Saturday, 27 April 2013

3D Sum Up and Poetry Contest Pizazz!

Finally a beautiful weekend is upon us, here in Southwestern Ontario! It's 68 degrees F with clear skies! Alleluia! :)

This week in grade 1/2 we finished up our 3D Solids Unit! I just love this unit..... and so do the kids!
This week we made practise flip books by Lita Lita! Love these! The students used them during the week to practise at home.
Throughout the unit I used 3D posters created by Tiffany Ford. Adorable!
I created a mini-test for each grade and that was that! Onto FRACTIONS! Wahooo!!

The best part of the week was our CLASSROOM POETRY CONTEST!
A huge success!!
We did a quick review of the types of poems we studied this month out of our Poetry Pack.
 Then each student received an entry form into the contest. Once they filled out their information and handed it to me at the "Poetry Check-In Booth", they were given an envelope with Challenge Words (2 words for grade ones & 4 words for grade twos), poetry paper and a rubric {All this can be found in our Poetry Contest Challenge Pack}.

I also put together 2 poetry prize packs for the winners
 {1 winner from grade one and 1 winner from grade two...
Since I teach a combined grade}.
Inside the pack was a poetry scribbler, playdough, crayons, word search to go mini-book and a Magic Tree House Book.

We discussed the prizes, the rubric and giving our best effort... using all of the nifty poetry tricks we have learned throughout the month of April. And then they were on their way!

Once all entries were handed in, each student received a poetry contest certificate (acknowledging their effort & entry into this contest).

Myself and two other teachers read over the entries and we chose the two winners.
They were ECSTATIC!!! It was like the Oscars when I called their names!! The kids all clapped and cheered (trying to teach good sportsmanship).
What fun :)

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 Hoping it's just as sunny and beautiful where you are...
Have a wonderful weekend!:)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


We started out Earth Day--Monday April 22, 2013 with our best environmental foot forward. The students walked into a classroom with a Lorax on our door (Pintrest), Lorax pencils in their bins (Target), Lorax Poster for pin the moustache on the Lorax, and a day full of earth awareness activities (Our Earth Day Five Pack).

I like bringing back old games that I use to play with the kids. "Pin the moustache on the Lorax" was certainly one of the highlights of our day. 
We also watched the online E-book version and completed a chart paper activity about the story.
Here are some pictures of the students doing the activities from our 5 pack.  We wanted to include activities they would find original and enjoy.  They had a blast and learned some valuable things that they can do in a day to help save the earth. 
We used sand timers for the two minutes to study the picture recall activity.  The students loved the idea and commented on this being something new and fun.  You could actually see them using different techniques to remember as many as they can. One student was making a story to go with the pictures, and started a retell when she had to turn the picture over. One of my students that usually struggles with spelling, decided to draw the pictures she was recalling.  They are little geniuses :) 
 The scavenger hunt was a success. They noticed the cards around the classroom in the morning and couldn't wait till I explained the activity.  They came up with different answers than I had anticipated for some of the questions, and surprised me again. I am so glad that I didn't have an answer sheet made up for them, we took up the answers in class and I learned more than I was prepared to teach.
The scrabble word activity the students are familiar with and I noticed this time, they wanted to beat each others scores. Students had the front and back of their worksheets covered and had calculators out adding up their scores.  This was a great math/language activity that they really enjoyed.
Kaitlin and I have participated in some different craft projects with other bloggers across USA and Canada this past Winter {Thanks to Maria at: The First Grade Carousel}.  I would love to make an exchange project next year to see what other schools do to celebrate this day.
Please drop us a line to share what you do for Earth Day! 
The three winners of our earth day poetry contest were announced in the morning. Here is one of our winners.  The contest was a huge success and the students that I spoke with enjoyed being part of it. The certificates for participation are being printed on recycled paper and sent home at the end of this week. 
Have a Happy Earth Week!
Thank you

Monday, 22 April 2013

I {Heart} EARTH DAY!

I Love Earth Day! It's one of those days that plants a small seed of hope and change into everyone. I love the spirit in my kiddos eyes, wanting so badly to talk about ways we can help the Earth. We are celebrating Earth Week in my room.

Today was Earth Week's Kickoff!
Here's a peek at our day in Grade 1/2...
We created our class poster to hang outside of our door :)

We then had shared in a Read Aloud. A little one in my class has been asking me to read this {Step Into Reading Book} since last week. Today was the day :) Adorable book with cute ideas!

