Thursday, 31 January 2013

Groundhogs & Some Football!

Welcome February!
Get ready, folks. February is always a BUSY, BUSY, BUSY month! Black History Month, Groundhog Day, SuperBowl, Chinese New Year, 100th Day & Valentines Day! Lots of planning ahead! :)

This blog is all over the place today... but here we go...

Here are a few snapshots of this week.
I tested out our "Heart Pumping" phys. ed. centers... and they were a hit! The kids were smiling the entire time and got a great workout. 

I puchased a few pylons and put a slit at the top.
Easy to insert center card!

Pick them up {HERE}!
 We're still working on our Data Management Unit. This week we worked on Pictographs. Each student got a chance to participate (as you can see below). We also created a pictograph of our SuperBowl predictions!

I usually introduce this Word Study Center earlier in the year, but with grade one this year, I waited.
The students use their word rings and buddy up to practise their words.
One student shows their buddy they word, the buddy reads it, writes it down and the partner checks it. They get 2 chances to spell it correctly and then their partner spells is out for them.

I am going to create new boards this week-- so stay tuned for some free files.

SCIENCE-- In the midst of creating a new Energy Unit for my first graders!
It's coming along! Stay posted :)
Tomorrow is going to be devoted to Groundhog Day and some SuperBowl Actvities.

Since we're working on Long and Short Vowels, when reading, I am planning to use Positively Learning's SuperBowl Sorting Cards. Take a peak at this blog here.
Christine has also purchased a super cute media literacy writing pack (newspaper writing) from Falling Into First.
We will also be using it for word work, non-fiction facts and more!
You can find it on TPT {HERE}
Other great read alouds I have used this week:

It's almost the weekend! Happy Thursday! :)

Saturday, 26 January 2013

New Phys. Ed. Centers and a Vday Freebie!

Hi Gang!

Just getting ready for the week ahead.....
We have created new phys. ed. centers. They would be GREAT for Valentine's Day, but can definitely work for any time throughout the year.

Check them out {HERE}
Do your students pass out beautiful Valentine’s Cards, only for them to be tossed in the recycling or garbage can a few days later?

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we have gotten a jump on creating this freebie.

We have used this in our classroom for the past 2 years, and it is a hit! Kids now have a place to keep their lovely valentine cards and have this keepsake to share.

How does it work?
Students glue or tape the cards on each page, once a card is passed to them, and write who it is from. If the card came with a little something (i.e. Chocolate heart), students can make note of it, as well.

Pick this Freebie up {HERE}
Enjoy the rest of the weekend! It just goes by WAY too fast! :)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Writing for a Purpose & Making Good Inferences

We are experiencing extreme cold temperatures here in Ontario, Canada (colder than normal). Because of the frigid temps, our students have been indoors ALL WEEK.
All I gotta say "TGTF" (Thank Goodness Tomorrow is Friday)!
Here's a peak at went on this week...

The week began on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Although we do not have this date designataed as a Holiday in Canada, this day is too important not to discuss. I purchased this picture book a few weeks ago. It's a great picture book for younger students. My students responded very well. They just could not believe that people would treat other people that way.

After a read aloud and a great discussion with my students, we created a list of things we would like to see changed in our world.
The students created this list:

The students chose 1 of their dreams and wrote about why they would want this dream to come true. Hopefully in their lifetime, these dreams will actually come true.

We also worked on finising our written portion of our melted snow man activity.
Click {HERE} for our Melted Snowman Package
(includes brainstorm pages, timelines, sequencing sheets, craft templates.... and more!)

Later this week we began our "writing for a purpose". The kids did a mini-persuasive writing activity.
They came up with 4 things they would like to convince me to do:
They wrote what they would like to persuade me to allow them to do. They gave 4 or more reasons why I should let them bring toys to school, have phys. ed. everyday, do crafts daily or choose their own partner all the time.

Our reading activities this month center around "inferencing".
Today I gave the students portions of a wordless picture book. The students had to make inferences just from looking at the picture. After they completed their inferences, I showed them the pictures in the book and we put together our ideas and checked our inferences.

A Valentine Keepsake Freebie and some Valentine Gym Centers should be up on the blog this weekend! Check back in soon!


Friday, 18 January 2013

Cookie Survey, Fiction and Non-Fiction and Inferencing Fun!

