Monday, March 9, 2015

Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites Book Study: Chapter 3

We are excited to be joining the Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites book study. This week's host is Mrs. Willis' Kindergarten. Hop on over to check out what others are saying about Chapter 3 of this amazing book.

This book study came at a perfect time for us. As many of us are preparing for our state assessments, we tend to try to create "test-like" situations, which unfortunately looks like a lot of worksheets. This is not how Mollie and I run our classrooms on a day-to-day basis and we really struggle with this. This text helps us to embrace the fact that it is okay to not change how we design our instruction and that continuing to use a variety of teaching tools will prepare our kiddos to do well in any assessment situation.

Chapter 3 is all about field trips and the potential learning benefits they have. We try to attend at least three field trips a year. Each field trip seems to have its own purpose. Some support our standards in a very direct way. One trip that hits upon several Social Studies standards is Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Henry Ford is known as a car man but more than anything, he was a historian. It is a trip back in time and our kiddos LOVE every minute of it.

The kids can't believe they are actually sitting in the same seat Rosa Parks sat in. 

The kids love checking out places like the Wright brother's bicycle shop, Thomas Edison's workshop, and the home of Noah Webster to name just a few. 

Other field trips we take focus on more than just the standards. For example, to support our Economics unit we take our kiddos on a tour of Barnes and Noble and to Red Robin for lunch. The kids hear about goods and services in two different industries as well as learn what skills are needed in each job. On top of all of that, our kiddos have a chance to practice using their manners out in our community. Something we feel is extremely important. 

Finally, some field trips are simply planned to expose our students to experiences they may not get other wise. Marcia Tate discusses how she and her daughter take students to dinner and the ballet. This hit home with me because it is the same kind of cultural experience we try to provide for our students by taking them to Art Prize here in Grand Rapids. This is an amazing event that allows artists from all over the world to submit their work to be seen all over our beautiful city. 

After reading this chapter of the book, I realized that we need to incorporate more smaller scale field trips into our year. We need to look into virtual field trips and what types of field trips we can take without even leaving home!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Scoop! 3.8.15

Hello there!

Amy here linking up with Teaching Trio for a little Sunday Scoop. Check out the link below to see what some amazing bloggers are up to this Sunday!

Here is what I am up to today. Nothing too exciting but isn't that what makes Sundays so wonderful!!!

I hope you have a fantastic Sunday and accomplish all you need to do, hope to do, and are HAPPY to do!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Currently

Amy here! We are so excited to link up with Farley again for this month's Currently (two in a row, WOWZA! We are on a roll!)

Listening: My mom and I went to see the musical Once a little while back and I am now OBSESSED!! I didn't know it was a movie so I had not seen it yet. We are a family that LOVES the theater so I have been very fortunate to see several musicals. Once is definitely in my top 5. If you have not had a chance to see it, check it out!

Loving: Oh why, oh why did I have to take a peek at the Easter section at Target. I have a HUGE weakness for Cadbury Mini-Eggs. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!

Thinking: I am currently eating Cadbury Mini-Eggs while I type...well... I think that pretty much sums it up. I need help!

Wanting: Our mini-fidge is on its last leg and we are in desperate need of a new one. My sweet hubby went to one thousand and one stores today looking for just the right one and came home empty handed. So the search continues...

Needing: Mollie and I are in a Collaborative Study Group with 5 other teachers and an academic support coach. The goal of the group is to identify individual instructional goals/projects that we are implementing in our classrooms and spend the year supporting one another in meeting those goals/projects. Mollie and I are both working with our kiddos on blogging. Mollie focused on the introduction of the blogs as well as teaching students how to make their blogs aesthetically pleasing and I am focusing on writing powerful comments. As part of the process, our group comes in and observes the project in action. They will be here on March 12th so it is crunch time. I have several things I need to get together before they come. It is such an awesome experience! We will blog about the entire process soon!

Spring Break Plans: I am so excited to have a majority of the time to do a few projects around the house and maybe finish up a few resources to post in our store. However, it wouldn't feel like Spring Break without a little something to look forward to. My mom and I are going to take the girls to Chicago for a couple days. I am so excited to take them on the train! They will love it!