6th Grade Agents in Training

My sixth grade students were troopers this week with heat in my room ranging from 80 to 95 degrees or better we also had fire drills during each class this week.  This was our first week back and we created our own agent profiles.  We only spent three days on the profiles.  This is a bit short for my normal art projects; however, this is my reading class and I was having the students focus on reading goals and information rather than how the portrait looked.  When I have those same students for my art class I will already know what they do as far as adding color or shading to an image and where to push and stretch them.

Here is a link to my agent in training profile post.

Enjoy the video of my students working through the process.

 

-Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

On your mark, get set, Go!

I’ve set up my classroom and I’m ready to start the year. I’m exhausted after all of that work. There is also no air in my classroom and it was 90 or so degrees with a high humidity. So this post is mostly pictures. My room is set up for both my reading essentials class this fall trimester and art class for second and third. I will not be starting my second trimester due to maternity leave so I hung the materials now while I still can.

Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

This is my before picture.

This is my before picture.

This is three days later.

This is three days later.

Outside of my door.  I am using a CSI theme for my classroom.  We will investigate text.

Outside of my door. I am using a CSI theme for my classroom. We will investigate text.

The inside of my door. Everybody needs a Van Gogh!

The inside of my door. Everybody needs a Van Gogh!

On the outside of my classroom.  This is to help students be prepared and not continually ask me what do we need today.

On the outside of my classroom. This is to help students be prepared and not continually ask me what do we need today.

Yep, it's a toilet seat cover.  This works wonders.  Stops unnecessary bathroom breaks.  It's a real toilet seat (clean) from the girls bathroom.

Yep, it’s a toilet seat cover. This works wonders. Stops unnecessary bathroom breaks. It’s a real toilet seat (clean) from the girls’ bathroom.

One of three my mini storage closets.  All my furniture is used, except the desks.

One of three my mini storage closets. All my furniture is used, except the desks.

Probably the only time this will be clean all year.  A place where I never actually sit.

Probably the only time this will be clean all year. A place where I never actually sit.

My reading strategy posters I made.

Posters I made with reading strategies.

Bins to organize students folders (which we will call tool boxes) that hold reading strategies.

Bins to organize students folders (which we will call tool boxes) that hold reading strategies.

I don't have shades.  So to keep the direct light out I put up tissue paper and electric tape.  The black lines are part of the original window.

I don’t have shades. So to keep the direct light out I put up tissue paper and electric tape. The black lines are part of the original window.

Bookshelf with many children's art books, games, puzzles, teacher made textbooks, and soft building blocks (middle school boys love the blocks)

Bookshelf with many children’s art books, games, puzzles, teacher made textbooks, and soft building blocks (middle school boys love the blocks)

Each week students will learn 5 new vocabulary  words.  I took old clip boards, covered in duck tape and then used velcro to attach the board to the wall.

Each week students will learn 5 new vocabulary words. I took old clip boards, covered them in duck tape and then used Velcro to attach the board to the wall.

My classroom expectations, the paper is faded after years of use.

My classroom expectations, the paper is faded after years of use.

If you look at the clock it's not digital.  I put the numbers around the clock because I have students that struggle with telling time.

If you look at the clock it’s not digital. I put the numbers around the clock because I have students that struggle with telling time.

 

 

Agent in Training Profile

Agent BlueAs I am getting ready for my upcoming school year and my reading class I was thinking how I can make the first few days interesting and fun. I will need to go over fire, tornado, and lockdown drills with my students in the first few days. I also want to get to know my students and have them write a reading goal for the semester. I decided that wouldn’t it be great if I also added a bit of art in there. I put those ideas in a blender and came up with an Agent Profile. Not only will these hang in the hall (there is no art the first trimester and the walls will be lonely) but I will also get to know my students a bit before we dig into reading strategies.

