By Gina Kennedy

By Gina Kennedy

Monday Morning Differentiation Ideas!


Great ideas to differentiate and integrate the real world into your curriculum and create a rigorous learning environment! 
Just a few more weeks to make an impact on our learners!  I had another wonderful teacher appreciation week and the gifts that I loved the most were those that came from the heart and included handwritten notes.
I only have each of my groups for limited time periods every day being that I am a Talented and Gifted Specialist.  However, when I catch the little things that they do such as in the photo below on a daily basis to show their appreciation; I have one of those "awwww" moments that reiterate just why I do what I do!
My fifth graders playing hangman......
1. "Dad, We're Tied Together"  This week my students created Father's Day ties and wrote poems explaining how they're tied together for life.  They really turned out cute and I'm sure their dads or grandfathers will love them!

2. "Great Story Time Review"  After I finish each book during story time I always discuss what I've read by writing any text features that I'd like to review on the dry erase board.  I ask the students to erase any one of the text features and then explain how it relates to the story that they just heard. This can be used as review for any story or novel as well as books that they have read.

3. "Passion Projects" I use this time of the year let the students study that one topic that they've been dying to learn about all year.  From football, soccer, rap stars or even fashion; they choose the topic that they are passionate about and create a report and artistic presentation.  I've included a link to this free document below:

Hang in there, you are just a few weeks away from a good night's sleep, catching up on reading, watching your favorite shows and those wonderful summer travels.....

End of the School Year Fun!

End of the Year Fun!
Great ideas to differentiate and integrate the real world into your curriculum and create a rigorous learning environment!  

What is the best way to keep your students engaged and learning this time of the year?  Provide challenging; but fun activities that involve real world situations with an invitation to learn something new!  There are so many wonderful "end of the year" activities out there; I've included a few in today's blog.

1. "Top 25 Travel Destinations Postcards"  With this activity each student drew one of the top 25 travel destinations out of a box.  Then each student pretended they had visited the destination and created a pretend postcard from that destination in which they wrote to their parents describing the details of their trip
     I required them to include at least four tourist attractions on their postcards as well as two different types of food they tried that are part of the local culture.
       On the back of the postcard; they illustrated a picture of one of the tourist attractions they visited.

I've included a free link to the top 25 travel destinations and a postcard template below:

2. "5th Grade Memoirs, This is How I Rolled!"  With this activity, I had the students write 3-4 memoirs about 5th grade on each segment of a beach ball that they created!

3. "Only Music Will Tell" In small groups of 3-4,  I had my students create a short musical to describe their school year from September from May.  They had to choose three songs that they felt were best related to the school year and they were told to incorporate those songs into the play.  They had a great time and as the musical came to a pause; it was quite suspenseful to see what song they were going to play next.

4. "Fun End of the Year Awards"  Yes, we all know about the "Top Reader" award and the "Top Scientist" award; but what about the "Most Likely to Rap for a Cheeseburger at McDonald's Award" or "Cleanest Backpack of the Class" award. These are just a few of the certificates my students invented to award to their classmates.
     I had each of my students design five fun original award certificates and the class voted on each award.  I made sure they were fun; but not harmful or insulting in any way.