Choice Projects v.s. Mid-term Exams

Recently, I took a poll in one of my classes to see if they would prefer choice projects or a traditional exam to end the semester.  Every single one of my students chose the project option, so I created a tic-tac-toe choice board for them.  (Board template was borrowed from https://shakeuplearning.com/ )The choices related to a novel we had finished reading in class where we studied plot elements and characterization.  I’m really happy with the level of engagement in the choices my students made for their mid-term assessment project. During our project work days, I was able to observe their creative process to demonstrate knowledge.  In addition, I was able to see growth in their writing and comprehension. Check out their work below documented on Bookcreator.

Creativity in Bookcreator

Have you ever said, “There is never enough time”?  This is what I hear a lot from colleagues and my own thinking.  How do we manage to tackle the benchmarks that we want our students to know, fit in all of our lessons, and allow for room to be creative?  There has to be a balance in everything, and that includes the way we ask our students to showcase their learning.  After over sixteen years of teaching, I have found that students need choice to stay engaged and creative.  As a teacher, I have to get really creative in how I make sure students make connections across all subject areas and fit in all of my lessons for the year.

Do you remember being a kid and being assigned a book report?  I remember going through lots of paper before I settled on my final draft.  Geez, did my hand hurt after all of that writing!  Fast forward to today, there are so many choices for sharing a favorite book.  Students love to be creative in how they share their knowledge of benchmarks that they have been taught.  I have found that Bookcreator is a great digital tool that allows students to grow as readers, writers, designers, and researchers.  And, it’s a great way to practice using 21st century skills and prepare for the future.  After meeting a guest author who wrote a scary story we decided to try our own.  Check out our collaborative collection of spooky stories!  Let us know what you think.

The Penultimate Prompt before the Holiday Break

 

Tag

By: Noah

Well, my mom brought me and my three other friends to the mall. We were shopping, until David started the whole thing…  I was minding my own business at the video game store until I heard the words, ‘’ You’re it‘’.  Now, you’re thinking this is going to be a chase all around the mall. Well you’re right. We started running through the entire mall, but they were exhausted.  When it’s time to go, we all got in my car and dropped off each of the kids. Finally when David started to slowly get out of the car, I tagged him and said, “You’re it’’.

100 Word Challenge for Week 12: Ally Report by Justice A.

ALLY REPORT

By: Justice A.

As I walked through the valley with my dog, I saw someone with a van and a tv reporter group. I walked through the valley to see what was going on., The camera had me and my dog on T.V.  I said to myself “… we seemed to be on the television…” I kept walking back and forth until I could get a my few minutes of fame on T.V. They said I couldn’t do that, but I did it again. I kept walking and the T.V. camera crew started to yell. Unfortunately, the security viciously got me off camera. 

100 Word Challenge by Justice Aranda

The Dark

Justice Aranda- 7th Grade

I was in bed, it was 9:30. I heard something behind my bathroom door… I opened the door and closed it. Nothing was there. I went back to bed and I heard it again. I heard myself saying, “I wondered what was behind that door?” I went to go check again, nothing was there. I kept checking every hour. I got freaked out and went to my parents’ room and they didn’t believe me. They said, “Go back to bed.”  I cried as I kept hearing the sound get closer and closer.

100 Word Challenge Story by Cristofer Bennardo

The Shipping Test

By: Christofer Bennardo

U.P.S. and FedEx both made new websites on shipping products. So my sister and I are holding an experiment on which company ships products faster U.P.S. or FedEx. We bought the same product from the same place but on the two different websites. After we ordered the product’s we went back to our day. Playing outside, fighting, eating and playing video games. The next morning the doorbell rang, and I Wondered What Was Behind The Door the FedEx or U.P.S. box. I opened the door and I saw an Amazon Box? I am confused?

