January 31, 2014

Eskimo Math

It was a perfect day today!!  I will say having the temperature in the 30's and outside recess also makes the day seem brighter.

Plus, for math today, the kiddos ate ice cream!!  I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!  Give kids some food and the room goes completely quiet...a hush fell upon the classroom and it was at the end of the day.

We completed some Eskimo Math.  Students estimated, counted, and tallied how many bites it took to eat their popsicles.  They also completed some writing.

Here they are eating their DELICIOUS treat!!

More Explorations with Solids

This week our focus has been properties.  We've been listing properties for different solids.

Here students are working with different solids and seeing which screens they'll go through.  They were given a soup mixture to separate into bottles.

Brown Bag Book Club

I began Brown Bag Book Club a few years ago after reading about it here (The First Grade Parade).  The kids love sharing a book they've read during the week.  After they've shared their books they get a special treat to eat.  This is a great way to get them talking about their books.

And here's the treat.  Of course I heard a lot of "OhhHhhs and AhhHhhs" as they reached into the bag and for a moment I felt like the MOST AMAZING cook in the world.  Then reality set in with how simple a treat this was to make.  At least I had that moment!!

Here they are devouring their snack.

January 27, 2014

What Does the Fox Say? Round Two

So the kids know that I ABSOLUTELY love this song (insert sarcasm here)!!  Pandora seems to know too because the last couple of times I've put some quiet music on for students to listen to this always seems to play.

It was quite funny to find a paper turned over on my desk first thing this morning.  Of course when I flipped it over what I saw had me laughing.

Great illustrations Abbie!!
Abbie took the time to create this LOVELY illustration of my FAVORITE song!!  After seeing this, I knew it was time to finally show them the video, "What Does the Teacher Say?"  Check it out here if you haven't seen it yet (What Does the Teacher Say?).

Of course they found it quite amusing and were laughing to see adults acting like children.  I told them that I felt like those teachers some of the time.

As I took this pic of her I continually told her how much I LOVED this song while she continually said, "NO, you don't!"

It was a great way to end the day...connecting with the kiddos and a lot of laughing!

Hands on Science

We began our Foss Kit today!!  These are hands on lessons that focus on matter.  This week we'll be taking a look at solids.

Today kids worked with different solids and made observations.  That had many science tools to try out.  Here are a few pics of them working in groups.

Tacky the Penguin

We read good ol' Tacky the Penguin last week and completed some work.  Students brainstormed a list of adjectives to describe him. Their illustrations of Tacky look amazing!!

This worksheet is FREE at my TpT Store (Tacky the Penguin Adjectives).

January 23, 2014

Writer's Workshop Moment

So last night while my brain was still thinking about school (it never seems to shut off) I had an "Aha" moment on how I might improve my Writer's Workshop.

We've talked about how writing is a continuous process and during writing time students are never just sitting at their desk.  I love the saying, "When you think you're done, you've just begun!"

I always teach a 5-10 minute mini-lesson and before conferencing go around the room for a quick check-in.  This trimester we're focusing on narrative writing so kiddos are all in different places.

Some are creating planners, while others are writing, illustrating, completing an editing checklist, or conferencing with me.  SooOOOo much going on and only ONE teacher in the room, trying to meet ALL of their needs.  It can be overwhelming!!

So today, I decided to come up with a better visual for the kiddos and myself.  They each wrote their name on a Post-It.  On the board I wrote Planner, Write/Illustrate, Edit Checklist, and Conferencing. Students went right to their Writer Folders and checked where they were in their writing.  Then they went to the board and added their Post-It to what they'd be working on.

Here's a pic of what I did.  Gosh, my board needs a cleaning.  I got half of it cleaned when I seemed to have gotten side tracked on other work that had to be done!

This helped me greatly to see how many students needed a conference and where the rest of the class was.  When it was conferencing time, they took their Post-It off the board and brought it up with them.  One student looked at the board and said, "Wow, a lot of kids are writing and illustrating today!"

I can't wait to see if this makes a difference and improves the smoothness of Writer's Workshop.  Today the room seemed quieter while they busily worked on their pieces.  They all seemed to know where they were and what they needed to be doing.

If you have any other tips that have helped you during Writer's Workshop I'd love to hear them.

Good Readers Ask Question

This week students worked on asking questions.

Our mini-lesson was, "Good readers ask questions before, during, and after reading.  I always use the picture book Officer Buckle and Gloria.

As I read the story, we listed questions we had and students filled in a worksheet with their own questions.

My Reading Strategy Posters are on my TpT Store (Reading Strategy Posters).

Penguin Work

Ugh, I haven't been blogging lately and just can't seem to keep up!

I promise to get some pictures of the kids up soon.  I seem to become so involved in what they're doing that I miss out on all the action shots and only have the "after" pictures.

This week we focused on penguins.  Students shared their schema and we wrote our new learning.  They completed Penguins Can, Have, Are and even created their very own little penguins.

I believe it's so important to incorporate art into the lessons I teach!! I think I'd go crazy if I didn't.  I absolutely LOVE that after I give a quick "How To Lesson" I can send the kiddos off to create their very own unique work.

No templates or pre-cutting done by me.  All creating, cutting, and gluing done by the students!!

Here are a few examples of the penguins that they made.  They added 3 snowballs with penguin facts.

January 11, 2014

Bears, OH MY!

We've been focusing on bears this week.

Students studied black bears in the fall so we did a quick review and moved on to brown bears and polar bears.

Before reading about each bear, they added sticky notes to the bears. They shared their background knowledge.  After our readings, they added new information to each.

We also completed these science pages which will be added to their Science Notebooks.  You can find my Bear Unit on TpT (Bear Unit)

Picture of the Week

Braley REALLY wanted me to take a pic of him so he could show all of you the stache he is growing!

January 1, 2014

NEW Bear Unit on TpT

I just finished up a new Bear Unit.  Take a peek if interested!!

Click here: Bear Unit
I also included Koala Bear work to teach students they're not a bear. Instead, they're a marsupial mammal.