Monday, February 17, 2014

Got Grit??

I was lucky enough recently to participate in a book study at my school. We met every Wednesday morning before school and discussed How Children Succeed by Paul Tough . Some of our discussion were quite lively and passionate, but my favorite chapter and discussion was on GRIT!

What is grit? Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth gave a recent TED Talk on the subject:

I have begun to introduce this subject of Grit to my students and their families. We have been watching some of the Olympic footage and looking for examples of grit. The best example so far is US Men's Figure Skater, Jeremy Abbott! Before watching the video we talked about how hard it is to get to the Olympics, the sacrifices the athletes and their families make, and the amount of daily practice they put in to be the best. Then we watched Jeremy skate his short program....

Then we talked about how he finished the program.... No it wasn't the skate he was looking for and some people may even say he failed but if you ask my class he won that night. I asked the question to them... Was he successful? Why or why not?   Here were some of their responses...
     *He didn't give up               *He finished what he started       *This was his dream
     *He overcame the fall and didn't fall again  
     *That must have been so hard for him to keep focused but he did

We then used The Grit Scale from Dr. Duckworth as our guide and continued our conversation. Sometimes it is about more than just a medal.... sometimes it is about GRIT !!

Only 1 student thought he failed..... I am working on him.. :-)

Have yourself a gritty day !!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gallon Man !!

I feel like I should be singing a superhero theme song.... 
Gallon Man..... 
Gallon Man.....
 He makes liquid measurement easier to understand.....
 Gallon Man..... !!!

My class has been studying liquid measurement and let's face it, it can get a little confusing. How many cups are in a pint? How many pints in a gallon? How many pints are in a quart?
 Enter Gallon Man! 

This cute hands on activity helps students answer those questions. I gave the students a set of handouts for them to color. They could color it any color they wanted but all the quarts had to be the same the color, pints the same color, and cups the same color. In years past we would make Gallon Man, hang him up and call it a day. However, this year I made extra copies on card stock and as part of my guided math groups they must remake Gallon Man. At first I got the typical complaints,  but now they look forward to it and have begun to time themselves to see who can recreate him the fastest! There are so many versions all over the internet but Laura Candler has an easy to follow pattern free of charge!

I also use interactive notebooks in my classroom, I just love them! We create the Big G to add to our book. The Big G is another great visual for students to refer back to and for them to visualize if they need to. 

Have a fabulous day!


Monday, February 10, 2014

The Snow Globe Family

     Winter got you down? Kids getting antsy? I know my students are! So while scanning my favorite website... Pinterest... I came across all kinds of cute and fun snow globe activities. I decided to use The Snow Globe Family by Jane O'Connor and S. D.  Schindler as my mentor text and came up with a couple of activities that align with the Common Core to beat the winter blues.

Check it out at The Snow Globe Family

This is just one of the many activities that are included in the mini unit

Here are some of the fabulous ideas that I found on Pinterest....

I love this idea from Babbling Abby ! What a great and cute way to brainstorm ideas. She also had her students create their own snow globe.

This is from Fabulous in Fourth 

Have the students pose for a picture in their snow gear and take their picture. They can create a snow globe using a clear plastic plate as the "dome" of the globe! Display their writing and their globe together! Love it!

If you search for snow globe writing activity on Pinterest you will have so many to chose from!
Have fun and think Spring!