January 2017 - The Classroom Nook

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A New Way to Do Novel Summaries {VIDEO TUTORIAL}


I'm always trying to come up with fun new ways to have students do what are usually considered boring activities, like writing a summary of a book.  In my latest novel unit on Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, I wanted to come up with an end-of-unit project that would have students summarize all the important events in the story without having them write it plainly on a paper.

So what did I do?  Headed to Pinterest for inspiration, of course!
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One Math Strategy To Get Your Students Thinking


Recently I've been volunteering in 4th grade classrooms in a local school.  I decided that after being out of the classroom for 5 years, it was time to reconnect with what's going on in classrooms today.

Some things have changed at bit...some have not :)

It can often get lonely - just me and my computer - so it was nice to be back in the classroom again and put my teacher hat back on.  It was also nice to have a conversation with someone other than a toddler :)

One lesson that I was helping out with a few weeks ago was on a new (at least new-to-me) math strategy called "SEE-THINK-WONDER." Have you seen/used this?  It's a great lesson-opener.

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Pressing the "RESTART" Button on the School Year


Remember that "fresh year, fresh classroom" feeling that you had at the beginning of the school year?

Your classroom was so organized, wasn't it?  Everything was crisp and new.  You had BIIIIG plans for curriculum and classroom management, right?

So, let me ask you - how's that workin' for ya?

If you're like me, you often get to January and just wish you could restart and reinstate all those great plans, ideas, and most DEFINITELY that crisp, clean classroom that welcomed your students in the fall.

Well - why can't you?  Why CAN'T you just "restart?"  What's stopping you?

If you're feeling less than satisfied about how your year is going, then, by all means - PRESS THE RESTART BUTTON!  It's the PERFECT time to do so.

Your students are coming back after a long break, and they'll need a refresher anyways.  You might as well take advantage of that and give them a little "Back to School Boot Camp!"

We as teachers need a little boot camp-ness, too.  Let's be honest - those cute filing drawers we put together in August could use a little TLC.  And - your teacher desk (also known as "that pile of papers") could use a little attention as well.

I encourage you to take this first week or two in January to make sure you've got all your ducks in a row so that you can finish out the school year strong!  Before long we'll be talking about wrapping up the school year and summer plans (right after the snow melts, of course!)

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