Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Charlotte's Web...and some news

Each year towards the end, I always do a unit on Charlotte's Web. This is my favorite part of the year not only because it is really close to summer vacation, but I am able to do more creative and critical thinking activities with my kiddos. This year it was a little crazy because I was interviewing at other districts and missed several days. But, I still tried to make the best of it.
We started by doing some background knowledge on farms. I split them into groups and had them look at various pictures of farm animals. I didn't tell them what they are learning about, I just wanted them to look at some pictures and obtain some clues about what we were going to learn. Then, I asked students to share what they already knew about farms and recorded it on the anchor chart. Then, during our lessons, I had my kiddos jot down any new learning they we added it to our anchor chart.

Then, I had them use Amanda Nickerson's Jot Spot Activity to compare Wilbur and Charlotte. They really enjoyed this activity! It helped them understand what were their actions, feelings, and motivations. My kiddos had a difficult time understanding what motivation meant. We discussed, why is Charlotte doing what she does? Why is Wilbur doing what he does? What is motivating their actions. They then continued to do character reports on Charlotte and Wilbur.

We did several more activities about sequencing, spiders, and describing the setting. We examined how E.B. White used descriptive words to paint a picture in our minds what is going on in the story. We would go back and get specific evidence and phrases that E.B. White used. After we discussed the setting, I had my students draw a picture of what they visualized the farm to look like.

I love doing Charlotte's Web because you can incorporate so many different activities and lessons into this unit.

Now that the school year is over, I have some news to share. For the last two years, I have been teaching in San Jose. I have left San Jose and will be moving to the sunny area of Livermore! I am very excited. It is a great school and I cannot wait to start this new chapter. I currently have my whole life in boxes and in storage; but, I should be moved into my new place in the next couple of weeks. I cannot wait to get settled into my new condo and school, and let me creative juices flow! Not only am I changing districts, but I am also changing grade levels. I will be teaching second grade next year. I have already started some planning and my goal is to incorporate more common core strategies into my teaching!

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