The next activity was one of my FAVOURITE activities of the day..... An Earth Day Scavenger Hunt!!
My kids LOVED this activity!!!

In Music, my kids learned the lyrics to the song
"What a Wonderful World".
I found this great slideshow with lyrics on YouTube :)

I added the lyrics to their Monday to Monday Folders to practise at home.

At the end of the day, we cleaned up our schoolyard. My favourite lines as we picked up garbage:
-"Oh my gosh Miss, there is so much garbage! People need to start caring more! Sheesh!"
-"People need to love the Earth more, eh Miss?"
-"How can someone just throw garbage on ground. It's so rude!"
-"I bet the Earth is smiling now, Miss". 

We finished the last 15 minutes of the day reading The Lorax.
We stopped at the Lorax asking the Once-ler to stop cutting down the Trees.
"I'm the Lorax who speaks for the trees which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please. But I'm also in charge of the Brown Bar-ba-loots who played in the shade in their Bar-ba-loot suits and happily lived, eating Truffula Fruits. NOW...thanks to your hacking my trees to the ground, there's not enough Truffula Fruit to go 'round. And my poor Bar-ba-loots are all getting the crummies because they have gas, and no food, in their tummies!"

On tap for tomorrow....
Continue our Earth Day Five Pack Activities :)
*Make a word
*Looking deeper into Reduce/Recuse/Recycle
*Earth Day Shape Poem (From our Poetry Pack)
*I {heart} the Earth Craftivity
*Music/Dance- What a Wonderful World


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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Informational Writing & Some 3D Solids!

Time is a flyin'! Wowsers!
This week my class dove into some Information Writing. I read about a great Informational Writing Post from Abby Mullins and decided to use some of her ideas and mix it up with some my own.

Keep in mind, this is a week + lesson. I really tried to not rush this process and made sure I modelled this activity well.

First I pulled as many different level books about Frogs from my local library. At school, the kiddos and I discussed their "prior knowledge" about Frogs. From there I read a frog book, and together we filled our coloured stickies indicating a fact that we learned.
Here is an example of the chart.
Then, I broke the students up into small groups according to their reading level. I gave them their own frog books and the groups did a shared reading. I also gave them the corresponding coloured stickies and as they came across a fact that was listed on the board, they filled out the sticky and stuck it on the board.

We came back together as a class and reviewed our facts and new things we had learned.

We took these activities a step further and we took a look at Whales this week. Again, we started with Prior Knowledge (I love how the kids use this word ALL the time now! It's cute!!) The students wrote down what they "Wonder" about on a sticky and placed it under our Learning Goal.

We reviewed what we "Wondered" about and discussed that our goal when we created an informational writing piece is that we learn about and try to answer our "I Wonders". The students were broken into shared reading groups and began to fill out our informational chart.
I had this group at a listening center.

I gathered the kids back together and we reviewed our findings. On Monday, back at school, we will create a paragraph about Whales, using our newly created fact chart.

Why am I doing all this combined/group work? Well one the writing assignment my students are going to be working on this week is an informational writing book. Each student has chosen an animal to read about during independent reading. I searched HIGH and LOW for the animal of their choice at each of their reading levels. It was worth it! First the kids created a cover page.

Then, they created "I Wonder" Questions (what they wanted to know learn about).

Some of their I wonder questions are adorable. Every students questions are unique and at their level.

I gave each students a mini-sticky-note pack to keep in their independent reading boxes. While they read their animal books during independent reading, they can use the stickies to save a fact that they really like or find interesting.

This is still a real work in progress, so I will show you their finished products once it is complete :)

Onto some MATH......
This week my students were introduced to 3D Solids! Oh, how they love this unit. We have done a lot of building and creative brainstorms and challenges.

Here are a few pics of our week:

The kids also created a 3D Pocket Book (from Amy Lemons Shapin' Up Unit). I changed the book up a bit-- At the end of each math class, my students add 5 mini cards to their pocket book (so they can bring it home and practise). On one side of the card the students draw a picture of the solid we're working on, label it and write the name of the 3D solid on that back.

 WOW.... what a week!
Don't forget tomorrow-- APRIL 22nd-- is EARTH DAY. We have created an EARTH DAY FIVE PACK to help you throughout the day.