Students fill out an “agent” survey and then using an actual profile of themselves they will blend them together. I have this lesson on my teachers pay teachers page if you want the whole lesson.   Here is a description of my Agent in Training Profile lesson:

Shhh.. It is top secret. Your students are about to enter the world of CSI Training. This lesson is my introductory lesson to my sixth grade Reading Essentials class with a CSI theme. I spend the first three days going over safety procedures (not included because every school is unique) and getting to know who the students are (lesson included in this file.) Students fill out an agent profile and write what their reading goal will be. This is combined into an actual profile of the student. This lesson includes: National Art Standard, objectives, assessment, material list, day by day lesson, agent survey worksheet, rubric worksheet, and teacher example. So if you are ready to take on the role of a CSI trainee this lesson is for you.

Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

P.S. This lesson could be used for any subject, just change it to your class content area.

Talk Like A Pirate Day: Landlubber vs Pirate Nursery Rhymes

Hey_Diddle_DiddleI am taking on a new class this fall called Reading Essentials. I will be targeting 6th grade students with an emphasis on close reading skills (that’s another post for another day). One of the lessons that I have developed is one for talk like a pirate day on September 19th. Click here for other posts that I have written about the day: Reading and Writing Ideas for celebrating talking Like A Pirate Day, Ahoy Matey! and, Kaleidoscope Eyes Are Watching.

I have several lessons dedicated to having students look at word choice and the impact of words in stories and phrases. For this particular lesson students are taking a popular children’s nursery rhymes and adding pirate vocabulary. After that they then are to answer questions about the nursery rhymes and the impact of word choice.

Talk Like A Pirate Day: Landlubber vs Pirate Nursery Rhymes Steps

Step 1: change the nursery rhyme and add pirate words

Step 2: answer 3 questions about the changes

  1. What is the difference between the original rhyme and your new pirate rhyme (what did you add/take away)?
  2. How does the meaning of the children’s rhyme change when you made it into a pirate rhyme?
  3. Why is word choice important when determining the meaning of a rhyme?

Step 3: work with partners

Step 4: share with the class

If you would like the full lesson click on the title to be transported to my Teacher’s Pay Teachers lesson called: Talk Like A Pirate Day: Landlubber vs Pirate Nursery Rhymes. Here is a description of the lesson.

Avast! September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate Day and this one day lesson is to have determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone. Students will take one of 11 popular children nursery rhymes and add their own pirate words to change the meaning. Afterwards, students analyze the impact of the changes. This lesson plan includes: objectives, common core standards, assessment, materials and resource list, lesson plan, 11 different student worksheets: landlubber rhymes vs pirate, and pirate vocabulary with definitions. Now you are ready to weigh anchor and hoist he mizzen!

Arrrrrrrtfully,

Mrs. Berry

O is for Oh Say! Can You See

O is for Oh Say! Can You SeeSince, it was recently the Fourth of July my daughter and I skipped a bunch of letters and went for the letter “O” as part of her ABC storybook. After watching the parade and reading the story Oh Say! Can You See by D. Clark, we made our own flag.

When I did this lesson with my kindergarten students I sang the song. The art lesson went over really well but my singing not so much. You know you don’t have a strong singing voice when a group of kindergarten students cover their ears. They are definitely honest. If you would like a copy of O is for Oh Say! Can You See and not my singing click here to go to my page on Teachers Pay Teachers.

This is what we did when my daughter made her “O” page.

  • She made the 5 x 5 square with help. I put little dots where she should connect her lines
  • She would say, “Horizontal” while drawing the stripes of the flag
  • She recognized there was a pattern
  • She then told me there are lots of stars on the flag, not just one
  • Then she told me about the stars.

Again, I left in her language and grammar style to keep it to her voice. I have a sneaky feeling that the stars are my daughters who want to play with their friends and the mommy and daddy star are my husband and I. I do let her play with her friends but not at 8 at night. Her story is below.

