Monday, December 15, 2014

Let's try this again...

Well, it's been a long time! I suppose it's time to try keeping up with this blogging thing once more. The students are on break already. Having three weeks off at December is always nice and it makes up for the complete lack of holidays during the regular school month!

 Here are a few resources I've been working on lately:

FREEBIE: Nondenominational December Break Reading and Writing Challenge
 I used this last year and this year with my students. Three weeks is a long break from school so this gives them something to keep their minds from forgetting all of the things we spend so long on in school! It's also nondenominational because working in an international school always leaves me with a good mix of students who celebrate Christmas and who don't celebrate Christmas. I always leave this optional because I know most of my students' families will be traveling great distances and there isn't always time for extra work.

My Dictionary: A personal Word Wall
I sometimes find my students asking me to help them spell the same words over and over again! I know I'm not the only teacher with this problem! I hope this will help my students be more independent when they return in January.
I can track my Independent Reading
I always give my students 15 minutes of reading as homework for Monday-Thursday and a traditional reading log to record the title and the minutes read. Well, lately they have been getting lazy with this process and many do not fill in their reading time until Friday morning after the time it needed to be collected! So we will be using this in January and students will be using reading journals to record all of their homework for reading. I also believe this will keep them accountable to actually reading what they say they are reading, something that I've found is difficult to track when parents are not checking regularly on homework.

The next two products are research oriented. Our new Science and Social Studies curriculum (IPC: International Primary Curriculum) is very research heavy and has great sequencing guides but not very much in the way of practical resources, so I created this series to aid my students in the research process.

Let's Research: Countries of the World Every year, students in our elementary grades complete a country project as part of our International Week in October. We used this project to help us stay organized and the projects turned out really great!
Lets: Research World Exploration
I've used parts of this in years past, but we will use the full project in January and February when my students return. Our next IPC unit is Explorers and Adventurers, and this research project goes well with the unit. I'm excited to try it out fully.
Choose your adventure: Age of Exploration
The last project I made will go along with our Explorers and Adventurers Unit in January. Again, I've used pieces of this in the past, but decided to give it a makeover and make it more coherent. This project allows students to know what it might be like to travel with an explorer like Christopher Columbus in the early 1500s. It also gives them open ended tasks to complete, so I'm really excited to see what my group of very creative third graders come up with this year!

For those of you still in school for a few more days, hang in there!

-- Jennifer

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