Sunday, September 21, 2014

It was an "Appeeling" Week!

Hello Everyone!!
We had a great week last week!  You could say it was quite  "Appeeling!!"  Many of our learning opportunities had an fun apple twist.  We were studying closed syllable short a words, with the word apple as a favorite.  We practiced skip counting with apple shapes.  We studied the citizenship of Johnny Appleseed.  We studied force and motion using apples.  On Friday, we made applesauce together!  Here are a few pics.

Skip counting by 5's starting at 4!

Wobbly apple roll

Applecopter launch! The one and only time
 I let them stand on their chairs!!

Studying force and motion with an Applecopter!!


Crock Pot Applesauce


Wearing a pot on our heads??? Yes!!

You can get most of the activities for the science and social studies if you would like.  Keep reading!!

Next we are working on magnets, and yes, I added a little apple twist to that as well.

 And one more quick share.  In writing we'll be working on when to use uppercase letters. Here's a quick little chant that was very effective last year.

PHEW!!!  Oh!  I almost forgot!  I told you I would share some amazing writing my kids have been doing. But this week was also filled with assessments, I station, Spelling Inventory, Accelerated Math Inventory, Writing Portfolio BOY entry, and DRA's. I am hopeful that this coming week will be a bit more "normal" and I can grab some shots of their amazing work.  I am very excited!!!  Till then, thanks for stopping by for a peek!! We appreciate your interest in what we've been up to!! Don't forget to leave a comment!!
Have a great week!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Falling For Force and Motion- Apple Style

Hello Everyone!
Just a quick share tonight!!  We are beginning our Science unit on Force and Motion this week.  Last year we were doing this unit a bit later in the year---around pumpkin time.  Many of the activities we did with push, pull, gravity, friction, etc were pumpkin related. Well, having Johnny Appleseed and citizenship on the front burner right now, I decided to rework the Force and Motion Unit to include some apple activities. 

Oh!! I've had a few e-mails and comments asking for the "Scientist" lab coat printable for kids' science journals.  The original came from my teammate's file from a few years ago. But I quickly created a similar one.

OK! That's it for now!! I'll be back later this week with some amazing writing my kids are doing!!!  Stay tuned!!
As always thank you for stopping by for a peek!! Don't forget to leave a comment!! We love reading them!!

Have a great week!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Skipping Into Fall!

Hello Everyone!!
Thanks for stopping by our little window on wonder!  This past week in math we worked hard on skip counting. Having kids understand what skip counting means, why we need to learn about it, and practice it, is an important math concept. Skip counting is counting numbers in groups or bundles. (For example, counting in bundles of two.)There are many examples of such counting in everyday life.
For example; The human body is the best example of skip counting. One person has two hands, two people have four hands and so on. The same is true with other parts of body such as arms, legs, eyes, ears and fingers.
Some more examples of skip counting may include bicycle wheels or car wheels can be used to introduce skip counting by 2's or 4’s.
* By learning skip counting kids start to realize the concept of place value and get ready to learn bigger numbers.
* Basic skip counting is actually times tables. For example, the skip counting by 2's is actually the 2 times table and similarly by learning skip counting by 3's, 4's and 5's, kids master these times tables.
* Skip counting can help kids count coins. The ability to count coins will come much easier to a student who has mastered skip counting already.
When they have a number of nickels, dimes and quarters kids can use skip counting to add these coins.
* By learning skip counting kids develop mental math skills to do simple arithmetic such as addition and subtraction.
* Even and odd numbers are skip counting by 2's so kids can explore bigger even or odd numbers by using skip counting by 2's.
A lot of kids come to first grade knowing how to "recite" counting by 10's, 5's, and 2's, but really don't understand what those numbers represent. So we strive to incorporate manipulating objects into groups and work on seeing the number patterns as they relate to other numbers. 
We used elements of our bodies to see skip counting in a natural way, and used our "bigger than life" 120 board.

We had fun counting by 2's with our eyes and then with our fingers! We created some fun little star shapes!

Making the star shapes led us to a conversation about our American flag. We "skip counted" the stripes and the stars. The timing of this was perfect because for Patriot Day (Sept 11) our entire student body, about 800 kids, created a living flag in honor of our patriotism.
 Our amazing school counselor organized this effort!  What an impact!!

This coming week we will work on skip counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's but starting at different numbers. Can't wait!!
Some of the activities mentioned above are from my skip counting unit.  If you downloaded it last year, I have added more to it, (the feet, hands and eyes, as well as extensions to the tub activities) so please download again.

Here are a few of the 34 pages of printables!

Hope this helps put a spin on your skip counting unit!!

2, 4, 6, 8! Who do I appreciate? YOU!!
 Thanks again for stopping by!! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Great week!

Hello Everyone!
We had a very busy 4 day week last week.  Why do I always try to cram 5 days of learning into 4 days? You would think I'd have learned my lesson by now!! PHEW!
 I think my littles are enjoying first grade so far, though!! I had one sweet mom say her little girl came home every day saying first grade was more fun than summer camp! Wow!!  I do like making learning fun, but I also want to teach responsibly by making sure each lesson sparks authentic and real individual learning.  I believe in a hands on and visual approach to learning with my kiddos. This has proven itself to me time and time again.  No student ever said, "Can I have another worksheet?" 
Here are a few things we worked on this week.
In math we worked hard on subitizing, composing and decomposing. I pulled out my bigger than life 10 frame board (made on a shower curtain liner) and made each lesson tactile and visual. 

The kids loved the superhero shields and badges I found at The Dollar Tree!

In Writing we started working with Story-boarding. We weren't able to make it all the way to publishing because of the short week, but we will certainly hit it this coming week!!  I have to say, if you have students who hesitate or have an aversion to writing, this is the approach to take.  In just four days I see my students gravitating towards their getting their ideas down on paper through their boards. By drawing their story first, they are already learning about the organization of writing and the importance of adding details.  I started off reading the book "Ish" by Peter Reynolds. (Thanks to my teammate for introducing this book to me!!)  This sweet books lets kids know that their drawings don't have to be perfect!!

I modeled a story with simple drawings and stick people.  I wrote a few words to help clarify.

Then modeled organization of board and writing

I can't wait for Monday to continue the process!!!
  Way to go Kids!!!

My Writing Unit explains the process and includes printables. CLICK HERE!!! :)

We also worked hard on learning about what a scientist is and what he/she does.  We can be scientists!!

Then we practiced our scientific observation skills by doing a fun Super Skittles Surprise Experiment!!

Look at the S floating up !!!

The Skittles science is in my Superhero unit! CLICK HERE!!

Tomorrow is our 10th day of school already!!  We are celebrating that very important number all day!!
Here's a peek!!


I know some of you have been having trouble downloading documents.  I have contacted Googledocs, and they are looking into it.  Please keep fiddling around and retry. You can always e-mail me and I can send you docs by e-mail!  No worries!!
Have a great week everyone!!! Let me know how things are going and if you can use any of these ideas!! Or if I need to change anything!! I appreciate you all!!