I have really thrown myself into the CAFE book, and will start to use it in my classroom during reading. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so. I am going to go into school tomorrow and get my CAFE wall ready and my conferencing binder prepared. I'll keep you all updated on that.
I just wanted to share some of the things we have worked on in my classroom since I've last posted. We had worked hard on government because of the election. We spent a lot of time talking about the Three Branches of Government. Here are a few pictures of what we made.
We also created flip books about the four major Native American Regions and we also made totem poles (for the Pacific Northwest). I unfortunately did not get a picture of either of those items! I always forget to take pictures!
We also did a non-fiction text features study. We compared non-fiction to fiction books. We discussed features and why they were important.
The week leading up to winter break we did a winter haiku writing unit. The students all wrote their own haikus after discussing what a haiku and syllables were. We also did a poetry reading where we turned out the lights and instead of clapping the kids had to snap their fingers, they thought it was fun to pretend we were in a coffee house. (Maybe next year I'll do hot chocolate to help set the mood? haha) I then had students draw six snowflakes on white card stock with white crayons (NOTE: If you do this project make sure to find some big, chunky white crayons). We then took watercolor paints and painted over the crayon wax. I had all of the student's poems printed out on their artwork.
Here is one that I whipped up real quick. The students did a better job than I did! You really have to push down on the crayons. You also have to get creative with coming up with different designs for each snowflake!
Before winter break I went to a conference about EL students. One of the things that I really enjoyed and use in my class everyday are sentence frames. They serve several different purposes. One, they state the objective of the lesson you are teaching. Two, it teaches my students to answer their questions in complete sentences while talking. Three, if they can demonstrate their understanding of the objective it is more obvious when they are forced to repeat the frame.
This is just one example, more specifically, this frame is more of an exit card. I normally will write something like "I can explain the steps to adding fractions by _____" I always like to use the word CAN. I also try to use words like "I can DEMONSTRATE, or JUSTIFY, or INFER . . ." I really like it and my kiddos will automatically correct themselves if they forget to answer in a complete sentence. This has also helped improve their writing when they have to answer a question or do a small writing project.
WELP that is all for now - I am going to do my best to try and stay connected, especially with the ISTEP test coming up! This semester will fly by!