Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break Envy and a Biography Bottle Buddy

    I have to admit as I have been stalking all the amazing educator blogs that I am a bit jealous of all those that have had or are on spring break.  We are still plugging away, but boy my kids are rock stars!  Not only have they completed a wide variety of acronym labeled assessments, they haven’t let the amazing spring weather deter them….too much…from having a positive learning attitude!  My positive learning attitude is hopefully displaying energetic, but that is due to major consumption of caffeine.  (I asked for a direct coffee iv to the heart today, but she just laughed...umm, I wasn't joking...) Thankfully, break is in sight.  Only 4 days…30 hours…1800 minutes…but who is counting? :D
    Interested in a unique way to have student’s present biography reports?  How about a bottle buddy? (No, I’m not talking about what we sometimes wish for as we grade, file massive amounts of paperwork, and deal with the ever increasing number of assessments…) I’m talking about a biography bottle buddy; think Austin Power’s Mini Me. I don't have any pictures yet, but Google, Bing, or Use a lifeline to check out the adorable examples on the web.  Using an empty bottle, foam craft ball, and an exciting amount of craft supplies, students will be creating a miniature replica of their famous person.  Putting sand in the bottom of the bottle is a must to keep them standing. This is a fun addition to a rigorous curriculum. 

Click here for the free download of a parent letter and rubric

    In addition to the biography buddy, my students will be doing   “A Living Biography". Each month, or so, depending on you guessed it, our assessments, my students work on a home project that correlates to our standards and GVC.  In previous years they have done the presentation as a “Dead Famous American,” but I had many students interested in a variety of non-Americans.  Who am I to stand in the way of learning? Especially student directed learning! 

I am including the free download of the parent letter and rubric explaining the projects and the rubric I created.  Truthfully, my kiddos are a bit burned out, so I changed the writing portion from an expository essay to an acrostic poem.  The expository essay would have been perfect as we have been working on accurately quoting, works sited, using evidence from text, etc. but my parents didn’t raise a dummy, and as I mentioned before… did I mention?…assessments….lots of them…no spring break….

On a final note, but just as exciting; I will be helping to contribute to 3-6 Free Resources.  This is the great new site with the cute coffee theme that I posted about last week as I rambled late into the night.   Come check out some wonderful ideas and free resources for 3-6 classrooms!

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