Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turkey Time! Keep Activities Meaningful During Thanksgiving Festivities

I don't know about you, but the week before Thanksgiving is one of the more challenging of the school year. In my district, we have parent-teacher conferences right before the break, which means I have an added layer of objectives to reach this week.

Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE parent-teacher conferences because I get to brag on my students to their greatest fans. But, I have a lot to do if I want to gather meaningful work samples which serve as formative assessments, and complete summative assessments that will direct our progress forward.  (I love using my assessment journal this time of year because the assessment pages give me so much information about my students' progress!)

In other words, this week, I need to...

  • test kids
  • get last minute work samples
  • keep them engaged
A couple of years back, I made a goal to transform Thanksgiving week away from being activity-based (meaning, a lot of things to do, but not a lot of substance), to being instructional activity-based (meaning, the things we do have a meaningful, instructional purpose).  

One of the things I came up with is this cute turkey craftivity that focuses on research and informative writing skills. The kids are loving Turkey Time, and I love the time I get while they are working on their research, writing, and craftivity!

I tie the theme together with fiction turkey books. A class favorite is Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr.  The kids love calling out "Run, Turkey, run!" 

I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, and that week leaded up to it isn't too stressful!  Enjoy your family time!

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