Sunday, April 27, 2014
The students researched facts about Cherry Blossoms during a mini-writing lesson. They then wrote the information they found on a Circle Map. As a class, they decided what order to put the facts in for their shared research paper. They then told me what they wanted their paper to say and I typed it for them. I printed it on poster paper to hang with their Cherry Blossom art. The students used a mixture of brown and black paint to paint a branch of a Cherry Blossom. They then used the bottom of a recycled coke bottle to paint the blossoms in pink. I found this fun art idea from Pinterest. You can follow my educational Pinterest boards here.
We research birds using PebbleGo and other online sources. The students then wrote down facts they learned on Tree Maps. They then used those facts to help them write sentences. After writing their first drafts, we edited them together, and they wrote their final draft. We then had a mini-art lesson on how to draw birds.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
One of our favorite word work lessons is Making Words. The students use a set of letters to build various words that build up to a mystery word. This helps with reading, writing, and spelling. A fun twist on this can be found online with the interactive Word Wizards. In Word Wizards, students choose a well-known picture book. They are then given a set of letters and a clue. They answer the clue by building it with the letters.
In writing the students created paper eggs using patterns and paint. They then wrote descriptive papers about their eggs. We numbered each egg and then mixed them up before hanging them on the bulletin board. The students then put a folded flip card with their number next to their egg writing. Each student took turns reading their descriptive writing to their class to see if they could find which egg was theirs. They then flipped the number card up to confirm their guess. When the guesses were incorrect, we discussed the importance of using good descriptions when writing to give the reader, or audience, a visual of what the author is talking about.
Since we were learning about the parts of plants and it was close to Easter, we decided to write about carrots. The students created a carrot and then used a Tree Map to answer questions about it. They wrote about what parts it has, where you can find it, and what you can do with it.
After hearing from our garden expert, the students wrote friendly letters to thank her for sharing her knowledge and to tell her what they learned. As a class, we used the Letter Generator from Read, Write, Think as a model. They then wrote their own individual letters.
After reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, the students created their own caterpillars. We then researched caterpillars on Pebble Go. They then wrote to describe caterpillars and facts learned.
The students worked in small groups to paint rainbows while I worked with individual students on reading. After their worked dried, they wrote sentences to describe a rainbow, what they would do if they found one, and other facts they knew about rainbows.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
On St. Patrick's Day, the students wrote what they would do if they found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. They then followed multi-step directions to draw a leprechaun. They added a rainbow background to their drawing.
We used various book and internet sources to research facts about the Beluga Whale. The facts were added to a Thinking Map. The students then used the Thinking Map to write a class research paper about their findings. They used Interactive Writing so that every student had a chance to contribute. They helped each other with the wording, spelling, and punctuation of the research paper.
In small groups, the students visited to the library to research a specific ocean animal with our Instructional Media Specialist, Mrs. Christy. The took notes over their research and then used their notes in class to help them write a research paper. They put their final drafts inside a piece of blue paper folded in a stage fold. They also made a scuba diver face to look like themselves to go with scuba diver bodies that our PTA volunteers made for us. The scuba divers held the students' writing.
We read Fred and Pete at the Beach by Cynthia Nugent to practicing retelling stories in order. As a class, the students retold the events on a Flow Map using Interactive Writing. With Interactive Writing, each student gets a chance to write while the rest of the class helps them with word order, spelling, and punctuation.
During our camping theme, the students made s'mores. Since we obviously cannot build a fire, we made them in the microwave. After making and eating the s'mores, the students used a Flow Map to write the steps they took to make them. They used the Flow Map to write sentences using transition words. They then made paper s'mores to hang with their writing.
To practice following multi-step directions, the students learned how to draw a tent as a part of our camping theme. The students were given step by step oral directions accompanied by picture cues. They followed the steps one at a time and then colored their pictures. I love how they are all unique yet similar at the same time. After they drew their pictures, we brainstormed as a class the things that they would need to do to go camping. The students then put the steps in order on a Flow Map. They used the Flow Map to help them write a How To paper on camping.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Our class has been using Edmodo in the computer lab to help learn more technology skills. We have also been using it to practice our content subjects in fun ways. For example, when we were studying space, we used the Earth and Space app to practice putting the planets in order. To review telling time, we used the Time Teacher app. The students have also used Edmodo as a place to take quizzes, polls, and answer questions. The students answered what types of non-fiction subjects they would like to research, where they would like to go on a field trip, and more. Parents, I've sent home login password cards previously along with the permission slip. If you need another set of cards, let me know. There are several resources in our class folder in Edmodo that your child can use to learn at home.
In writing the students have been learning to explain why or why not they think something. Since we were researching space in reading, they wrote to explain why or why not they would want to be an astronaut.
As a part of our lessons on non-fiction texts and features, we began to research space. The students first had to brainstorm questions they had about space. They worked in small groups to record their questions on a Circle Map and then we added all of their questions to a t-chart on the Promethean board. We then used various non-fiction sources to find answers to those questions.
The students wrote to explain what they will be like when they are 100 years old. They then used these great templates from Teachers Pay Teachers to create an older version of themselves.
Here is a quick video I made using the App "Explain a Website" to show you how to access the features of Spelling City at home. The video is not perfect but you get the point.