March 28, 2016

OUCH! Did you say freebie!?

I love when learning lends itself to cute little memory tricks like this one we learned last week.

In phonics, we learned about the sound 'OU' and called them our "ouch words".
I was astonished at all the words they came up with....on their own...on day 1!
We recorded our brainstorm on a band-aid anchor chart to anchor our learning.

I found a cute poem in Shel Silverstein's book of poems called Band-Aids.
Precious poem that talks about a boy who uses band-aids just because he likes them.

We wrote down why we use band-aids on our 'What Makes You Say OUCH!' paper.

The following day, I had them choose 4 things from their paper that made them say ouch, and we turned them into an 'OUCH' poem...the the shape of a band-aid of course!

To top of our week of OU words, students will go on a word search with the books in their book box and find as many words as they can that follow the phonics pattern. 
This helps me to understand who grasped the phonics pattern and who doesn't.

Students who find words such as "should, could, would, trouble" obviously need a re-teach.
I'm hoping all the connections made to the real world really anchored their learning!

March 23, 2016

We ARE Learning Tomorrow...with an Egg Hunt of Course {and a FREEBIE for you!}

Do you have a few extra eggs floating around your room?
Great! That's all you need to throw together this quick and easy grammar review game.

First you will need to download this FREEBIE <------click here

Then you will need to find 3 buckets/baskets/cups (whatever you have) and label them: noun/verb/adjective

Cut out each word and stuff it inside an egg.
Hide the eggs around your room.
Students will have to find one egg, open it and read the word inside.

Gather together as a class once everyone has found an egg and read their word.
Students will take turn reading their word and placing it into the correct "Easter basket".
If their word is a goes in the noun basket.
If their word is a goes in the verb basket.
If their word is an goes in the adjective basket. 

We are going to use this as a review before we take an assessment for report cards.
I have also attached the assessment if you would like to use it as well.

Hope you have some hippity-hoppity fun!

March 22, 2016

A Little Bunny Trouble

We are back from spring break this week totally refreshed and hopping into a lot of fun learning this week!

Today we read a cute story, Bunny Trouble, which lends itself greatly to the discussion of plot, specifically problem and solution. 

We got a little creative with our response to reading, because who doesn't love to decorate eggs!?
Especially when it was such an important part to the story.

What you need:
1 sheet of manila
1 sheet of white paper

How to make:
Fold manila into fourths and trace one egg.
With paper still folded, cut on traced line, making 4 eggs.
Fold the white paper like a book.
Add title to the cover.
Write problem and solution on 2 manila eggs and glue inside the white paper.

Students will summarize the problem and solution from the story under the correct egg heading.

Just like the bunnies decorated eggs in the book, students will get to decorate the 2 remaining eggs and glue them to the cover.

Monitor comprehension and allow creativity at the same time!

 Happy Easter Week!

March 14, 2016

BIG State=BIG Ideas, TEXAS Teachers Read This!

Texas, our we love learning about our state!
Rodeo season is in full swing and we've got our boots cleaned and ready to learn.

Our poem of the week is one of our favorites and I find them reciting it subconsciously throughout the week. Catchiness as its best!

We kicked off the week learning about all the symbols of our great state.
Some we already knew and some we didn't.

L is for Lone Star is a fabulous book that taught even this devoted Texan things I didn't know!
After recording our schema and new learning, we made a flip-book with 3 of our favorite symbols.

Each day throughout the week we dove deep into talking about 5 important symbols.
We read about them, asked questions, and recorded facts in our Texas Symbols book.

{You can find this in my TpT store}

On the day we learned about Bluebonnets, I taught my firsties how to make their own!

You can too:
Fold a white sheet of computer paper in half.
Color the top half blue, bottom half green on BOTH sides.
Cut the blue into small strips.
Roll at a diagonal and tape.

Themed books about our state are always fun to read. 
Here are a few we practiced making connections with.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly--There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Anth

Little Red Riding Hood--Little Red Cowboy Hat

We did a little comparing and contrasting with 2 stories this week too. 
Most of my kids knew the story of Cinderella.  I had them retell the story out loud for those who didn't. 
So we compared it with this laugh out loud story: Bubba the Cowboy Prince---a MUST read!
 We compared the 2 stories in a Venn Diagram boot and made it look a little fancy-shmancy!

In writing, we've explored the 5W poem this week during our poetry study. 
It answers the questions "who, what, when, where, why"?
We wrote a class poem about an armadillo together and they got to be the illustrators. 

Then we brainstormed ideas/animals/people that represented Texas. 

They chose one to write their own 5W poem about. 

We also wrote 5W poems that describe ourselves. Grab this FREE template in my TpT store!

During our grammar time this week we reviewed adjectives. It just seems that these little words won't stick in my firsties brains! A sign to the teacher...I need to use it more ; )

We colorfully decorated these big ol' boots.

I gave them 3 sticky notes to describe their boots and glue at the bottom. 
"bold"   "vibrant"   "pretty"

To top it all off, we celebrated our week with FOOD! Our state dish of course....CHILI!
I'm always SO shocked when some of my friends tell me they've never had Chili!!!

To incorporate writing, we made the chili together and then wrote a recipe for them to take home!

After our taste test, we again, used adjectives to describe our Chili.

{Click on the picture for a FREEBIE}

I hope you found some Texas sized ideas to add to your Texas sized vault!

March 10, 2016

Get the Crazies OUT With Snack and Chat

So, it's the week before Spring Break.
It's rained every stinking day.
We haven't been out to recess since Monday.
Did I mention it's the week before Spring Break AND it's rained ALL week!?!?!?!?

I'm sure you've read my mind that it's been noisy, crazy, and nerve-wrenching!
SO this teacher had to liven and louden reading time up just to control the firsties the past few days.

My partner teacher passed along something called "Snack and Chat" and I knew THIS was the week to bring it out of my file! I posted this picture on IG and y'all loved it. 

So I figured I better explain the deets : )

It went a little something like this:
"No center rotations today friends. Instead we are going to do a little bit of reading, a little bit of snacking and a whole lot of talking!"  <-------this brought on some confused faces from my friends.
I'm sure they were thinking...."Mrs. Griffith, are you okay? Did you just sat that?"

I had them grab a partner, their snack and book box and find somewhere to read around the room.
One partner would read while the other would snack.
Then they would switch.

At the end of each story they had to discuss things from the story using these questions as a starting point. They are from A Year of Many Firsts and you can find them {here}. 

This lasted a good 15 minutes and they got to talk the WHOLE entire time! Winning!!!

What are some other ideas you implement when week's are totally out of the norm? I'd love to hear them!