Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"How to" Writing

Two kindergarten standard-based bulletin boards feature our writing work this month. "How to" writing is also referred to as procedural writing or part of our non-fiction writing.  One of the kinder classes chose to use class experience with making fun foods as the basis for their writing.  They fixed a food with the class step-by-step and then had the children write about the common experience, using the step-by-step recipe approach.  Mrs. Mallon and Mrs. Dillard's kindergarten class wrote about making popcorn, chocolate pudding, chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate drizzled pretzels.  Each piece of student work is accompanied by the teachers' commentary.
How to make chocolate pudding
1.First you read the directions.
2.  Then you put the jello in the bowl.
3.Next you put 3 cups of milk.
4.  Finally you wait for 5 minutes.

How to make chocolate drizzled pretzels
1.  First you put the chocolate in the microwave.
2. Next you get the chocolate out of the microwave.
3.  Then you put the chocolate on the pretzels.
4. Finally you put the M&M on the pretzel.

How to make chocolate covered strawberries
1.  First you read the directions.
2.  Then you get chocolate chips.
3.  And pour them in a glass bowl and put them in the microwave
and every 30 seconds to count.
4. And get your strawberries and put the chocolate on.
Eat and enjoy.

How to make popcorn
1.First you turn on the popcorn maker.
2.Next you put two teaspoons of oil.  Then you put the kernels in.
3.Finally you wait for it until it pops.

Now doesn't that sound like a yummy unit!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Out takes"

So we are picking work for the bulletin board.  The children were given shapes and asked to use the shape in their picture.  This child chose a dog and drew the dog at a dog park.  Although this picture clearly met the standard, after very careful inspection, and a few laughs,  we decided NOT to use it on the bulletin board.  Can you see why? (1. poop! 2. the wrod "bench")  LOL!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Above What is Expected...

Sometimes things happen at our school and I am just blown away by teachers who go so far above and beyond.  Something like that happened recently.  I had a cute little pudgy, in that baby sort of way, towheaded munchkin in Kindergarten and first grade.  He struggled in a quiet sort of way and was identified for Special Education services.  In the process I met his Dad.  It was obvious that this Dad cared about his son dearly.  He reminded me of what I would call "a good ol' country boy," a little rough around the edges but he always showed up to let us know that he cared.  He tried to do the right thing, worked hard and did the best he could for his son.  I'm not sure where Darrin's (name changed) mother was but she was out of the picture entirely.  This was a Dad raising his son alone.

As the years went by I would see Darrin walking to his bus or would hear how he was doing from one of his other teachers.  He was a struggling student, barely making it through the maze of education.  Every now and then he would be in some sort of trouble but nothing serious - sort of "all boy" stuff.  Sometimes, in recent years, it would be a little more serious.   Darrin has moved on to middle school and I had heard he was beginning to get into some trouble.  Then, about a year ago, I heard that his father had cancer.  During the last year, our school reached out to the Darrin and his Dad - meals were taken, work was done on their tailer, a local church was asked to get involved.  This past week his father died... and his son is now an orphan.  The school, along with the church, stood beside this 13 year old boy, during a time of great crisis.  At the father's memorial our Principal delivered the eulogy at the request of the son.  The pew at the funeral was filled with almost every teacher the child had ever had at Chets Creek and some that just came for support.  The Media Specialist made a slide show of pictures that the son got together.  The church, along with our faculty, provided food and desserts for the small family and guests.  Money was collected to go into an account to be used for the son's needs.

I don't know what will happen for this young man.  Several of our teachers are involved with a family that is thinking about taking this young boy in.  Even though he had wonderful teachers at our school, we were not able to remediate all of his academic challenges but we did establish a relationship that reached well beyond the classroom.  As I looked around at the Memorial, I was just so proud of the people that I work with.  I feel so blessed to work with people who REALLY care about children and their families and who are willing to go the extra mile for each one of them...  You can't put that in an evaluation or even a pay check, but when you work in a school that walks the talk, it is life changing...  You can't expect any more from your life's work than that.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

100th Day of School

Teachers at Chets Creek take the 100th Day of school seriously from dressing up like they are 100 years old to making their own "100 of something" shirts and costumes!
 Gotta love those canes and "beep-beep" horns!

Each child was also invited to come with a hat, tie or shirt with "100 of something". The creativity was amazing!





sports stickers

Most of the kindergarten classes strung a hundred of something.  To make sure the activity was related to the Math work they are doing, the youngsters used a ten frame - making ten frames of 10.  Some classes included their 5th Grade partners.  I'm not sure who enjoyed the counting more - the kindergartners or the 5th graders!

Most of the kinder classes made some kind of 100 hat. Some of the classes counted 100 stars or stickers for their hats and others counted by 10's.  Some simply celebrated that it was the 100th Day!

Every class also did some type of counting activity for snack.  The kids counted 10 of 10 different snacks, e.g., raisins, gummies, popcorn, chocolate pieces,  pretzels, cereal pieces, marshmallows, cheese crackers, etc.

Of course, each class also did a little of their own thing.  Timmons-Ruark made a list of "100 Reasons Why We Love Maria" because it was Maria's last day before moving.  Mallon-Dillard had the children come in with 100 balloons on the ceiling and had 100 cupcakes to form the numeral 100.  Many of the classes searched for 100 numbered Hershey Kisses and put them on a 100 number chart.   Some classes wrote a list of 100 words around the room. The Kindergartners ended the day with a presentation by Zero the Hero who read a book and had the children do exercises such as 100 jumping beans, 100 jumping jacks, etc.  All in all it was a 100 Perfect Day!