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A New Year: A New Beginning

What a great year of teaching ideas! New for the 2009-2010 school year, be sure to check out Victoria Jasztal and all the teacher advisors at Classroom Solutions for more tips and teaching strategies from real teachers.

You’ll find lots of videos, photo slideshows, and quick-to-implement teaching ideas. Come check it out and leave a comment. We’ll be glad to see you there.

Quick Links

Here is the one step friendly version for finding all of my blog posts, unit plans, and articles written this year. If any links have the domain of www.bar.rcs.k12.tn.us- it does not work. Please visit www.mrsbunyi.com and Teaching Matters under Scholastic for my newest resources.

Pictures from my classroom 

Thank you for an incredible year. With my school switch, www.mrsbunyi.com will begin working sometime this summer. Enjoy your break and rest up...

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We Only Part To Meet Again

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What an exciting year! I tried giving you a real peek in our classroom this year, and I hope you were not disappointed. And speaking of giving, I am ready to give you some news. What does the future hold? Read on to find out!

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A Voice on Selective Mutism

Paige 

Photo: Paige served as an Ambassador for the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in Nashville (04/08).

I am sorry for not posting on Monday. I made an unexpected trip to Atlanta which met with the end-of-the-year packing and wrapping up upon return. As promised, however, I do have a guest blogger for you today. Her name is Tammy, and she is the mother of one of my students, Paige. Paige was diagnosed with selective mutism at the age of four. I asked Tammy if she could post some information on selective mutism so that there could be a greater awarness of what SM is and is not. 

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Content Week: One Subject, One Day at a Time

Tetra_kite 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28428069@N07/

Next week is our last full week at school, and I am really looking forward to it. Why? The last week is going to be devoted to going in depth with each core subject. Have I gone mad? You be the judge based on our upcoming plans I am about to share. But as one student dubbed it, we are going to have a "funcational week." If you are interested in some MacGyver-like activities or an excuse to fling workbooks around with a catapult, or even a reason to go build and fly a tetrahedron kite, look no further...

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Classroom Design

Taking Lemons and Making Lemon Meringue Pie

Lighting_meet

With the end of the year approaching, that dreaded checklist will be in your hands soon. My guess is that the largest job on that list is packing up the room. This usually includes directions to move all of your materials to one side of the room, cover up everything, and take things off the walls, to name a few. I actually look forward to this because it is the perfect time to think about how you would like to set-up and decorate your classroom for the following school year. Here are my six recommendations for classroom design and set-up.

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Replacing Overused Words: Just a Band-Aid

Sarah_bunyi 
A quick Internet check offers a plethora of activities and suggestions for making writing "sizzle," but I can't help but notice how this attempt at "correcting" writing has gone wrong. Call it what you'd like: putting said to bed; million dollar words; sizzle words; worn out words; snazzy synonyms; graveyard words. The list goes on. But the reality is this- replacing "She was sad," with "She was depressed," doesn't push our students to new levels of writing proficiency. It is only a band-aid to a larger goal at hand.

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Taking a Blog Writing Break

Although I am not on my school break, I have now declared this my non-writing blog weekend. Come back next Saturday for my next post.
FYI- There are only 5 more Saturday posts left for me this year. Have an idea you'd like me to post about? Let me know. I still have two requests that I have not followed up with...

Essays: Land of Debates

Laptop 

Photo: This really doesn't have anything to do with the post. Desperate times ask for random photos. I like photos.

As promised, I am back to give my report on Lucy Calkin's recommendations on teaching writers to live and write like essayists. So, jump on to the land of debates. Do we say down with the hamburger model and five sentence paragraphs or follow the pattern of real-life essays that vaguely resembles the "school way"? Come with me as I meander my thoughts on writing essays. As an added bonus, I have added the remaining portion of my notes taken during the conference.

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Writing Workshop Units of Study: A Day with Lucy Calkins

Calkins
Photo: So the four hour drive shows in this photo. Oh well. I am adding it to my collection.

So my husband calls and informs me to check my email. "O-kay," I hesitantly obey, knowing something is in the works. An email from Heinemann. "You have a gift from Brayan Bunyi." I open it up to discover that my husband has surprised me with a trip to see Lucy Calkins in Memphis. Without saying a word my husband then says, "I'm the best husband in the world, huh?" He is. Really. I'd like to share the notes I took at her workshop and encourage you to become more familiar with this extremely talented powerhouse. Be warned though. This one is long.

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Teaching Conventions in Context: Author's Craft Study

New photo added 4/13

Patricia_lesson

I distinctly remember teaching myself conventions through personal literature as a child. I even remember having trouble grasping a grammar lesson taught during the day, only to have an author teach me, through their writing, later that evening. I still believe the best way to learn grammar conventions is through observation- or what we call author's craft. What better resources do we have than professional authors to learn from? Plus, research clearly does not support teaching conventions in isolation. Here are a few things we do in the classroom to teach and apply conventions.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Angela's 4th Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.