Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa's Workshop at Valley Middle School- 2013

The staff at Valley Middle School had Santa's Workshop in the library.  There were stations for teachers to rotate between:  card making, sitting by the "fire", a photo booth and snacks!
 Fun was had by all!

 Enjoying the conversation.

 A Royal Gathering.

 The treats are tasty!

 Card Making

Sitting by the "fire".

 LoRia is a busy Elf!

Santa's Workshop on PhotoPeach

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mr. Sanders keeps their attention by "Chunking" his classtime.

Walking into Mr. Sander's classroom is always such a treat.  I entered the room today hearing the beautiful sounds of a holiday tune coming from the ceiling speakers.  It was just the right genre as it matched the lightly falling snow outside.  Some students just walked in, while a few danced a little jig on the way to their assigned seats. After looking at the board, students then got right to work as they knew the class was just setting sail.

1.) Journal & Share with music - 10-12 minutes

 2. Writer's Workshop - 15-20 Minutes

I have never witnessed a Writer's Workshop that worked like this, but it was the most effective method I have seen.

There were two students today who read their creative writing pieces out loud.  The first student chose to have his writing projected on the board while he read it from Google Docs.  The second student chose to read her writing right from her notebook.  After each student read, the rest of the class gave their kudos, comments and some advice.  I was amazed at how the students responded to the readings. Here are some comments:

"I really liked it when you gave your characters a voice, I felt like they were really saying those things.",

" You described that part in the plane really well, I liked your descriptive words, you painted a great picture." 

All of the students clapped after each reading which was very encouraging, I really liked that.  I also loved the fact that only two students shared their writings rather than having a whole class period full of readings.  The students were responsive and it also felt like those two students were the feature of the day.  Mr. Sanders said it helps to do it that way, or else it creates a very long class period of the same thing.  Mr. Sanders also made comments on a rubric while the students read and this was a very effective use of time.  

3. Reading novel aloud, The Fault in our Stars, by John Green
    about 20 min.

After reviewing the events from last reading, they made a few predictions.  Then, students took turns reading aloud with some great discussion.

Suddenly, the bell rings... time flies when you are having fun!

Until next time, Mr. Sander's will just keep rocking the educational world!