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... :)



1st Grade News

It may be November, but it feels like the middle of January in northeast Ohio... The cold is here to stay for a while.  Brrrrr...


Have a wonderful week!

Veterans Day

These little lovies proudly shared stories about brave family members who serve(d) in the armed forces, past and present.  Some family members are currently fulfilling their service stateside while others experienced combat on foreign soil.    

To show our sense of pride, extreme gratitude and to honor these wonderful people, we created little thank you packages.  Each package contained a student letter, a thank you card and decorated stars. 

We sent packages to three cousins, eight uncles (2 great uncles), and six grandfathers (2 great).  Three family members are currently involved in active duty, three served in Vietnam, one served in the Korean War, and one served our country in the Gulf War.  The stories the children shared were heartwarming.  The sacrfices of these veterans are not forgotten.

Each veteran received a copy of this adorable thank you card. 

Our Veterans also received special letters from family members along with a few patriotic stars. 


Our school has a subscription to Scholastic News (smile) so each child had his/her own copy of this issue.

I usually laminate one copy of each issue so we also read from an oldie, but goodie from 2011.

Together we created an anchor chart.  The children summarized our study of Veterans Day by writing a few details.  (I used their writings as an assessment to check for understanding.)


I will never pass up an opportunity to celebrate our veterans, past and present.
Thank you!