Easter is almost here! So I thought I would share with you a free product from my TPT store that you could use in the classroom for an Easter themed writing lesson.
Click on the image below to be directed to it on my TPT store and download for free. (Registration with TPT is free if you haven't used before)
Below are some steps outlining how I have implemented this resource in my classroom:
1. First, I conduct a class discussion about what makes a story interesting and revise what components it must have (characters, setting, conflict, resolution). I like to emphasize the importance of conflict and how more excitement could be added through including at least three obstacles.
2. As a class, we brainstorm some interesting obstacle ideas on the board that could be Easter related.
3. I explain the activity and what students must include in their writing. They need to choose only one of the writing prompts from the worksheet, but they must include at least one conflict, three obstacles the character experiences, a description of the setting, an interesting character with a weakness, and a clear resolution to end the story. I usually model with the class a simple idea to explain all of these components on the board before they begin writing.
4. Last year I turned this activity into a writing competition, which really motivated my class. Students wanting to enter the competition would have to read their story to the class. At the end, students got to vote for their favorite story (a blind vote and obviously not allowed to vote for themselves).
Creating a positive classroom climate helps students become successful learners. I've visited a number of classrooms over the last few years, and I am always fascinated by the variety of ways teachers run their classrooms. I thought I'd share with you some tips and ideas I have learnt from other teachers and being in the classroom myself for creating a positive classroom climate:
1. Get to know your students – find out about their families, friends, likes, dislikes, interests, etc. An activity I've used frequently and had much success with is getting students to create a personal brochure or a website layout on paper.
2. Be approachable – Let students know that if they need help with anything that they can count on you.
3. Collaborative art displays – Create an artwork as a class, such as a mural.
4. Post and celebrate student work – When displays of art, projects, poems, and essays dominate the walls, there is student ownership of the room.
5. Reinforce positive behaviors – Whether it is verbal praise, a smile, a sticker, a token, points or a certificate, ensure that that the student knows what was good about their actions.
6. Be consistent and fair - sometimes to be fair you cannot treat them equally.
7. Take every opportunity to model tolerance and kindness to everyone – I think this point speaks for itself.
8. Show enthusiasm – Let students know that you are happy to be there and it’s not just a job that you have to do.
9. Have a positive attitude – Students sense your mood and feed off your attitude. If you’re positive, chances are that your students will also catch it.
10. Make learning relevant – Students are more engaged and retain knowledge better when they understand the purpose of what they are learning and how it is relevant in everyday lives.
11. Be flexible – don’t push that math lesson that you were planning on if your students are clearly unfocused and perhaps tired from a previous lesson. Perhaps throw in a brain break, play an educational game, or switch it for an easier lesson.
12. Give choices – As long as all of the options are all still in line with what you want them to do, give students freedom to choose between 2-3 options.
13. Have an outlet for expression –Have a box for students to express any concerns, issues or stories that they want to tell you and then try to read and deal with them when the opportunity arises.
14. Create a comfortable physical environment – Add some colorful cushions or bean bags for sitting on the floor.
If you have any other tips or suggestions, I would love to hear them!
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.