Monthly Archives: March 2013
If I’ve thought it once,
I’ve thought it a million times,
Each year, a new kid,
Why do you act the way you do?
I spend so much of my time,
Trying to really figure out who you are,
Do you not see that I care?
I really, honestly care?
I want you to do well,
And to have every opportunity that you deserve.
If you do see that I give a shit,
Then, I ask again,
Why do you act the way that you do?
What are you so angry about?
Why are you so unfocused?
Why, when people try to help you,
Do you put your back up and then walk away?
Why do you act this way?
I’ll never know the life you live,
I have a feeling that if I did,
It would truly break my heart,
I can try to understand you,
I will always try,
But at the end of the day,
I do have enough sense to know,
That I’ll never fully get it,
There’s no way that I possibly can,
We’re just too different, you and I.
I do know,
That I’ll keep trying,
I’ll keep turning the other cheek, and then turn I’ll turn it again,
Because I know that tolerance, acceptance and kindness is what you need,
I know deep down that there are a million and one reasons,
Why you act the way you do,
I guess I just wish,
That I could help you to act the way I know YOU want to.
How do you get through to your most challenging students? What about when they don’t want to let you in?
Welcome to Kristy, from 2 Peas and a Dog, my guest blogger for today. Thanks again for such an awesome idea, Kristy. Enjoy folks!
Need a strategy to improve student achievement? Have you tried Bump It Up Boards? They are a great visual way to help your students self monitor their achievement.
How To Get Started:
Choose a curriculum expectation or focus you see as a need in your classroom. I chose the 4 R’s [retell, relate, reflect, review] reading reflections strategy.
Collect many work samples of your focus. You can use previous student work, ask colleagues for their examples, create your own, use government standardized test exemplars or search the internet for examples.
Ensure your samples represent a range of student achievement levels – not just ones that meet or exceed expectations.
Students worked in groups to read the responses and “grade or mark” each response based on their previous knowledge of what makes a good Retell, Relate, Reflect and Review.
A student in each group was the recorder and wrote down all of their ideas on what made the each exemplar a Level 2, (C), Level 3 (B) or a Level 4 (A).
We had a class discussion and compared our answers to ensure consistency among our expectations for Level 2, 3 and 4 work.
Final Process to Create the Board:
Type up student thinking under the appropriate curriculum expectation categories – this will become your Success Criteria.
Type up the assignment expectations and format the graded work samples to fit on to the display board.
Colour code your examples by level and attach to a bulletin board or poster board. Have students reference this board while working on their assignments to self monitor their progress.
Products to Support Bump It Boards
Report cards have gone home. Parent-teacher interviews are over and March Break is just 2 days away. Life is good!
At report card time, I always have my students do a self-assessment and I have them assess me and my teaching. One thing that a student said in the most recent assessment, was that we don’t do enough “art”. Fair enough. However, they all have an actual “Visual Arts” class – so don’t feel too badly for the poor art-deprived dears! It’s just that they want more!
Anyhow, we really don’t do much in the way of arts or crafts projects. So, I had a little peek online and I found a fun looking activity. The short version? Use Borax crystals to make a pretty ornament.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought – we’ll make crystalized shamrocks for decorations. I really can’t just do something fun without an actual “outcome related” purpose – it’s just not in me! This activity goes along with what students were studying on solutions in Science in their last unit and I also had them write a set of instructions for doing the activity – just in case someone from another class saw the ornaments and wanted to know how we did it. Got to get that purposeful writing in there!
Making a Crystalized Shamrock (or any other shape)
Form a shape with a pipecleaner – a shamrock, spiral – heart, snowflake…Some students may want a template to refer to….
Tie the ornament to a pencil so that you can suspend it in a jar
Add three cups of boiling water to 1/2 cup of Borax crystals
Stir to dissolve
Suspend your ornament in the solution, with the pencil across the top of your jar
Make sure that your shape isn’t touching the sides/bottom
Within 3 hours, crystals will start to form – leave overnight for best results!
The finished product is really cool – crystalized shamrocks!
How does it work? Basically, when you add the crystals to boiling water, more Borax is able to be dissolved creating a supersaturated solution. As the water cools, the molecules become unstable and the excess crystals separate from the water molecules and cling to the pipecleaner.
We had only one “dud” with this activity which was kind of a bummer! A teachable moment, though! Why didn’t Peter’s work? The students figured out pretty quickly that we must have put fewer crystals in his water and if it wasn’t supersaturated, there weren’t any crystals to be released from the water molecules upon cooling and so – no crystal ornament.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I just wanted to let you know that I found what looks to be a promising money-saving “deals” site specifically for teachers. We all know that we spend WAY too much of our own money on our students and in our classrooms. That being said, none of us have any plans of stopping, either. We get what we need for our students – period.
This new site is called Educents and launches in early April.
The bonus? You get a $15 gift certificate to the site JUST for signing up (which takes about 20 seconds). I haven’t used the site since it’s brand new – but I just wanted to share in case it really is something special AND they only have the sign up deal on for a limited time.
Sign up to get your gift certificate now! I figure, we’ve got nothing to lose! We can check out the site when it officially launches in April, see if we like it and spend our gift certificates.
Here’s to buying more and spending less! (My husband will LOVE to hear about this;)
Hope you’re having a lovely Saturday!