Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Compare and Contrast

Compare and contrast is, in my opinion, one of the easier text structures for kids to work with. If they get good practice early on, it becomes easier and easier for students to look for similarities and differences.

Students should first learn what these two words mean. I am a very visual person and like to have posters/printables/displays for my students to look at. I made these simple posters to hang in my room so they could refer back to them as needed.


These posters really helped my students with remembering what each word meant.

I also taught my kiddos that if they look for signal words, they can tell if something is being compared or contrasted.
I would post a larger version of this poster as well as shrink it down to fit in my students journals. If we ever had a few extra minutes, I would have the students review these words either individually or with a partner.
I found some videos on YouTube that you could also show your kids. I'll be honest, some of the videos on Compare and Contrast are BORING! There was one that I thought would be cute with an elephant and giraffe and they both had computer-generated robot voices. Talk about wanting to shove a pencil through your eyeball! These videos are probably best for older grades and if you can get past the Nightmare Before Christmas-ish graphics, are pretty good. These are posted by McGraw-Hill Education.

The core is all about comparing and contrasting: two books, two authors, two ideas, etc. Most people like to use a Venn Diagram but those drive me a little batty. There just never seems to be enough room to write lots of detail.Soooooooo, I decided to make my own. I tried to make some for each topic in the core.



I personally like the boxes better because it gives students more room to write.
Besides comparing and contrasting books and text, I wanted something fun for students to be able to do. I created a simple game that gives students extra practice on comparing and contrasting. I created three game boards and an answer sheet for the kids to record their answers.
You can play in many ways. My favorite was to have the kids lay the cards face down, choose two, and compare and contrast the cards they picked. You could also put them in a stack and have them draw two. Or give a card to each student and have them wander around the room until you say stop. Then they find a partner close to them and compare and contrast their cards. I could go on, but I'll spare you.
You can click on the picture above or the link below to get the game boards and recording sheet!
How do you do compare and contrast in your room?

Monday, December 1, 2014

10 Must See Christmas Art Projects!

 I LOVE art projects. I want to make everyone that I see. I scoured Pinterest and found some really cute winter/Christmas art projects for your classrooms. If you make any of these, I'd love to see them!

1. Fingerprint Christmas Lights: Super simple but very cute!


2. Chalk Christmas Lights: I like that this one gives students the ability to try a new medium.


3. Winter Cardinals: These look really pretty!


4. Christmas Ornaments: I really like how this stands out on the black background.


5. Snowman Perspective: I love this different take on the snowman. It is a great way to teach students about perspective.

6. Snowflakes: This is a fun list of 30 different ways to make a snowflake.


7. How to Draw a Santa Face: Easy, step-by-step instructions. I also found one for a penguin (it also has a bunch of cute penguin crafts).


8. Gingerbread Craft: Cute for younger grades.  


9. Snowmen: This would make an adorable bulletin board!


10. Nutcrackers: This is a really unique Christmas art project. You don't see a lot of nutcracker art. (The link goes straight to the blog, not the actual art project and I couldn't find a search button!)


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