Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Week of School!

The first week of school has come to a close. We had a very busy first week of school!

Tuesday – Students and I were all very excited to get to school in the morning and meet each other. I shared with students my Prezi welcoming presentation and reviewed what my expectations are. We did a couple of getting to know you activities because students in this class are coming from four different schools. We brainstormed questions for our upcoming Skype call with Matali Perkins, I was really happy that students were curious about her writing process. We played dodge ball in gym class, and students had a good work out as a result! We played some math multiplication games and talked about how big one million is in relation to objects in the world. Plus, forms, forms, forms! Students were given many forms for their parents to fill out, so I thought, in order to help their parents, I had the students fill in the forms with the information they knew. It worked really well!
Welcome to Grade 6!

Wednesday – The day began with all but 5 students returning their filled out forms! I was very happy because students would be able to use some programs that I had set up. I reviewed internet safety, and talked to students about how you really don’t know who you are talking to when you are on line. I hope they remember this as they use the internet. Students began using some programs such as:
Kidblog – to tell the class about themselves and what they did over the summer
Destination Learning – learning about making connections with what you are reading
Bitstrips – creating their aviator and a comic to tell the class about them
Livescribe Pen – write short stories in a group taking turns with creating sentences
Smart Board – students used this to read newspaper articles and write about how they connected to this article.
Students will continue to use these centers for the rest of the week.
We received a Skype call from Matali Perkins and students were so excited to learn from her. Students asked questions such as what is her writing process, where does she write and what inspires her to write. After the call students were asking me when we were going to do that again, they loved it and learned not to be offended when someone edits their work because they are just trying to make it better!

Thursday - I read a short suspense story to students, and explained that we will be working on making connections through our suspense unit. We created a shared writing piece on our connections with the short story that was read. This was difficult so we first make an anchor chart on how to answer questions and this seemed to help students with focusing their attention. The regular gym teacher will assist me in teaching my gym class once a week and I am very happy about this because I am going to learn how to be an excellent gym teacher with his guidance!

Friday – As a class we created a rubric for our suspense unit using Google documents. For some students this was their first opportunity using Google documents and it was a great demonstration for them. Students were split into groups and were assigned a specific expectation to change into kid language and write what each level represents. I think that some of them were a little shocked that I was putting the “grading system” into their hands. They were talking about how they couldn’t believe that they were able to decide how they were going to be graded. I felt this gave them a sense of true understanding as to what is actually expected of them. I look forward to having them create many more rubrics as the year continues. We ended the day with DPA, a running game called Spider.

It was a busy week that went by very fast! The highest compliment I received this week was when a student asked me when is lunch, and I told her school is over in 20 minutes. She said.” Wow, the day went so fast I thought we still had one nutrition break to go!”.

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