Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weird Week, Vocabulary Stories

As a teacher I do not love weeks that do not follow the normal routine.  I never thought I would become routine oriented person, but I dread these weeks that completely throw the routine out of the window!

This week we had President’s Day off – which I appreciate, OF COURSE!  
We had a teacher plan day on Tuesday – quality planning time is a good thing.  
Wednesday was a district meeting for all primary bilingual teachers, necessary but…how I wish I didn’t have to miss a day with my kids!  
I’ll be with the kiddos tomorrow, but am out Friday for a personal day.  
Which translates to my students will be with me for one day and with a substitute for two days - DISLIKE this ratio!  Ok, I had to vent...but alas it is out of my control and I'm moving on.

These types of weeks are usually a challenge for me to plan for.  LUCKILY, I found all sorts of cute ideas on different blogs that inspired me and I know my students had fun without me today. This week my students will be working on making connections and compound words, big time!  

Here is what I left for the sub, we’ll se how it turned out tomorrow…
Compound Words - students will be discovering compound words with the book Flying Butter and If You Take a  Mouse to the Movies.  We'll see how many they discovered tomorrow - fingers crossed they were working hard.  After that I was inspired by this blog post by the First Grade Parade where students make flip books to show how two words make one word, so I'll see how those turned out tomorrow.
 I also wanted to share a couple of images of our vocabulary stories.  We started using the Isabel Beck vocabulary instruction kit in January.  I was hesitant because although the words are AMAZING my students are all second language learners - and such rich vocabulary can sometimes be overwhelming out of context.  BUT this was definitely a case of me selling my kids short!  They absolutely love this vocabulary.  They're constantly using the words throughout the day hoping for a chance to clip-up by making a super impressive sentence (I've become harder to impress as the weeks go by).  

With language learners it is so important to teach words within context, so one of the activities we do during the week is we write a story using these words.  Again, I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, but it turns out this is one of my absolute favorite activities of the week, and I think it's safe to say my kids would agree!

We try to write a funny story including all of the vocabulary words.  We brainstorm together and it turns into a fun shared writing and reading activity.  I took a couple pictures of our stories, somehow I missed my favorite about one of my students challenging me to a dance war...maybe another time.  

They really are ridiculous - but so much fun.  The kids love having their names in the story!  Unfortunately, with this short week no new vocabulary (another reason to prefer regular weeks) - but next week awaits with great words like: 


Won't the third grade teachers be impressed when my second language students show up saying how astonished they are by the tidy classrooms and how irked they were by the chaos in mine, inspite of the this they still have to admire me and chuckle at my ridiculousness...

Mrs. Castro
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1 comment:

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