Friday, January 29, 2016

Five for Friday January 29

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! 

I love sharing Here Comes Jack Frost with my class.

Some of the children weren't familiar with the word "frost," so we talked about that first.  The book is illustrated with blue and white, and just feels chilly. 

The boy in the book has lots of fun with Jack Frost, but Jack warns the boy not to mention anything warm, or he will go away.
Right then and there, we stopped the book and I had each child tell me what they would NOT mention to Jack Frost!  I got lots of great answers from lava to hot chocolate to cozy slippers. 
Then, we kept reading until...
(I loved introducing the  children to snowdrops, because they're my FAVORITE flower!)
The kids actually gasped at this page when Jack was gone.  
They really enjoyed this story. 

At the end, I had them each think of something they could say that might bring Jack back- (so something cold).  That was fun, too.

During free choice time, I had groups of four do this little activity.  First, they wrote, "I like to play in the snow."  (We are reallllly working on neat writing, spaces, capitals, and ending with a period...). Then, they drew a winter picture with a white crayon, followed by some blue water color painting over that to make a Jack Frost winter picture, just like the book. If you do this, remind them to draw a lot of details with the white crayon in their winter picture.  They loved this because nobody else could tell what they had drawn before it was painted- and then it came to life magically before their eyes. I think I love my crayon resist activities as much as the kids do.

We did a little lesson about moods this week, and had a ball!  This lesson went along with details in our illustrations, showing feelings through faces, actions, types of text (BIG, small, etc. ) .  

The music teacher came in to observe an ELA lesson, so I decided to include some fun ideas she could use with music, like counting syllables with musical instruments, spelling sight words and playing the instrument as we said each letter, and hearing mood in songs. 

We talked about how music in movies makes such a difference how we feel when we watch the movie- sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes scary if we hear spooky music. 

I made this quick Prezi to use for this lesson.  We went through each picture and decided how the person felt in the picture- just by noticing facial features, eyebrows, eyes, mouth, hands, movement...

Then,  as we looked at a picture, I had three different children tell me a story about WHY they thought the child in the picture felt like he/she did.  It was wonderful!  Everyone had very clever, different ideas- PERFECT for stories!

This gave me a great idea for morning work. The kids arrive different times each day- anytime from 8:40 until 9, so there are different amounts of time everyone has to actually complete morning work. 
 Each morning this week, I put a different picture up on the board.  The children had to write a story WHY they thought the child in the picture felt like he/she did.  

Here are a couple samples:  This was sad day...

I LOVED how his sister is yelling- and you can see the noise in the rings- and then his tears as he says, "NO."  awww...

"no won to play with..."
"her dog doyde."
("Her dad died in the army."- Wow.  That didn't really happen, by the way, or it would have been beyond sad...)

This was happy day!

(Jack had been sick for a while...)

She was out sick, too and she was happy to be back at school.  She wins.

He took down 3 chairs (or tars).  When the kids come in, they take the chairs down, and I always praise them a LOT for being such great workers- and super strong...

The kids had fun with the rest of the Prezi, too.  We listened to parts of the different songs, and decided how they made us feel.

The city/country part was because we had read City Mouse, Country Mouse and written about where they would rather live (for opinion), so I showed the kids' pictures as I played the city music and country music.  That was fun, too.
Here is a quick way to practice stretching out words and hearing sounds!  I did this for a center with me.  The kids were so proud that they could hear so many sounds (compared to the beginning of the year, when I told them that they used to only write one letter for a word!).  Doing this activity during a center with me let me expand on a lot of teaching about word chunks.   We made a list of words that had the "or" sound like in "corn."  We heard the "ch" in "chip" and "cheese."   They were so proud to here "am" in hamburger (That was a bonus word on back.).  

We also talked a lot about why syllables were important- because when you are trying to spell words by chunks, hearing the syllables or parts of the word helps us focus on writing each part- for example "ham-bur-ger."  Pancake was great, because the kids heard "an" in "pan" and then we talked about that magic "e" in cake.  We wrote all sorts of "ake" word family words to help us see what those words looked like.  

YEARS ago when my children were little, one of them got a Doodle a Day Daily Calendar for Christmas.  I saved the Valentine doodles for years.

I enlarged them and made a simple drawing book for my class, which they have loved.  Plus, they get to use the glitter crayons- so... 

If you would like a copy of my little drawing book, click on the picture below!

I am SO EXCITED that Dr. Jean's Math Recipes will be coming out in February.  I was so honored to be able to write another book with Dr. Jean.  We  put together our very best math activities- tried and true.  I had so much fun writing this book.  I hope you will love the ideas as much as we do. You can pre-order the book now!

Here is a write up about the book from SDE:

This is the second in the series of "recipe" books from Dr. Jean. Written in collaboration with Carolyn Kisloski, the colorful book is full of engaging, easy-to-follow recipes for math activities. The activities focus on the five domains outlined in the Common Core math standards (Counting and Cardinality, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number Operations and Base Ten, Measurement and Data, and Geometry) and fits seamlessly into any classroom. The activities can be used for large group activities, small group activities, partner work, or independent learning. Teachers can turn to them for transitions, brain breaks, or whenever they have five extra minutes in the day and want to make them count. Most of the lessons don`t require advanced preparation or special materials, and all can be differentiated to meet the needs of the learners in any classroom. The recipes fit right into any existing math program. Teachers can open this book and quickly find an idea that they can adapt to their standards and the specific skills that they want to reinforce.