Week 2 after Christmas Break.....
A refresher on Non-Fiction & Fiction texts.
Reviewed and created this chart below, using photcopies of portions of the book (i.e. Table of Contents, Index etc.)
I guided the students through the classroom library book selections showing examples of Fiction and Non-Fiction Texts. I am really trying to get them use to read both types, as often as possible.

The kids used our recent book orders to sort them into two piles *Fiction and Non-Fiction.
They not only looked at the covers, but had to read the mini-synopsis of what the book was about.

 We started our Data Management Unit.
We did a few days of basic tallying and graphing-- (i.e. Number of siblings each student had--each student received a block and click it together to create the class bar graph).

Later in the week we had a cookie taste test/survey. In keeping with our read alouds- "If you give a mouse a cookie"..... we created a survey entitled "If you give a grade 1/2 student a cookie"...

The students drew their cookie of choice and added it to their grade level graph.
Here our results!
I used Erica Bohrer's Graphtivity to create this cute result page and mouse :)
Our reading focus this month is "inferencing". Since my stundets are 6 and 7 years old, I decided to teach inferencing with a focus on "clues." Part of inferring is discovering the authors clues in their writing. So, my students' task was to bring in or find an object around the room, put it in their paper bags and write clues on a cue card. I told the students that if their clues were written well, then their classmates should be able to guess.... which is what good writers do.... create strong clues to guide their readers.
Once the clues were written, I divided the students into pairs and gave them inferencing bag clue sheets (see below). I read the clues aloud, and each pair of student made a guess. Some clues were very well written, while others students were able to recognize that their writing was not clear enough. It was an awesome activity.
{HERE} is the inferencing bag recording sheet.

Update on Winter Reading Challenge.....
The students and parents are LOVING this challenge.... and I am VERY impressed with the results and how well the students are writing about their books.
I meet with 5-8 students during independent reading time, and review their thoughts and ideas about their books. It allows me a chance to talk to students about their interests, writing techniques and comprehension.
Lots planned for next week! Stay tuned for a great Valentine's Day Feebie and some Phys. Ed. Centers to get the HEART beating :)

Report Card writing continues this weekend! Wahooooo!
Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Are You Sure That Was Only One Week?

First week back.... Felt like 5! HAHAHA. I can't even remember what I did last weekend!
It was a great week, nonetheless!

The week started off with a toast to the New Year. Grape Juice in plastic wine glasses, with the finest animal cracker hors d'oeuvres. The kids were overjoyed!

We refeshed our rules and classroom procedures, and then dove into some goal setting-- Reading Style!
Our Winter Reading Challenge has been launched. 

Here are some of there goals that were attached to their tracking sheets.
The reading response sheets are on display and easy to access at the front of the room. This package has all 6 sheets included. Some are geared for fiction and some for non-fiction. I am VERY impressed with the responses so far. The parents have even wrote the children reminders to pick up a new response sheet in the morning. So cute! Very happy with how it's going :)
Here is the students recording sheet and goals.
Next week I am beginning our Data Management Unit.... so this week was a week of review centers.
I purchased Amy Lemons' Easy as 1-2-3- Math Centers. They were awesome!!! Here are a few pics of a great week of math exploration!
Put Me in Order! -ordering random numbers 1-120
True or False, Addition Style-identifying correct and incorrect addition sentences
Identifying 2D shapes and their attributes/matching
Missing addend-solving addition sentences with a missing addend
Read and Find-reading number words, identifying numbers on a 120s chart, identifying even/odd
Subtract and Sort -students solve subtraction problems and sort into even/odd groups
Our reading focus this month is "INFERENCING".
I taught a week of mini-lessons....
I used these youtube clips and paused them to have the students "infer" what was going on/how the characters were feeling.... etc. The kids loved it! :)

With the snow quickly melting, I thought this would be the perfect time to create and write about our "Melted Snowmen".
You can pick up our Melted Snowman Package {HERE}

On Monday we're going to add some arms and create our snowman-melting-timelines.
The students will begin with a brainstorm... creating an imaginative story on how their snowman REALLY melted. And it wasn't the sun.... Hmmm.... Should be fun :)
This weekend is REPORT CARD weekend..... but I also purchased some great books this week.
Can't wait to brainstorm and create some great activities to accompany them :)