Sunday, January 17, 2016

1.17.16: Conferences, blubber, and Benjamin Franklin

Hi, teacher friends! I hope everyone had a great break and feels like they are getting back in the swing of things...just in time to enjoy a long weekend now!

I thought I'd share a few things we've been up to over the past couple of weeks. Yet again I have been a terrible photographer...I have a cute writing project we did for the New Year that is hanging in the hall and I completely forgot to take pictures. Maybe it will make a guest appearance next week! :)

Right now we're talking about winter weather patterns. Our standard is a little on the vague side, so this week I focused on specific weather events that only happen in the winter (snow, ice storms, etc.) and we also talked about how people and animals adapt to the cold. On Friday we did our annual blubber demonstration.

If you've never done it should! It is so easy! All you need is a tub of shortening, ice, and Ziploc bags. The kids feel the ice without the "blubber," then put their hands inside the "blubber glove." They catch on pretty quickly that the blubber keeps their hand warmer.

I made a couple of recording sheets for this activity. You can download them for FREE (plus more detailed instructions) here!

We've also been learning about Benjamin Franklin. Don't ask me why he's in our GA Social Studies standards...he just is. We did some activities out of my Benjamin Franklin unit, such as these webs.

After we read some excerpts of books about Benjamin Franklin, the students recorded some of the key facts they learned. (It totally worked out that our standard we were working on in reading was about key ideas and details!) This web plus several other Franklin activities are in my Benjamin Franklin unit.

This week was so busy because we had winter conferences on top of everything else. This year I did something a little different. I let my parents sign up for their own time on Sign Up Genius, which is a site that allows people to sign up for things online. I created the conference event and set up the time slots. Then I sent home this letter:

I met with the parents of 14 kids last week (keep in mind that I have a set of twins plus cousins who live together in my class this year). I have NEVER been that efficient about conferences. I have 2 more conferences this week plus an RTI meeting later in the month...which means I will have met with 17 out of 23 parents. Not too bad! I will definitely use Sign Up Genius again in the future!

Hope everyone has a GREAT long weekend and takes some time to recharge their teacher battery. I ran a 5K yesterday and that was quite enough productivity for me! Aside from church and a grocery store run, I will be hanging out at home with Little Miss today and tomorrow. So nice to NOT have to get up early in the morning unless I just want to!

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