I will be sharing some of my favorite math ideas and mentor texts with you soon.  And probably some "outtakes" from the pictures I took for the book.  My sweet students are the models for the pictures to go with the activities.  They did such a great job for the pictures.  Although, I took over a thousand pictures to actually end up with the ones we used. Sometimes, the picture seemed so EASY in my head, and then in real life with real live children, it didn't quite go as planned.  Go figure!

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Five for Friday January 22

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! 

Super simple- but helpful!  I taped a star shaped post-it to the floor (with packaging tape) where I want the "star" of the day to start my line when they line up at the door.  I used to have a tape  line on the floor, but I like this better.  This way, the kids don't crowd by the door so it won't open when they line up. 

Everyone who comes in tries to pick the star off the ground, thinking it's a random scrap that fell there.  That's just a bonus.   I am the one who put it there, and I've done it like 4 times myself...

I bought a 99cent balloon at the store, and took each child's picture holding it to make their Valentine for home.  Then, I used Picmonkey to add some simple designs.  I clicked the snowflake on the side of Picmonkey, then "Sweethearts" for my theme, then "Heart Cutouts" for the frame part under that. 

You could very easily take a picture of the children holding nothing- then add the pretty red rose from Picmonkey- and it looks just like they are holding the red rose. 

These are all from the free Picmonkey choices.  It's a lot of fun.

We are writing our notes to mom and dad, or other family members during writing early February (stressing neatness, so it can be easily read). I like sending these home early so the families can enjoy them.

I posted SO many snowman ideas HERE if you are interested in any snowman crafts, food ideas, or ELA or math freebies from TpT!  My kids had a ball with this  Snowman Roll and Record Activity from Judy Buckley.  They worked  with a partner at an independent center. It was great practice for "counting on" using dice.
I love using Patty Cake with the children to practice lots of things.  We practice counting to 100 (by ones and by tens), spelling sight words, letters and sounds, and even rhyming words.  Sometimes I'll call out, "Fast!" and the children try to see how fast- but accurately- they can play.  Other times I'll say, "SLOW..."  They have so much fun.  

Patty Cake is great for children to develop the ability to cross the midline.  

I love using it as a transition activity.  Here was my room yesterday after snack, while I was wiping down the tables and the children were waiting for me to come to the rug to read a story.  Usually, I have the kids spread out - but for this video, I just had everyone go to the rug... that's why it seems a little confusing!  But they did so great- and focused only on their partners.  Talk about great practice shutting out outside distractions!  

Since learning Patty Cake was a little tricky for some of the children, I sent a note home to families, asking them to practice at home.  It was a fun little "homework" assignment.  Here is a copy of the letter I sent home.  It's nothing fancy, but does explain what I wanted practiced.  Feel free to use it if you would like!

I know it's a little early, but I wanted to share one of my favorite Groundhog Day books with you.
First of all, Pat Miller's books are just PRECIOUS!   She also wrote Squirrel's New Year's Resolution which we love every year.
It's hard to find good books for New Year's and Groundhog's Day- and these are great ones.

First of all, in the story, Groundhog isn't feeling well , so he needs to have a substitute fill in for him on the big day.  This gave me a chance to talk about what a substitute is- since the last time I was out of the class, the kids asked me when the "step teacher" was coming...

Groundhog tries out a few different applicants for the job, but there is always some sort of a problem.  One of the friends is Eagle- which was a perfect chance for me to ask the children why Eagle would be a good choice! (Because he can see so well- with his EAGLE EYES, like we use for reading!)

Spoiler Alert:  The ending is adorable, because an armadillo finally takes the job- and then makes Groundhog feel better by taking him back to Texas for some Texas sunshine! (I could use some of that right about now...)  It was fun to show the children where Texas was on the map (since we are in NY), and to hear how many relatives lived in Texas.

After we read the story and talked about it,  I had the kids write and illustrate a reason why they would be a good substitute groundhog.  Here were some of the answers from last year:

I made some writing prompts to go with Substitute Groundhog is you would like a copy! 

I use writing prompts all the time in my classroom.  This packet that I made has 180 writing prompts for 115 different stories.

Writing Prompts: 180 Prompts for 115 Stories

I added QR codes to go along with these writing prompts in this packet!
QR Codes and Writing Prompts for 102 Stories

This set has 160 writing prompts for 100 different books.  It has author studies for 8 different authors.  I love this set.  My kids know their authors!  
Author Study Writing Prompt Packet:  Featuring Books by 8 Authors
Ms. S and Ms. A's Classroom News shared this cute little doodle activity making a groundhog and shadow from a heart!  I have lots of heart tracers for Valentine's day, so this will be fun to do.
My kids also get a kick out of this song:

Thanks for stopping by!

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