Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spring...and my new Plant unit!

Thank goodness Spring is here!  I love winter and all, but I am so happy to move on.  Spring is definitely my favourite season.  The freshness of the air and all of the new life and growth make it special.  After being cooped up indoors so much over the winter it is nice to get outside and enjoy nature!

With thoughts (and dreams!) of Spring arriving, I have been working hard on a new unit about Plants and it is finally done!
It is my biggest unit yet: 73 pages full of 17 different experiments, activities and smartboard files that are differentiated to meet all of the learning needs of my students. 

The unit takes a closer look at soil, seeds and plants and lets the kids get a bit dirty, have fun and learn all at the same time...what could be better than that?!?
Click on the unit cover to head to my store to check it out!
Have a great Easter long weekend,

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Student Led Conferences

Last Thursday we had our second set of formal conferences with parents.  This set is always my favourite because we have Student Led Conferences.  The kids are in charge and get to show their parents what they have been learning. 
After the kids left for the day and before the parents arrived (which was only a 20 minute window) I ran around and set up different stations for the kids to take their parents to.  I made little signs up for each station with the instructions at the bottom.  I laminated the signs, hot glued popsicle sticks in between the two sides of the sign, and placed them in clear plastic cups with little jewels to hold them up.  I thought the jewels added a bit of a magical touch :-)

When the kids came in, they went to the Welcome table where there was a clip board, a paper with the different stations on it, and stickers to put on the paper when they had completed each station. 

On my Welcome table I also had a Wishing Tree with different items that I would like for the class.  Its a great way to let the parents know what we need and the parents always come through and are so generous!  

 I had 8 different stations for the kids to take their parents to:
They did the Blubber Glove experiment and showed the parents their non-fiction books about Penguins.


They did a colour mixing experiment with coffee filters, eye droppers and food colouring.

 They played a rhyming game together.
They did some measurement experiments and showed them their Measurement Masters books.

They did an initial sound sort on the smart board.
I forgot to take photos of the other stations, but they also did:
* a gymnastics station where they showed their parents some of the balances and other moves we  learned
*an initial sound sort with different objects on the carpet
*a computer station where the kids showed their parents the blog that they do with their big buddies on Kidblog.
Once they had completed all of their stations, the parents wrote a note telling their child what they are really proud of. 
 It took the kids about 45 minutes to go through the stations with their parents, and it was amazing!  The kids were so proud and were really able to show off their learning.  I heard so many parents talking about how amazed they were at all that they had learned and could remember.
If your school doesnt' do student led conferences, I would highly recommend it!