I feel like I say this every week but this week has been crazy!! I think it’s just that time of the year when there are so many things to do and so many tests to take.
This week in reading we’ve been working on finding the theme in the story. Holy cow this is hard for them!! We’ve done many practices that show how finding the theme in a story is like finding the lesson learned (moral) in the story. Every day, when I teach it, they seem to get what’s going on but then the next day I ask, “what does it mean to find the theme in a story?” and crickets….so then I have to go back and reteach it again.
I’m a HUGE fan of using Youtube in my classroom. I think that using videos, especially ones that other teachers post, are a huge helper for my students. They get to hear what I’ve been teaching from another person’s perspective AND they get to practice with examples. One video we did as a class yesterday was a video using 4 different songs that they’re familiar with and finding the theme in that song (The video is called Finding Theme with Songs). We talked about how most songs are centered around a theme. We listened to Let it Go, Hakuna Matata, Happy, and You’ve Got a Friend in Me (all songs they are pretty familiar with!) They had so much fun. The video shows a tiny clip of the chorus in each song and then pauses to have them find the theme. I’d pause the video and they’d discuss with their table groups. I
thought for sure this video did the trick and they knew what theme was but then 5 hours later during our small group time I asked what theme was and they couldn’t tell me. *face palm* Today we are doing one more activity that involves watching Dr. Seuss’s the Sneetches and trying to find the theme of that story. My fingers are crossed that today is FINALLY the day they get it!
In math we’ve been starting work with geometry (while also still working on those multiplication facts!) This is probably my absolute favorite thing to teach just because I get to use my favorite math songs off of Youtube! (Like I said, HUGE Youtube fan!)
We learned about polygons, quadrilaterals, and perimeter. Today we are tackling area. I wanted to share my favorite math songs site because it is amazing! My kids love listening and watching these songs and they’re super catchy so they remember different math concepts that we learn! If you haven’t heard of it go to Youtube and search NumberRock, if you have heard of it you know how amazing it is! I started using it last year with my 4th graders for fun (I thought they’d find it cheesy) and they fell in love with it. It helped them master long division, different types of lines (my FAVORITE SONG!), angles (this is a fan favorite), fractions, and many many more different topics! This week we’ve had a song for every topic we’ve covered!
Using these songs and videos help reenforce these ideas with my kiddos. They can see it in a fun way and not have to hear my boring voice drone on and on all day long. If you are not a Youtube user in your classroom, I highly recommend it!