Saturday, April 18, 2015

Natural Resources

Hello Everyone!
Another quick share today.  I am working on 2 huge events that are consuming my extra time---but are both so worth while.  I'm on a hunt today for about a hundred old rusty horseshoes!!  Ha Ha!  I think I can! I think I can!! :)  Wish me luck!
I wanted to share an updated version of my Natural Resources unit.  I have added a section inspired by "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein, one of my all time favorite books to use this time of year.  I've also added 5 new math tub activities focused on comparing numbers up to 120, adding single digits to multiples of 10.   Here are a few pics.

A Reader's Theater for Kids

Unscramble the sentences

A written expression opportunity

A Mystery Picture Opportunity

Some math problem solving stories in mini book form.

3 different "Sunny Sums" games for math tubs

If You want it...CLICK HERE!! :)

These are a few of the 50 pages of print and go learning opportunities you'll get in this little pack!  I can't wait to get started!

Have an awesome weekend!! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

OUCH! A Study on ou and ow!

Hello Everyone!
Just a super quick share tonight!  We are coming up on the tricky word work study of the diphthongs ou and ow.  The exceptions to the common rule that ou (as in ouch) is usually found at the beginning or middle of a word and ow is found at the end of a syllable or word are numerous! I put together a mini unit to help kids practice. And OH!! Since it is poetry month, I've also included a way to integrate the word work with Shel Silverstein and a written expression, OUCH! Here are a few pics!

A fun word work game for a little extra practice!

Hope you can use it!!  Or even just parts of it!  thanks for stopping by!! I hope you're having a great week!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Thinking Outside The Box

Hello Everyone!
I hope you are having a great weekend! We got to go to the Texas Rangers Opening Weekend game last night and had a blast!  What a great game!!  It really got me thinking about the talents of some of the players and I was wondering how they did in school.  I do know that my family's all time fav baseball player is pitcher, Nolan Ryan. What you may not know is that Nolan Ryan is dyslexic.  When you think about it, dyslexia did not get in the way of his dreams.  Someone, somewhere along the way, nurtured his talent and with hard work and dedication he was able to overcome his learning difference to become one of the best pitchers the world has ever seen.  
As a teacher of young learners, I have a passion for trying to reach ever kind of learner. We all have learners who process information differently. One way to nurture those differences is through fostering their creative energy.  I get  tons of e-mail questions about how I fit in all the opportunities for creative expression that I show on this blog.  In all honesty, sometimes it is a challenge, but I think it is important to strike a balance and give those kids who shine best through creative expression a fair chance to do so.  I have posted about my morning routine before and the fact that every Thursday's morning work is a "Think Outside the Box" opportunity.  This is one way to add a tiny bit of self expression and creativity into your students' day.  I simply give the kids a page with a random figure on it and give them the chance to create anything they want. They can turn their paper any direction they want.  I encourage them to try to think of something no one else would think of.  I also encourage them to use their whole space, and then write about their creation on the back.  This week, because we are studying landforms, I gave them a page with a little island on it.  I want to show you this example of what can happen when you open the door to creative thinking and let the different processes flow

This little creative artist turned her paper upside down and went to town!
Her little creation is simple, and yet very expressive. What I also want to share with you is that this little artist is dyslexic! I fell in love with her creation and loved it even more when I flipped it over and read the back! Her written expression is even more revealing!! I believe this little chick will fly and so will this little first grader!!!

So, if you think you don't have time to do anything creative with your little ones, you can start with one little fifteen minute opportunity once a week.  I promise you will be amazed at how some of your little ones will absolutely shine during this time.  Hands, to Head, to Heart! And Heart, to Head, to Hands!!   It's that proverbial win, win, win!!!

Providing opportunity to use and nurture the different thinking processes is foundational  to some of our students' success.  Sometimes we have to think outside the box!! Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April Adverb Adventure

Hello Everyone!
I hope you are all having a good week so far!  This week in writing along with "showing, not telling," we are also working on adding adverbs to make our good writing even better! I had the kids close their eyes and I gave them the sentence, "The fish swam." Then they had to describe the picture they had in their head. All the pictures were different!  Then I gave them the sentence,
 "The mama fish swam quickly upstream after laying her eggs." (We are studying the life cycle of fish this week!) The kids described their visualization and were so much closer in what they "saw." Adverbs are a way to revise writing to make our stories more clear for our readers! We want to make our good writing even better!
 We brainstormed three different kinds of simple adverbs. 

Then the kids got busy creating and building their own sentences full of adverbs.  A quote from one of my little cuties, "I just love doing this! I can't wait to use adverbs in my draft book writing!" 

They were so proud of their 15+ word sentences!!
  I was too!!!

I did create a little unit (of course) just to keep me organized and on track. Here are a few pics.

Unit includes nouns, verbs and adverbs. The kids know how to add adjectives. 

OK! Gotta run!! Working on some decor for our school's 10 year birthday party!! It's going to be spectacular!!
Have a great rest of the week!!
Don't be shy! Leave a comment!  Your words make me want to be better!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

More Eggs and Showing, not Telling!!

Hello Everyone!
I hope you had a glorious Easter weekend! I got to enjoy it with my mom and my hubby! Sure do miss my boys especially on days like today! 
In class this week we were able to continue our study of the life cycles of perfect for using eggs in lots of different learning opportunities! And I got to break out a new life sized shower curtain 120 board! But this one is a bit different. After reading "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman, we put together a challenging little math game focusing on comparing and ordering numbers. On the 120 board I used base 10 figures, units, rods, and flats. The kids were so surprised when I pulled it out! I wanted to be sure they kept in mind that numbers stand for amounts...not just a symbol to memorize. I put some addition and subtraction sentences into plastic eggs and gave one to each kiddo.  The sums to the number sentences were clues that made a path from baby bird to mother. 

You can use the base 10 120 board for so many different things!!!  Let me know your ideas!!

I also wanted to show you one more little bit of artistic fun we had on Friday. Have you read the book, "The Easter Egg Farm?" I checked it out from the library on a whim. It definitely shows the life cycle of chickens, but with a twist!

The farmer's chicken Pauline lays eggs that look like what she is looking at when she lays them!
It plays out as a story with a good lesson about being unique!
The kids got busy painting an egg in a way that shows something they were looking at.  I love how they turned out! 

This coming week we will be seeing things in our minds eye with the power of our words. We will be working on "Showing, Not Telling!" in writing.  I am excited about helping kids use their words to show an idea! I put this little unit together with the inspiration of Lucy Calkins in mind.  

CLICK HERE for the file!! :) Yes! It's free!

Phew!  It took me forever to get this post out! Something is up with either chrome or my google docs.  Not sure... Anyway...thanks for your patience!! I hope you have the best week yet!! Don't forget to leave a comment!!  I appreciate you!