Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Read Between the Lines

Hello Everyone!
I am quickly sharing a mini unit on Inferencing...or as we like to call it, "Reading Between the Lines!"
Teaching young readers to infer before, during, and after reading can be tricky. By helping them make connections to their already present schema, asking questions, reading between the lines, looking for clues, etc., kids can be aware of the power of inferring.
Some simplified ideas for teaching inference include the following:
*We need to find clues to get some answers.
*We need to add those clues to what we already know or have read.
*There can be more than one correct answer.
*We need to be able to support inferences.
It is suggested that teachers pose four questions to students to help young readers discuss  inferences.
What is my inference?
This question helps students become aware that they may have just made an inference by filling in information that wasn’t necessarily in the text.
What information did I use to make this inference?
It's important for students to understand the various types of information they use to make inferences. This may include information from the text, or it may be schema, background knowledge, that a student brings to the text, or some other source.
How good was my thinking?
It has been suggested that once students have decided on where the answers to their questions come from (inferences), they can engage in the most powerful part of the process.
 Do I need to change my thinking?
The final step in the process is for kids to think about the fact that their thinking changes, and to be aware of that. 
We have to remember that we shouldn’t tell students their thinking is wrong, but rather to help them develop the habit of continually changing their thinking as they gather new information. Think about thinking! :)

Here are a couple of posters I quickly made to give my kids a visual of what it means to infer. 

 Practice inferring by writing a short mini story. Have kids come up with an inference!  Of course have kids get the idea by wearing slatted shades.  They will really be "reading between the lines!!

Can you believe this little guy wore this shirt today????  Perfect!!!

I know this has helped my kids think about their thinking!!I have this little unit which includes some pencil paper activities as well as the posters. 

Well, thanks for stopping by for a peek through this little window.  It has already been a crazy busy month already!  But I'll be back soon!  As always, don't forget to leave a little comment! 
Have a great rest of the week!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sweet Valentine Fun

Hello Everyone!
I quickly wanted to share a little sweet fun for you to share with your littles for Valentines (or Friendship) Day. The Spangler Candy Company has those great little gems, Dum Dums, for just this kind of sharing.  I have created a couple of things in the past using Dum Dums, and I couldn't let Valentines Day go without including them!! Here's a little friendship card for you to print and give.

I also wanted to share my math tubs for next week.  We are working on addition and subtraction to 20. This little unit includes 7 tub activities (29 pages) to help kids realize their potential in this area!! All tubs are Valentine themed with lots of hands on sweet fun!

Well, that was short and sweet.  I've got to put the finishing touches on our 100th day festivities!! Can't wait!!!  Hope you're having a great week! Talk to you soon!!!


Saturday, January 30, 2016

100th Day!!! It's Almost Here!!

Hello Everyone!!
Yes! The 100th Day of School is almost here! For us it will take place on Thursday!!!  The kids always look forward to our 100th day!!  We count up to it and down from it from our first day of school.  100 is such a landmark number, we put a lot of time and effort into exploring all we can about it.  We work in our classrooms and as an entire school. I have posted before about our balloon launch with tags attached as a way of tracking geographically.  Such an amazing thing for the kids to experience. I am posting my 100th day of School unit again because I've added a couple of things to it. If you downloaded it last year or the the year before, please do it again!  The unit includes a week's worth of number exploration, literature, creative arts, and so much more! There is a fun math activity based on the book "100 Snowmen" that my kids were amazed with last year!  I can't wait to do it again!! 

The unit is now almost 70 pages of 100th day fun learning fun!

100th Day!  It's Almost Here!!  Hooray!!!

I'll post some pics later!!  Have a great rest of the weekend!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Interdependency Terrariums and The Cactus Hotel

Hello Everyone!
I have a few minutes while waiting for some yummy veggie pizza to bake in the oven, so I thought I'd share a bit about what we've been doing in science.  We finished our unit on living and nonliving, and jumped right into a closely related topic, Interdependency.  The kids have had fun just learning how to say that word...and of course relating it to living things.We learned the def.- the relationship between two or more things- where each one benefits from the other. Last week we learned what plants need to survive and what we and other living things get from plants, so of course we had to make our terrarium!!  So much fun.  We are in the process of watching what happens and recording our observations.

This week we concentrated on a wonderful book which shows great examples of interdependency. Cactus Hotel by Brenda Guiberson.
 You have to get this book if you want kids to be amazed at how things depend on each other. Another great book to share during this unit is Desert Giant by Barbara Bash, an expository text which reads like a narrative!  

While reading the Cactus Hotel, we kept track of the dependency details on our anchor chart.

We will then create a little book to organize and share our thinking.

Want this little unit?
If you downloaded this from me last year, you will find that I've added a little extra science activity that has to do with cacti. Quick, inexpensive, and effective! :)

I love when we can add a "hand to head to heart" learning experience to every part of our curriculum!! 

OOPS! There goes my oven timer!! People depend on plants too!!
Have a good night!! I'll be back soon to tell you about our 100th day celebration, some fun winter activities, mentor sentences, some amazing opinion writing and so much more!!!! Stop by again soon!! Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Doctor is in!

Hello Everyone!
I hope your week is going well! We have had an awesome week so far!! A ton of "hand to head to heart" activities!  One that I know will stick with the kids is our "Word Surgery" opportunity.  I could have chosen to introduce contractions with a worksheet, a matching activity, just telling my little learners about them, or showing them some contractions in a story, but I knew that the engagement wouldn't be the same.  I have posted about this surgery activity the last five+ years, and every year I watch kids absolutely embrace their new roles as doctors. As we got started, we practiced reading the two words chosen to "be the patient" (become a contraction) and then really listened to the shorter way to say those two words. (the contraction).  We listened for the letters we no longer heard in the  new word and "performed surgery" (cut them out). Then we stitched the new word together. (created the contraction)(bandaids!)
Of course to make the learning opportunity more authentic, the kids donned gloves and a mask! Oh! Of course we needed an official Dr. name badge!! :)

Here are some pics of the Word Surgery printable unit.  It includes some hands on activities for contractions, compound words, and creating interesting sentences.

The little unit ended up to be about 44 pages of surgical fun!
I hope you can find some time to try it!! 
Gotta Run! I've got some work to do on our Multicultural Night!!  Can't wait!!
Till next time, have a great rest of the week!!  I'll talk to you soon!