Friday 31 August 2012

Writing From The Heart With Heart Maps!

Have you ever heard of heart maps? What are they all about? What do they look like?  A heart map is a visual representation of what a student likes or cares about. This heart-shaped picture uses drawings and words to show the things that "live" in a child's heart waiting for the chance to be revealed by a writing activity. The most important ideas go in the middle and the less important things go in the surrounding spaces. 

First mentioned by Georgia Heard in her book Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School, heart maps can help students attend to writing from a much deeper level than most prompts. Students express themselves more accurately and completely when they use this visual display.

in the above picture the child reveals his love of his family as the greatest heart idea and his passion for food, music, his dog Roxy, travel, nature , music and movies as secondary but also important. These are all the things dear to his heart.

How To Create a Heart Map

Step 1: Give them a heart template.

Create your own heart template and print multiple copies. The heart must be large enough to allow students enough space to put their ideas down.

Step 2: Get them thinking!

Ask students these questions to organize their thoughts:
1. What has really affected your heart?
2. Who are the people that are important to you?
3. What are some of the experiences that you will never forget?
4. What are some of your happy or sad memories?
5. What are your secrets? (use a picture or word to show it but do not reveal it)
6. What small things are important to you?

Step 3: The Heart Revealed!

Students will then use words, pictures or a combination to make a composite picture of their heart.

You can also refer to a PDF link on how to make a heart map.

Here are some examples of heart maps.   



Wednesday 29 August 2012

An All About Me Writing Craftivity For You!

This is my third year teaching grade 1 (second year infants) and I am all the more anxious about my new class. I always look forward to seeing their bright eyes and sunny disposition, at least for the first week. As you know, by the second week of school the novelty of the first week begins to wear and out comes the 'little people'. We see a range of personalities and a rainbow of learning styles that we must cater for quickly! But how do we engage our new students enough to capture their attention from the get go? We use Writing Craftivities! 

Below are links to some FREE writing craftivities from fellow bloggers for the varying levels throughout elementary school. 

Beginning of the year


star student      Top 10 - Great beginning of the year activity!

      Love for beginning of the school year!

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Glyphs in the Classroom

Lately  I have been seeing the word 'glyph' pop up very often in my searches. From preschool  to university and across subject areas, there it is " GLYPH! GLYPH! GLYPH!. Of course my first thought was that this had to be a Social Studies or History 'thing', but then I came across glyphs in Science, Reading and Mathematics.This threw my ideas into a tailspin! What is this all about?  Well, naturally I decided to do some digging to see what I can come up with, and this is what I found. I hope that today's post is just going to wet your appetite and that you do your own search to see how viable this is as a teaching tool.So let's see what this 'new wave' is all about. 

Photo Courtesy

What is a Glyph?
The word 'glyph' is short for hieroglyphics which is an ancient Egyptian system of writing. In that system signs were used by scribes to record information in a pictorial form. In the classroom glyphs are used in the same way. Little details come together graphically to create a bigger picture or idea that relays information.  Let's take a look at the glyph activity below:

In this activity students will have to follow the directions below:

This is what Ricardo's glyph looks like. Can you decode it?

And here is Marianne's glyph. Try decoding this one. You can also try this activity yourself and see what your glyph will look like.

Therefore each color used has a particular meaning and each composition is full of information. Of course, this is just one example. At higher levels in elementary school glyphs are used in other varying ways. 

You can click on the pictures below for more ideas on the use of glyphs in the classroom.

The Organized Classroom Blog Organized Classroom Blog: Friendship Glyphs

Pinned Image New Kids on the Block 'Child Glyph' by Mrs Van Dyke-Grade 3

Use the glyphs to create a bar graph. Bright Hub Education

Sweat Tea Classroom


Sunday 26 August 2012

Upcycle Your Plastic Cake Containers!

My family and I celebrated three birthdays for the year so far. Lots of love and kisses and lots of cake and ice-cream (I'm feeling that now). Anyway, against the wishes of my significant other who doesn't miss an episode of Hoarders on TV, I KEPT THE CAKE CONTAINERS! (Actually I keep things home temporarily until I can deposit them at school, so he is anxiously awaiting the start of school.)

 So I looked around cyberspace in search of some new and innovative ideas on upcyling plastic cake containers that I can probably tweak for use in the classroom, and I did find some. So today I am going to reveal what I took delight into making. The picture quality is not as I would have liked but I'm sure you understand. :)

A Caquarium

To make this is very simple. You will need:

A piece of styrofoam or cardboard for the base
1 styrofoam cup
poster paint
shells (or sand)
pictures of fish and other aquatic life
super strong glue

If this amazes you check these general ideas! Click on the pictures for details.


Upcycled Plastic Cake Dish Bird Bath  

Saturday 25 August 2012

What Makes A Good Principal

I found this thread which all of you can identify with for sure! It is someone's idea of what makes a good principal. The piece is punctuated with a little 'washy' language, but  collectively it is good reading. It was so good that I just had to share. 

Click the picture for the link. You will not regret it!! 

Direct link to Mamacita:

Friday 24 August 2012

Back To School Clipart Sets

I'm having a sale on my Back To School Clipart Sets at TPT. They would be fun to have and exciting to use simply because they were made for you. Until Sunday you can purchase your back to school clipart sets at 10% off. I'm happy to say that the response that I am getting so far has been amazing!  I didn't think that teachers were in need of clipart that much. Nevertheless, here they are! Tell me which one catches your eye!

Brush and Splash Clipart Set

Finger Paint Clipart Set

Place Value Clipart Set

Big Markers Clipart Set

Pretty Pencils Clipart Set

Many Bottles of Glue Clipart Set

 Remember, the sale ENDS on SUNDAY!! 

Get ready for Autumn with my Pumpkin Patch Clipart Set!


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