February 12, 2017

A Day in the Arctic: Room Transformation

This week we spend a day in the arctic.
We've been studying habitats, animal characteristics and even started our own research projects.
But we took a day off to explore artic-ish things!
So grab your cold weather gear and get ready to explore.

To transform the room, I used lots of paper, snowflakes and a little sparkle.
I covered my door in paper and made a sign.
I also covered the word wall and window with sheets of "ice" and "icicles". 

I also ordered a few items on Amazon.
I hung sparkle snowflakes from the ceiling, snowflake banner on our SmartBoard and snowflake cut outs on the window and word wall "ice" coverings.

The tables were also covered with white paper and some iridescent Easter grass for "ice". 
We worked with the lights off and arctic wind sounds some of the time. 

Earlier in the week, we read a book about Polar Bears and found the main idea/details with non-fiction text. So it was there turn to try it out themselves. I checked out several easy reads on arctic animals from the library. Each group had to read the book and record the main idea from the text. 
Who goes to the arctic and doesn't have a snowball fight? Not us of course. I wrote words on squares of paper. I turned on music and let them throw the "snowballs" across the room. When the music stopped, they had to find a snowball, open it and find the other student with their match to make a compound word.

Since the arctic is so incredibly cold, most people don't just venture there. We imagined if we did, how on Earth would we survive. So they wrote a procedural text on how exactly they would survive if the were in the arctic.

Our favotire part of all were our STEM stations!

I split the class up into 4 groups each to work for 12-15 minutes at each station.
At station 1 they build igloos out of marshmallows and toothpicks. At station 2 they made snowflake designs out of q-tips. At station 3 they used geoboards and rubber bands to make snowflakes. And at station 4 we made snow!

These days are so much fun, and not to mention engaging beyond measure.
If you would like to check out my last room transformation click HERE.

February 11, 2017

Presidents Mini Unit

I tend to forget how BUSY the month of February can get!
It's jam packked...but then again what month doesn't feel that way by the time it is over? 

Besides Valentine's Day, February also brings us President's Day.  
I find my students are more fascinated with non-fiction than anything else I teach. 
 There is just something about it that totally tunes them in!
 I put together a little packet to go along with our week long President's celebration.

  If you were able to check out my MLK unit and enjoyed it, then this will be right up your alley as it is fairly similar.

This mini-unit is the perfect way to teach all about Washington, Lincoln, and President's Day in just a few days! All you need is a non-fiction book to accompany the pages in this unit and you are set!

Here is what the unit includes:

*Who Was Washington? {describing graphic organizer}
*Washington was/had/wanted facts organizer
*Washington 3 facts and a fib {students produce & record 3 facts and a fib)
*Who Was Lincoln? {describing graphic organizer}
*Lincoln was/had/wanted facts organizer
*Lincoln 3 facts and a fib {students produce & record 3 facts and a fib)
*Comparing Washington and Lincoln! {Venn diagram}
*The President's: Fact or Not so Much {cut and paste fact activity}
*If I Were President... {creative writing prompt}
*President's Day ABC order
It is now available in my TPT store and will be on sale this weekend!

February 1, 2017

This Book is Important

Teaching main idea to first graders is hard.
Here's a book I stumbled upon that made the concept so much easier for my kids to understand.

The Important Book takes one "thing" and tells what makes it important. It also lists details to describe it too. It then tells again why it is important...much like main idea!

To start off, my students and I completed 2 pages out of the book together, discussing what was the most important part (the main idea) and how we knew that (the details).

I made color copies of the pages in the book, because who has 5 copies of their teaching books!?
I put my kids in small groups and gave them each a page to read. They had to figure out the main idea of their page and what details they learned about it.

We shared our findings and they totally got it!

If you don't have this book, add it to your collection asap!
Happy reading : )