Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Day!

Last Wednesday was Pumpkin Day. I wanted to share some of the activities in case you wanted to add these ideas for next year or squeeze some in tomorrow or Wednesday. I saw these bags on Pinterest and loved them. I made a bag for each of my students to start the afternoon.
The first activity ( not  pumpkin related but fun still) was Making Tens with Spider Rings. I found the recording sheet on MathWire.
At this station, we carved pumpkins! The students made a graph to vote for the type of face they wanted to carve. ( happy, mad, silly, scary)
This station was pumpkin weighing. The students weighed their pumpkin using tiles and blocks.
Here the students sequenced the steps to carving a pumpkin with pictures and sentences and then copied the steps.



At this station, students estimated. First, they estimated the amount of ridges on their mini pumpkin. They they estimated how many pumpkin seed in a bowl and then counted by tens and ones. Last, they estimated whether the circumference around their pumpkin would be larger, smaller or the same as the circumference around my pumpkin. They then measured the circumference with yarn and measure it against my yarn. Once they found out if it was larger, smaller or the same size as, they hung their yarn on our class graph.
And this picture is of a little Pinterest inspired craft I had the kids work on if they finished any station early. I thought it was really cute!!!
I hope you all have a great Halloween week!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Animal Classifications Unit

I wanted to share one of my favorite units that  I have created for TPT. I have actually been teaching this unit for about 4 years as a higher level unit but I finally made it look a little cuter for others! :) This is one of my favorite science units to teach through the year. First graders love animals so teaching animal classifications just makes sense. It's also a standard in AZ so there's another reason. :)

This unit has higher level activities and includes a link to a SMART board lesson with videos for each animal group you can play at school! My district blocks You Tube so I got smart and embedded them in SMART notebook software so they'll work from my school computer. You don't need a SMART board to use these files either! All you need to do is download the free SMART Notebook software.

There are fun activities for each animal group and even a higher level culminating project where students create their own animal, write a report about their animal, decide on a classification for their "newly discovered animal" and then present to the class. Everything you need for this project ( planning sheets, pre-writing organizers, rubrics, etc.) is included. These created animals turn out amazing because of the planning sheets.The students love being "scientists" and deciding their animal's classification.This project also meets many ELA common core standards and they are listed in the unit as well.

I also made a bulletin board set for each animal group that includes all the characteristics specific to animals in that classification. This serves as an anchor chart throughout the unit.

Here's all that's included:
Detailed Plans for each lesson
Bulletin Board Set with Animal Group headers and characteristics of each group.
Smart board Lesson Link with videos and activities for each animal
Animal Self Sort with a printable for 2,3 or 4 categories (higher level)
Amphibian fill in the blank
Amphibian Chant
Reptile craft
Reptile Prewriting
Reptile Writing Paper
Amphibian and Reptile Comparison Activity
Amphibian and Reptile Double Bubble Map
Build-a-Bird Game ( So fun!)
Label-a Fish printable
Mammal Activity and worksheet
Animal group sort
Create an animal planning printables
Create an animal prewriting
Create an animal writing paper
Create an animal drawing rubric
Create an animal writing rubric
Create an animal presentation rubric

I have the complete file as a preview on TPT. Check it out if you think it's something you're interested in. It will be worth your money!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Retelling with Our Bodies

This week we worked on retelling and our story in our Treasures reading series was Little Red Hen. We made a retelling strip for the Little Red Hen as an anchor so that students would learn the components of a retell. We started with a picture of the characters, the setting and then a picture of all the events and glued them on a long strip of paper. The students used their retelling strip to practice retelling the story to a partner. It was a great activity because it helped them use the vocabulary of a retell. I wish I had pics. I need to get used to taking pictures of everything. I find myself saying that would be a good post if I had taken pictures!!  Does that happen to anyone else?

Anyhoo...the next day we sequenced the story using the retell cards from the series.You cansee them in the pocketchart in the pic below. I then broke the students into groups and each group was responsible for creating a tableau ( frozen picture with bodies) about one event in the story. They planned their tableau and created it with their bodies in under 10 minutes. Then on the third day, each group came up in sequence so we could retell the story with our bodies. Here are the pics of their tableaus. FYI: the carpet was the "stage" and the audience is around the rug.
Little Red Hen planting seeds. See the child rolled into the ball... she's a seed! The others are the lazy animals!
Little Red Hen getting water from the well. See her pulling the "pail"!
Little Red Hen threshing the wheat.
Little Red Hen mixing and mixing. I wish one of their group members hadn't been absent because she was the bowl and it looked awesome!

Little Red Hen pulling bread from the oven surrounded by hungry animals!

                  Little Red Hen trying to be very firm by telling the animals they can't have any bread because they didn't help! Look at those cute begging animals.

If you want a little more info about using Tableau in your classroom, see my post about using tableau to retell Stellaluna here! Tableau is so great because it is so much faster than acting out and more powerful as students have to think about body position and facial expression. They begin to think about how their character would look and feel.I love this strategy.

Have a great week!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Columbus Day ,October Poem freebie and a Giveaway!

Hi Friends,
 I have been really having a hard time posting but I have so many post ideas so hopefully I can get back into the habit. First, I wanted to share some pics from Friday. We had Monday-Wednesday off so I taught about Columbus Thursday and yesterday. We read and talked about Columbus and then acted out the story.

                Here's Columbus asking King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to pay for his voyage.

Here's Columbus and his men aboard the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

Here's Columbus and his men trading with the Native Americans at the Bahamas.
We had a lot of fun acting out history!!!
We practiced three times and the whole thing took us 30 minutes tops. Consider adding some drama into your teaching... so powerful!
I also wanted to share a poem I wrote for my first graders that they love! My three year old even sings it and can now spell October!
Click on the pictures to download. There is a bw full page, color full page and a small bw student copy. Please leave a comment if you download. Thanks!

I also wanted to share Katie King's No Tricks, All Treats Giveway! Click the pic to link to her blog and enter!!!! There will be 8 winners!


Have a great weekend!