War Torn- A 100 Word Story for Week 8

War Torn

By: Christofer Bennardo

It was in the trenches of a war torn village . They were being attacked by a nearby village. They were losing by a bit. The Lieutenant was giving orders and the private did not want to do it. They were saying… “BUT WHY LIEUTENANT?” “Well,  BECAUSE I SAID SO NOW DO IT!” “Fine I’ll do it” ……The Private runs out of the trenches with other soldiers, and runs around the enemy’s position. They go behind the enemy and hide. The lieutenant takes out a blow up tank and places it down. The enemy retreats and the soldiers come out from hiding and make them surrender.

Sustainable Fashions- An Interview by Liliana

Selena Blackstone of Blu Butterfly Vintage has been searching for unique pieces since the early 90’s!  I remember going on “treasure hunts” with her at all of the local Orlando thrift shops when we were in high school together.  We both shared that love for taking care of the Earth and being creative.  She has a real gift in being able to find one of kind pieces, and even reinventing a fashion piece.  We reconnected last summer to collaborate on a blog post.  She was gracious in allowing Liliana, who loves to repurpose old clothes, to interview her.
Read more about Selena at Blu Butterfly Vintage and sustainable fashions.  This may be something you are interested in doing in your future!

Leo the Lion visited Blu Butterfly Vintage this past summer.

Liliana: What inspired you to be a fashion designer?
Selena:  I have always loved clothes since I was a little girl and would make clothes for my Barbie dolls. I would also dress up in my grandmas clothes and my cousins and I would have fashion shows for my grandparents. I always found it hard to find clothes that I liked when going to the local stores/department stores. As a teenager, I always found different pieces at the local thrift stores that I loved and that was eccentric, unique and different.
Liliana:  How did you come up with the name of your business?
Selena:  As a little girl, my grandmother and I used to chase butterflies in her garden every summer. Once she would catch them, she would put them to sleep and put them in shadowboxes. It was fun, yet…. sad but they were great memories that I had with my grandmother. The butterfly was always a creature that I loved and was a part of me. When searching for a name for my business, blue butterflies were surrounding me at that time. I was seeing them everywhere. I was also seeing a lot of monarchs. It was a sign, and the name was a new beginning.
Liliana:  What kind of styles do you usually look for?
Selena:  My styles and taste change from season to season. It really depends on what I am feeling at that moment when looking for inventory. Right now, I look for full circle dresses and crush velvet for the holiday season. I am partial to the 60’s and 70’s styles though!
Liliana:  Where do you get your clothes for your business?
Selena:  A portion of my inventory comes from local auctions or estate sales. I have developed relationships with people in the industry that now call me to pick up at their place of sale, and/or auctions.
Liliana:  Do you usually make the clothes for your business?
Selena:  I usually do any repairs and restoration of already made dresses or clothing. However, Blu Butterfly Vintage has a clothing line on the rise in the near future of reproduced vintage styles.
Liliana:  What have you learned about being a fashion designer?
Selena:  Being true to myself and who I am is important in this industry. Being in the fashion industry is very competitive and it is easy to get discouraged. Ultimately, I don’t allow myself to look at what everyone else is doing, but I keep my eyes on my own vision and what I see for Blu Butterfly Vintage.
Liliana:  Have you been in any shows like Shark Tank?
Selena:  This one is my favorite question! I love Shark Tank. Unfortunately, I have not been on that show….yet! YOU never know what the future hold. I have done a lot of fashion shows and fundraising events. Our next event will be a vintage car show where a bunch of us ladies will be dressed in vintage 50’s and 60’s dresses to help raise money for a cancer patient.
Liliana:  Does anyone else work with you on your business?
Selena:  Yes! It is a family affair! I have a 16 year old daughter who does all the modeling for me. And I have a 3 year old son who helps me package sales for shipping.
Liliana:  Do you usually get a lot of customers?
Selena:  Most of my customers are buying online right now as the online marketplace is thriving.
Liliana:  Do you sell clothes for all ages?
Selena:  Yes I do! I have clothes for all girls and women!
To find some great vintage pieces go to http://blubutterflyvintage.blogspot.com/   My photo