This has been a very busy week in my classroom. In math, we began multiplication by building rectangular arrays and calculating the area. I have never started multiplication with area, but my students seemed to really "get it." Hopefully the hands-on, visual approach makes multiplication concrete for them.
We also completed an engaging writing project - "Haunted House for Sale" from Clutter-Free Classroom. We began by brainstorming descriptive phrases for our haunted houses (written in the black circles). Next, we put a positive spin on each of the spooky details. For example, "The lights mysteriously turn on and off, so you don't have to bother with flipping the switch."
My students used our brainstorming chart to create their advertisements to "sell" their haunted houses. They even made up a realty company name.
FOr the art project, my students used a Sharpie marker to draw the outline of their haunted houses on a sheet of white card stock. The final step was to paint with watercolors.
Last week, I was noticing that my students were having trouble getting along. I decided to launch a bucket-filling program.
Each student has a library pocket on the wall which gets filled with slips of paper that say "compliment" or "act of kindness." When I catch a student saying a compliment or helping another student, I give them a slip of paper to add to his or her pocket. Once the class earns a determined amount of slips, I bake them a treat. This has really helped my classroom this week. I love overhearing students compliment their classmates. It hasn't completely eliminated the mean comments and arguing, but it has limited them. Also, those students who say a mean comment have to come up with two nice compliments for the other person.