Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Today is the first day of final exams and I am amazed at how many words my students do not know the meaning of (studious, economical, just to name two). Next year I will be starting off with a vocabulary unit that will deal with words commonly encounted, but not part of the curriculum.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Reading Project

This is our second year to create a list of activities for our students to do over the summer. Instead of giving them a book list and saying "Read something!" We created a flier with suggestions like read to your younger siblings or cousins, check out a book on tape from the library and listen as a family when you are driving around this summer, watch a video based on a young adult book and we put a list of suggestions on the school website. We added blogging with the librarian or myself. We want them to let us know what they are reading this summer and what they would recommend.
Our Math Specialist added four Math Projects to the flier, calculating miles per gallon, comparison shopping, and we both put in some fun websites to visit.
I'm personally looking forward to the Joy of Children's Literacy Conference in October. Thanks SURN for all you do to keep us motivated!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I have found that visualization has helped my students get through tough literature assignments. Completing graphic organizers, drawing pictures, and acting out scenes has enhanced student reading comprehension.

Monday, June 6, 2011

End of the year

Power tools has definitely benefited my classroom. We just finished reading Lord of the Flies. I can tell that the strategies have made a difference in how they approach their reading and the corresponding assignments. They are making more connections to what they read, and their comprehension has increased. On my end, I have been able to slide different power tools into lessons with ease.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Devil's Arithmetic AKA TDA

As the year ends we are (in addition to reading TDA) watching the movie (based on TDA) that appears on Showtime each passover season. As it is quite different it allows for lively discussions about the similarities and differences. Plus it is a nice break after SOLs and before finals.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Year End Motivating Tips

As the year ends, students tend to get off task easily. I am finding myself using Power Tools to keep students engaged in the learning process. Reader's Theater works wonders to help student understanding of the novel we are currently reading. The students are given a chapter; they write a script and choose the cast to do the reading from the class. This activity covers writing, reading comprehension and oral presentation SOLs (an added bonus, it's fun).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Antonyms Can be Fun

Even though antonyms seem simple, some students get confused about what they are. There is this wonderful book that a friend gave to me called Surviving Last period on Fridays that is full of fun language activities. The antonym activity has the students look at antonyms that have no vowels or are separated (example: bgsmll = big/small ) and attempt to figure the words out. When they have finished working independently each student will think of five additional antonyms; leave out the vowels and move the letters together. The students will trade papers and solve the new puzzles made by their classmate.