Friday Flashback Linky: Informational Genre & ActiVotes

Sorry, I'm late with this linky today.  I may - just may - have come home from school and taken a nap today.  Someone only had a couple of hours of sleep last night.  One word.  Madonna.  More on that in Sunday's post. ;)

Let's take a look back at this week in the classroom.

In Reading, we began our informational genre study.  I started this unit by having each child write down three animals they'd like to learn more about on a post-it note.  I collected these and assigned each child an animal from his/her choices, making sure that each child had a different animal and that I could locate books on his/her reading level.

Then, I told students that I wanted to become an expert on sharks.  We began to create a K-W-L by listing everything we know about sharks.  Next, I wanted to find out what they WONDERED (wanted to know) about sharks.  Again, I gave them all a post-it and had them write their question on it.  We then sorted the questions and created an Affinity Diagram to guide our research.
Students then used these same questions to guide their own research.  We created a Mega Lotus with these same categories and each student created a set of index cards with these topics to help them organize their notes.
Each page that follows has a Lotus with one of these topics in the center.  Students will record new information learned and use each notecard to create a chapter in their own informational book later.
During this unit, I use sharks as my topic during daily mini-lessons and then students apply what they've learned using their own animal informational texts.  One of the first lessons focused on gathering information from photographs and captions.  After this lesson, students drew realistic pictures with captions (using labels) to show something important they had learned.
In Math we continued our place value unit.  This week we focused on comparing numbers.  Students created their own "greedy gators" using popsicle sticks.  They wrote the words "greater than" and "less than" on them to practice using the correct terminology.
In Science we began learning about different habitats.  Students are in the middle of working on their habitat murals that will show plants and animals that can be found there.  They were asked to show food chains that could be found in their habitat.
But, the most exciting part of our week was that we finally got our very own class set of ActiVotes!
Students are using the ActiVotes for the first time!
 We're reviewing place value.
 I love this pic!  They go crazy when the graph shows 100% of them answered the question correctly!

Link up to let us see what you and your students were up to this week!


  1. I've never heard of the Affinity diagram or the Mega Lotus. They look neat! I'll link up a little later tonight :)

    Fifth in the Middle

  2. Love the ideas. We are starting our information writing and LOVE these ideas! Thanks!

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons


  3. Thanks for the great ideas...I can definitely use these...even in third grade!!

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  6. Love the Animal research going to use it! usual you are the best

  7. Just leaving this comment, because I finally noticed something about leaving comments (the URL thing)


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