[room 209m] botanicals

October 19, 2017

Yesterday, my class went on a fun field trip to the San Francisco Botanical Garden. I love this field trip because the students get a chance to be completely surrounded by nature. We’re at a school that has blacktops for recess and a fake grass field so it’s always a treat to see so much real greenery. Of course, they’re always obsessed with the water and completely unimpressed with the flora and fauna. It’s always the worst field trip because it’s essentially hours of walking straight and, let me tell you, these kids have the stamina of babies. They complained so much! Grrr …

A botanical photo adventure:

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During our first week of Latino Heritage Month study this year, we started learning about the Inca people. We read some books and then participated in some fun (more) artsy projects that were Inca-themed. First we made some llamas. The students wrote about the llamas and then used cotton balls to make just the cutest, fluffiest llamas ever! The next day, a fellow teacher let me borrow a traditional Inca blanket. We used that as inspiration to make some striped paper mats, which actually learned out quite beautiful. So much fun and creativity in these projects, I love them!


Llamas


More llamas


Inca mats


More Inca mats

[room 209m] speech trees

October 5, 2017

It recently turned from summer to autumn. The speech pathologist at my school and I teamed up on a lesson to teach the students about the activities people do during the summer versus what people do during the fall. It was differentiated so that the students with higher language and functioning wrote their answers on leaves that we hung up on corresponding trees for each of the two seasons. The younger students with lower language abilities used picture icons to decide what they like to do during the fall. It was a fun activity that we got to hang up outside our classroom on the bulletin board for our friends around the school to see. Plus, I love decorating my bulletin board outside my classroom … when I have the time for it!


Bulletin Board outside the classroom

[room 209m] unit planning

September 28, 2017

Latino Heritage Month is September 15 – October 15. At the end of October, my school always holds a huge celebration and multiple assembles to celebration Latino Heritage Month. This year, the theme is IndigenUS. The hope is to look at the ways that various indigenous cultures in Latin America contribute to our lives today. Since we only have about a month to prepare for this big celebration, I decided to focus on the big empires: Inca, Maya, and Aztec. Planning one of these units always take a lot of time and effort, but I love it because I know my students enjoy learning about different cultures and learning more about themselves as well.

Here are books we’re reading for this unit:
Miro in the Kingdom of the Sun by Jane Kurtz
Maria and the Little Llama by Angela Dominguez
The Bravest Flute by Ann Grifalconi
Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate by Dianne de Las Casas
The Princess and the Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox


My desk during unit planning

[room 209m] writing stories

September 14, 2017

One of my absolute favorite subjects to teach is writing. I just love seeing the progress that students are able to make from when they start by just tracing their name to writing all kinds of stories, opinion pieces, and informational text. Currently, most of my class is working on writing narratives. I teach them to use temporal words to write their stories: first, then, next, last. As they improve their writing, they move on to six temporal words: first, second, then, next, finally, last. It’s fun to read their stories and I feel like writing is such just an area that all my students are very clearly making progress. Their stories are the best and always so different even if they’re working off the same prompts, which reminds me … I should share some of their stories next time!


Anchor charts