Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Peek at My Week {September 15, 2013}

Welcome back to another edition of A Peek at My Week!  This is where we share some highlights of our coming week -- either at school or at home.  I hope you will consider linking up and reading along. 

Please share a few interesting highlights, not your whole lesson plans.  If you use days of the week buttons, don't feel like you have to come up with something for every day.  I want this to be easy and fun for you (and your readers)!  :)

We are beginning our third week of school this week and will be giving the fall MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) assessment in reading (Tuesday) and math (next Tuesday).  Do you use the MAP test at your school?  We test three time a year, which is pretty elaborate, but provides great data on how well the kiddos are growing.
One thing you may find interesting if you give the MAP test is that NWEA has changed it a bit to resemble the up and coming Smarter Balance test.  You can view sample problems here.  It's not longer completely multiple choice.  Now students have to click, drag, or type some answers.  I will be interested to see how it goes on Tuesday as I watch my class.  We will definitely preview the sample problems on our SMART Board before then.
I'm excited to continue with Writers Workshop this week.  So far, the kids have written "I'm an Expert" papers to let their readers know what they are really good at.  I tried to make this assignment fun, so I encouraged some of the kids to choose something silly that they are really good at.  I modeled with my own area of expertise:  Falling asleep on the sofa at 8:00 every night.  A few of the kids took off with my suggestion.  One of my students wrote his paper on "I'm an expert at not paying attention in class" (at least he is aware of it...) and another wrote his paper on "I'm an expert at hanging upside down from a tree branch without getting dizzy."  The are hilarious!
This week we will be looking for writing inspiration from the world around us.  I have talked with the kids about how writers are always aware of things around them and are looking to give a voice to the things that can't speak.  I have shared much of my own writer's notebook with them where I write a lot about nature and my dogs and I think they are starting to get it.
So we will begin with Thought Museums using picture prompts.  I learned about this writing experience from my UWM-WP class this summer.  You can read the original post here.
Basically, the way it works is you put some interesting pictures or quotes on a large piece of paper in the middle of a group of desks.  The students walk around SILENTLY and comment on what they think is going on in the pictures by writing on the paper.  When you are done, share some of the comments and talk about how we all can see different things. 
Students can then use one of the pictures as the subject of a writing piece.  They pick the genre of writing -- a story, poem, haiku, conversation, newspaper article, etc. 
I have been gathering some cool pictures on my Pinterest board to use for this activity.  Here's a preview of some of them:great picture for a writing prompt
 Writing Prompts-Photo Prompts AMAZING
 Use the following words in a ten-minute free write: 1. BENCH, 2.GRIPPED, and 3. WOODEN or GREEN. **Standards:  L5, W3, W10 (distinguishes among connotations such as giggle/snicker/guffaw, uses precise words/phrases, writes routinely within time frames) ** Lesson link: (Photo source link below)
I'll share how it goes!
Now it's your turn to give us some highlights of your upcoming week!
Have a great week everyone!


  1. Ugh we use MAP and I hate it lol (I teach HS). Just for our 2 English tests, we lose 6 instructional days all year and have found the results to not be terribly reliable (for instance, a kid who was in two English courses took the same test twice in two days and his score fluctuated by 17 points!) We are also having trouble motivating our students to actually put effort into testing because they are getting so burnt out taking five tests thrice yearly (math, science, English).

  2. LOVE the thought museum idea! I did something similar with my first and second graders last year. I called them "Picture Prompts" so your title is much more creative :)

  3. Thank you for hosting such a wonderful linky. I enjoy reading the post each week, and I am happy to link up for the first time. The museum idea is fabulous! I look forward to using this with my 4th graders.

    Foreman Teaches

  4. We are doing MAP testing this week, too! As you can see, I blogged about it briefly as well. Thanks for hosting this fun linky!
    Crafting Connections

  5. I love your thought museum idea. I will definitely go and check out your Pinterest pics. I will use this, for sure, once I finish up all my beginning of the year assessments. (That will be soon.)

    Fit to be Fourth
    Follow me on Bloglovin

  6. I love the pictures that you are using. I am going to use those with my kiddos soon.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Find me on Facebook

  7. I love the way you are using the pictures. I use the national geographic photo of the day every morning as morning work. The students make "noticings" and inferences about the picture. But I might change it up a bit and try this!


  8. Math teachers start MAP next week and Reading teachers (me) have MAP testing the following week. This is our first year trying it. I'm excited to get the data from MAP especially since our school is being very "get through it and see what we can get of it" this year. Their attitude is very relaxed since this is our first year. I'm excited to just see what happens and let it roll from there :)

    I'm in love with your thought museums! Those are amazing! I'm going to need to find some time to squeeze those in or maybe I can use those during an intervention lesson one week... your pictures are great, especially the one of the car in the tree! Those work well for making inferences as well. Love it!

    Thanks for sharing your week! Love this linky party!
    My Shoe String Life
    Follow Me on Bloglovin'

  9. We also have MAP testing, but we only do it twice a year. We have actually have the Language MAP test tomorrow.

  10. Those pictures are so great. I spent a long time looking at the picture of the "woman" sitting on the bench. So cool!


  11. I love the idea of a Thoughts Museum! I can't wait to borrow this idea from you and use it in my classroom. The pics you chose from Pinterest are awesome!!!!

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

  12. So excited to finally link up this week! We start our MAP testing next week! Hope you have a great week!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  13. Me, too - I LOVE the Thoughts Museum and your pictures! Your link-up has really taken off, too - happy to see all these responses!

  14. Thanks for sharing your week. I love using picture prompts for writing and making inferences. Thanks for sharing those photos - I had not seen the woman on the bench one before. I hope you have a great week.

  15. We're doing Cognitive Abilities Testing. I love the thoughts museum walk! I can't wait to see how it turns out for your class! It'd be great for my kiddos to do adjectives, I think! I'm excited to link up for the first time!

    The Journey of a Beginning Teacher

  16. These pictures are PRICELESS! I'm going to have to start following you on Pinterest so I can use these with my kiddos!! Have a great week. :)

    Alexis at Laugh, Eat & Learn!


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