American FlagGwendolyn’s Story

Flying away.. A bird catches them and a pop star and momma star look for the kids far far away. A little stars come out and play for a little bit. Momma said, “No.” Some little stars wanted to play. And the daddy said, “No” too. That’s important too. And a little star said, “Pretty please,” like those. And do that in summer. Them flew out of the sky and see us. That’s important thing. The stars can begin. They are supposed to be together. It’s important things for them to be together. Then the daddy star said, “Yes, and go play.” Mommy star said, “No.” The End

Happy 4th of July!

-Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

A is for Ants

A is for Ants by Gwendolyn Age 4

A is for Ants by Gwendolyn Age 4

Many years ago my first daughter and I worked together to create her own ABC book; where she created the artwork and told stories. Since she was four, I wrote down what she said. I then thought, “Hey would this not be cool if my students made their own ABC book to learn about art.” I’m not going to lie, it was a ton of work with many different volunteers needed to help. However, the results were amazing. Each student walked away with their own book that they created over the entire school year with their own artwork and stories. The whole experience was to introduce students to art terms/techniques, stories, and letters. My lessons also include dancing/movement, counting, science, and songs. If you would like my lesson on “A” click here to go to my page on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I no longer teach elementary art; however, my youngest is four and it is her turn to create her own ABC book. We started with the letter “A”. I don’t have a die cut machine so we used a scrap-booking sticker. It works for her book. We sang the Ants Go Marching song and parts of the insect. She argued with me that I had it wrong; she insists that it goes head, shoulders, knees, and toes. It does not go, head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen. She also questioned about ants climbing trees.

This is what we did when she made her “A” page.Drawing Ants

  • She would say, “Vertical” while gluing vertical strips of paper
  • She would say, “Horizontal while gluing horizontal strips of paper
  • She would say print making while pressing down the different parts of the ant
  • She drew legs and antenna on each ant
  • She then told me a story about ants

I copied down what she said for her story. I did this because I wanted the focus to be on telling the story. I also kept the integrity of her style of language and did not correct her grammar. When I worked with the kindergarten classes each student had a fifth grade buddy that wrote down what the kindergarten student stated. A parent volunteer would also help out.

Gwendolyn’s Story

Ah… it’s for digging on the ground.Ant by Christy Berry It’s for pooping all of the poop out.   It’s they make babies, and babies eggs crack and babies grow and it’s get taller and the scoop comes and there is kids and bugs grow horses squishes all of the things and people love all the other one horses get me out to the cage and this one squishes the ants and this girl all alone with nobody to play because the ants marching all long and they climb the trees, blue and green, and rainbows and then the rain dried up. The End

Antfully,

Mrs. Berry

MSU 4H China Art Exchange with Jonesville Middle School

Top Ten Pictures from JMS

Top Ten Pictures from JMS

This year my students participated in something called the 4H China Art Exchange. This program is run through Michigan State University and 4H. What I like about the program is that my students learn about Chinese children and their artwork.

I built a whole unit around the exchange and hit several Michigan benchmarks at the same time. This is just one part of the unit.

Once we receive the kit I explain to the students what the exchange is and how it works. I also explain that we need to treat these pieces of artwork with the utmost respect and how to handle these one of a kind pieces of art.

Students then look at and analyze the artwork and answer the following questions:

  • Name three shapes in the drawing.
  • Name three lines in the drawing.
  • Name three colors in the drawing.
  • What is happening in this picture?
  • Do you like this picture? Why?
  • Do you dislike this picture? Why?
  • What do you see in this picture that is similar to things in your life?
  • What did the Chinese child who painted this picture want to tell you?
  • What feelings do you have when you look at this picture?
  • Would you ever think of doing a painting or drawing like this one?
  • How do you think the picture was made? What art materials are used in it?

Afterwards students present their finding by either reading their worksheet, through a poem, story, or a skit.

Then students create their own visual letter back to the students in China. I picked the top ten based on completeness, originality, craftsmanship, and visual storytelling.

This program is available to K-6 students in the state of Michigan. Please contact your local MSU extension office or click here to visit their website.

Please enjoy our video.

Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

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