I love GLYPHS. I really was only familiar with them as an architectural vocabulary word from Mayan history, or an icon for today’s symbolic road signs. I just learned a few years ago that teachers were using them to create adorable characters and unique art work! I think it’s a wonderful way to learn about your class, use as a math extension and create graphs, and really incorporate the science technique of compiling and analyzing data. It works wonderfully well with literature as a great comparison- contrast tool and makes for distinctive art projects! What a super cross curricular tool!
I designed a Pumpkin Glyph for you to use for October. Click on the link for a short and tall pumpkin, the glyph directions, 3 pages of Tally Time adding fun, and 5 graphs! I do all of these activities in a short amount of time. My students learn so much and have a great time doing it!
Besides math, include reading by choosing any two pumpkin stories; read them to your class; then compare and contrast them. (Check out my side bar blog "Books Of The Month" and click on the October Bibliography for lots of great pumpkin books! )
How were they the same, different? I always like to use a Venn diagram and introduce that math concept to my kids too. A fun way to do a Venn diagram is with two hoola hoops! Lay them on the floor and then write out student answers on sentence strips, snip them into pieces and lay them in the appropriate sections. After your discussion, graph which story they liked best. (I've included that in one of the graphing options.) After story time have your students transition to their seats to make an adorable pumpkin glyph! What a fun way to whole-group assess listening and following directions as well as be able to toss in a fun art project that reinforces all sorts of report card standards! Then you can decorate your hallway or classroom with the finished product!
Pumpkin Glyph: You can cut out a supply of black rectangles, squares and black/purple triangles or you can have your students draw them for the pumpkin face. Do the same for the yellow, green, and purple nose circles, and the green, brown, and white stems. (Because circles are harder to cut, I use colored stickers for the nose that people buy for their garage sales.)
A reader just asked if I had a spider glyph, no, but I'd be glad to whip one together so here it is. Click on the link. Spider Glyph.
If you're looking for more graphing activities for your students I have a 140 page Graph Book with 55 graphs + full color answer keys so that you don't have to make them all for only $1.99. Click on the link to check it out.
Have you tried sign language? It's a great fine motor skill for young children.
My students LOVE it and they learn fast. If you're thinking you have to be certified and know all about it to teach it, forget that.
Just keep it simple, do a few words and phrases, some songs and you're set! That's all I do. I use a few fantastic ASL sites that show you how it's done!
For example I teach my students how to "sign" all of the bolded words. in the following chant that I made up to teeach them the seasons.
Winter-Sping-Summer-Fall. There are 4 seasons, and I love them all.
Our school wanted our students to be more computer savvy so I designed "Web Walkers" last year. All of the children who had computers at home enjoyed it. It was basically a contest to get children interested in doing more educational things on the computer. We had planned to run it all year, but enthusiasm died out about the end of December so we informed our parents with our Christmas newsletter that our "contest" would end then. In a nutshell it's simply sending your kids on safe "Web Quests!" sort of like a treasure hunt through the Internet.
My co-teacher and I would spend some time checking out kidsites on the net and finding fun, but educational things for them to do that would relate to our standards and give them several options to do. The child with the most things done would be our Web Master for the month.
This is a picture of our hallway bulletin board display where we set it all up. We would tape up the children's work as they handed it in. Passer's by were very interested, and parents really supported the project.
We also had a competition going between my class and the other Y5 class to see who had the most Web Quests each month. The posters hanging from the ceiling displayed the photo of the Web Walkers of the Month from each of our classes. The students' work hung around the display. The board in the middle posted what the Web Quests were. This was the internet sites that we sent home to the parents at the beginning of each month. We even had other teachers and parents of children not in our class ask us for copies so they could do it with their children! As you know you can really waste a lot of time surfing the net for safe and educational sites for your students.
The rectangle on the bottom is a key board. The posters on either side are graphs of each of our classes. The graphs were a great math extension.
I added a "Do you have a computer at home?" and "Does your child know how to use it? " questions on my "getting to know your child"question form that I handed out at the beginning of the year. Click on the link for a copy. So that parents who did not have a computer at home, but wanted to participate, didn't feel left out, we let them know that we would be going to the computer lab and that they could come before or after school and work with their child. No one opted for this in either of our classes. We also gave the assignment sheet to our computer teacher but he didn't have time to visit the sites either.
If there is an interest in this, let me know and I will post November and December Web Quests. Also check My Favorite Kid Links on our home page. Click on the link to go there. HOME Are your schools pushing you to do more computer work with your students too? Take a moment to comment!
We discovered that a webquest was a wonderful way to get parents involved and our students more computer saavy!
CONSTITUTION DAY is coming up September 17th. Click on the link for my lesson that I do with my Y5's. Centers and song are below.
Making Parchment Paper
Writing with a QUILL
Quill Pattern Pens
Constitution Autograph Scrolls
Why buy a unit?
Have you ever bought a book of lessons because it contained a few items you wanted, but had many other items that you didn’t want or never used? My units incorporate multiple subjects and are available for purchase “a la carte” allowing teachers to buy only what they need, at an affordable price. From our home page, click on a season, and the units can be found under each month. Click on the link: Home Page There are currently 43 themes!
There are plenty of lessons for you to choose something that fits your students' level. The beauty of the variety is that you have easier skill sheets for those who are struggling and more difficult ones for children who have mastered a concept.
Unit Skill Sheets…
Unit Skill Sheets are great if you need something
However you use them, I know that my Y5’s have excelled with this program. I truly believe that one reason is that units empower students to work independently and build their self-esteem to such a level that they realize they CAN do the lesson before they even start!
They are ready for workbooks in the next grade because they have practiced with a skill sheet booklet every day for "Table Top Time". For example, by March they are doing a 15 -18 page booklet that takes them about 10 minutes, and they ENJOY it! They are also doing 6-8 centers independently and transitioning with no problem.
My life is made easier because I’m not constantly planning the next day’s centers and I can incorporate art with confidence because I know that it is standards based, and best of all my students are learning and having FUN at the same time.
Read the article, "How to Get Students to Follow Directions" and see how to further empower your students through my "following direction icons" They really work! Your life will be so much easier, AND your discipline problems fewer!