Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Classroom Ideas

Author's purpose PIE- The kids made their own pies using two paper plates and crayons.  Their challenge was to identify each letter, label the purposes, match the descriptions and examples under each slice.
Adverb centers- I found these ideas on Pinterest.  The kids loved doing the adverb acting and game.  I found the other stations helpful because I got to check over their work to see their understanding.
Homework collection- I found this bin on  The kids love "feeding Fido."

End of Student Teaching

Tomorrow is my last day, so I have prepared a few things for my students and cooperating teacher.  First, we finished literature circles today, so I gave a prize to the group that did best throughout all nine sessions (nine chapters) based on their rubric scores.  I gave the winning seven people trophies filled with Smarties.  Since it was the first time they all participated in literature circles, I gave them all Smarties with a note attached to the candy.  

Tomorrow, I will give each student a crayon that I made.
I made these crayons using a cupcake tin and old crayon pieces.

I added a note on a popsicle stick thanking my teacher for all of the guidance she has given me throughout the experience.
I found these daisy boots for my cooperating teacher.  I thought she'd like these boots to pull student popsicle sticks from.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Student Teaching Classroom Ideas

Voting- The class earned a celebration for earning links for good behavior at specials and in the hallway, so I let them vote on the type of celebration.  They brainstormed a list of ideas at the beginning of the year, so I used those ideas in the first poll.  Then when a movie over lunch won, I had them vote on the movie.  Google Documents has a really easy poll generator.

Literature circles- Students seem to really enjoy their book clubs.  Each group member chooses a role from the hat (tosses it back in the hat if they have done the role already) and completes the role in the packet.  Then they come back together to talk about that chapter.

Cause and effect relationship graphic organizers- The graphic organizers are kept in a pocket here and randomly selected to refresh our memories about cause and effect.
Cause and effect graphic organizer- Students thought of a cause and effect relationship, labeled the flaps, and explained the relationship under the flaps. It made a confusing subject a little easier and more exciting for the kids.   

Story Pinwheel- I use this during guided reading groups to summarize chapters they read for literature circles.

Response cards- I use these so everyone gets to share their answers instead of just calling on one student.

Fraction Sundaes- I used this to introduce numerators and denominators.  Their fractions were all different because I had them choose 1-9 scoops of ice cream and let them decide on flavors.

Brain breaks- When I notice students are bored or tired, I let their brains take a break by randomly choosing a student to reach into the brain break jar to choose an activity.

Spin around five times


Thumb wrestle with a shoulder buddy

Jump up & down, as many times as there are letters in your first, middle, & last names
Handshake creations

Body writing

Imaginary hot potato

Imaginary jump rope

Rainbow tag- find an item in the classroom after calling out a color
Imaginary hula hoop

Animal crawls- crab walk, bear walk, leap frog, etc.
Dance break

Poetry break

Skip around the room two times

Rock, paper, scissors



Valentine's Day fortune tellers- The students enjoyed learning to fold their own fortune tellers and created their own fortunes.

Valentine exchange bags- My students created their own bags by following a few simple steps.

Miss Ritchey's desk :)

All About Me-shirt- I created a t-shirt for the students to get to know me.  I created t-shirt templates for them to fill out about themselves as a way for me to get to know them.  At the end of the year, the students will sign the back of the t-shirt.  I am also going to iron on a picture from Read Across America Day.

Raw/processed foods activity- Students searched through newspaper ads to classify food items.

Agriculture concept map (frayer map modified)- Students folded their papers as they would to make a frayer map but labeled their sections to meet the needs of this science assignment.

Exit slip- I have students write about what they learned before they can be excused from a lesson to start other work.  It is a nice closure and helps me plan instruction.

Compound word activity- Students took a slip of paper out of the plastic bag that had a definition.  Then they found two egg shells that made up the compound word and recorder their findings.
Interactive Venn diagram activity- We used two hula hoops for a comparing and contrasting activity.
Parts of speech French fries activity- While reviewing adjectives, articles, and nouns last week, the kids did a sorting fries activity. It was a fun way to review a dry topic.

Plant parts books- We watched a BrainPOP video about the parts of a plant and referenced the book "How Did That Get into My Lunchbox?" that we read in a previous class to put together these books.  The kids loved doing these.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Poetry Unit

This week we are studying poetry.  We are exploring formula poems, concrete poems, cinquains, limericks, sensory poems, song parodies, acrostic poems, alliteration,  and free verse poems.  Here are a few things from the unit.

Poetry center lottery cards- Keeping with the St. Patrick's Day theme, students were placed in centers based on what they scratch and see on their lottery ticket.

Cinquain poems
Poetry 3-2-1- I closed the first poetry lesson by asking students to complete one of these.  The last row helped me plan instruction.

Concrete poems- Shamrocks outlines were given to the students to create concrete poems about St. Patrick's Day.
Creature alliteration poems- Students wrote five  lines about the name of their creatures, where their creatures live, what their creatures eat, what their creatures like, and what their creatures did to them.  At the beginning of the day, I had them illustrate a creature.  All I said was that I wanted detail and color.  Then later I explained that we were going to make poems based on their illustrations.  They turned out hilarious!
During centers, I held up my flag periodically to read all types of poems for them to experience different types of well-crafted poems.

Poetry centers

Magnetic poems- One of our centers this week is making acrostic poems from magnets.  I will take pictures of their final product and print out their creations.
Students picked a song, found the original lyrics, and came up with their own song parody for familiar children's songs. 
I found a great poem engine on to help them craft limericks. 
Students wrote acrostic poems using their first name letters as the beginning of their poems and another poem using the letters as the last letter in each line.  They enjoyed the challenge of ending in the letters of their names.
Sensory boxes were filled with more than one item to represent each senses.  They then completed a sensory poem about the items.
Springtime poetry bulletin board- The kids made formula poems about the memories (using sensory language) that remind them of summer.  They type them into the leaf template.  This is displayed in the lobby of the school.
Culminating activity- two groups used large fly swatters to point to the correct type of poetry we had learned about throughout the week when I gave them clues.