Fantastic Friday + FREEBIES!!

HAPPY FRIDAY, everyone… can you taste the weekend? I can!!!! I am so looking forward to a few days of R & R at home. It seems like my own biological children are keeping me as busy as my school children. You see I’ve had a project to do with my son and daughter for the past 2 weekends straight. Aggghhh… Calgon take me away! And I don’t know about you, but the start of this school year feels like a never ending race for me. I feel as if my to do list just keeps getting bigger. Just when I’m beginning to see the end of my list, a few more items get added. Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE what I do, I just wish I had more hours in a day. So what wonderful activity do I have to share with you all today? Well, I know that the topic of bullying has received much media attention than years prior and as a result of many tragedies that have occurred, I feel it is a topic that should be discussed at home as well as in the classroom setting. This year besides having our talented counselor visit each one of our classrooms and discuss bullying, I decided to complete an activity with my students. I cannot take credit for coming up with this idea because it was shared by a fellow colleague that saw the idea on Pinterest. (Thanks Christy :0) I began by giving each of my students a half sheet of copy paper. As a group, we described the qualities of the paper… white, plain, smooth, beautiful, untouched, etc… Then I had the students crumple up the paper as much as possible, throw it on the floor and stop on it, and lastly toss it across the room towards another table. Students then picked up the ball of paper that was closest to them and opened it. I asked them to try to smooth it out as much as possible. We then once again described what we saw… white, wrinkled, bumpy, etc… We then spoke about how that paper could never return to its original form. In essence it would be “scarred” forever despite our best efforts. Next, we made the connection between the paper and someone who is being bullied. We discussed how even though a bully might apologize the hurt and pain would still be present in the bullied child’s heart. We concluded the activity with a short writing activity. Students glued a piece of the white, untouched paper and a piece of the “bullied” paper into their writing notebooks and wrote about what they had learned. Take a look at one of my students work below… Bully writing 3Bully Writing 2                 This week we also read the story Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco which also touches on the subject of bullying. What a WONDERFUL story! It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. Moving on to the FANTASTIC FRIDAY FREEBIES!!!!! At the beginning of the year, I try to gather as much data on each of my students in order determine their strengths and weaknesses. Then at various times throughout the year, I collect more data. What I have found to be helpful to me, is to record ALL of my data into a Student Scores Snapshot sheet that I’ve created. This lets me see a “snapshot” of each student, strengths, weaknesses, and progress. page0001 If you would like to download this FREEBIE, simply click on the picture. You can modify the columns and test names to meet your needs. The next FREEBIE I have is a seating chart in which I color code my page0001students to make sure they are seated in a location that is most beneficial to their needs. That just means I like to pair up a struggling student next to a higher performing student so that when we do partner work or buddy reading, I know that my struggling student will have a good role model.  Click on the picture to download your FREE copy of the seating chart. Enjoy both FREEBIES and have a FANTASTIC FRIDAY! Much Love, Melissa Signature

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