January 29, 2017

A Letter to Amy

I read the picture book, A Letter to Amy, and students responded in their Reader's Notebooks.

Here are their responses.

Once completed, I had them mark at the bottom of their page how they responded.

Designing Animal Beds

We have been studying a variety of animals this year.

Last week I introduced engineering and we talked about animal beds.  Students looked closely at 4 animals (bears, birds, snakes, and hamsters).  We listed what each animal would need in order to have  a safe and comfortable bed.

Students created a plan, listed materials they'd need, and then went to work.

Here are their animal beds.

They look amazing and students had so many great ideas.

Newsletter for the week of Jan. 30th

January 24, 2017

I Don't Like Koala

What to do on a snow day??  How about progress reports, RTI, reading assessments, and typing a quick post.

I've taught all reading strategies (predicting, questioning, connecting, inferring, visualizing, and summarizing) to students now and we practice them in reading groups.

Once a week I have them respond in their Reader's Notebooks whole group.  This week I used the book, I Don't Like Koala.

This year after seeing Lester Laminack I made the decision to read the majority of my read alouds as a movie with no interruptions!  At the end of the story I asked students to pick one strategy and to respond to the story.  

Here are a few of the responses.

I marked at the bottom of their page what strategy they used.  The next time we meet I'm going to have them check back to see which one they used and have them respond with a different strategy.

January 18, 2017

Bears...OH MY!

We spent the week learning about different types of bears.  I also add in koala bears because most kids think they're bears too!  Instead, they learned they're marsupials.

We recorded our schema, new facts, and important information about each type.

Today, we switched up our morning plans (because we're flexible) and created some art!  Of course this art involved learning too but they didn't see it that way.  They were just so excited to NOT have morning work.  I even heard today was the best day.  I thought everyday was?!

Students had to pick just one, which was a tough choice.  I had already hot glued the paper bowls onto the plates so we began by painting.  Once painted they added the face, cotton balls, or tissue paper to complete their work.

As you can see panda bears and polar bears were the most popular!
We let them dry and in the afternoon students worked in groups to make a background, add a title, and each had to add one fact.

I think they're adorable and they look amazing hanging up in the lobby.

Ask your child to share some new facts about bears!

A Glimpse at Another Reading Group

Here's another group in action on their writing day.  They were fascinated by volcanoes so we read an informational book.  They were excited to learn new facts.

On their writing day, we talked about diagrams and how they have labels.  Their job was to create their own diagram, include a title, and label two parts.

Here's their work!!

January 13, 2017

Winter Animals and Bears

We have been learning a lot about animals in winter.   We've focused on the words hibernate, adapt, and migrate.  We also took a closer look at black bears, brown bears, polar bears, panda bears, and koala bears.

Students have been reading informational pieces and writing complete responses.

You can find my Bear Unit at my TpT Store (All About Bears).

Today, we made some chalk polar bears.  I showed the kids how to use a tissue to blend the chalk until they liked it.  We used black pastel to add the face and shadowing.

Look how adorable they are!

January 11, 2017

What's Your Favorite Soup?

I just had to share this great sentence and illustration.

My reading groups consist of one day of word work, a book walk through, and a new read.  On the second day, I complete a running record and students respond to their book.

Tyler couldn't stop talking about how much he loved tomato soup, especially when it was REALLY hot and with grilled cheese.  You can even see the steam!

January 2, 2017

Holiday Work

We learned about traditions around the world.  We traveled to countries by using Google Earth and learned about different traditions.

Here are some pics.

Holiday Crackers
We went to the gym with Mrs. Everett's class to take a swing at our piñata.  The kids were so excited and it didn't take long for the piñata to be torn apart.

Students shared their opinions on which tradition was their favorite.

We also thought about Santa and what he'd ask for at Christmastime.

Students have learned all of the reading comprehension strategies.  After reading, Little Santa, I asked students to respond in their Reader's Notebooks.  They were able to choose among the strategies to create a response.

Here's what some came up with.

I also read, The Littlest Elf, and students wrote their opinion on if they'd want to be a toymaker, book maker, or baker.

Working in groups they created their very own toyshop, bookmaker shop, and baker's kitchen.

I hope all of you had a restful, fun filled break.  I can't wait to see you tomorrow!!