Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for FRIDAY!!!

Hi-ya, peeps!  It’s that time again! I’m linking up with Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for another fab Five for Friday! It’s been one long, busy….{cray, cray} kind of week!

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We had lots of hands on fun with area this week in math.
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We used a variety of die cuts to make simple comparisons of things that covered more or less area. After a great discussion of what area meant, we wrote a simple definition, then glued a choice of die cuts to the middle of the paper. Students then got to roam the room to find examples of items that covered either less area or more area than their die cut. If they could put the item on top of it and it disappeared….well, it covered more! If they could put the item on top of it and still see the blue color of the die cut, then it covered less. Simple…straight to the point, but fun!

And yes, I was just a tad disturbed to know that hair was used to make a comparison, lol! For the next day’s lesson, we kept all of our strands firmly attached to our heads!

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This one was a less hair raising experience. Art-ish + Math = FUN! Students used tiles to create a design that they then had to reproduce on paper. SO….not as easy as it sounds, but they enjoyed it. After creating their design on paper, they counted the number of squares they used and roamed the room to find one friend who covered less area than they did and one friend that covered more.

Did I sneak in a little writing with this activity?  Why yes, I did! Sneaky teacher strikes again…..they had to write their findings in complete sentences. Score…..for the sneaky teacher practicing use of punctuation too! =)

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Our class seemed really quiet this week without the chirps from our sweet, little peeps! After waiting impatiently for 21 days to meet them and the excitement of watching them hatch, we really missed them this week! We did get an update on them though, and they’re all doing fine with their new family. They actually got to be reunited with their mom and dad!

Now, don’t flinch too much when I tell you how we used what learned about them in science as we discussed the interdependence of animals and plants….you might be able to guess where we went with it by looking at the pic below!

{GASP…….I KNOW…..sorry!!!}

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My students will never look at a chicken nugget or a chicken wing in quite the same way!

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These beautiful painted ladies didn’t chirp, but they did cause quite a stir as they emerged from each chrysalis, one by one throughout the day. It was so awesome that it happened while we were in school, BUT did we actually get to witness it…..NOPE….not a one?! Those little suckers were quick! Every time we blinked another had …..POPPED….right out!

Soooo, that was our highlight reel for the week! Head over to Doodlebug’s to see what else everyone has been up to and don’t forget to link up!

Just a few short weeks left, but whose counting?! {wink, wink} Have a great weekend! =)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chicks, caterpillars, plants…oh, my!!!

Hi, Friends! How are ya?

What a day! There is a LOT growing on in our room and we wouldn’t have it any other way! We started the day with one little chick hatched out of its egg….one very feisty little chick….

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…affectionately named, Mr. T! After he made his debut, he was not content to be on his own, so he spent the better part of the morning waking up his peeps and calling them out of their shells!  Next came Blaze and then…….a whole heap of peeps! By the end of the day, we had 6 live chicks and a classroom full of friends that couldn’t pull themselves away from the incubator!

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Blaze got his nickname because he hatched in a flash! Once he made up his mind it was time to hatch, he was out of there FAST! Our school is not only generous enough to provide all the supplies we need to hatch eggs each spring, but also has a live feed set up online for all classrooms to observe. Kids from all over the school were excited and jumping up and down to inform their teachers that an egg had hatched right before their very eyes! Can you say, thrilled?!
 
What an understatement! We had a blast…..ALL.DAY.LONG!
 
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To say the very least, we’re really GROWING in first grade! Growing chicks, growing tiny caterpillars into big fat ones, growing plants, and growing firsties who are benefiting from all that’s going on around them! After meeting the first chick, my students quickly noticed that our caterpillars are heading north signaling time for a change! Will tomorrow morning bring a chrysalis too?

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Praise the Lord! We’ve also got sprouts! I’m so happy for my kiddos to see something, anything grow out of these cups! 

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With all that was going on around us with the chicks, there was no need to fight for the kid’s attention. We turned our focus to the chicks by observing them on the live feed for most of the day. After recess, we completed a little directed drawing and writing to record our observations.

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After school, the REAL fun began, lol! We had lots of sweet friends come by to meet the chicks and help them along their hatching journey. Getting out of that egg must’ve been a lot of work! After a long hard day of breaking shells, drying, fluffing and meeting new friends, our little peeps ended the day cuddled up to take nap!

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How sweet!

