Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cooperative Learning with Reading Response and Writing Activities

Busy, Busy, Busy...   
I wanted to share some student samples from a couple of cooperative learning tasks involving reading response and writing. 

We are in the midst of our final unit of the year called "The Spirit Within" and I wanted to share some of our work. 
So, here is what we've been up to lately...

 Literature Circles: Sequence of Events Map-
A "During Reading" Group Task for Night...

 Literature Circles: Sequence of Events Map-Group Task for Night...After reading a section of Elie Wiesel's memoir, students created flow maps in their literature circle groups. These are just two of the creative ideas they came up with to show the sequence of events. I like to have them work in groups because they learn so much from each other. 
Partner Allegory Writing after Reading "Terrible Things" by Eve Bunting...

I gave them the option of working independently or with a partner to compose their own allegories based on the idea presented in "Terrible Things" and, to my surprise, I had a good handful choose to do it independently. Either way, the originality and imagination that came out was amazing. 
Students read their allegories to the class after taking a couple of days to compose allegories and then illustrate them--in the form of a children's book. They really had fun with the project.
We thoroughly enjoyed hearing the different avenues taken to present the same idea!

As you can see, my kiddos have been busy with various hands-on tasks, in addition to getting ready for our upcoming state test! 
(I won't even yap about state

What have your students been doing in class these last couple of weeks. Please share your fun ideas and cooperative learning activities with us.

a smith innovative connections

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Recycled Materials - Great for Organization Tools and Storage!

Hello all...Recycled materials - Are you a fan of organization tools and storage containers??? I am!
For those of you who enjoy scrap booking or tend to have lots of little "scrap" pieces of paper you keep to decorate items with (photos, collages, scrapbooks, classroom decor, art activities, student crafts, etc), I found myself looking for a perfect-sized container to keep all of mine in-nice and neatly... 
What I came up with was a FOIL WRAP BOX---just your every day foil wrap box from the kitchen. Instead of tossing it, recycle it!
1. I had a roll of white masking tape (not the manilla colored tape, but white) that I happened to find for under $1 at of my favorite stores (LOL)! 
I covered the box with this white tape...

2. After covering inside and outside box with the tape, I put all of the scrap booking pieces in it.

 3. Afterwards, I wanted attached a piece of Velcro under the flap to keep it closed--instead of tucking in the top flap. I guess you could tuck it in, but I had the Velcro and decided just to use it!

4. Last, I had to decorate the box with some of my scrap booking pieces because I just couldn't stand to leave it plain white! Ha...
Inside (and Velcro pieces)

That's it! Just wanted to show you because I just recycled items lying around! Possibilities are endless for classroom organization!! This is great also for colored pencils, skinny markers, grading pens, and all sorts of art supplies  (pipe cleaners, straws, Popsicle sticks, etc.)

Have a great Thursday!

Ann Smith TPT Innovative Connections
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