Oh my, what a week it has been! Before Thanksgiving, it seemed like such a good idea to have Student Led Conferences the week before Winter break. Last weekend, it seemed like a really good idea to make a Christmas treat bag of home baked chocolate chip cookies for each family that came to the conferences. This week, I questioned my sanity.
There was no extra time nor energy for posting midweek. I am in total awe of those of you who managed to post this week, seriously. I have just enough energy to do a Five for Friday link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching, and finish watching Project Runway All Stars before I fall into bed for a long winter's nap.
1. We lost our challenge with the other Read 180 class. Not only did they reach 2,000,000 before us, but we could not catch them. So, we (or to be correct, I) sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer for "B" lunch on Thursday. We rehearsed and rehearsed, and had a little impromptu lesson on plurals ("Reindeer, not reindeers," said the teacher, over and over). I used this adorable FREEBIE from Mlle Cody...
....to make our dancing reindeer props (for the front row to hide behind). We used the document camera to trace the cute reindeer, cut them out, and glued the pieces together. We made eight regular reindeer and one Rudolph. The front row jumped around when their reindeer name was sung. "Rudolph" even brought his own blinking red nose. The kids had fun, no sense of rhythm and unable to carry a tune, but they had fun!
2. Today we filled our morning with two more magnificent freebies from TPT. A writing activity from Lisa Lilienthal.
Then we did a FREEBIE Christmas listening activity by Brenda Martin.
Almost an hour of complete quiet. I owe this woman so much that I am tearing up just thinking about it. I am pretty sure that more than one angel got its wings during that blissful period of peace and coloring.
3. All but five of my students came in this week to do their Student Led Conferences. Six early morning conferences, and all of them showed up! This time, we did their little "psuedo-portfolios" conference folders in pocket folders. They worked really well!
The conference checklist went right inside the front pocket. The reflections and work samples were placed in sheet protectors - the papers can be pulled out and the folders used again. We started with the Math Reflection. This time they had to demonstrate two of the skills that we have been working on for their parents.
I made these skill cards for every skill we covered in the last quarter. They were folded in half, in a sheet protector, for the students to work from. Using a white board and marker, they demonstrated and explained how to do the skill for their parents. When they were through, the parents could check the backside of the card to see if they were correct. Most of my kids did great, but some really struggled. However, that is exactly what their parents needed to see. It was eye opening for a few parents, in a good way.
Next, they shared their Language Arts Reflection.
Then we shared their SRI bar graph. The red lines mark the Below Basic, Basic, and Proficient lines. I am really honest with my kids about where they are and how important it is for them to work hard to close the gap. It was important that their parents realize how big the gaps are too. Some of my kids are so far behind that they can grow 300 Lexiles and still be Far Below Basic; it can be discouraging. Being able to see those 300 Lexiles worth of steady growth on the bar graph, helped them SEE how hard they had been working.
After that, we shared their Perfect Paragraphs and their......
4. ....drum roll, please, ICEMAN PROJECTS. Can you hear the angels singing on high?
They finally finished them. Done, graded, displayed, and explained to their guests.
5. Finally, a little personal picture.
Disclaimer: I do not regularly dress my dog, nor do I take her to get her portrait done:)
The rescue that I got my Lucy from was having their annual Christmas fundraiser, so we had to go and visit everyone. The photographer was actually the hero that climbed under bushes and trash bins in the freezing rain to rescue Lucy and her litter mates after he spotted them in an alley. Not only is he kind and caring, but he was smart enough to marry my friend, Lauren of Life in Middle School.
Since I do not anticipate having the time to post again until after Christmas,