Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mostly Math and a little Giggle!!

Hello Everyone!
Yes, it's me.  I survived the last week.  It was parent conference and report card week.  I think I figured out that I put in over 60 hours just at school. I 'm not sure how many hours at home, but you get the idea.  Are you all in the same boat? Phew!  Talk about feeling drained!  Thank goodness for weekends.  I was able to re-energize a bit, but having work to do to get ready for this coming week, there wasn't a whole lot of relaxation.  (By the way...I looooove parent conferences!  I love having time to sit down with parents and learn a little bit more about my little learners.  Those insights are invaluable!!)
Anyway, I thought I'd do a quick post about one of the kids' favs from the week and share a couple of new things for this coming week. In math we worked our way through the Candy Corn Connection unit and practiced greater and less than with our candy corn crunchers.  We also made our large candy corn shapes with the different ways to show a standard number.  Here are a few pics.

This coming week in math we will introduce the concept of estimating to the nearest friendly or landmark numbers. This concept is so important for grasping even more number sense for our littles.  If they can get the idea of landmark numbers, reasonableness during addition and subtraction computation will be made more evident.  In first grade we work on estimating to landmark numbers of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20. (Some people call them "easy" numbers.) Once they can do that, our little learners can use what they know about landmarks to estimate to higher multiples of 10.  I put together a little unit last year to help intro and practice this, but decided to update and add to it this year. The unit is "seasonal" but if you want, let me know and I can send you a generic version.  Please e-mail me or leave a comment in the comment section of this post and leave your e-mail.  Here are some pics.


So, everything I've talked about so far has been math.  Next week in ELA we will enjoy a bit of Stellaluna, a bit of Splat, a bit of Runaway Pumpkin...and a little monster fun!
The monster fun will come in the form of a little poem, a little brainstorming, and a little hands on visual!!

I can't wait to do this little bit of monster fun!
If you would like the mini unit... 

Well, gotta run.  We've got Red Ribbon Week coming up, so prep for that need to get under way!! As well as some little sweet treats for my little monsters. October is crazy busy!!
So, till next time have a wonder-filled week and don't forget to giggle once in a while!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Candy Corn Math!! Sweet!

Hello Everyone!
Before I share my newly updated Candy Corn Connection math unit, I want to share my favorite activity from this past week.  In social studies we were learning about the differences in family lives depending on where you live.  We read a lot of books on different homes, etc. from around the world. We compared the lives of those families to ours.  As a culminating activity, the kids made a paper bag house and wrote little love notes to put inside.  They turned out so sweet!

Such a sweet little community!!

In math we are working hard on place value, ordering numbers, expanded notation, etc.  I used my candy corn connection unit last year and found the kids to be very engaged while learning and practicing!!  Well, I added to the unit!!  There are a couple of candy corn poems with hands on visual connections, several whole group activities, and about 2 weeks worth of independent math tub activities (about 80 pages!) All will help kids explore and investigate what two digit numbers are all about, whether you are just getting started or simply working with kids who just don't get it yet.  All activities are very hands on  and most are just print and go.  For some, you might want to pick up a bag of candy corn, or you might be able to find some candy corn shaped table scatters or erasers.   Here are a few pics.

The free printable is about 80 pages long. 

Did you know that it is Nation Candy Corn Day on October 30??  Love it!  The unit also has a little bit of the history of candy corn.  So fun!
Well, that's it for today, friends! 
I'm off to cheer on my Texas Rangers!!  
 Have a great week!!
Thanks for stopping by!
 Don't forget to leave a comment!!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Weather, Writing Partners and Schema (and oh yeah! A little skydiving, too!)

Hello Everyone!
Happy weekend!! And it is a beauty here!! Great weather for some baseball, some yard work, and some skydiving! What?? That's right!  On Saturday, I went with my hubby to watch him take his first jump.  He's been so anxious to skydive with a friend of his. I went along to take pictures!  Well, while we were there, guess who decided to jump as well????!!!  Ding! Ding! Ding! You got it!  ME! It is something I never thought I would ever do.  I am the one who gets queasy just floating on a pool float. But I actually sucked it up and jumped out of a plane at 13,500 feet!  It was simply one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life! I really can't even believe I did it!!

My husband and son, Toby went as well!  
We are all still kind of on cloud 9!
Toby and I before...

and after!

Very empowering!  I can't wait to do it again! I feel like I can do almost anything!  Even teach first grade!!  :)  

My jump actually came in handy at school because we were talking about wind/air/weather in science. I was able to tell the kids how cold it was way up there, and how it got warmer as we got closer to the ground, and how the wind was helping to guide the canopy all the way down. We ended our unit on weather by making our Flutterflies.  I have posted about these little gems the past couple of years, but here are a couple of pics anyway.  

Cloud shapes are loaded with weather vocabulary and made colorful with rainbow streamers!

They add so much color to the room!

In writers workshop this week, I introduced another writer's tool for the toolbox.  Writing partners.  Lucy Calkins gives lot of suggestions for this.  I put all the kids names on cards with a 1 or a 2. Paired the cards up and set them on the floor.  Kids sat with their new writing partners.  We talked about the rights and responsibilities of writing partners, and the fact that all authors have partners. I shared the mini poster and talked about what the 1 and 2 meant. (taking turns) I showed the kids how a friend helped me with a piece I was writing. Then I sent them off to meet with their new partners.  I loooved how they got busy right away and worked to help each other make their writing even better!!  

Such a precious sight!

Next week in reading we will focus on using our schema to help in comprehension.  Some kids may not have ever heard that word before, or even thought about thinking about their thinking. I love opening that door for them and helping them make connections.  I put together a few little visuals to help me help them.  This little unit introduces kids to what schema is and how good readers activate that schema to help understand their reading.

I will have more info on using schema to make text to self, text to text, and text to world connection a bit later.  For now we will work on realizing that we have, will grow,  and can use our schema!!

Well, have a great rest of the weekend!!! 
Thanks for stopping by for a peek! Don't forget to take a second to leave a comment!  I love hearing from you!