March 30, 2012

Space Art

We're finishing up our Space Unit.  Today the kids listen to a read aloud and completed the chart below.

Then, they completed Space Art.  I found this idea on another blog (Ugh, I can't remember which one) and HAD to try it with my class.  I LOVE when I don't have to give too many step by step directions.  I like when they create their own art and are happy with how it looks.  They traced their feet and hands.  Then they created the rest of their bodies.  They colored in crayon and added the black water color at the end.

Look how CUTE these came out.

I'm not sure why I'm smiling.  I'd be TERRIFIED!


This week we've been learning about homophones.  I was hoping to come up with a more creative way to teach this.  I have large cards that have homophones on them but wanted it to be more interactive.

I found a cute idea at First Grader at Last.  She used a "pair of pears" chart and had the kids write and illustrate homophones.

The kids each picked a pair to write and illustrate on pears.  Next week for Daily 5 they'll have the option of trying to use them in sentences.  Here's the worksheet I'll be using.

Homophone Sentences

March 28, 2012

Space Riddles

I absolutely LOVE when my kiddos are excited to write.  This year they have really enjoyed the Writer's Workshop Model.

Today, we brainstormed a quick list of facts for each planet since we're finishing up this unit.  The kids picked one to write a riddle about.  After they completed their writing they each made a picture of their planet and cut it into puzzle pieces.  Buddies worked together reading and solving the riddles.

I plan on putting this as an option during Daily 5 next week since MOST kiddos wanted to write another riddle.

Tower Building

The kiddos have been right into tower building!

March 22, 2012

Visualizing with Poems

I always start my visualizing mini lessons with poems.  They're short and sweet.  The best part is the kiddos can read most of the poems with me.

Our lessons have been, "Good readers visualize."  Today we read "Bod, My Fat Cat."  After reading, the kids highlighted any words that help to paint a picture in their heads.  Then they illustrated.  That's the best part!  Here's their work.

Moon's Surface vs. Earth's Surface

We've been learning about the Moon's environment and comparing it to that of the Moon.  The kids learned the moon is made up of rocks, sand, and dust.  They also learned the dark areas on the moon are called seas.

I used sand, flour, and coco powder to make the Moon's surface.  We talked about rocks in space and how meteorites create craters.  The kids used magnetic marbles (meteorites) and dropped them onto the moon.

After they spent some time doing this we discussed the results.  If the marble didn't hit the moon at a high rate of speed it left a little crater while a more direct impact left a larger crater.

March 21, 2012

Rainbow Writing

This week we've been completing some Rainbow Writing.  Our first mini lesson focused on similes.  The kids then wrote similes for each rainbow color.

Today, kiddos wrote about what made them special.  To spice it up a bit, we used foam stickers!

March 16, 2012

St. Patty's Day Activities

Even though St. Patrick's Day is this weekend, we JUST had to CELEBRATE!!

This afternoon I spent my time with the blender.  The kids thought I was the MOST INCREDIBLE COOK!  If only they knew I RARELY cook.  Here are few pics of them enjoying their shakes.

Even the principals enjoyed the shakes!
Mrs. Rivers couldn't get enough!
We also sorted Lucky Charms Cereal.  Here they are working!

We set a trap at the end of the day.  The kids will have to wait until Monday to see what's under it!

What Would You Visualize?

Deanna Jump shared an AWESOME poem she uses when teaching visualizing.  I used this poem this week to teach the kids that GOOD writers add precise words.  As readers, the author should paint a picture in our head.

I read the first part of the poem and had the kids underline good describing words  Then they drew what they thought the poem was about.  I flipped the rest of the poem down, read it, and we underlined precise words.

The kids reaction at the end was priceless.  The kids ALL thought the poem was about a purple dog but by the end they figured out it was a painted, purple crocodile!!

March 14, 2012

Shamrock Shakes...YUM!

This week our Writer's Workshop lessons have focused on writer's writing in a variety of forms.  We worked with signs yesterday and today we wrote a recipe.

The kids brainstormed how they thought I made my Shamrock Shakes.  Many of the kiddos think I have  a secret recipe, so I told them a leprechaun gave me one and told me I could use it as long as I didn't give it away.  :o)

Here's their work.  The worksheet I used is in a previous post if you can use it!!

We'll be making these DELICIOUS shakes on Friday.

March 13, 2012

Be On the Lookout!

For Writer's Workshop today the kids made WANTED SIGNS!  I bet you're wondering who's wanted?  Well, those pesky leprechauns of course!

I read Looking for Leprechauns.  The kids had to create a leprechaun name, fill in the Wanted Sign Poster, and make their own leprechaun. 

March 12, 2012

Roller Coaster FUN!

I'm finishing up my mini-lessons on precise words.  I read Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee.  Not only does this book have GREAT sensory words but it also has some fun text print.  Some words are stretched right out, while others are in all caps.  The kids loved pointing them out as I read!

After reading, we created this poster.

Then, we talked about how they would feel if THEY went on a roller coaster!  I especially LOVED that someone said he'd feel alive.  Not me!  I'd be absolutely TERRIFIED!  As you can see "scared" was right at the top of the list.

The kids then began with, "If I went on a roller coaster I would feel..."  I asked them to use some good describing words and to explain why they felt that way.

If you have a Mac then you must know about PHOTO BOOTH.  If not, you MUST check it out.  It has some FANTASTIC backgrounds.  Of course one is of a roller coaster.  I took each of the kid's pics and added it to his/her writing piece.

The kids couldn't get enough of this and were telling other students I had taken them on a field trip to ride a roller coaster.  I'll admit, I was laughing too!

Here's a copy of the Roller Coaster Ride paper if you can use it!!

March 9, 2012

The Moon

We've been learning a lot about the moon.  Our new vocab word this week was scale model.  The kids each made their own model of the earth and moon.

March 7, 2012

A Bag Full of Beanie Babies

So I was checking out blogs the other night to see if I could find some lessons on using precise words.  I came across Jessica Meacham's site and found a cute idea!

Beanie Babies!  We continued today discussing how good writers use precise words.  I had the kids each pick a Beanie Baby.  In their writing they couldn't tell the name of the animal but had to use describing words instead.  They ABSOLUTELY LOVED this lesson.

We made a class book.  I took a picture of each student with the Beanie Baby and added it to the back of his/her page.  Here's our work!

Heres a copy of the worksheets I made if you can use them!