Ships Ahoy

USS Von Steuben by Christy Berry

USS Von Steuben by Christy Berry

Greetings,

Well, now that school is done and I’ve set sail for my summer vacation I have time to actually write a post. Since my last post I had my fourth child; thus, the lack of time for posts. So my goal this summer is to write many posts, lesson plans, and have fun with my children.

Summer is also a time to reflect on the past school year. One of the best lessons that many of my students like was the final. This year the spring music program for the middle school had a theme of nautical music. I have student artwork that is hung with the music evening so the final project each trimester was to have the students create whatever they wanted with the idea that somehow it tied to the nautical theme. There were three main stages in the lesson: research/brainstorm, creating the art piece, and then final the essay/presentation.

It was really impressive when students were presenting their work. After the presentation classmates could ask questions about the artwork. They asked wonderful questions of the artist and the artist handled themselves beautifully in their responses. They were using art terminology and were able to describe their own process.   There were a couple of ways that I set up a “safe” environment for presentations. Here are a few tips:

  1. Explain/Discuss what an audience should do while somebody is presenting
    • Paying attention
    • Keeping their hands off of their own project
    • Keeping their bodies quiet
  2. Give the option to have a buddy/friend up there with them (they hold the artwork)
  3. Demonstrate how to present
    • Use a loud voice
    • Look at the audience
    • List all of the requirements for the essay
  4. Explain helpful and supportive questions/comments
    • Why did you choose the color blue?
    • What is this figure/object represent?
    • I like how you used a line to show movement, it really brings attention to that area.
  5. Invite students to ask questions of your artwork (be ready for some wild questions)
  6. Have everybody clap when students are done

While we were working on the final one sixth grade student told me that this was the easiest final he has ever taken. Students liked this lesson because they were able to choose whatever they liked. While students were working on their piece I created one of my own. I explained that the reason why I chose this piece is because my dad served on this sub when I was little and I remember seeing the pin he had when I was little. The materials I used were acrylic paint, a canvas and frame from Goodwill, and brushes.

If you would like the full lesson please click here the link to my teacher pay teachers.

Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

JMS 6th Grade Reading Essentials works with the James Dyson Engineering Box

IMG_9484My sixth grade Reading Essentials class used the Dyson Engineering Box. There was no cost to the school for the box. It’s provided by the James Dyson Foundation. All I did was ask if I could use the box. I put down my choice for which month I would like the box to arrive. We were very excited to receive the box. After four weeks we send it back. This is something that fits into my budget. The box came with directions and information along with posters. Along with a DC26 and heads to dismantle it also came with screw drivers. For more information please visit: http://www.jamesdysonfoundation.com/educators/

By far this was my students’ favorite lesson this trimester. There are several things that we did to use reading even though the students were mostly excited about dismantling the vacuum heads.

Reading Essentials DysonHere are some of our reading things:

  • We used looked at 10 vocabulary words relating to the box.
  • We analyzed and evaluated the text about James Dyson using several reading strategies week prior to dismantling the vacuum heads.
  • We worked in groups where each member took one of the five steps and either, verbally read the directions and questions, wrote the group answer, or dismantled the head.
  • Students also analyzed the design process and created their own inventions on paper. Some of the answers were pretty wacky and wonderfully thought out. My favorite was the teacher transporter so students wouldn’t start school so early.
  • Not only did this lesson cover common core standards for English Language Arts and Next Generation Science standards is also was engaging and lots of fun.

IMG_9529Feedback from my students:

  • Favorite lesson all trimester
  • The vacuum cord to plug into the wall is too short for my classroom.
  • Fascinated by the amount of dirt the Dyson vacuum cleaner could pick up vs the custodians vacuum cleaner he uses in my room. The custodian does not have a Dyson; his is a bag vacuum with only one wheel that pretty much only picks up paper.
  • Fascinated by the cyclone technology and watching stuff spin around.
  • The directions were not always clear on how to dismantle the vacuum or what part was what.

My feedback:

  • This was a fabulous lesson!
  • Students were engaged throughout the lesson.
  • It was fun to watch the students try to figure out the instructions and work well with their team mates.
  • This is a repeat lesson.

Please enjoy our video!

-Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

6th Grade Students Look At Word Choice In Different Documents

Preamble by Mrs. BerryThis last week our sixth grade reading class was very busy with celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, the U.S. Constitution Day, and Talk Like a Pirate Day. We focused on word choice in those documents. We collaborated with the seventh and eighth grade band to be inspired by the song and look at the meaning in the words of the poem. The sixth grade students helped with the seventh and eighth grade students understand the definition of symbolism. The next day we looked at the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Preamble and Amendments 1-10. We analyzed the words with a partner and then took those words the next day and created a wax resist drawing with words. Students then created a wash over the words with watercolor paint. Finally, the day came to talk like a pirate day and we took children’s nursery rhymes and turned them into pirate rhymes. It was a hoot! Sixth grade students are brilliant when coming up with new ideas. I will do this lesson again! Please enjoy our video of our week. 

Here are links to my lesson plans on teachers pay teachers if you would like the details on the lesson.

Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

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

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