Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Very Noisy Night

We read The Very Busy Day and The Very Noisy Night by Diana Hendry and used a venn diagram to compare the two stories. We focused specifically on the comparisons related to day and night. Then we made a mouse craft because the characters in the book are mice. You can get the pattern and instructions for making the mouse here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Big Red Barn: Day and Night

We read Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. Then we compared what the animals on the farm did during the day to what the animals did at night. We illustrated the animals during the day and night.

This is my favorite picture because the little girl who drew it made a blanket for her horse. This was not anything we talked about. She just thought of it on her own. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day and Night

We started learning about day and night last week. Here are a few things we have done so far.

My students decided which time of day they liked best- day or night. Then they drew a picture of something they liked to do during that time. Finally we used the pictures to create a class graph. When each student placed their picture on the graph I had them tell which time of day they liked best and explain why.

We created a circle map of objects in the sky. I did not have my students label their pictures because this was a science lesson and we did not have a lot of time. If time had permitted I would have had them label them. 

We talked about different types of careers and jobs and whether they were jobs worked during the day time or the night time or both. We created a venn diagram to show our comparisons. You can find the pictures for the venn here

Friday, January 25, 2013

Morning Work

This year I have done something a little different for morning work. I wanted my students to have more time during the day to practice their drawing and writing skills so I have them writing every morning as soon as they come in.

Here is what I am doing that is different than what I have done in the past. Each morning I give them one or two specific word wall words I want them to include in their sentence. I never give them a prompt or starter for their morning work writing. All I give them is one of two word wall words. For example, this morning I asked my students to write a sentence using the words "look" and " "my". I know this seems like what you do when you give them a prompt with basic word wall words, but I have seen a much different result by doing it this way.

What I have noticed is that I am getting more variety in the sentences my students are writing because they are not used to prompts  and because they think of something different each morning to write about. Some of the words on the word wall are ones that students would never use unless asked to so. Even if a student wants to write about the same subject they wrote about the day before they have to find a different way to phrase the sentence because of the new words for the day.

I am also using this time to confer with students briefly about their drawings and to grow them in this area too. I use manila paper and drawing paper during this time because I think I get a better product than I do when I use a spiral notebook.

My students seem to write better sentences and use better phonetic spelling during this time than they do when I give them a specific topic to write about. For time sake I stick to one sentence for morning work. I use my ELA block to work on specific writing skills and writing multiple sentences.

Here are a few examples...

This dog is for me.

I like to go at a zoo with my mom. 

I love you mom. I like to run at Sally Moore. 

I went to Chuckee Cheese. 

I like to play with my sister at grandma's home. 

She is my friend. 

I like you Xavier. 

Me and my mom go to the park and see a rainbow. 

I like to play with my airplane and my bike. 

At Christmas I like to play with my toys that Santa gave me. 

We like to play basketball in the gym. 

More on Procedural Texts

As part of our study of procedural texts we looked at books that teach you how to draw. Ed Emberley is one of my favorites for this.

Barker Creek's Draw-Write-Now series is great too. We used the Animals of the World Part 2 book today during our lesson. I especially like the wide variety of subjects covered in the Draw-Write-Now set. There are books that show how to draw all kinds of animals, holidays and celebrations, important historical figures, geographical locations, and American symbols. 

We explored a variety of procedural texts on drawing. Then we followed the directions in the Draw-Write-Now Book for the lion. When we were finished drawing our pictures we wrote our own procedural text for what we did. 

My Favorite Snowmen at Night

These are my two favorite responses that my students did for Snowmen at Night. 

If my snowman could stay all year she would have a tea party with me.

If my snowman could stay all year he would go to the beach with me. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Droopy Snowmen

We read Snowmen and Night and made snowmen. This year I had my kids make their snowmen droopy like the one in the book. This was the first time we did this. The kids had fun with it.

My snowman goes sledding at night. 

My snowman can run fast at night. 

My snowman can play with another snowman at night. 

Procedural Texts and Writing

This week we are talking about procedural texts. Today we looked at cookbooks and talked about recipes. Then we used a recipe to make fruit salad. After my students made their fruit salads they wrote their own procedural texts to show what they did.

My kids were having trouble writing more than one sentence without adding the word "and" over and over and  placing periods in the wrong places so I started having them write multiple sentences on a topic in different boxes. That is why I divided their writing paper into three sections today. Once they get better at writing multiple sentences on the same topic I will have them put them all in one paragraph or on one page.

Get the fruit. Stir the fruit. Eat the fruit.

Put the fruit in the cup. Stir the fruit. Eat the fruit. 

I'm making fruit salad. I am stirring. I am eating. 

I get the fruit for my fruit salad. I stir the fruit. I love fruit salad. I can eat fruit salad. 

Put in the fruit. I stir my fruit. I eat my fruit. 

These examples came from a teammate of mine. She was working with her kids on telling a story. She started them off with the first picture and sentence about seeing a dog. Then they made up their own story and filled in the next two boxes themselves. 

I see a dog. I play with the dog. I go home. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Potato Chip Champ Book Winner

Thanks to all of you who entered Maria's Potato Chip Champ book giveaway. The lucky winner of an autographed copy of Maria's new book is Megan Horman!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bear in Underwear

My good friend Shelly shared this idea with me. It is based on the book Bear in Underwear by Todd H. Doodler. You can download the pattern for the bear and the underwear here. For the eyes, have students clip corners and round to make circles out of 1 1/2 X 1 1/2 in squares. Then color black circles in the center before gluing the eyes on.

MLK Paintings

We painted these MLK faces today. I made an example for my students to look at and then had them work in small groups to paint the faces. I gave them a large brown sheet of construction paper and had them start by drawing a large circle. Then they worked on their own from there. After they dried we cut them out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Potato Chip Champ Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Throughout the last year I made several posts about my blogging friend and author Maria Dismondy. Her Make a Difference Monday posts have been great for teaching my students lessons in character and her books Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, The Juice Box Bully, and Pink Tiara Cookies for Three are a few of my student's favorite books.


A little about Maria...
Maria Dismondy has written four children's books. She is passionate about spreading her message through her books. Her messages empower children to be courageous, stand up for others and to be themselves. Each book has a free Reader's Guide that can be downloaded from her website. Want to have Maria visit your school? Check out the information on her website about school assemblies and virtual visits for schools outside of Michigan. 

Maria is currently out on a virtual book tour promoting her latest book The Potato Chip Champ. Like all of her other books, The Potato Chip Champ doesn't disappoint. It is perfect for teaching young children the true meaning of friendship, empathy, kindness, and compassion. The characters are easy for young children to relate to and the free downloadable reader's guide contains over 40 pages of ways to use the book across   the curriculum.

Maria has graciously agreed to give away an autographed copy of her new book to one lucky blog follower. Entering the giveaway is simple. For every requirement you meet below leave a comment saying you did so with your name and email address.

Watch The Potato Chip Champ Trailer

1) Follow Maria on Twitter
2) Follow Maria on Facebook
3) Follow Maria on her blog Be the Difference

You can learn more about Maria on her website and purchase copies of her books here.

The giveaway ends at midnight Sunday night January 20th. Good luck to all of you and thanks Maria for sharing your wonderful book with us!