Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Poppin' with Sensory Details

Hello Everyone!
We had a poppin' good day today!! Continuing our use of "If you Take a Mouse to the Movies" celebration, we took note of Mouse's love of popcorn and decided to use it for our lesson on using sensory details in our writing to make it more interesting and exciting to read.
Of course we had to get out the hot air popcorn popper to get the full 5 senses experience!!  We had discussed the five senses before, so the kids were familiar with them.  I divided the kids up into groups with each group responsible for focusing on one of the senses while our popcorn was popping.  They wrote whatever they thought about as they were listening, watching, smelling, etc. The kids then had to share their ideas on our chart. Finally, we set off to write all about our experience.  I can't wait to share the amazing writing!!

Some things do smell "hot!"
The Popcorn activity is included in my If You Take a Mouse to the Movies unit. Click here for your free download.

I hope this lesson will help kids include sensory details in all their writing!! That would make me just POP!!!

Have a great evening!!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Double Mints! Math Mints, that is!

Hello Everyone!
Remember those commercials? Double your pleasure. Double your fun? Double Mint Gum! ... Ugh!  I think I am giving away my age!  Oh well! :)
Today we worked hard on "Double Mints!"  We have been working some with doubles every day, but we wanted to get the kids really focused on this addition strategy and be able to use it for doubles + 1 as well.  I made a huge mint just out of butcher paper and brought in some starlight mints. The kids took turns showing a quantity of mints and deciding if it could be written as a doubles or a doubles + 1 number sentence. Then they got to make their own "math mints" out of paper plates and clear cellophane, writing some of the doubles facts on the mints!  Great job kids!
Using this along with our "If You Take a Mouse to the Movies" unit. That's why the mouse is pictured! :)

You can use this same idea and have kids write fact families, chunk words, sight words, etc. I've made these with kids the past gazillion years, and have had fun every time!  The kids thought they looked great hanging up above their desks!  

That's it for tonight! Busy day tomorrow!  
 Thanks for stopping by for a peek into our wonder-filled world!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Take 1!

Hello Everyone,
First of all, I wanted to say how much I appreciate all the sweet messages, comments and e-mails about my last post.  Our family is still heartbroken with the loss of our sweet pooch, but your love has lifted us and helped so much. Thank you. 

Today at school, we began a week long  "learning through literature" celebration using Laura Numeroff's "If You take a Mouse to the Movies." I have already shared this unit with you, but I wanted to share what we did today to help understand visualization.  Being able to visualize or create a mental picture during reading can be a powerful way for students to gain comprehension.We talked about how you can be the "producer" of any "movie" you read.  As I was reading the story today, I refrained from showing the pictures.  The kids closed their eyes to try to get a picture, and then drew what they saw in their mind's camera. 
A little later, the kids had the opportunity to take some kids sized clapboards and tell parts of the story in small groups. I could see the kids visualizing the parts first before they verbalized!  Great job, Kiddos!!
I only had time to snap a couple of pics myself, as the kids were "filming." 

Kids recording sheet for visualization lesson- included in unit.

   If you missed the unit , here it is again! Click here!

47 pages of literacy, math and science fun!

Have fun visualizing a great day! :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lost my reading buddy today...

Hello Everyone,
My heart is so sad. We lost our big ol' yellow Labrador retriever, Beemer today.  I went outside to feed him this morning and he was "asleep" under the magnolia tree in the backyard.  I'm not sure why I felt like I had to share this with all of you, (I don't normally share personal things here) other than the feeling I have in my heart is one that I will use in relating to my students when sad things happen to them.  Pets are a huge part of our lives and we do actually love them so much.  I have shared these pictures with my kids and they know how much my family and I loved Beemer. I write about him all the time during draft book time. Kids need to know that teachers are humans with families, homes, pets, and feelings. We really don't sleep at school.

 I will miss my buddy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Pinch of Grinch- Free Unit

Hello Everyone!
I've been busy getting my Grinch on!  Creating, organizing, and updating all my Grinch stuff has been a JOY!!  I'm sharing what I have so far in case you want a peek. If you are a parent or a student of mine, please log off right now! :) I want these activities to be a surprise for my kiddos!!  Thanks!! If you are a teacher, or home schooler, take a peek at the samples of what is already a 33 page unit.******** It includes some author's message, character analysis, adjective study, a math tub game, a mystery picture, science, songs, poetry activities and more!!  There will be more to come, but I've got to get my turkey on, too!! :) *********** Please see the message at the bottom of this post!!!

