Wednesday, October 31, 2012

R.I.P. Dead Words

It was the perfect day to teach word choice and have a little seasonal fun in the process. Room 102 mourned the loss of the word "said" plus several of his buddies. Students learned word choice is the difference between writing that is alive and writing that is dead on the page.
After the burial of several lifeless words (words actually went into a coffin), students began to study revision- the third stage in the writing process. They are replacing vague, lifeless words with words that are clear and specific. 

Students learned revision is much more alive and powerful. Flip through the presentation and enjoy a few samples of student revisions.

Pumpkin Puzzler

Put a little candy in a jar and now students are excited and motivated to do math! Students were asked to use reasoning skills and number relationships to estimate the number of pumpkins in the estimation jar. Sydney was the winner of October's Pumpkin Puzzler Estimation Jar.

101 pumpkins were in the jar.
Congratulations, Sydney!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Politics, Posters, and Persuasion

With the election less than a week away, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are picking up the pace of their campaigns - - particularly in the halls of Norfolk Middle School.

Team 2 students have reviewed the election process, reflected upon citizen’s roles in the process, and became informed about the candidates’ views on important issues. The students are registered and ready to vote in NMS’s mock election. 

Mrs. Wolff, Team 2 social studies teacher, has immersed students in the election through maps, games, videos, and lessons.

In language arts students were introduced to persuasive writing. Students were encouraged to use their knowledge of the 2012 election to lobby for something that is important to them and make persuasive arguments. 

Once students are aware of the techniques used in persuasive writing they then analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques.

Election 2012 provided an opportunity to have some fun with students, yet help them understand the importance of voting and being a good citizen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Best "Bud" in Class

Chase uses earbuds to listen to his computer program.

21st Century Literacy Skills is a term that is used a lot these days.  What does it mean?  It is learning core subjects with application of technology skills. Students in Room 102 are getting plenty of "technology time." 
A set of earbuds for each student is a great idea. It isn't fun using ear phones that others have stuck in their ears. You can get inexpensive earbuds at discount stores. Most students probably already have their own earbuds at home. It would be a great idea to tuck the buds in a Ziploc® bag and carry them  in the binder.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Author's Purpose: Easy as Pie!

We're cookin' up a story . . .
Students are reviewing the purpose of an author's writing: to persuade, to inform, or to entertain.  PIE!  The goal is to have students identify an author's purpose in their reading and media viewing, and apply these skills to their own writing throughout the year.
We began this unit with each student making their own pie. The students were given puzzle pieces and asked to glue the defintion and writing sample under the correct flap of their pie. 

Students then went to computer lab and practiced writing passages in these three modes. Flip books were created to showcase the student authors in Room 102.

Room 102 has the recipe for successful writing!
A shout-out to Dandelions and Dragonflies for sharing her PIE lesson plan.