Saturday, December 7, 2013

Five for Friday~Smart Art

Hi, peeps! How are ya? It’s an UN-TX-like 20 something degrees in our neck of the woods today! Brrrrrr…….What’s the temperature like where you are? Please send warm thoughts our way! It actually FEELS like winter and I’m not quite sure what to make of it, but I know I don’t like it! Ha! Bring on the sunshine! While we wish for warmer weather, I thought I’d catch up with the awesome Kacey over at DoodleBugs Teaching for a Five for Friday {..ahem, late Saturday} post!


Our Daily 5 routines usually run Monday – Thursday. Fridays are run a little differently. We give numerical grades on our students report cards, which require assessments. We collect grades in a number of different ways. This quick post will outline what a typical Friday in our room looks like.

Just after our morning recess, students gather at the carpet and begin selecting partners to ‘Read to Someone’. They find a place in the room with a copy of our story of the week to read and discuss. After they have completed their individual discussions throughout the room, we meet together and discuss the comprehension strategy we practiced throughout the week. Our main story, generally, comes from our reading series. Sometimes we pull stories for Reading A-Z. Other pieces of authentic literature are pulled in throughout the week and used to make connections to it or replace it, if the selection in our book isn’t a good one for the skill we’re focusing on.

Once this discussion is complete, we complete a comprehension and related phonics assessment.

Afterwards,……it’s time for Smart Art! We work together to extend what we’ve learned. This is also the time that requires students to have completed their ‘Must Do’ stations activity for the week. No ‘Must Do’, No Smart Art… can read about our ‘Must Do/Can Do’s’ HERE.


This week, students were separated into mixed ability groups to read and identify examples of cause and effect for a specific season of the year. Each group was led by a student. I explained the requirements of the group work to the 4 leaders. The 4 leaders explained it to each of their groups.


After the groups met and completed their discussions, we moved to our desks to prepare our smart art. Each student labeled the front of their foldable. We discussed cause and effect as one event that causes another to happen. Why it happened and what happened.

….then the leader of each group selected two friends to present for their group. 1 friend gave the cause, the other presented the effect and I recorded it on the board. Students then returned to their groups to write the example agreed upon by their group. They also created a symbol to represent their respective season.


Still learning…(always learning)….but in a way that’s interactive, fun and creative. We don’t use our desks a whole lot either. You’ll notice, we work on the floor quite a bit. Why be cooped up in a chair all day, when you can stretch out and get comfy? And because, we generally do this after completing assessments, we’ve already been sitting for long enough.


Here’s what our finished smart art for the week looked like! Like? Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. I love them ALL! Do you think my kids have picked up on the fact that I like doodle frames? Ha!

Could I use this for a grade too? Yep! Sure could did!  =)


After grabbing the FREEBIE to mark must do’s in her stations, my sister from another mother asked for a cupcake to mark her remaining  tubs as ‘desserts’. I thought you might be able to use them too, so here ya go! If you like 'em, click 'em…they’re all yours!

What creative ways do you use to assess student understanding? Do tell…..=)


  1. Do you give them patterns for the art, or just some ideas of what to draw? So the groups meet to discuss the question and then you guys come back as a group and record the findings. Then each student makes the project? Is that correct? I like this idea a lot. I love it when they are learning and don't even know it. ha The dessert tubs are so cute!
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  2. This post sparked a ton of ideas - thank you! Your students are definitely engaged in learning :)


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