Welcome to Raki's Rad Resources for our first Spotlight Blogger. My family and I are camping right now, and we are taking a break from all screens in an effort to recharge our batteries and get ready for the new school year. While we are gone, I hope you are enjoying the spotlight bloggers who have agreed to guest blog for me. Be sure to pin the posts you like, as the spotlight blogger with the most pins on their post will win a special prize! And then, please stop by their blogs and see all the awesome things they have to offer you.
Hi everyone! This is Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6 and I am so glad to be over here on Heidi's blog guest posting for you. Today, I am going to share an idea that I am sure some of you have used in some way, shape or form at the beginning of the year. Me Boxes.
One of the first assignments I give my students is called a "Me Box". On the first day of school, students are given the homework assignment to look around their house for 5 objects that represent who they are. These can be ANYTHING that the students feel will show the rest of the class a little bit about the person sitting with them in the room. To help them visualize this, I actually create my own box, which usually contains a picture of my two children, some artifact that shows my love of television, a few other hobknobs I have around the house and ALWAYS a can of Diet Pepsi. Giving them this example really helps them to see what I want them to do for their first at home project.
Then the students are off. They usually have one week to gather the materials and bring the boxes in. Below are a few of the boxes the students have come in with in the past.
Now, because I teach 5th grade, I also have them write about their artifacts. I require a paragraph with the box, with at least one sentence for each item in the box. When I am in the lower grades (or teaching a class that needs a bit more support) I also give them a Communication Guide with sentence frames for their paragraph so they can complete this at home.
An added benefit of the paragraph (besides the fact that the students are writing) is that they can then use it during their oral presentations of the boxes to their classmates. I usually have them sit in small groups of 5 or 6, with box in hand, and each student takes a turn describing the contents of the box.
So there you have it. A neat little first week project that helps to build community in your room, allows you to see how the students work on extended time projects, AND gets quite a few standards in all at the same time. So you can get started on this project yourself, here is the letter that I give my students. And the rubric, standards, and task for you.
Stephanie is currently a 5th grade teacher who has taught most elementary grades for the past 14 years. She is National Board Certified and holds a Masters degree in Education. Stephanie enjoys teaching and discussing lesson ideas and other ramblings on her blog Teaching in Room 6.