Saturday, March 29, 2014

BUILD-- week by week... March

I knew it was an ambitious goal.
And usually ambitious goals motivate me because I love a challenge!
But between getting married and some unexpected medical "fun", I have slacked off.
Sooo sorry!
But I remembered to take photos last week... so here you go!

B- Buddy Games
 For Buddy Games this week, my kids practiced "composing a ten".  They roll the dice, take that many ones. Then their partner rolls the dice, takes that many ones.  (Back and forth until they have ten or more.) When they have 10, the swap their ones for a ten rod.  Then keep playing! 

For my advanced kiddos, I have them play backwards. It is quite a challenge-- perfect for my gifted first graders!

You can download this game here.  (Remember to leave a comment if you download it!!) :)

U- Using Manipulatives

We will begin our plane shapes unit soon-- so I put inn some pattern block cards for my kids to use.  They love them and they differentiated-- so students can chose their own level of difficulty!

I- Independent Reading

As we are finishing up our measurement unit, we are enjoying some books about all kinds of measurement-- length and time.  They LOVE these books!

L- Learning about Numbers


This is their L activity for the week... just a simple color by the code activity. On the back there are some additional problems for if they have time.   

D- Doing Math 
These pages come from our math program.  They have been awesome because my kids are getting really fluent with their addition problems and have now moved on to subtraction problems.  I am not a huge fan of workbooks, but let's be honest. Our kids need to be able to answer a set of math facts. 
Hope this gives you some ideas!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Winner's Never Quit- by Mia Hamm

My team and I  have been working hard to develop Close Reads on one story in each unit.  This past month we wrote a Close Read for Winners Never Quit by Mia Hamm. 

If you haven't read this book, you should.  Mia (the main character in the story) has to learn a very first grade lesson-- that you can't always win. 

If you want more info on Close Reading, check out the Utah State Office of Education resources from Core Academy.

We structured our Close Read like this:

Day 1-
Read the entire story.  (I like to tell my kids that we can't stop when we are doing a close read because we want to hear the story exactly the way the author thinks we should... so that means no questions or comments until the end!) They LOVE it!
Then we do a retell. I write it on sticky notes-- that way we can sequence them on another day.

The next day we read the story again.
Then we discussed Characters. 
We wrote (on a different color of sticky note) all of the characters we could think of. Then we asked ourselves "Would this story still make sense if this person wasn't there?" If the answer is "yes" then they are not a main character.  If the answer is "no" then they are. :) We sorted them and then wrote adjectives for each character-- always looking for evidence from the text and pictures.

Then we looked at setting.  It is important to ask them "What evidence in the text tells you where this story is taking place?" we made a list (on a different color or sticky, of course!).  Then we discussed what that evidence helps us conclude.  This was my favorite discussion! They were so engaged!

After we have figured out the setting, we are ready to tackle problem/solution.  We discussed it and then I had my kids complete this story mountain, courtesy of USOE Core Academy.  My kids understood it SOOO much better than I thought they would-- it was very natural to them :)

We then focus on vocabulary. We want them to define the words-- USING evidence from the text. (Am I sounding like a broken record?  Am I sounding like the SAGE assessment?!) :)

  As a class we added thought and talking bubbles to our book.  They were so cute in thinking of what to say!

 Then I gave them pictures to add thought and talking bubbles to.  They had to write HOW they knew that is what was being said/thought.  (Sorry, that's not in the pictures!)



The final writing project was for them to write two reasons why it was okay for Mia to lose and two reasons why it is important to work as a team.

My kids love this story! Anytime we do a Close Read they fall in love with the book.
It really has been an awesome strategy this year!!
Happy Friday!

Graphing, Graphing, Graphing!

Hey, Friends!!

I love the First Grade graphing/data core!

In my class, I have my students create a class pictograph each day.  I post a question and leave the papers necessary for their response. So when they come in for math, read the question, pick up the response paper necessary and their "problem of the day" and take it to their desk.  They color/write their response to the question, then come add it to the graph.  Then they do their "problem of the day"! 
(Here's a little tip: I have a volunteer make enough tape circles for my class and just put them on a page protector.  Then I pull that out and stick it next to the graph-- the kids walk up, take the tape circle they need and stick it on the graph.  Easy-peasy!)

