They had to use multiplication and some students wrote division number stories. Some examples of their number stories were: 
I was planning a birthday party for Kangaroo. I went to the party store and bought 3 packs of balloons. There are 12 balloons per pack. How many balloons did I buy in all? 

The students exchanged their number stories and worked together to get the answers. I found that giving them a specific task for writing number stories really made a huge difference in the quality of their number stories. Also, since they had a purpose, they were trying really hard to write number stories that could actually happen in real life. 

Predicting with The Mitten

I've been MIA lately... so much going on at work and getting ready for the holidays is taking up most of my time! But I do want to take a few minutes to archive some wonderful things that are going on in my classroom and in my life! 

One of the recent reading strategies that I taught my 3rd graders was predicting. A great book to teach this skill is The Mitten by Jan Brett. For those of you who don't know....it's a humorous story that retells the traditional Ukrainian wintertime tale of several animals squeezing into a mitten to stay warm. The language is humorous and predictable. The illustrations also help them make predictions because they foreshadow what will happen next by including a small picture on the side of the page. The students had a great time predicting as I read.

While there are several ways to use the book to teach predictions, I chose to make predictions Before, During, and After reading. I had them record their predictions in their reading notebook. Then they discussed their predictions with other students and they made comparisons with one another. I printed out the whole page size mitten from http://www.janbrett.com/put_the_animals_in_the_mitten.htm. The mitten is blank but I drew some lines on it for them to write what their predictions were before, during, and after reading. They also had to explain if their prediction(s) was (were) correct.

I'll post some pictures of their work this week! (hopefully!)