Sunday, October 20, 2013
Fellow teachers, I just created a new place value download, Place Value Depiction to 120, for my Teachers Pay Teachers store. These printable posters allow students to depict numbers through pictorial models, expanded notation, written form, and on a tens/ones chart. Students can compare numbers using the various number depictions. The posters can be completed individually or in small groups to reinforce place value skills. The posters can be bound together as a book once completed to use as review. The posters can also be used to assess students' understanding of the place value concept.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Our district emphasizes acts of kindness among the students and staff through Rachel's Challenge. Rachel's Challenge was started by the family of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine shooting. As a part of their challenge, students recognize acts of kindness by recording them on paper chains. The paper chains are all linked together. Our district recently had a Rachel's Challenge Rally where all schools brought their chains. The football field was full of chains. It was a sight to see!
The students recorded their weekly poem "My Dog, Tag" on the class IPad. We learned this poem to practice the sounds for short /a/ and short /o/. Each week in addition to reading the poems for fluency, we highlight the phonics features we are working on. Recording the poems lets the students hear themselves and lets them know what areas to work on for oral fluency. You can listen to their recording here.
Click here to listen to the students read one of their weekly poems "My Cat." The students learned this poem as we studied the sound for short /a/. Our weekly poems are typically tied to our weekly phonics focus.
To listen to the students reading one of their weekly poems, "I Like Jam", click here. They love recording their poems each week and listening to themselves. They often rerecord because they want to get better. This helps them understand that fluency, or reading like we talk, is important.
Each week the students learn one or two new poems. The poems are typically based on our phonics focus of the week. At the end of the week, the students record themselves reading. Knowing that they have an audience sets a purpose for their reading and encourages them to be more fluent. To listen to them read "Friends" click here.
We read Lisa's Daddy and Daughter Day to practice making predictions and retelling a story. Before reading, we took a picture walk and charted the students' predictions. After reading, we checked off the predictions that were true and wrote down the text evidence that supported the prediction. We then retold the story on a Flow Map. The students individually created a foldable to retell the beginning, middle, and end in their own words.
In reading we have been learning about author's purpose. We have been sorting books into fiction and non-fiction categories, or entertainment and informational categories. After sorting real books for several days, the students worked in small groups to sort pictures of books from a Scholastic Book Fair brochure. They cut out the pictures and glued them onto a construction paper t-chart. This was a quick and engaging way to assess their understanding of the concept.
During science the students have been experimenting with changes caused by heat. They observed what happens to ice and crayons when exposed to heat. They also brainstormed other objects that change when heated. They then chose one thing to illustrate before and after being exposed to heat.
In science we have been studying about various sources of sound and light. We recently went to the school garden to experiment with various sources. The students listened for natural and artificial sounds and light and recorded them on construction paper. They then illustrated at least one example of each.
We spent a few days reviewing and practicing skip counting from Kinder. The students each colored a pair of socks and added it to a clothesline. As a class, we practiced counting them by two. We then did the same thing with handprints and practiced counting them by fives. We discussed which one was faster (counting by fives) because five is a larger number than two. This led to a discussion that counting by tens in place value in faster because ten is a larger number. Fellow teachers, in my class I have a number line in our whole group area. I use garage sale dot stickers of various colors to mark where skip counting patterns. For example, the multiples of 5 all have a pink sticker and the multiples of 10 all have a yellow sticker. We practice counting these at transition times and as we have a spare moment here and there.
The students are learning to use Thinking Maps to help organize our thoughts into writing. In this lesson the students wrote words to describe a teddy bear on a Circle Map. They then transferred those words onto a Tree Map. The Tree Map helps the students understand that every sentence must include a noun and a verb. The Tree Map was used to help the students write their sentences. Every week I work with the students to edit their work one-on-one during guided writing. As we read their sentences together, I ask questions such as "What should go at the beginning of the sentence?" and "What should go at the end?" We correct the work together and the they write a final draft of their writing.
For Constitution Day, we used the website www.pebblego.com to learn about the history of the constitution. We then created a Double Bubble Map together to compare The Constitution to our class Social Contract. The Social Contract is a part of our discipline plan through the Capturing Kids' Hearts process. We discussed that The Constitution gives us freedom and rights. The students then wrote at least one thing that freedom means to them.
In science the students learned about various physical properties. They explored various objects and described them on a graphic organizer based on their color, texture, shape, and size. To further explore the concept, the students glued down various objects onto handprint template to feel various texture.
As a part of our study of shapes, the students made shapes on geoboards. We discussed that even if shapes a different sizes, their attributes remain the same. As they made the various triangle, square, and square rectangle shapes, they counted the number of sides and vertices. They also drew pictures of their shapes on a geoboard recording sheet.
To practice retelling a story in order, our class and Mrs. Francis' class went on a "bear hunt." We went outside to the garden and read "We're Going on a Bear Hunt." After reading, we learned motions to go along with the story and acted out retelling the story.
To reinforce the concept of graphing, I came up with this quick yet fun assessment. The students were each given various number of dot stickers (the kind you use for garage sales). They placed the gumballs on their gumball machine template. They then had to count the number of gumballs for each color and record their findings on a table. Using the data on the table, they created a bar-type graph. On the bar-type graph, they had to label the title, the numbers, and the answer choices. They also had to answer questions based on the results of their graph. Fellow teachers, you can download this lesson my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I forgot to take a picture of their completed products but they turned out great!