Saturday, October 26, 2013

We've Gone Batty!

Bats, bats, and more bats! This week we wrote about bats, read about bats, drew bats, created bats, watched bats (on a discovery clip, of course), and talked A LOT about bats! By Friday, I think we were all a little batty:)!

We started the week by reading this book and a cute lil' bat book that one of my teacher friends made (which I forgot to take a picture of). It was an awesome book that gave the kiddos lots of new information about bats!
The kids really enjoyed this book:)! We created a beginning, middle, and end chart as a class. The kids felt like the teacher when they were able to come up to the board to draw:). 

They also created their own. You can pick up a copy of this {Here} in my TPT store.

We also worked more on informational writing this week. The kids did much better with topic sentences! Yay! I created a bat chart to help us with brainstorming. As soon as I put it on the board the kids shouted out, "Look, teacher drew a bunny with fangs!" Hey, I thought it was a pretty good looking bat:). 

On Friday, the kiddos published their writing and turned it into a bat! I've never heard my class so quiet during writing time. They were very eager to create their bats!

Final draft time! The color system may look familiar to you-we are using Step Up to Writing now...which I LOVE!

This student was very proud of his bat!

The kids went wild over the glitter!!! What first grader doesn't:)?

Ready to hang up!

Our board is up just in time for Halloween! Speaking of Halloween...in case you are wondering about the status of our class party that I blogged about a few weeks ago:-):

I think they'll earn it by Thursday;)!

Have a great weekend!

~Jamie


Friday, October 18, 2013

Spider Fingers!

Spiders, spiders, and more spiders!!! No, I don't like spiders....but it's almost Halloween and I figured my firsties would enjoy a unit on spiders. I was right. They LOVED it! 

I started Monday morning with a web graph on the board. It immediately grabbed their attention as soon as they walked in the room! I mean, why wouldn't it? It's completely awesome...I'm an artist, didn't you know?! Ha! Just kidding! First graders will notice ANYTHING new....especially a giant spider web on the board! 

We talked a little about spiders. The kids voted whether or not they thought spiders were creepy or not, by drawing their own little spiders on the web. Ok, maybe it's the lil' spiders that make it so awesome:).
We read this cute little book about spiders and then did some brainstorming for our mini spider reports.
This was their first go at informational writing. We need some more practice with topic sentences; but overall, a very successful week of writing. I can't believe  how much growth they've already made since August! 
The students copied their rough drafts on to a spider body for the final drafts. This was a hit with the kiddos! I didn't mind cutting out 178 little spider legs:).
So cute!
Ok, I had to post this last spider because one of my lil' firsties informed me that it was a mini me. I guess I'm a spider:). At least I'm smiling:).
Next up....our Sammy the Spider books! The kids connected their spider rings to their books using a dragline (fancy spider vocabulary-aka string) to use for tracking while reading. Another big hit with the kiddos! 
Blingy spider rings:).
Reading is much more fun with a spider on your finger:). I think I need to invest in some year-round spider ring trackers.

That concludes our spider week! Stay tuned for bat week next week! Have a great weekend!

~Jamie


Friday, October 11, 2013

A Week of Pumpkins!

Wow, I can't believe it is Friday, again! We have had so much fun this week! I've actually been really looking forward to this post:). Our week consisted of A LOT of pumpkins. 

Here's a lil' look at what we've been up to this week:

We read this book-in preparation for our science lesson.
We did a class pumpkin investigation (using the big pumpkin). I don't think most of the kiddos had ever seen a pumpkin quite like this one:).
Our data:
The kiddos did their own investigations:
Hmmmm....did it sink? Or float?
We created the pumpkin lifecycle:
Our cute new display:). Have I mentioned how much I LOVE fall??!
We wrote about how to carve a pumpkins.
The pumpkin craft to go with our writing. The kids "painted" on tissue paper with glue.
They definitely enjoyed this activity. I can't wait to get our new bulletin board set up with all these cute little pumpkins...after I laminate and cut ALL
these pumpkins out. I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend:).

Ok...my favorite part of Friday...my new "writer's eyes." I found these huge googley eyes at Target, in the dollar section. I knew I had to have them. What teacher doesn't need a huge pair of googley eyes?! I put them to good use:
Of course, I introduced them like this:
The kids thought it was hysterical! I guess this is why I teach first grade:). Maybe they will remember to always have "writer's eyes."

Happy Friday!






Friday, October 4, 2013

Noun Towns & Fall Trees!

Happy happy Friday! Here is a quick little post with what we've been up to in room 16 this week! 

This week was all about nouns! We did several activities to help the kiddos understand exactly what a noun was. My favorite were these awesome "Noun towns" the kids created. They worked in groups to create a town filled with nouns. 
Look at my lil' firsties working together so nicely:).
I LOVED that this group found a map all by themselves and decided to use it to help them create their town:).
The finished "Noun Town."
A noun flip book we made:
Since we were learning about nouns this week,  I decided to incorporate it into our writing lesson this week. The kids came up with a list of things (nouns) they can see in the fall and wrote about them. We made a cute lil' anchor chart with all their ideas...but of course I forgot to take a picture of it. I even made a mental note as I was entering grades after school to take a picture of it. I still forgot:(.

Any-hoo...after two rough drafts and some minor editing this week...this was the final product:
They were much more excited about the Q-tip painting than the writing all week:).
Lil' artist at work:)
Up-close fall tree:)
Our new bulletin board! I think the board should read, "Our teacher loves fall." It's my favorite time of year:).

I'm using this pumpkin graph to help promote positive classroom behavior this month. When the kiddos are on task, following directions, or exceeding expected behavior, I color in boxes. If the pumpkin is completely filled by October 31st...it will be pumpkin party time in room 16! 
Stay tuned for the party status:)...

Happy Friday!

Jamie