Friday, March 27, 2015

Would You Rather...

This week we worked on persuasive writing.

Prior to getting my students to write I like to give them time to talk about their ideas, out loud, with a partner.  This helps them generate ideas and synthesize their thinking. Sometimes we skip the oral discussion part and I just get kids to write freely ...depending on the writing task, that works too! However, for our first crack at persuasive writing I knew that the oral component would result in stronger, well thought out arguments when it came down to the writing part.

I stumbled upon this "Would You Rather..." activity on my FB feed the other day and knew it would be the perfect 'hook' for my persuasive writing lesson.  You can grab it for FREE!

It's such a fun intro to persuasive writing because, let's face it: who doesn't love talking to their best bud during class about ridiculously funny scenarios.

For each question, I got students (in pairs) to highlight their choice, then they had to come up with at least 3 reasons to defend their opinion. They did this orally first.

If their buddy made the same choice, they could come up with reasons to defend the choice together. If the opinions differed, they were encouraged to challenge the validity of their partner's arguments. This inspired students to think critically about their reasons and also helped to eliminate 'weak' reasons such as, "...because I like it".

After going through all the scenarios, students selected ONE to write about.

I think throwing in a bit of 1. choice 2. humor and 3. time to think ideas through with a buddy, really helped my students when it came down to the writing part! Plus, the fact that my kiddos were engaged and laughing while learning made this lesson a home run in my books.  But, they weren't the only ones having fun.. eavesdropping was hil-ar-ious! Eight year olds say some pretty funny things!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Easy as Pi: Simile Freebie

Happy Pi day folks!! This year is the first time in a century that the date will read 3/14/15 (the first five digits of pi, 3.1415). Better yet... at 9.26:53 am the date and time will describe pi to 10 digits! Apparently this gets math geeks as happy as a kid in a pie store!

My friends at Upper Grade Memoirs and I are linking up in honor of Pi Day!! Visit all of our blogs to grab a freebie that will make your life as easy as... PI!
Since I've been working hard at finishing off my Figurative Language Spot It & Steal It pack, and since we are using the simile "easy as pie" for this blog hop, I thought it would be fitting to share my simile worksheet FREEBIE with you! {Click HERE to download}
If you are looking for more simile FUN, I just uploaded my SIMILE Spot It & Steal It Game is SO CUTE (if I do say so myself)!! In addition to the game cards, it includes posters for your classroom! If you're not familiar with how my games work, click {HERE} and check out the "preview "!

You can find this game and MORE in my BUNDLE {click HERE}. 

These games will not only make your life as easy as pie... they will make your students feel as happy as clams... they will have as much fun as clowns at a circus... they will be as engaged as my hubby watching his sports... as ... OK, OK, I'll stop... I'll stop like cars at a stop sign. Oh my gawd that was bad... as bad as a simile that almost died. 
I know, I know... I'm as cheesy as a cheese ball. It's just how I roll.
Happy Pi Day everyone! May all your days be as easy as pie!

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