Five For Friday 1-23-15

Aloha Friday!! This week was fast and furious and we ended the week with a fun field trip.  Where did we go?  We walked across the street.

Our school is right across the street from the beach, and I thought it would be fun to go across and have a picnic.

Well it is winter here and that means BIG waves.  The waves this week have been huge and it draws crowds of people who want to see the surfers who ride them.

Today was absolutely gorgeous and the waves were about 10-12 feet!

My class was oohing and ahhing at the waves.  My pictures don't do it justice!

After about a minute of watching waves they started collecting shells and coconuts.

I asked a tourist (he was from Australia and the kids loved his accent) to take our picture.
The sun was in our eyes and it's not the best, but I think it's a pretty cool class pic.

How was your week?


Which Do You Like Best?

Aloha my long lost friends!  I feel like my blog posts are much fewer and far between.  I honestly miss sitting down and sharing the fun and sometimes not so fun things that happen in class.

This week we began working on Opinion Writing.  We did an  introductory activity to decide which was our favorite candy.

Before we started we discussed how we make opinions about things.  Sometimes we see something and think it looks nice.  Other times things taste, or smell good and we make opinions based on those senses.  We made a list of all our senses.

We talked about how our opinions belong to us.  No one can tell us what we should think or feel.  We get to decide.

I then told the students they were going to do a little activity to help them decide which they liked best.

Before the activity I had placed 5 Skittles and 5 M&M's in a little snack bag.  I passed them out and told them I wanted to use their senses to make a choice about which one they liked best.

They weren't allowed to use their sense of taste until I gave the signal.  Then I told them they could taste 2 of each to get a good idea about each one. (They had to save the rest until they finished writing)

Then I asked them to fill out this sheet.
(Click on picture to download from Google Docs)

I had a to help a few with the reasons, but most of them were able to use their senses to write their ideas.

I have to admit that M&M's make me happy too!

I also love the fruitiness and chewiness of Skittles!

They really enjoyed the activity and it was a great way to get them writing! I plan to also use their opinions to make a graph during math time comparing the two.

If you need a few more ideas and activities check out my Opinion Writing pack.  I plan to use many of them over the next few weeks.

What types of activities do you like to use for writing opinions? What are some of your favorite topics to use?  I'm always looking for fun ideas, especially in writing!


Positive Behavior In The New Year

Aloha and Happy New Year friends!!! This week I headed back to work after a very nice 3 week break!  I was rested and rejuvenated and ready to go back!

I brought a few gifts for my students from Arizona.

They were a little hesitant about trying Prickly Pear cactus licorice, but they all loved it.  I brought the scorpion lollipop just for fun.  They were a bit disappointed they didn't each get one!

I spent the first few days slowly getting back into our routine and we reviewed our rules and procedures for the classroom.

Over the break I had been thinking about a few things I wanted to focus on more in my classroom and for me it was working on KINDNESS and being more POSITIVE in the classroom.  I had noticed a few rude remarks from students and some not so nice behavior.  I plan to really focus more on those students that are showing kind behavior and reward them positively using my clip chart.

I know some teachers have done away with their Behavior Clip Charts and I have read a few blog posts from others who don't feel it is a good tool to use in the classroom.

For myself and my style of teaching it is one of the best tools I have ever used.  The one I created for my class is fun and the kids absolutely love "Surfing Up".

I don't use my chart to focus on the negative behaviors, I use it to focus on the positive.  When I am teaching a lesson and I notice some students are not focused, I zero in on someone near them and mention how wonderful their behavior is and ask them to "Surf Up".  Immediately the whole class is on track and focusing on what we are doing.

When a student helps me if I drop something or shows kindness to another student I thank them for their help and ask them to "Surf Up".  

Don't get me wrong, I use it if someone just cannot stop talking or get back on track and ask them to "Surf Down".  But for the most part it is for rewarding that good behavior. The student who surfed down to yellow surfed right back up for finishing his work and then helping another student.

My focus for the rest of the year is to really catch those kids being good, and to make sure I catch EVERYONE for the littlest things.  I had a student yesterday who was so focused and working so hard (who normally doesn't even get his name on his paper) and I asked him to move up the chart. He ended up on Cowabunga and he was so thrilled!  

Students who end the day on Cowabunga earn a bead for their Award necklace.  Once they earn five beads they can trade them in for a new tag.  I have a few students who are saving their beads.

It's easy to forget about these little things as you trudge through the mounds of curriculum, but just a few minutes here and there can make a huge difference in the self-esteem of your students.

What do you use in your classroom to foster kindness?

Do you have anything that you are focusing on for the remainder of the year?

Always love to hear your thoughts!


Wordless Wednesday

Aloha! Today I am linking up with my sweet friend Miss DeCarbo.

I am on break until Friday.  I am relaxing and doing a bit of school work. Did you start back to work this week or are you still on break?

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