Friday, April 12, 2013

FIVE for Friday~SOOOOO Random

Hi~ya, Friends! This week has been a busy one! We spent a huge chunk of the week completing our end of year {only 6 more weeks} reading inventories, so the camera didn’t leave the case much. This Five for Friday is a mix of randomness that I haven’t shared before.

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We created these little cuties as we were preparing for our spring Open House and will be using this painting technique again in the coming week as we connect with my FAVORITE story of the year…………….The Dot. =)

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As of today, our little chicks are on day 20 of 21….we’ve got our fingers crossed that they’ll wait until we get back to school on Monday to start crackin’ out of those shells. We used a few nonfiction texts and video clips this week to learn about the chick’s life cycle and to prepare ourselves for what we’ll see as they emerge. EX.Ci.ted!!!!

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My firsties are the sweetest! I just love them! Check out the cute note one of them left me on the back of his work today. Awwwwww…*LOVE*…..A+ for HIM!!! =)

Slide5 I love you, Ms. Dwyer. Thank you for your kindness.
 
Annnnd, what better way to end the week than to come home to new shoes in your mailbox? =)
 
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Have a great weekend! See ya next Friday!

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It’s beginning to look a lot like SPRING!

Hi~ya, friends! It’s beginning to look a lot like spring has sprung in our classroom! I absolutely love all the fun science that spring brings! One of the reasons I love it is because its so easy to make connections across different subjects.
 
This week, we’ve begun studying plants and used it to explore differentiating between facts and opinions too.  After reading a nonfiction text {pictured} about the largest plant of all, we read and sorted facts and opinions.

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We’re also completing our yearly reading inventories, so the whole group sort trickled over into an independent project to keep my firsties busy while I listened to students read one at a time. They referenced the chart in order to write the examples of facts and opinions and then illustrated the parts of a tree using torn construction paper. Can you say, time intensive, lol? Just what the doctor ordered for a lonnnnnnnng, quiet session and a happily testing teacher in the corner {wink, wink}!

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Yesterday, reading….today, math. We got this chart idea from the fab Cara Caroll and used her freebie to interpret the data from our chart. It started out as a picture graph, but took a bit of a turn when most of the class chose the same type of plant! Ha! Can you tell that we’re not a group that eats our veggies! Yuck!
 
Looking at this…kinda makes it look like a have huge class too! How many firsties are in your bunch? I love my 22!

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You can’t learn about plants without trying to grow a few….emphasis on the word TRY! Please take a moment to include our little plants in your prayers. This teacher has no signs of a green thumb AT.ALL and is calling on divine intervention to help these littles grow! (PL-UEEESE!!!=)

Our chicks are on day 18 and the excitement is mounting! ANNNNND last but not least, on one of the coldest days of April so far, look what came in the mail….

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……YAY!!! They look a little still here, but after having a little time to warm up they’re climbing and crawling all over the place. Can’t wait to introduce them to the kiddos in the morning! So, we’ve got plants, chicks, and now….caterpillars!

What else can we grow, lol? What do you enjoy growing in your classroom this time of year? Have a great rest of the week!


Friday, April 5, 2013

FIVE FOR FRIDAY~HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!


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Math problems, that is! TGIF, Friends! How are ya? It’s been a lonnnnnng week, but we managed to wrap it up well!

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We spent this week focused on using strategies to solve story problems. It was a fun way to incorporate reading and a mixed review of skills we’ve previously learned in math. 

The first one we focused on was using a picture to solve a problem.

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Then, we added equations or number sentences….

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….and used props to act out solutions.  One of the little things my kids always love about solving story problems is finding their name or the name of a classmate in one, so I work to incorporate their names as often as possible.  It’s always the little things that hook them in and get them learning!

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Story problems can be a bit of a challenge, so we tend to work together to solve them. After one of the week’s whole group lessons, students got to choose partners to solve big kid, real-world problems!  Each pair was provided a problem to read, mark, and solve.

The goal of the week was to really in grain looking for important information and identifying what we’re looking for to solve the problem……INSTEAD of trying to just rush in and guess an answer.

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We also had a blast with vowel teams/diphthongs this week! We had two guests in our room today that both left with a severe case of the giggles after watching us play an exciting game to brainstorm words for each vowel pattern.

We’ll continue to work with both of these skills next week….and the fun continues! Have a great weekend, friends! =)

 

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