Saturday, January 30, 2016

100th Day!!! It's Almost Here!!

Hello Everyone!!
Yes! The 100th Day of School is almost here! For us it will take place on Thursday!!!  The kids always look forward to our 100th day!!  We count up to it and down from it from our first day of school.  100 is such a landmark number, we put a lot of time and effort into exploring all we can about it.  We work in our classrooms and as an entire school. I have posted before about our balloon launch with tags attached as a way of tracking geographically.  Such an amazing thing for the kids to experience. I am posting my 100th day of School unit again because I've added a couple of things to it. If you downloaded it last year or the the year before, please do it again!  The unit includes a week's worth of number exploration, literature, creative arts, and so much more! There is a fun math activity based on the book "100 Snowmen" that my kids were amazed with last year!  I can't wait to do it again!! 

The unit is now almost 70 pages of 100th day fun learning fun!

100th Day!  It's Almost Here!!  Hooray!!!

I'll post some pics later!!  Have a great rest of the weekend!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Interdependency Terrariums and The Cactus Hotel

Hello Everyone!
I have a few minutes while waiting for some yummy veggie pizza to bake in the oven, so I thought I'd share a bit about what we've been doing in science.  We finished our unit on living and nonliving, and jumped right into a closely related topic, Interdependency.  The kids have had fun just learning how to say that word...and of course relating it to living things.We learned the def.- the relationship between two or more things- where each one benefits from the other. Last week we learned what plants need to survive and what we and other living things get from plants, so of course we had to make our terrarium!!  So much fun.  We are in the process of watching what happens and recording our observations.

This week we concentrated on a wonderful book which shows great examples of interdependency. Cactus Hotel by Brenda Guiberson.
 You have to get this book if you want kids to be amazed at how things depend on each other. Another great book to share during this unit is Desert Giant by Barbara Bash, an expository text which reads like a narrative!  

While reading the Cactus Hotel, we kept track of the dependency details on our anchor chart.

We will then create a little book to organize and share our thinking.

Want this little unit?
If you downloaded this from me last year, you will find that I've added a little extra science activity that has to do with cacti. Quick, inexpensive, and effective! :)

I love when we can add a "hand to head to heart" learning experience to every part of our curriculum!! 

OOPS! There goes my oven timer!! People depend on plants too!!
Have a good night!! I'll be back soon to tell you about our 100th day celebration, some fun winter activities, mentor sentences, some amazing opinion writing and so much more!!!! Stop by again soon!! Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Doctor is in!

Hello Everyone!
I hope your week is going well! We have had an awesome week so far!! A ton of "hand to head to heart" activities!  One that I know will stick with the kids is our "Word Surgery" opportunity.  I could have chosen to introduce contractions with a worksheet, a matching activity, just telling my little learners about them, or showing them some contractions in a story, but I knew that the engagement wouldn't be the same.  I have posted about this surgery activity the last five+ years, and every year I watch kids absolutely embrace their new roles as doctors. As we got started, we practiced reading the two words chosen to "be the patient" (become a contraction) and then really listened to the shorter way to say those two words. (the contraction).  We listened for the letters we no longer heard in the  new word and "performed surgery" (cut them out). Then we stitched the new word together. (created the contraction)(bandaids!)
Of course to make the learning opportunity more authentic, the kids donned gloves and a mask! Oh! Of course we needed an official Dr. name badge!! :)

Here are some pics of the Word Surgery printable unit.  It includes some hands on activities for contractions, compound words, and creating interesting sentences.

The little unit ended up to be about 44 pages of surgical fun!
I hope you can find some time to try it!! 
Gotta Run! I've got some work to do on our Multicultural Night!!  Can't wait!!
Till next time, have a great rest of the week!!  I'll talk to you soon!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fraction Fun, Living and Nonliving, and MLK

Hello Everyone!
I hope you are staying warm during this chilly weekend! Some of you are having downright COLD weather.  Brrr!  And my thoughts and prayers are going out to families affected by tornadoes in one of my old stomping grounds...Florida!  This has already been a crazy year weather-wise. Stay safe and check in on each other!!

In school this week, we had some fun with fractions.  I always like to start off a unit on fractions with some lessons on symmetry and equal parts.  The magical look of paint and folded paper always amazes the kids and creates wonderful symmetry.

Then teaching the kids how to fold a coffee filter into equal parts and creating beautiful snowflakes!

Then showing them how to build symmetry in another way!

Then finally getting into the vocabulary and authentic use of  edible fractions using graham crackers!

We will continue with fractions next week.  I will add a little bit about determining fractions of a set.  Our first graders do not need to know this, but It really is a natural succession to what we did this past week. I added a bit more to the faction unit I shared last week, so If you would like, please download again to pick up the new stuff.

In science we finished up our unit on living and non living.
After exploring through technology the characteristics of living things vs nonliving things, we got to create a fun little non living pet.  

Pet Rocks are going to be so easy to take care of!!

In culmination we explored the differences between three things that looked alike! Gummy Worms, Rubber Worms, and Live Night Crawlers!

The kids made some great observations and discoveries!!!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was also a focus this past week.  I love helping kids understand the character traits of some of our most beloved leaders.  I think it's also important for them to understand how the life of one can influence the lives of many.  

Not by the color of our skin...

But by the content of our character!

Phew!! I know that was a lot of sharing, but we covered some wonder-filled topics this past week, and I am hoping my kids took advantage of the "hand to head to heart" lessons and truly have stored them in their hearts and use them often.
My little won't be at school tomorrow (They have off for MLK Day), but teachers have to report. I hope to enjoy some team time and good planning for the next few weeks!! We don't get enough of that quality time together! 
Have a great rest of the weekend!  
Don't forget to leave a comment!! 
Can you use any of these ideas?
 Is there something you would like to see? 
Anything you are wondering about?
Just ask!
Till next time!!