Saturday, October 20, 2012
Below is our class poster for Red Ribbon Week. The bat with their names was created using Tagxedo and our poster maker. Using our Promethean Board, I taught the students how to draw a bat one step at a time. The students added their bats to the poster. As they worked on their bats we talked about the word "batty" and how it can mean "crazy." We discussed, in basic first grade terms, that it is important to stay away from drugs because they can drive you "batty."
Using our writing program, Write From the Beginning, the students wrote to describe apples. They brainstormed descriptive words on a Circle Map, transferred them to a Tree Map, and then used the Tree Map to write sentences.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Using our writing program, Write From the Beginning, the students wrote to describe a bat. They brainstormed their ideas on a Circle Map and then transferred those ideas to a Tree Map in logical order. The Tree Map was then used to write sentences. After editing and writing a final draft, we had a lesson on how to draw a bat. The students had to listen and follow multi-step directions in order to complete the drawing and I think they did a fantastic job.
The students practiced creating additive patterns with pattern blocks. After creating several, they chose their favorite to recreate on a sentence strip with paper pattern blocks. I am so thankful to have parent volunteers who cut out all of the paper pattern blocks we needed for our pattern lessons.
To reinforce repeating patterns and additive patterns, the students worked in cooperative groups to create patterns with paper M&M manipulatives. They used popsicle sticks to divide the repeating parts. After creating their patterns the students went on a gallery walk to practice labeling the patterns with letters. Next I gave the students only one color of M&M manipulatives. I asked them again to create a pattern. Previous students have been stumped by this challenge but not this group. They immediatley knew that they had to make positional patterns. I attribute this to the amazing quality of teaching we have in our Kindergarten. And, the kids are smart! Some of the groups chose to keep the patterns in a row but turning the M to various positions while other groups chose to move the M&Ms up and down to create a pattern. And of course, hard work deserves a reward. So, the students had the opportunity to build a variety of patterns with real M&Ms and then eat them.
Using our writing program, Write From the Beginning, the students wrote to describe pumpkins. They first created a Circle Map followed by a Tree Map to describe what a pumpkin has, looks like, and what it can do. Each Thursday we have Guided Writing instead of Guided Reading. The students work on their writing Monday through Wednesday and on Thursday they bring it to me for editing. I work with the students to edit their work by asking them questions such as "What goes at the beginning of a sentence?" or "What goes at the end of a complete sentence?" We also discuss strategies of sounding out words to spell unknown words. After we edit together, the students rewrite their sentences for a final draft. The students wrote their final draft this time on pumpkin paper and colored it.
The students used paper pattern blocks to create repeating patterns using pattern cards written in letter form. They glued the pattern blocks and letter cards on construction paper. The pattern posters are currently on display in our hallway but will soon be bound into a book. The students will be able to use the book to recreate patterns and practice identifying the pattern core. It is amazing to see how many different patterns they were able to create using the same basic letter cards.
We recently read The Shape of Things to review shapes. After reading, the students were given a 2D shape and asked to turn that shape into a picture, like the examples in the book. The students then wrote sentences (with my help on the typing) about their pictures following the format of the book. Their work will be bound together as a classroom book. The students love reading what their friends write.
We have been studying Author's Purpose through a variety of texts. To assess the students' understanding, they worked in groups to sort pictures of books on a t-chart. The pictures of books came from Scholastic Book Club mail outs. The students could cut out as many books as they wanted to sort.
As a part of our story of fairy tales and recurring phrases we read Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. After reading, the students compared and contrasted the two stories and we charted their comparisons on a Double Bubble Map.
As a way to assess the students' understanding of graphing, they each created a gumball machine using dot stickers for the gumballs. Each student was given a different amount of stickers and they had to count, tally, and chart how many of each color gumball that was in their machine. They then graphed their totals on a bar-type graph and answered questions about their data.
In reading we are working on retelling stories including the beginning, middle, and end. We recently read Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. As a group we summarized and charted what happened in the story. The students then created a three flap foldable to illustrate and write to retell the story.