February 2017 - The Teacher Studio: Learning, Thinking, Creating
teaching narrative writing
We are digging into a fun narrative writing unit to complement our historical fiction unit.  I know many of you write personal narratives...many write realistic fiction...mysteries--you name it.  One of our fun writing projects is to take a scene from one of their historical fiction book club books and rewriting it through the eyes of a different character.  It's so much fun to talk about point of view and how we can take a very "known" event and make it our own.
math process standards
When you have students that struggle, they spend an awful lot of time feeling frustration with the lessons and other activities we do.  They often "check out"--and the cycle continues.

One thing I have started to do about this time of year is to go back to some of the activities earlier in the year that I know some of my less able students really struggled with--and weren't even willing to try doing and pull them out again--sometimes with a new twist, but always with a "You know...this fall, I know this was tricky for you, but I have seen how much you've grown and I know you're ready for it now!" type of comment.
teaching fractions
Well, things got even more interesting as my fraction unit unfolded on day 2!  For those of you who read my first fraction post, I discussed how we used paper folding to get our fraction concepts unit "launched", and we ran out of time to finish the investigation.  I gave them another 25 minutes today to work on folding their different fractional amounts and then asked them to spend some time writing in their math notebook on any of the following:

What did you notice?

What was challenging?

What was easy?

What patterns did you discover?
hands on fraction activities
Today we kicked off our fraction unit, and I think I am going to really try to do a lot of blogging about it over the next few weeks--because I will be immersed in it AND because it is such a critical component of the Common Core for intermediate grades.  I think it is vital that we dialogue about ways to help students build their understanding of fractions, so I invite you to share along with me as I "trace" the path of our unit as it unfolds.  I'll try to be clear--but you know how I tend to get wordy!  I'll try to include lots of photos and work samples as I go, and I am hopeful that the rest of you will share great ideas and resources that have been successful for you.

teaching dialogue
Today is my day to post over at Upper Elementary Snapshots, and I hope you'll head over to read about a lesson I did last week to help slow down my readers and get them thinking more deeply about the books they read.  I am excited to see if our dialogue studies transfer to their writing next week--so stay tuned!  Want to learn more about what we did?  Just click the image above and check it out!

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