What is Dr. Seuss' message?

Text Connection Activities

Here's to the meaning of Christmas!! 
 Love that Dr. Seuss!
Have a good one!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh No! Santa's Stuck!!

Hello Everyone!
I'm back again with another free unit!  I love taking one piece of literature and creating cross curricular activities to go along with it!! This time my unit is based on "Santa's Stuck" by Rhonda Greene, one of my favs for this season!  The 34 page unit includes some problem and solution Reader's Response activities, four math tub activities, a craft connection and a science activity!  I can't wait to do these with my kiddos.

Have fun singing this song!!

 I've been doing this activity for several years and love it.  Patterns are included in the unit.  Last year I even found some brick scrapbook paper to use for the chimney instead of just red construction paper.  I'm on a hunt for it again!
students organize facts so they balance on each side of the work mat and then record.

pattern for the mittens is included in the unit!   

 Don't get stuck, click here for your unit!!

Hope you enjoy this little unit! Let me know how you used it or if you would like to see anything else!
Now off to find my turkey for Thursday!! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

If You Take A Mouse To The Movies week long unit!

Hello Everyone!
We are on break and I finally had time to put the finishing touches on my first winter unit.  If You Take a Mouse To The Movies, by Laura Numeroff is one of those special books that makes a great springboard for so many wonder-filled activities.  I managed to create some activities that correlate beautifully with the learning objectives we are covering when we get back from Thanksgiving break! In the unit you will find, activities on visualization, setting, sensory details, some word work, an ABC order activity, lots of math (problem solving, addition and subtraction practice, doubles, some math tub activities), and a fun science activity with heat and matter. Once I got creating, I couldn't stop!  The unit turned out to be 46 pages long.  I did make all but 3 of the pages in black and white.  I don't know about you, but the color printer ink is a touchy subject (sometimes) at our school. I know I have def. used my share and then some! No problem, though.  Black and white is fine! :) Here are a few samples of what is included. 

Unit comes with craft connection patterns

a six page problem solving book for the kids to make is included in the unit!

 For your free download (46 pages) click here!

Hope this helps get you started with the season!!  Have fun and let me know how it goes! I love receiving little notes!!  Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Thrills

Hello Everyone!
I am so sorry for the lack of posts the past few days, but this has been one crazy busy week!  I am soooo thankful for having the next week off!  My home and family have been neglected and I can't wait to spoil them!!
I wanted to share a couple of fun things we did in class this past week. One big project we have done for the past 8 years is our Mayflower Book, "The First Thanksgiving." After studying the history of the Pilgrims coming to America, we began making our books out of large paper grocery sacks. tracing a ship pattern onto the flat side of the bag, we cut out three bags per book. We had to glue some of the "flaps" down, and then staple them together. The kids retold the historical events and illustrated on plain white paper. They glued the pages into the grocery sack books (a total of 8 pages!), made a sail, decorated the front page to look like the wooden Mayflower, added a title, water, and tah-dah! All set to sail!!

I also wanted to share some pics of our wonderful First Grade Friendship Feast.  It's our annual event where  all 100 of our first graders eat together at one long feast table. They made placemats earlier in the week and they choose whether they want to wear Pilgrim or Native American head dress. The kids munch on a delicious lunch of turkey, ham, and all the sides!  This year the teachers made sugar cookies for dessert! Yum!!  A great time was had by all!!  A huge thank you to the moms and dads who helped organize, set up, serve, and clean up!!!  We couldn't do it without you!!

100 First Grade Friends Feasting!

The last thing I wanted to share was the treat we made with our Third Grade Book Buddies. (Yes, we're eating again!) We took Oreos, chocolate frosting, candy corn, a Hershey's Kiss, and a Hot Tamale and created our own version of the infamous Turkey Cookie Treat!! So easy, and so YUMMY! :) thanks for enjoying these with us, Buddies!!

Gobble, Gobble!!
I sincerely hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving break with your families and friends.  I know that I have so much for which to be thankful!  My life is so full and gratitude fills my thoughts daily!
(Stay tuned for my "If You Take a Mouse to the Movies" unit! :))