Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Songs and Poems

This is the first year in a long time all my students celebrate Santa and Christmas. 
A few of the songs we're rockin' out to these days.  :)

(5-page document)
At the end of the week, the children will write individual acrostics to add to their poetry/song binders.
'Tis the Season to enjoy music!  :)

First Grade News

Link for 1st Grade News!

I'm so proud of this group and how they work together to follow school and classroom rules. They constantly earn compliments from their specials teachers and other staff members.   
One little challenge for this group is the cafeteria. In our building, one classroom from each grade level earns recognition on the announcements at the end of each day for great behavior in the cafeteria. Our class is compared to three other first grade classrooms that have three or four fewer students than we have.  Well, we all know more students equals more talking, so, earning the announcement recognition has been a tough go. Needless to say, when these kiddos do earn recognition, we celebrate!

A few weeks ago, we celebrated by spending extra recess time on our snow-covered playground.  I joined the festivities, dressed in snow gear- and we had a blast! 
Click on the above picture for a quick video.  We were photo bombed by a former student!  :)


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas & 1st Grade News

I love this time of year and the opportunities for integrating wonderful literature with reading and writing skills.  With just 15 days until our holiday break, we will be busy trying to fit in as much as possible.
This week, I have activities planned for The Gingerbread Pirates, Santa's Stuck, and Frankenstein's Fright Before Christmas.  

 (I'll share this project later...)


Our weekly comprehension skills include a focus on plot, character and setting and because my students are enthusiastic about art projects, we'll add a Frankenstein craft to this writing.  I'm using very few pre-made templates for art activities this year because this group is so artistic and they appreciate the opportunity to come up with their own ideas.  
Link for the Frankenstein's Fright Before Christmas comprehension worksheet

This terrific book is such a fun one to share with first graders!  My students love kid-created class books so we'll work on another one this week after reading Santa's Stuck. 

Cover page for our class book
This Link is for a document that includes the book cover and the student page.  I will glue the cover page to construction paper and then laminate the front and back cover pages.

Oftentimes, the children use the backside of their class book page to continue their writing.
On the Tuesday afternoon before Thanksgiving break, we had fun working on our first holiday project, a writing based on the wonderful book, The Night Before Christmas. 

Most students needed a second page to list their wonderful skills.  :)
Hallway Bulletin Board Poster

Link - this 3 page document includes the student writing pages and the hallway display poster. 

Their writings are precious!

Fluffy's Thanksgiving

In this response to literature
writing activity, the children studied the plot, characters and author's purpose ... while reading one of their favorite books!  This group loves animals and the character, Fluffy!
Link to Download


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thanksgiving Songs & Poetry

 Our poetry song collection is growing...

Last week, the kiddos drew hand-print turkeys at the bottom of the page.
Link for Poetry & Songs 3-Page Document
We'll also add the poem, Dinosaur Dinner to the poetry/song binders this week.  I revised this poem to add a picture box because this year, the children appreciate opportunities to draw free-hand. 

Link for Dinosaur Dinner

Thanksgiving - Then and Now

This week, we'll transition to the historical aspect of Thanksgiving. My seasonal book collection is overflowing with wonderful resources. We'll also reference another Scholastic News magazine as we compare the past and the present by studying the daily lives of young Pilgrim children.

Over the years I have found children sometimes have a difficult time writing legibly on a Venn diagram worksheet. I'm experimenting with this new format and hoping the bulleting will help the children record information in an organized manner.
Link for the Venn Diagram


Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks!

We began this holiday season celebrating the spirit of Thanksgiving.
Although limited in content and text complexity, this little book speaks volumes to first graders.  I read through the book once before we practiced the strategy - "turn and talk". I used "turn and talk" during this activity as a starting point for meaningful conversation.  Later, we created a Thanksgiving word web to build on the initial discussions.
Link to upload writing prompt
Writing after reading   ...   the children did a nice job putting their ideas into well-crafted sentences.

He wrote about a classmate.  :)

 One of the advantages of  being a first grade teacher... :)