Spring is Here

28 Mar

I hear Spring has come to some parts of the country.  We are not experiencing too much of it here. After waking up to three mornings of snow last week, I am happy to settle for rain this week. Occasionally the sun peeks out  and  I run out to catch a few rays.  I am looking forward to seeing more of that sun.

April is coming soon and I am using my Spring Break to make some plans.  This is the time of year I usually try to focus on non-literal language and metaphors.  I saw this pattern for a butterfly  here at

http://www.marinmommies.com/ and thought it would be an ideal project.  It meets  my criteria.  It uses a minimum of  steps, concept vocabulary  and  recycled materials I already have on hand.  The youngest to the oldest will find the end result enjoyable.  I will put them on a Spring Bulletin Board with the following title.

Butterflies are self propelled flowers.  R.H Heinlein.

It will lend itself to a discussion of what makes up  a metaphor and if they can find more to add to the board.

I am having so much fun using StoryKit to make sequenced directions I decided to use it once again.  StoryKit is a free apt that allows you to make an edit your own books.  On an Ipad it has actual pages rather than the story board format.

The link for the butterfly directions is here.

There is no audio at this point.  I will have some of my students add audio when I get back from Spring Break.

Here is a picture of the butterflies.  I will put a picture up of the bulletin board when that gets completed.

 

The Homonym Bulletin Board

29 Apr

It must be Spring.   The students are asking me when I will put up the pear/pair tree.  I decided to resurrect this post for those who may have missed it the first time around.  I start by making a tree on the bulletin board.  The tree takes many forms depending what paper I have available.   I twist brown paper to make limbs and have them come together for the trunk.   I then have students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out.  I  roll  them and tack them next to the limbs for leaves.  This makes a 3 dimensional tree.  I cut out pear shapes from yellow construction paper and have them ready for tacking up.

I use the tree to make students more aware of homonyms in our language.   Students are encouraged to find homonyms, tell me the word meanings and then write them on a pear shape to place on the tree.  I get them started by placing the first pair/pear on the tree.   Names do not count.  I learned that student’s would say almost any word was a name to match another word.  I allow only one pear per individual per day so that more students have a chance to find words.  I keep an alphabetized list so I can cross out those that have already been used.   I found that this saves time when searching to see if it is already there.  Amazingly each year they come up with new ones that weren’t used previously.   I give students a token candy for each set they find.  A student is required to tell the meanings of the words they are using and the correct spellings before I allow them to record them on a pear.  I have placed a list of homonyms in the vocabulary section of this site.  It is an excel list because if new words  need to be added,  I can easily put them in the correct alphabetical order.  I hope most of you will be able to open it and can just add to it.  I usually start this bulletin board in May and keep it up until school is out.  It will have a lot more pears by the end of the month.

The Pair/Pear Tree

15 Apr

With the first signs of spring,  the children start asking me when I will put up the pear tree.  It seems to have become a yearly tradition.  The tree takes many forms.  This year I twisted crepe paper to make limbs and tacked them up on the bulletin board.  I then had students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out.  I  rolled them and tacked them next to the limbs for leaves.  This made a 3 dimensional tree.  I cut out pear shapes from yellow construction paper and have them ready for tacking up.

I use the tree to make students more aware of homonyms in our language.   Students are encouraged to find homonyms, tell me the word meanings and then write them on a pear shape to place on the tree.  I get them started by placing the first pair/pear on the tree.  I explain that names do not count.  I allow only one pear per individual per day so that more individuals have a chance.  I keep an alphabetized list so I can cross out those that have already been used.   I learned that this saves you from searching the tree continually.  Amazingly each year they come up with new ones that weren’t used previously.   I give students a token candy for each set they find.  A child needs to be able to tell the meanings of the words they are using and the correct spellings before I allow them to record them on a pear.  I have placed a list of homonyms in the vocabulary section.  It is an excel list because if new ones are added I can easily put them in the correct alphabetical order.  I hope most of you will be able to open it and can just add to it.