October 31, 2013

Halloween Craze

OhHhhh, is anyone else barely awake, with glazed eyes this week? That's how I've been feeling but it's ALMOST Friday.  I'm just trying to survive the week of Halloween.  Oh and to top it all off, there's nothing like rain and inside recess to follow up after Halloween night!

Plus, staying up WAAAAY past my bedtime last night to watch the Red Sox's become World Champions has taken its toll!  Go Red Sox!!

I managed to watch the entire game and then didn't sleep well the rest of the night.  Who doesn't love looking at the clock at various times throughout the night?

But...when a kiddo walked in with this 50 piece bag of chocolate and told me it was ALL mine I thought if I needed it, the sugar rush just might get me through the day.  Of course he brought it in for the kiddos but told me I could have my fair share.

Glazed eyes and even holding the bag upside down...
Today was a pretty normal day for me (I mean us) but the kids were all a buzz talking about Halloween, costumes, candy...oh my.

Abbie brought the class these adorable spiders on pencils.

 We completed some Halloween I Spy work.

Have a FUN and SAFE night Trick or Treating!!

Halloween Opinion Writing

This week we've focused on Opinion Writing.  Students will be taking their first writing assessment next week.

They wrote their opinions of if they like Halloween and what candy is their favorite!

After writing their opinions, we wrote adjectives on their favorite candy.

October 28, 2013

October 26, 2013

Rate Your Writing and Writer's Workshop Schedule Posters on TpT

I decided to create some posters to add to my TpT Store after having many positive comments and request to make posters!!

You can read more about how I do Writer's Workshop within my classroom here. (A Look into Writer's Workshop).

I'm so EXCITED to know that other teachers are using this idea within their classrooms.  I always introduce the poster at the beginning of the year.  Students begin rating their pictures and then we begin looking at their writing.

You can check out the posters I made here (Rate Your Writing Posters).

I've included:
Rate Your Writing Title
4 Posters with Writing Examples
Writer's Workshop Schedule

Thanks again for the positive feedback!!

October 23, 2013

GOOFY Pumpkins!! Can You Spot Your Child?

After writing the steps on "How to Carve a Pumpkin," the kiddos each made their very own UNIQUE pumpkin.  I found the steps to this cute project at Deep Space Sparkle.

I painted with small groups while the rest of the class worked independently.  This way I could REALLY monitor the paint (Yikes, I didn't want it everywhere!) and I could show them how to blend the colors. They were so impressed with how pretty the colors looked.

Once dried, they cut and added their pumpkin faces.  I love how individual each one is.  They're now in the main lobby ready to greet anyone who comes in!

A student came up with the idea of placing the pumpkins in front of their faces.  These pictures had me laughing!!  Can you spot your pumpkin?

Teg (in the middle) even added braces to his pumpkin.  Look how straight those teeth are!

Here are Mrs. Lyons' GOOFY Pumpkins in the lobby.

How to Carve A Pumpkin Informational Writing

It always amazes me to see how many students have helped to carve a pumpkin at home.

I brought one in and the kids helped to carve and write the steps. The BEST part was getting all the pulp and seeds out.  Of course they squealed with delight as they described the wet, squishy feeling!

This is when I introduce sequencing words.  We made a list of them on the board before we began writing.  Once I gave a few examples they were able to make quite the list.

As you can see in the picture below our pumpkin even got a little sick and threw up some of his pulp.  The kids were laughing hysterically.  Before he went home with a kiddo I made sure he was cleaned up well!

Did You Know Bats Can Swim?

We've been learning a lot about bats!!  After listening to read alouds the kiddos filled in Bats Can, Have, Are.

We wrote the definition of a diagram and the kids helped me label my diagram.  Then they went to work in their Science Notebooks creating their own diagrams!

I LOVE how one student even took the time to make dots on each letter in claw.  He told me I'm always writing fancy so he wanted his word to look the same!  Too cute.

Here's our Venn Digram on Owls Vs. Bats.

October 17, 2013

Spooky Halloween Math Activities

If you haven't checked out Cara at The First Grade Parade you should!!  She created a fantastic 10 frames activity with zombie eyes and pumpkin ice cube trays.  My kiddos have loved this activity and it made my planning easier because she created a FREE recording worksheet.

I also added Witches' Brew.  I added eyeballs, ants, and garland for the soup mixture.  Students use the ladle to find two eyes with numbers.  They write them down and add them up!

Another Pumpkin Goes Home

Our little baby pumpkin went home with Carter!!  He was the closest with his estimate on the circumference.

It was quite FUNNY too!!  Every time I went to hand him the pumpkin I began to make a wailing sound (like a baby of course).  I kept asking him why the baby didn't want to go with him.

He was cracking up along with the rest of the class!!  I hope he takes care of her.  She seemed to be quite fussy.

