Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October Writing Unit

Wow, I can't believe that it is October already! It seems like just yesterday that I started working on creating this new blog, and then in the blink of an eye it's October! I started working at a brand new school this year, and I guess I didn't realize how time consuming it would be getting things ready for the year. My classroom still isn't completely ready, but at least the things that are left are continuing to put things up on the walls. This actually has its benefits because it allows us to create anchor charts together. I also don't hang up any posters until it is something that we have already covered. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be, after all?!

This month we are still trying to catch up on our writing lessons since we got behind due to BOY testing. However, I LOVE this time of year because there are so many options to get students interested in writing pieces with elaborate details due to Halloween. While I try to keep in mind all of the different cultures of my students, I LOVE having my students write a haunted house story each year. After seeing the amazing haunted house writing books available in the Dollar Spot at Target (yay!), I knew I had to keep going with this yearly tradition. Typically, I would have my students create their own haunted house using a template that a previous teammate created. We would spend a day or two cutting out the outline of the house and using colored construction paper and chalk to decorate it. This year, we can focus on the meat of the writing to publish an amazing story about a haunted house.

In years past, I used a modification of an Empowering Writers lesson to have my students focus on critical details to describe a haunted house. They would then use these details to create a haunted house story. I gave the students some freedom in their stories: some wrote funny stories, some wrote scary stories, and some wrote a mix of the two. They were always a lot of fun to read and the students had a lot of fun writing them.

Some of my teammates have done a Halloween piece that focuses more on selling a haunted house and using this as a time to work on persuasive writing. I think that is a great idea as well. I've seen several great products on TPT with this in mind. I'm still trying to come up with what I want my final plan to be this year. Thoughts or ideas?! I'd love to hear about it!


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Welcome to my new blog!

Welcome to my new blog! I formerly had a blog called "Cute Classroom Creations", but I somehow managed to delete it sometime within the past year and had to start all over. I used to have a classroom theme with owls, so my previous blog matched it perfectly. However, I've been slowly transitioning away from the owls to a classroom that has a color theme of black + brights. With that new "theme", I was thinking about revamping my blog... so needless to say, accidentally deleting it some time ago allowed me to do that on my own! 

I have never really worked with HTML before, so it's been a learning experience trying to create a blog that I love! I have accumulated so much clipart over the years that I use in some of my classroom creations, so what better tool to use to help inspire me to come up with a new design. As a teacher, I love seeing what I call the "lightbulb moment" when my students finally grasp a new idea, and that is what inspired the new name of Bright Ideas. I plan to use this space to blog about my teaching ideas and reflect on my own teaching. Of course, I will share some of my creations here as well {both old and new}. 

I hope you will join me on this journey! I'd love to hear about your journey, too! Stay tuned for a new post soon!