Tonight I have a couple cheap tricks to motivate your students when writing non-fiction stories.
I had a few other ideas in my head of things to share but I lost my mojo. Actually the mojo got mutilated when I showed up for my after school workout in the gym at school. I think it was the plank with my feet up on the wall that I held while trembling and turning new shades of blueish white… or possibly the endless cycle of burpees, push ups, tricep dips and squat jumps. I just can’t be sure at what point the mojo left –but it is G.O.N.E.
I blame Pinterest for my torturous workout regimen. (Apparently pinterest isn’t just for cooking, clothes, and teaching ideas…What?!) Trainers actually want to find ways to torture their dear sweet little teacher groups.
I thought I signed up for some comradery and some stress relief, but today I found myself hugging the muddy gym floor while rocking some monster pit sweat rings and holding back some tears mixed with language that would have me sitting in D-Hall. Then while doing lunges across the gym floor as our “resting minute”, I tried to tell my teacher friend next to me something funny that happened today in class, and my lunch started coming up. I had to stop talking during my “resting period” so I wouldn’t lose it. (By the way, someone needs to inform Pinterest that lunges across the gym is NOT RESTING) My trainer and my friend thought my hunched over lack of talking was funny. I failed to find the humor in revisiting my oatmeal and oranges at 3:45pm. All I was missing was Jillian strapped to my back…
I will move on to the teaching ideas as I know that is probably why you came here in the first place.
This first tip I shared last year but in case we have recently become BFFs in the blog world, I want to share it with you again quickly.
When you are ready to start up a new science unit, set up the tables with a large piece of butcher paper, markers, and photos or items that would be a part of your studies.
For our ocean unit, I put out some pictures of ocean animals.
I could have also brought in a flipper, some shells, fishing gear, etc. You can go all out to peak interest or keep it a little lower key.
Students walk around the room with their hands behind their back while you play some music. During this time they can’t touch or talk, but are to look and think of a comment and a question about any of the pictures. When the music ends, they can go to any table as long as there is a marker available and write their question or comment.
This activity goes very well with science units. I can also think of ways to incorporate social studies too. Bringing in a passport, pictures of the Statue of Liberty, tattered clothes…
This one below drew some of her facts. The bottom corner showed how stingrays camouflage themselves on the ocean floor. I will totally take that! I love it!
Kelley Cirrito says
Great ideas!! Have a good rest of your week!! Looks like your students are going to be busy!!
Thanks for a good laugh this evening…I would have been right there next to you in the gym! I love the boxes for nonfiction writing; simple but effective. Thanks for sharing!
Sandy Contreras says
I love all of your ideas and your classroom is AWESOME! Keep the ideas coming!
Buggy In Kindergarten says
Congrats on winning the contest! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE those ideas! I may have to see if they are possible to use in kindergarten.
oh my word, I don't know how you can do that workout!!! But I admire you so much for it! I loved reading your nonfiction idea…thanks so much darling Reagan!
Amy Howbert says
LOL at your EXCELLENT description of a tough workout! It was all worth it, every bit…just you wait & see!
Little Miss Organized
I wish I would have thought to do your museum walk for our MLK mini unit. Such a great idea! Congrats on winning the $100, that would be so fun to spend! After reading your post about Adv to Fitness, I got on Facebook and saw one of their posts about getting a Skype visit. I just got an email that I get a Skyoe visit this year! Thanks for the heads up. 😀
Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher
What a workout, you go girl! Thanks for the teaching suggestions, I do something similar without the items, I am adding items from now on.
I am so out of shape, the only thing I relate to on pinterest about exercise is the one that says "if you see me running you best join in, as I don't run so there must be something chasing me" Yep…..so I feel your pain, in fact I think I got sick just READING about your workout….LOL…..and of course we voted….it was way too awesome not to! Congrats again!
Julie Marciniak says
I love your MUSEUM WALK! I am so excited to try it this Friday with our WINTER Animals theme! Thank you for sharing pics of the process! It looks easy-peasy and mighty effective!
Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe
Jen R. @ The Teachers' Cauldron says
Oh girl… yesterday was TORTURE at bootcamp. Literally… wanted to go hide and puke. Lol. But I love it! I need someone to kick my butt !
Oceans of First Grade Fun says
Love the ideas! What a great way to introduce students to a topic of study and elicit some great questions and wonderings! I'll be using this with our non-fiction penguin study next week.
Oceans of First Grade Fun
Ms Apple Blossoms says
I LOVE those writing ideas!! That will really encourage them for sure!
~ Ms Apple Blossoms
So impressed with your work out determination and commitment! I just love that "science walk around idea". Congrats on scoring all that MPM loot!
Miss Squirrels says
Oh, Reagan- you had me at"Pinterest"- and lost me at "workout".
I think I got a cramp just reading it!
Fortunately for me, you got me back on the science walk:)
We have been working on questioning in science and I love your walk around idea. I teach science in the late afternoon and my kids just need to move SO badly by that time of day!! Thanks for the great, easy to prep ideas!!
Lori Hill says
Great post! We started the "Biggest Loser" at our school. Well the only thing we've gotten good at is sabatoging each other with left over X-mas treats 🙂 Good luck with your workouts!
I love your idea of writing facts from non-fiction books in the squares and then cutting them up to put into a booklet! I also really liked the gallery idea to help students start thinking about what they already know and what they are curious to learn.
Oh gosh…that workout sounds torturous! I love me some Jillian Michaels but lunges across the gym just sounds painful! 😉 Yay you for working it!
Love, love, love the museum walk and non-fiction book idea! Just in time for me to start our polar animals unit! I don't know what I would do without you great bloggers!
Ms. Kerri says
Love both these ideas and will be using them next week. We are going to start an animal unit next week and this would be perfect. Thanks for sharing. Love love your blog.
Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Klass