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You are Cordially Invited to the Wedding of Q & U

This week we prepared for the wedding of the letters Q and U to make the "qu" sound. IMG_1048 Many arrangements were made. The vowels were invited and presents for the bride and groom were made. Girls wore veils and carried flowers and the boys wore top hats. The bridal party marched down the aisle to Cannon in D as the shushers held Quiet signs. The flower girl threw the paper letters and our principal conducted the ceremony.

IMG_1063We started having this ceremony last year to help remind our students that Q always needs U during spelling. The week leading IMG_1035 up to the ceremony, we did activities and read books that helped the students understand the concept. One of the activities is a word blend sorting. I made index   cards that have words begin with "qu", "th", "sh", and "ch" blends. I have the students sort the words and then type the words onto an alphasmart.

After the ceremony, we opened the gifts that the students made for Q and U. The students brought in quarters, Quaker oats, Q-tips, a quarterback, quills, a quilt, and a crown fit for a queen. The students had a blast during the ceremony. They enjoyed sharing their gifts with the class and they will always remember the wedding of Q and U!

Africa Follow-Up

I wanted to share a website that I found this week while my class was learning about Africa. The website is called WildEarth. This website has a live webcam from Djuma Game Reserve in Africa. Each weekday morning, they have a live bush walk that allows us to follow them as the ride through the African Bush. We had a great time watching the webcam.

Throughout the day, I would have the website on while the students were doing seatwork. When different animals would appear, we would stop and watch. At one point, we watch an elephant eating leaves. I think I was just as excited about the elephant as the students. As a class, we mapped the reserve on Google Earth. We watch as the sun set and the sky became darker in Djuma. We compared the webcam to Google Earth's sun feature.

This website lets Africa come to your classroom. The webcam allows a more meaningful experience because at times, it felt like we were in Africa. We compared Africa's landscape to Florida's landscape. We saw many similarities and many differences. I thought you might enjoy this website. It's free and easy. My favorite :-)

We have a visitor

I love being in position where I can still learn new things. I feel that I am at a job where it would take a huge amount of energy not to learn new things. This week I had the pleasure of having my intern from the University of Central Florida begin her semester with us. We immediately clicked and she instantly formed a bond with my students.

Her first day was a teacher's workday. We spent the day organizing my class and looking over her assignments. It was nice not having the students there because I had the entire day to answer any questions. Once we started doing lesson plans, we began bouncing ideas off of each other and coming up with great ideas.

One of her assignments was to create a discovery box. The discovery box was filled with items from outside that she had collected from her backyard. She filled it with sand, dirt, leaves, rocks, sticks, etc. The assignment was meant to be open-ended and watch what the students did with the items. I let her chose three students and I took the rest of the class and did a whole group lesson.

As I was working with the rest of the class, I occasionally looked back at her group. I saw the students engaged and working with together exploring the items. I was impressed at what she was doing but I was far enough away that I couldn't hear what she was telling the students.

After we were both done with what we were doing and the students were at specials, I asked her what exactly she had done. I was impressed to hear, that she never gave the students directions. When she was talking with the students, she was asking what they were doing. The students answered that they were sorting the leaves, using the magnified glasses to search through the sand and dirt, measuring the sticks, and recording what they found on paper.

I was amazed at what she had done with them. Later, I thought about what she had done and realized the amount of skills the students used while they were discovering what was in the box. They used their own problem solving skills to research what was in the box. I thought what a meaningful way for the students to learn at their own pace. I observed from a distance using skills that came natural to them. I love that I am learning new things daily at my job. Having that feeling makes me think that it's not a job but something I love to do.

Early Childhood Winning Ideas Contest

There are two more weeks left to enter the Early Childhood Winning Ideas Contest to win $50 worth of materials! This round's question is: How do you set the stage for sharing in the classroom? Visit the message board to post your entry!
 

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