I'm Trying to Keep Up with These Updates

It seems like the days are flying by and I'm in a complete whirlwind. I'm taking pictures throughout the week but can't seem to find time to post until the end of the week.

Here's what we've been up to.  This week we've focused on creepy, crawly spiders!!

I introduced the word "schema" and the kids shared what they already knew about spiders.  We also filled in Spiders Can, Have, Are.

For writing this week, we worked in our Writer's Notebooks in our informational section.  Students wrote an opening, 3 new facts, and a wrap up sentence on what they learned about spiders.

Today we made spiders and webs.  If you happen to come by our room you need to be careful.  A spider just might be hanging from the web.  EEKK!!  They look so realistic and some kids were already asking when they could take them home.

We'll begin learning about bats next!

October 12, 2013

I Just Can't Get Enough of Scaredy Squirrel

I absolutely LOVE this little guy!!  I can also relate to him because I have many fears too.

I always finish up Squirrels by having the kiddos make connections to Scaredy Squirrel.  You can find the worksheet I created here at TpT for FREE (Connections to Scaredy Squirrel)!

I shared I was scared of heights and showed them what  I'd use in order to conquer my fear.  I love seeing how creative the kids are with what they'd need in order to face their fear.  I was LAUGHING OUT LOUD as they shared their work.

We made a class book What Are You Afraid Of?  Here are some examples!

A Peek into Writer's Workshop This Week

Here's what we've been working on.

This week we focused on Narrative Writing.  I always begin the year with direct instruction and then let the kids choose from their Heart Map.

I read Owen and we brainstormed a list of special objects.  I modeled writing by sharing my special teddy bear my mom bought me when I was little.  We've been working on writing an opening, middle, and wrap up sentence.

Here are a few examples.

I also have the kids write one opinion piece a week to review this form of writing.  I read Fall Leaves Fall.  We listed the seasons and brainstormed reasons we might like each one.  Students picked one season, stated why they liked it, and wrote a wrap up sentence.

Another Pumpkin Goes Home

Another pumpkin went home on Friday.  Abbie decided she liked the one below the best!

October 7, 2013

iPads During Math

We're becoming familiar with the iPads (Interactive Telling Time app) and have been using them during BUILD time.  Last week the kids used them for practicing telling time.  They're excited to have these in class!!

They've also been working in their Math Notebooks.  Students stamped and wrote clock times.

A Real Squirrel Vs. Scaredy Squirrel

We compared a "real" squirrel to Scaredy Squirrel.  Students filled in their own Venn Diagram and wrote on sentences strips to add to our class Venn Diagram.

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Winner

Brady is our first pumpkin winner.

In order to win a pumpkin, the kiddos make an estimate on the circumference.  The closest estimate is the winner.  Argh...this pirate was 16 1/2 inches and Brady guessed 14 1/2!!

Meet Braley

Meet Braley!!

October 2, 2013

OTES Harvest Art's Festival

We are looking for volunteers to perform and/or present 30-45 minute workshops to groups of children from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Any and all artists are welcome. In the past, we have welcomed quilters, painters, jewelry makers, dancers, musicians, scrapbookers, photographers, computer graphics artists, crafters, etc. We would especially like to arrange for writers to join us this year. There is a small budget for supplies and fees.

For more information, contact Mary Bagley at mary.bagley@rsu34.org .


We've been learning about Squirrels this week.  After listening to informational books the kiddos filled in Squirrels Can, Have, Are.

They also made dreys, which are squirrel homes.  It is built in a tree with twigs and leaves.  We built our dreys using paper plates.

This week they'll be writing an informational book all about squirrels.

Next up, we'll be reading ALL the Scaredy Squirrel books which I LOVE!!  Students will follow directions to create their very own Scaredy Squirrel.  We'll also complete a Venn Diagram to compare a real squirrel to Scaredy.  

The Pumpkin Family has Arrived

Here's our pumpkin family!!

I buy pumpkins every year and paint them.  I did these guys late last night.  What was I thinking?

The kids estimate the circumference and the closest estimate is the LUCKY winner.

Teaming Up with 5th Grade

This year staff members are being teamed up to work together.

I'm working with Mrs. St. Peter, a 5th grade teacher.   Our classes are going to work on science and note booking.  Fifth graders learn about the seasons and why they occur.  We focus on apples, pumpkins, hibernation, and life cycles.

My kiddos are going to create Investigations which are two page informational spreads.  This is a FANTASTIC way to introduce nonfiction features.  We have focused on borders, diagrams, and bulleted lists.

They'll share the information they learned with the 5th graders.  They'll take the info they learned and create documents in Google Docs.  We'll then share the final product.

My class is SO excited to meet up with the "older kids."  They're taking a lot of pride in their work and are doing their best!!

Here are some Investigations on apples.

Meet Abbie

Meet Abbie!!