Hi everyone, it's Becky! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday! We had such a busy week, but it was filled with lots of fun!
It was conference week, and I am happy to say that I met or spoke with all of the parents of my kiddos! I enjoyed speaking with everyone and was glad to share their progress and where I plan to take them this year with their learning.
We finished up our subtraction unit in the beginning of the week. I wanted my kids to further review fact families, and since we had been reading some non-fiction texts about bats, I made a little bat fact family craftivity! They loved it and the bats turned out so cute! You can find this craftivity in my Wim's Winners TPT store!
We then jumped into tallying and graphing after our subtraction test. Cara Carroll's Creepy or Cute Bat Graph was a perfect way to introduce pictographs while staying with our bat theme. We found out that a large majority of our class thought bats were cute, while a small few (myself included) thought they were creepy!
The next day, I had the kiddos work in pairs to create their own pictographs. Thanks to my friends on IG, I gave into the Target dollar spot temptation and bought a bunch of fun little halloween erasers! While I wasn't exactly sure what I would use them for when I bought them, it didn't take long for me to make a decision. I realized we were learning about graphing this week and thought it was a perfect fit.
My kids rolled a die to see how many halloween erasers they would put on their pictograph. From there, they took the data from the pictograph with the eraser data, and transferred it to a blank one where they drew in the data with circles. (We keep it simple when they draw things in math.) From there, we were able to analyze our data and answer the graphing questions.
If you would like a freebie of these graphing pages, you can get them by clicking on the image below! Enjoy!
We also read the book Crankenstein by Samantha Berger. I originally got this book for Grayson because he is cranky on a regular basis! But when I was reading it, I thought that my own students probably had moments like this too. So bring on a short writing project! (WARNING: Although I like this book, I do not like that it uses the word "hate" in the text, so I changed the wording when I read it aloud!) We completed a short 3-square writing about what makes us cranky, what we do when it happens, and what we should do when it happens again! Although some of my students thought their behaviors were funny, I was quick to point out that their parents probably didn't think it was funny or appreciative of their behaviors. They had fun with it, but also came up with good ideas about how they should change their behaviors. We then wrote our short story, and used A Cupcake For the Teacher's Frankenstein Craftivity to go with it! My kiddos really enjoyed this activity!
My last item doesn't have to do with anything about school, but I just have to share! We had our fall family pictures taken on Sunday by Laura J. Brown Photography. The boys were not the most cooperative pair, so needless to say we were a little worried that we wouldn't have any good shots. Laura eased our fears with this fabulous sneak peek photo! I can't get over how great it looks!
Well that's all for now! I need to head to bed and hopefully kick whatever illness I feel coming on. So far between Greg and the boys we've had croup, an ear infection, and laryengitis this week. I was really hoping I could be the healthy one, but it's not looking good. At least conferences are over! Be sure to check out all of the other awesome bloggers and their activities on the Five for Friday linky!
Hi everyone, it's Becky! I've had this post saved for awhile now, but haven't found the time to finish it. So here I am, almost a month later, finally ready to post it!
Although I like to change up my writing projects from time to time, we always begin by writing pumpkin stories. They are an easy way to display the writing process in an introductory format. The first thing we had to do was read a variety of fiction and non-fiction books about pumpkins. As we were reading we filled out our pumpkin anchor chart.
From there I modeled how I completed a four square of my own. As I'm modeling, I stress that when completing each box, they should only be writing a few words and drawing a quick picture. The topic goes in the diamond, that is where we begin and end our story. From there, we have four details, so we number the boxes one through four. Box one will have the color of our pumpkin, box two is an adjective describing the pumpkin, box three is where we got our pumpkin, and box four is what we will do with our pumpkin.
When it is the students' turn to complete their own four square, we do it one box at a time. For each box, we brainstorm possible ideas, and I write them on the board. After our list is complete, I read over them and have the students choose one to put in their square. They also draw their quick picture to go with it.
Once our four squares are complete, we are ready to write our rough draft. Because it is our first story, I scaffold a lot of it. As I stated before, we start and end at the diamond, so we first come up with a few choices for our beginning sentence. (I read some of the beginning sentences from our pumpkin texts to inspire us.) The students then picked one and wrote it down.
We then went square by square thinking of a sentence frame for each one. The students then wrote the frame, adding whatever they had in their four square where appropriate. (Note: We will not always all use the same frame, but this is the best way I've found to introduce writing with my kiddos.)
Once we have written about all four squares, we then go back to the diamond for our ending sentence. We read ending sentences from the same books we looked at for beginning sentences, and used them as a jumping off point for our own endings. Students picked one choice and wrote it as their ending sentence.
After they have finished writing their rough draft, the students read it to me as I type their story. I don't have them write a final copy early in the year because they just aren't ready for it yet. (As the year goes on, I alternate between typing their final copies and having them write them when publishing.) I also like to have them read it to me because as they are reading it, we can talk about any thing that may not sound right as they read it. We then make our revisions right there on the computer. Once all students have their stories typed, they make a pumpkin that matches the description in their story and glue the final product all together. We then have a sharing session, giving the students another opportunity to read and share their writing with their peers.
As the year goes on and the students have a better idea of how to go through the writing process, there is less and less teacher guidance. The students have the autonomy of creating their own stories.
That's all I have for you today, have another great week with your students! It's conference week for me, so it's sure to be a busy one!
Five For Friday!
Hi everyone, it's Becky! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my first Five for Friday!
We read a story called Curious George At School in our Journeys book, and that leads us to reading many Curious George books. We then wrote a story about Curious George visiting our school! We did our first transfer of our rough draft to a final draft this week! Before we started, I modeled how to write a word on the final draft, and then highlight it (with just 1 line through it, not 10!) so we know we already wrote it. I also modeled how to remember 3 or 4 letters in a word at a time. I always find it funny that things we take for granted like that are things first graders have not yet learned! I also model a think aloud for how I say the letters in my head, and then I write the letters. This really helps them become much more efficient from the sssslllloooowwww letter by letter writing they have been doing! I also have a few kiddos who struggle with hand writing, so I rewrote their rough draft so they could read it and see properly formed letters. Their final drafts looked much better!
After the kiddos worked hard and finished their final draft, it was time for a little craftivity! So this is our finished product!
We had some great emergency workers come to our school this week and talk to us about fire safety, their vehicles, and their jobs. The kids loved it! We are very lucky to have such generous firefighters and emergency workers who donate their time to educate our kids!
We began learning about fact families this week! I love Whole Brain Teaching, and love how easily it is to use when teaching math! It really helps my kiddos remember the math concepts. I love seeing them go through the motions on their own when solving problems!
We also made ourselves fact family number sentences, complete with strangers!
I love ending the week on a dress down day, and it is even better because I am wearing this today! Thanks GoNoodle, my kids LOVED it! They thought I was the coolest!
That's all for now! I hope everyone has a great weekend! Be sure to check out all the fun everyone else had this week on the Five for Friday linky!
Mr. & Mrs.
We are Becky and Greg from York, PA. Becky just started her 13th year of teaching first grade. Greg is a high school social studies teacher. We love teaching and this blog is a peek into our world.
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