Saturday, March 12, 2016
Before teaching Visual Arts, I taught First Grade. With that background, I believe that "Word Walls" are a good reference for students when learning new content related vocabulary words. In one of our Art Based Learning Stations, students "Read, Write, and Sketch" the art room including the Visual Arts Word Wall (located on our cabinets due to lack of wall space). The word wall cards that I use came for Teachers Pay Teachers and can be located here and here. In this station, students may use clipboards or the counter to choose four words to read about. They then take notes on the definition provided on the word wall. They then sketch an example of that word.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
We read the How The Grinch Stole Christmas to work on several reading skills. The students first retold the story to a partner and then individually completed a story map to identify the story elements. Then we discussed how the Grinch changed throughout the story. As we discussed the character traits, we talked about better vocabulary to use when discussing emotions. We charted the vocabulary and the students took notes about the Grinch's character traits at the beginning of the story and the end on Deanna Jump's handout from her Grinch unit. The students then created their own Grinch and wrote at least one way they could make the Grinch smile. We have been working on making connections to text as well.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
In reading we have been learning about character traits. We recently read Auntie Claus to discuss how the main character, Sohpie Kringle, changed over time. After reading, the students retold the story on a Flow Map. As they retold the story, I introduced vocabulary to describe Sophie's character which we highlighted on the Flow Map. Later the students made connections to the lesson in the story which is that "it is better to give than to receive." They made presents out of scrapbook paper to write down four things you can give to someone that does not have to be bought.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Several months back our first grade team brainstormed various ways we could help our students review concepts. One of the ways we came up with was to have the students create class books. The students create these books for all of the content areas.
For example, in science the students made books about force and motion, bodies of water, landforms, etc. My teammate typed up various phrases that included specific concepts and vocabulary in kid-friendly terms which the students glued in order and illustrated. In math, I laminated their pictures created from our shapes lesson (check them out here at The Shape of Things) and put them together as a book. I also laminated their Pumpkin Patch Place Value pictures and put them together as a book. They also made a place value book with specific vocabulary to show the different ways to build and model numbers as well as how to compare them from greatest to least and vice versa.
Also, I have taught the students how to export pictures in the computer lab from Pixie 2. We save these exported pictures and I print them front to back. They are then laminated and put together as books. Most of our computer lessons are based in math and rather than the work to just be stored in the computer, I like to print them.
For reading, we often make group Flow Maps to retell stories. During reading workshop, I divide the students into groups and each group takes a section of the Flow Map to retell that portion and illustrate it. This helps students remember what they have read and practice retelling stories.
We keep these books in a student-accessible bin and the students may choose to read them when they finish work early or during reading workshop. Because the students created them, they are very motivated to read them. Additionally, we read them as a whole group before district tests. Our district tests every three weeks or so, depending on the subject. This is good way to connect back to previously taught lessons and review specific vocabulary.