Sunday, 20 September 2015

Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is an effective way to describe a person, place or thing to form a picture in the reader’s mind.  This is detailed and allows students to “tap” into their senses when writing. 

Descriptive writing involves writing about a person, place or thing. Depending on students’ levels, the use of similes, metaphors and personification may be introduced.  Strong adjectives, nouns and verbs are encouraged.   

Descriptive writing is organized by order of importance.  For example, when describing a person, the writer begins with physical characteristics and then progresses to a character’s thoughts, actions and/or feelings.  Students will be encouraged to “show” and not “tell”.  

I have used a lapbook with printable organizers to assist students with the descriptive writing process.  As each characteristic is introduced, it is added to the lapbook. Descriptive writing is always a fun way to create a visual representation in the reader's mind.  

Monday, 7 September 2015

Ideas to Develop Number Sense

Number sense is part of a child's daily mathematical routine.  It slowly develops over time.  As students develop number sense, they can solve problems and develop strategies to help them solve these problems.

Here are a few ways to help students develop number sense:

1) Number of the Day.  Student practice looking at numbers daily by working on a number of the day.  For example if the number is 9, then students can count on from 9, count backwards from 9,  find its place in the place value system, draw 9 things, represent 9 with nine blocks or counters, or do 9 jumping jacks.  Once the concept of 9 is developed then students will know how many more they need to make 10.  Without using the words addition or subtraction, teachers can reinforce the operations with the words "more" or "less."

Click on the link below to download a Number of the Day Freebie:

2)  Playing Games.  Students can learn number sense by playing games.  One fun game to play is "Hot, Warm and Cold".  The teacher asks a student to place a number on a piece of paper or cardboard .  The teacher is not permitted to see the number.  The student shows the number to the class.  The teacher begins with a "guess."  Student indicate if the number is hot (close to the number), warm (almost close enough) or cold (way off).  The teacher is allowed a certain number of guesses to find the answer.  At this point, the teacher can get a general idea of who knows their sense of number.  I often use signals like thumbs up (hot), thumbs down (cold), small wave (warm).

Thanks to K's Classroom Kreations and Theresa's Teaching Tidbits for hosting this blog link to ideas for teaching number sense.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Recount Writing

Recount writing relates to a retelling of personal experiences or events.  Students often have difficulty free writing when given the direction to do so.  I have created a fun way to change recount writing into a positive experience.

Using a tri-fold display board, I have given students 16 choices for writing.  These include:  Best Halloween Costumes, Most Memorable Vacations, 3 Wishes, Most Embarrassing Moments, etc.  The trick is to ensure the students want to write by creating some fun covers.  Here's a sampling:

I often have these books sent home as part of a home-school connection.  I choose 3 students a night to take the books.  Of course, each book goes home in a beautiful canvas bag filled with themed pencils, pens, colourful writing tools and has a personal note attached to let parents know that their child will be reading their piece the next day in our Author's Chair.

The students may choose their own book and a sign-up display is included so I know who the books have been assigned to. You'll notice "library" pockets are cards are used for signing the books out. These are attached to the tri-fold board.  Books don't go home over the weekend.

For a free write about book, just click on the link below: