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Working on my Header and Blog Image

So, I've been trying to figure out how to make a header.  In doing so, I played around with some names and images.  I decided on The Learning Lab--as a play on learning, science, and my dog (a lab!)
I'm in love with my iPad app ArtStudio.  It's really fun and fairly easy to use.

My first true love and inspiration--Oscar :)

Check out some of my ideas:


 Oscar in a graduation cap:

 Oscar in goggles... I still need to work on these:


Oscar in a lab coat--I'm going to work on a better fit!




Any other ideas on how to make him look like a "Learning Lab"???

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Shoebox Dioramas to Talk about Setting (Free Rubric!)

I was looking for a fun activity to use, to focus on the importance of setting details.  My students had a BLAST creating these dioramas, to represent setting elements.  




Check out these details!





They also needed to write short, descriptive PLOT cards to go with their presentation.


Click on the Rubric to download for FREE!



Constructed Response--Writing about Reading (Freebie)

Fourth Grade students have been writing a constructed response nearly each week, during the second trimester.  They read a short article, consider the prompting question, plan their ideas using evidence from the text, and draft an one-paragraph response.  



To begin this form of writing, I modeled the whole process (reading the text, highlighting or underlining evidence to support my answer, planning, and then writing my response.)


It is important for students to understand what it means to "construct" an essay or response.  So, we spent a great deal of time talking about the art of building your ideas, while using evidence directly from the text.  Students and I conference each week, and we score the pieces together!
Click on the Rubric image to get one for FREE!

Students have read science articles, texts about the writing process, and are now moving onto persuasive articles!

Nonfiction Reading--Text Features and Text Structures

Here are some examples of the Text Features fourth graders are learning about, with regard to reading nonfiction texts.
Students look for common text features for nonfiction, such as the way the text is organized (examples on the blue chart), print features, graphic features, and illustration features.



Students will also be learning more about common text structures for nonfiction. The purpose of a nonfiction text may be: to provide description, a definition, to show sequence or chronology, it may be to compare and contrast a concept, to show cause and effect, or to show problem and solution.  
Students will learn the definitions of each, how to use signal words to determine each, and will use prompting questions to guide their search.  

The yellow graphics show Description structures:





Printables listed at my store in teacherspayteachers! http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Nonfiction-Prompting-Questions-Signal-Words-Text-Elements-Guided-Reading