Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Creepy or Cute? What's your Opinion?

This week we've been working with creepy, crawly spiders!!

We focused on Black Widow spiders and Tarantulas.  They completed an informational book, writing about the new information they learned.  Students also made spiders and weaved webs.  They're now hanging around our room.  Perfect for this time of year!!



We also completed Opinion Writing about spiders.  Students brainstormed reasons they like or don't like them.  Here are some examples.  Their challenge this week was to write TWO reasons!!




Our last two pumpkins went home!!  


There has been a joke in our class about the baby pumpkin always crying.  I've been telling the class that whoever wins it CAN'T bring it back if it's crying all night.  I'm sure CJ will take PERFECT care of her.

Students have been leaving messages on the board for me.  They've been trying to scare me this month, which is quite fitting with Halloween right around the corner!  Today, they told me to look under the papers on the board.  In huge letters they wrote, "BOO!"  I just can't wait to see what they do next to scare me.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Halloween Word Work and Bat Writing FREEBIES

I just uploaded two word work activities and some bat writing to my TpT Store!!  Check them out if interested (Halloween FREEBIES and Bat Writing).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reading Groups

Reading groups have been up and running for a few weeks now. Please take the time to read with your child each night.  It's important for him/her to practice the book sent home.  This will help to improve his/her reading and build fluency.

I'm taking a Literacy Processing course this year, am working one on one with a student for 30 minutes everyday, and am learning so much.  I'm trying to meet with three groups everyday.  We spend the first day completing word work activities, do a book walk through, and read together.  The next day we complete writing about our story.

I REALLY enjoy this time because I can work one on one with students on specific skills.

Today, Donna told me she LOVED reading group time, especially our writing days.  I let them generate their own sentence today and this is what she wrote.  The group was VERY impressed with her illustration so I had to snap a picture to share with you!

Pumpkin Jack and Pumpkin Seeds

Yes, it's getting smelly.  Yes, we've noticed mold and today I saw a fruit fly going around Pumpkin Jack.  It's all for science though!

We've been making observations in our Science Binders this week. Pumpkin Jack isn't looking so good anymore and will be finding a new home soon in the woods.

Click to enlarge.
This is the first year I've planted pumpkin seeds with the kids.  After writing, "How to Carve a Pumpkin," students planted seeds and they're now beginning to sprout!

Happy Birthday CJ

Happy 7th birthday CJ!!  His mom sent in cupcakes and a special candle for him to put on his!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Olivia!!

Happy birthday Olivia!!  Olivia celebrated her 7th birthday today.  I think the picture below captures exactly how she was feeling.

Her mom made cupcakes in the shape of a panda.  After eating, students made a Halloween craft that she also brought in.  We had a lot of fun celebrating!!  A big thank you to Olivia's mom for bringing in the cupcakes and for also sticking around to help with the craft!!



A Look at Our Week

We've been quite busy this week!!

Students wrote informational books about Squirrels, made dreys and compared a real squirrel to Scaredy Squirrel.  The kids have LOVED these stories.


We also focused on pumpkins.  We completed the life cycle, wrote "How to Carve a Pumpkin," and completed an experiment.  Pumpkin Jack will be hanging out in our room for a few days.  Kids will be observing what happens as the days pass.  I'm hoping he doesn't get too stinky!  They also planted pumpkin seeds and are making observations.



We met up with firefighters this week.  After talking to our class they took us outside to look at the fire truck.


To finish up the week we painted some SILLY pumpkins.  I did this for the first time last year and ABSOLUTELY loved how they turned out. Students used a white oil pastel to outline the pumpkin and draw the lines.  They used red, orange, and yellow paint.  Once dried, they added silly faces.  They're now hanging in our lobby to greet visitors.  

Click to enlarge.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Two Pumpkins have Found a "Good" Home...Three Left to Go

So the plan was to send one of my painted pumpkins home each Friday for the month of October.  That was the plan!!  Students estimate the circumference around and the closest one wins.

But those 16 sad little faces, looking at me, begging me, pleading with me each day finally broke me down!!  My students know how to reel me right in.  SoooOooo, two pumpkins...yes two went home this week.


We'll see how long the rest stay at school.

All About Squirrels and Take Home Journals

This week we've focused on learning more about squirrels.  We've been reading informational books, writing facts, and we made dreys today.

For writing this week students made an informational book. They had to create an opening, write 3 facts, add a digram, and write a wrap up sentence.

Of course when learning about squirrels we also had to read MY favorite squirrel books...Scaredy Squirrel!!  Have you seen the new one about him going camping?

I truly love this little character and can make many connections.  My husband often tells me I'm scared of EVERYTHING!!

I did a directed drawing with them on how to make this little guy. They came out adorable and they were so proud of their work.


For reader's workshop we focused on, "Good readers make connections."  We all connected with Scaredy and shared our fears. The kids came up with some pretty creative ways in which they would conquer their fears!!




This FREE worksheet is on my TpT store (Connections to Scaredy Squirrel Worksheet).

We've also been working in our Take Home Journal each Friday. Students write a letter to a family member sharing what they've done during the week.  I don't edit their spelling (unless it's a sight word) but this is a great time to boost their confidence to write more.

We've been focusing on capitalization, ending punctuation, and adding details.  When I meet with them we highlight the periods and count up how many sentences they've written.  I write the number at the top and they try to write more the next week.

As you can see below many wrote about our field trip and good ol' Scaredy!


Next week we'll be completing a Venn Diagram, comparing a real squirrel to Scaredy.

The Wheels on the Bus go to the Apple Orchard

We took our trip to the apple orchard this week.  The kids had so much fun exploring and learning about apples, pumpkins, and farm animals!

A BIG thank you to all the family members who joined us on our field trip.  Enjoy the pictures!!