Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mapping it Out and Thanksgiving

We've been learning about places on the map in Social Studies, which has brought us to our next big project of the year.  Soon we will be sending out our Flat Stanley people.  In the classroom, we made a huge map on our bulletin board and we are mapping where we are going to.  Mine had a bit of a hiccup as my flat person did not return from her trip last year.  She had an extended stay with my best friend in Florida.  Hopefully Flat Mrs. Smith will be returning this year with lots of things to report on. 

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, we have been learning all about Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.  I have to say, I love Scholastic.  They have a great web site where you can take virtual field trips.  We took one and went on the Mayflower.  The kiddos have been able to compare and contrast Pilgrims and Wompanoags.  They have also been comparing themselves to pilgrim children and how different times are.  More to come next week on Pilgrims since we have a three day school week before Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, our weekly writing project was to write a persuasive piece on why not to eat the turkey.  They had to use a graphic organizer, make a rough draft, then come up with a final draft.  Some reasons they used to support not eating the turkey was,

"His brothers and sisters would miss him"
"Eat at Applebees instead"
"They have too many feathers"
"Eat a hamburger at McDonalds"
"They are nasty"-- this little guy just got right to the point I guess.
"Make more pumpkin pie"
"The turkey will peck you"
"They are too fast to catch"

On Friday, we then made disguises for our turkeys.  They turned out great.  We had peacocks, clowns, a mummy, snow princesses, princesses, queens, snowmen, gymnasts, unicorns, an astronaut/skateboarding dude, and even Santa! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mrs. Smith for President... updated

My class has been learning about the election process and why we vote.  We have also been learning how to write opinion and persuasive pieces of writing.  These fit so well together.

We started out the week reading non-fiction books about presidents, past and present and also about the voting process.  We read picture books about certain characters who wanted to run for President also.  I was setting them up for a mock election.  In this mock election for President was going to be Duck {from Duck for President}, a little girl named Grace {from Grace for President}, and myself {from My Teacher for President}.  We also voted for line leader next week, which was totally not planned for.

In our persuasive writing, I was going to have the kids write about why they would make a good line leader and how could they persuade me to let them be line leader.  I used this teachable moment and made it come true.  I saw how excited they all got about their writing this piece.  So I told them, after we conference one on one,  I will pick the writing pieces who had a clear opening, three reasons supporting why, and a closing.  I had five who went above and beyond.  Out of these five, there were a couple who actually have not produced a solid piece of writing yet this year and struggled quite a bit, I was SO proud of them.  These five were on the ballot for line leader.

On Friday, we used the smart board and graphed our data while counting the votes for President and Line Leader.  I am proud to say we have a new line leader for next week AND I won the mock Presidential vote.  I came out with 13 votes, Grace for 2 votes, and Duck also with 2 votes.

On Tuesday of next week {Election Day} our school is holding a Kids Vote along side all of the other voters in our community.  They will get to go into the polling site at our school and really place a vote for the President of the United States just like their families and as a school we will have a winner.  I think this is such a great learning experience for the kids of our school!!

This was the craft the kids made on Friday.  With their craft, they had to write "If I were President, I would..."  Some of them were hilarious.  I got a few that said they would build more childrens hospitals, give people food, fix the spaceship, and my favorite..."If I were President, I would give everyone a puppy." WINNER!!!

Our polling stations:

The results are in: