Friday, September 30, 2011

M&M Patterns

As a part of our study of repeating and additive patterns, we had a little fun with M&Ms. The students first used paper M&Ms that I made. They made several color repeating patterns and used craft sticks to divide the repeating sections. We then said the letter labels for each pattern and discussed how they were the same or different. On the next day, the students used the paper M&Ms to create positional patterns. The students were a little stumped at first when I gave each group a set of single-colored M&Ms but they soon figured out that if they turned the M's different ways they could create positional patterns. And, of course, it is even more fun and tasty to create patterns with real M&Ms!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Each Peach Pear Plum

This week in reading we have been learning about Nursery Rhymes. Along with reading traditional nursery rhymes such as Hey Diddle Diddle and Humpty Dumpty, we have been reading books based off of Nursery Rhymes. One of the books we read was Each Peach Pear Plum. In this book, different characters from different nursery rhymes "spy" one another. The story lends itself well to retelling using a Flow Map. Using a foldable, the students wrote and illustrated the order of the characters in the story and who they "spied." They then glued them in order on sentence strips and practiced retelling the story in small groups.

Patterns, Patterns, and More Patterns!

This week we have been working on all types of patterns. The students created their own original patterns, created patterns based out of set letter patterns, and extended patterns based off of picture cards. They patterned with macaroni, color tiles, pattern blocks, and computer manipulatives. The students had to identify the pattern core of each pattern, how many times the pattern repeated, where the pattern repeated, and whether it was a repeating pattern or an additive pattern. Click below to see a slideshow of their pattern adventures.

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The Shape of Things

Last week we read The Shape of Things during our study of two-dimensional shapes. To help the students realize that shapes make up our world, they created pictures based off of either a circle or a square rectangle. They are amazing! Their pictures are currently on display in the hallway but will soon be put together as a class book for our class library.

Complete the Pattern

This week we have been working on identifying, creating, and extending repeating and additive patterns. To help them with this skill, you can have your child play this fun pattern game! The students identify what comes next in the color patterns. As your child plays, ask them what the pattern core is - the part that repeats. Also ask them to label the pattern verbally using letters.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Toothpick and Marshmallow Shapes

This post is an updated version of something I wrote earlier in the week. I must have been tired when I wrote it because I indicated that we used pretzels instead of toothpicks for our shape lesson - although that would have been a great idea as well! I'll have to remember it for next year. Although it was a minor detail, I thought I'd update:

To help the students recognize the number of vertices and sides each two-dimensional shape has, they created models of the shapes with toothpicks and marshmallows. The toothpicks help them visualize the sides and the marshmallows visualize the vertices. In case you wonder why the marshmallows look so strange, it is because the melted...but it was still fun!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shape Pets

Since we were studying about both pets and shapes last week, we decided to make shape pets. The students chose from a variety of shapes which they put together to make a shape pet. They then wrote about their pet using our writing program, Write From the Beginning. We are currently working on the Observational Comment Writing level so the students had a concrete object to write about. It was a fun way to combine art, math, and writing! Click below to see all of their shape pets.

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Pet Day - Short E

As we studied short /e/, the students were invited to bring in a picture of their pet. Each week we are trying to have a special phonics focus event on Friday to help the students have an engaging and personal connection the phonics sound. A few students did bring in their pictures but most of the class does not yet have a pet. So, we discussed what pets we would like to have. Below is a picture of one of the students sharing his pet picture.

Shapes All Around Us

As we studied 2D shapes, we created a class grid to compare and contrast the attributes of the shapes. The students are expected to know how many sides and vertices each shape has as well as identify how the shapes are the same and different. After comparing the shapes, the students worked in small groups to illustrate real-life objects that are the same shape as their assigned shape - either a triangle, circle, square, or square rectangle. Each group then presented their posters to the class and became the "experts" who reviewed the class on how many sides and vertices their specific shape had.

Shape Spotters

As a quick review of 2D shapes, we played a game of shape spotters. The students raced around the room finding various shapes to identify and point out. Click below to watch a short slideshow of some of their favorite shapes.

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Marley Goes to School

This year I have been blessed with an amazing student intern, Ms. Dix, from Dallas Baptist University. Ms. Dix visits and assists in our class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Last week our thematic unit was over pets and we are working on retelling stories including the beginning, middle, and end. Ms. Dix taught a very engaging lesson over the book Marley Goes to School by John Grogan. After reading the story to the students, she had three volunteers hold up sentence strips with the beginning, middle, and end prewritten on them. The students then had to decide in what order to put the sentence strips. The students then verbally retold the story. After verbally retelling, they went back to their seats to make a foldable on which they wrote the beginning, middle, and end of the story in their own words. Ms. Dix provided the sentence strips as extra support for the students. I wish I had pictures of the students at work but I was happily videoing the lesson for Ms. Dix. Below are a few pictures of their finished products. Great job to both the students and Ms. Dix on an awesome lesson!

Shape Sorting

To help students recognize the unique attributes of 2D shapes, they worked in small groups to sort various shapes in examples and non-examples. Sorting this way helps students justify why they made their sorting choices and teaches them to use content specific vocabulary to defend their choices. For example, as I walked around monitoring the students' sorting, the students would tell me that they knew which were triangles because it had three sides and three vertices and the other shapes (such as diamonds, rectangles, etc.) did not. We continued this process through several shape sorts.

Physical Properties

In science we have been learning about how to sort objects according to their physical properties: size, shape, color, and texture. We visited the science lab to first discuss safety rules and then practiced sorting according to properties. We read the book Officer Buckle and Gloria to help us brainstorm ways to stay safe in the science lab. The students then rotated through stations to sort. Watch the quick slideshow below to see different ways the students sorted their objects. The students used their knowledge to create properties Bubble Maps about various objects.

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