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« What Can We Do Today? | Main | Not really something I wanted to do... »
Monday
Feb162015

STEM, a Book, and Wacky Writing ... Makes for a Great Morning

I had a really good day today …

And it is not because students got out 2 hours early due to a winter weather forecast!!

The 4Cs (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication) as well as lots of thinking skills made an appearance in my classroom today!

Here is a quick overview of a few things that really made me smile today:

  • My morning began with a group of 4th and 5th grade students. I let students vote whether to do a creative writing activity or a STEM activity. It was a good thing I had the needed materials since STEM won the vote today! Bring on the toothpicks and mini-marshmallows as we embarked on the Three Billy Goats Gruff challenge found on Starfish Education. (I took lots of pictures and made some great observations, so be on the lookout for me to share more soon)
  • Next came a group of 2nd grade students. Over the weekend, I got to visit my favorite little bookstore (Quail Ridge Books). I don’t normally look at the children’s books there (I know that is not a thing you expect to hear from an elementary school teacher), but one book caught my attention: The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock. I loved the books so much when I read it this morning before school that I just knew I had to use it today! After doing a read aloud (which I love to do) and a think aloud where we discussed the things we noticed both in the story and in the illustrations, we did a listening activity inspired by Elizabeth Peterson’s book Inspired by Listening
  • Then it was time for my 3rd grade group. I haven’t felt very connected with this group (been meeting with them twice a week since middle of January) but things seemed to CLICK today!!!  We did a creative writing activity using a task card from the Wacky Writing Prompts mini pack.  Students had an object, a place, and a person that they needed to include somewhere in the story. We brainstormed possibilities and then I just let students write. I really tried to stay quiet to not interrupt the thinking and writing process. Seeing student ideas unfold and float out onto pages just made this writing teacher’s heart sing! 

I want my classroom environment to be welcoming for the 4Cs and other higher order thinking skills to be frequent vistors or maybe even move in …

My morning reminded me of why I do what I do!

Reader Comments (1)

Such fun! I love your spontenaeity and willingness to be flexible. I just bought The Noisy Paintbox (because of this post) and I can't wait to check it out and try some music integrated activities for March (music and literacy month!) This would also integrate well with geometry. Thanks for your inspiration! :)

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