Years ago, when I first started teaching, one of my teammates made "graph paper" out of butcher paper and laminated it.  I didn't immediately realize the genius but now am SOOOO thankful to have them. They are prepped so that each year I just pull them out and hang them up!  If you are not good at drawing straight lines, (ahem, like ME!,) trade a favor with someone who is (Thanks, Jean!!). You won't regret it!!

 We create them in our classroom.  We label them, come up with a title and discuss our observations. Then I hang them in the hall.  (The other teachers on my team hang them in the hall-- my kids LOVE comparing them

Our Boy/ Girl Graph

 Our Eye Color Graph

Our Hair Color Graph

 How do you get to school?
The most-fun part is that we sometimes come out and sit in the hall to use the same data in a different way.  For example, our math program has us spend 2 days on pictographs.  Then we spend 2 days on bar graphs. Instead of starting with different data, we take the data from our pictographs and turn it into a bar graph.  The same thing when we get to tally charts. (It allows the kids to connect to the content because they are so motivated by the fact that THEY generated the data!)
(If you download them please leave a comment!) :)
(They use their STAR Books to write on, but a clipboard would also do the trick!)
Our assessment always has a "task" component.  The task this time was to write a question, create a tally chart, ask 10 friend, graph the results and then write a sentence about it.  Whew! That's A LOT for a firstie! But they did SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO well! I am one proud math teacher!

What fun things to do you do for graphing??

Happy Friday!!

Pot o' Gold!

I love pinterest!!

Instead of just having a "Christmas" party in December (I promise this is related to St. Patrick's Day!), I encourage my room moms to step out of their comfort zone and do a rotation for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and secular Christmas.  This year my room mom bought a huge supply of chocolate Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins).  I saved the extras and knew I wanted to use them for Hanukkah.

I found this super cute writing idea on The Teacher Wife's Blog 
I loved her topic but decided to just let them write about "If I had a pot of gold..." They earned the gold coins all day for different things. They wrote their 5 sentences and then they had half a sheet of black construction paper to turn into a pot.  

The chocolate coins worked well-- they do fall off when hanging in the hallway, if people touch them :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

100 Days of Fun!

I love the hundredth day of school. 
Okay, I love/hate it. 
It is so-o-o fun, but, let's be honest-- it's organized chaos. 

I think it is important to have some days that are like that-- "organized chaos"-- but it sure does seem like the fall right around the beginning of February.  (Magical Mitten Day, the 100th Day and then Valentine's, usually all fall one week after another!)

This year I wanted to try something different-- so I searched and searched and found many different versions of this idea.  I tweaked it to fit my kiddos and gave it a try.  It was super fun!
Each first grader had "100" and a paper.  Their job was to transform their 100 into something interesting... And, boy, oh, boy, did they EVER!
We put them up in the hall and it was fun to see who figured it out right away and who had to do a double-take. (Our Special Ed teacher figured it out immediately-- one of our kinder teachers took a few times to finally realize what they were!)
My 100 is a smiley face. I made it because I have a 00 and it is like a smile face. Her name is Emily.

My 100 is a monster truck. It is cool.

My 100 is a pirate.  It's name is 100 Pirate Captain.  His ship is on land.

My 100 is a tractor. I like to ride [it on the] weekend.

My 100 is a ladybug.  My 100 is sleeping.

My 100 is a butterfly.  It is up, up, up in the sky!

 My 100 is glasses.  The name is Glassie.

My 100 s an elephant. and he is 9.  His name is Jack.

I make my 100 into a tractor.  It is named Petersen.

My100 is a man.  He has a beard and a mustache. And his eyes are big.
We start our day by making 100th Day hats!  Each student is given 10 strips that they can decorate with 10 things.  (Some years I give them a hundred board-- some years I just give them 10 strips.)
Then they are given the words "It's the 100th Day!" They have to decide what words they want to put on their hat :)
I printed the words "Days of Fun!" and then dye cut 100 and some cute little kids.  That became the backdrop-- super easy, super cheap and they kids LOVE it. Plus, it makes a really fun keepsake!

Some kids like to leave them straight.

Some kids like to make theirs all zig-zaggy! Either way, they are super fun!!
What fun things do you do for the 100th Day??
Happy Thursday!