Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apples, Addition, and Connections

This week we celebrated Johnny Appleseed Day, learned more about addition and used our schema to make connections in reading.

Addition:  One of the activities we did was from Oceans of First Grade Fun- Corn and Tomato Soup.  I saw this last year on Yolanda's blog and had to try it!  The kids really had fun making their "soup."  I created a little Smartboard activity to demonstrate making the soup.

Click here for the notebook file for the Smartboard.

In reading this week we did Tanny McGregor's reading salad lesson and made this anchor chart.  I hesitate to post any of my anchor charts after some of the fabulous ones I have seen on other blogs!  But I am NOT and artist, and usually just do the chart with the kids, so this is what I get!  Even the kids laughed at my head this time!

I can't believe I forgot to take pictures of our apple graph.  First we made a real graph using our apples and sorting by color.  Then we collected the data using tally marks and then they colored their graphs and answered some questions about the data.  I have a couple more apple activities planned so I will try to get some pictures!

Unrelated note:  I just recently got my first smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3) and I don't know how I lived without it!  It makes adding pictures to my blog so much easier, I can send texts by talking, and I just discovered yesterday I can scan documents with it and send them to myself or others.  All this and Angry Birds, too!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Math Journals

(Edited on October 21.  Added link for journal label)


Fall Math Journal Prompts - Vol. 1I am just loving math journals this year!  About 3 times a week I give the students a prompt to glue in their journal.  We discuss it and then the children respond to the prompt or solve the problem in their journals using words and pictures.  My favorite prompts are from  Anna Brantley's (Crazy for First Grade) TPT shop.

Here are some examples from my class this year:

Each week I cut the journal strips that we are going to use and store them in this coupon/bill organizer one of my wonderful teammates discovered in the Dollar Spot at Target!  (We also picked up the smaller size that  is perfect for word cards.)
When our guided math groups really get going, I'm going to have the kids bring their journals with them to group so they can add vocabulary or illustrate concepts we've discussed, as well as solve problems during our group time.
The kids love journals; they actually cheered yesterday when I said take out your math journals!
Do you use math journals? How do they work in your class?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bad Blogger Award

I have given myself a blog recognition- The Bad Blogger Award!  Blogging was so fun and easy this summer while I was preparing to go back to school.  Now that school has actually started, I am so tired I can hardly put 2 coherent sentences together.
But now that the initial back to school craziness is over- we had our Parent Curriculum Night this week and have been in school 3 weeks now- I think I'm ready to get back to blogging about all the things we have been doing.

 I have a very sweet class this year. A little too chatty sometimes, but lots of fun!  I introduced them to Pete the Cat this week, and I wish I could show you pictures of them rocking out to the songs!  We didn't get to many activities based on Pete except some journal writing.  I see pictures of all the cute "craftivities" some bloggers complete with their students each week and I just don't know how they find the time.  Our days are so full!  Here's a rundown of a typical day:

(All times are approximate; we're never completely on schedule!)
8:10-8:30  Students arrive, unpack, write homework in planner, complete morning work.  Announcements are at 8:20.
8:30-8:45  Calendar.  I do mine on the Smartboard and I've added a lot of number talk)
8:45-9:00  Morning Message, shared reading or read aloud
9:00-9:30  Word Study- Our district created a new word study plan this year utilizing a lot of Pat Cunningham's ideas.  We use Making Words and other activities from her book Phonics They Use to study different word families each week.  Right now we are doing short a families.  We try to teach handwriting during this time as well.
9:30-10:30  Daily Five- We are still introducing the components.  So far we have done Read to Self and Work on Writing.  (In my class, Work on Writing is actually Write About Reading.)  Our mini lessons have been on topics such as how to choose a just-right book,  the five W's of reading, 3 ways to read a book, making connections and lots of procedural lessons.  The first 2 weeks of school we did do several "craftivities" based on books and several name activities.  I have to confess we have also done some cut and paste type worksheets for the sole purpose of giving me time to assess reading levels using the Fountas and Pinnell leveling kit.  This is new for us this year; we have used Rigby in the past.  I like F&P so much better, but I think it takes a little longer. We are supposed to be ready for guided reading in another week.
10:30-11:15  Writer's Workshop- We use Lucy Calkins Units of Study so we have been been completing the launching lessons.  I have some incredible writers this year!
11:15  Lunchtime!
Whew, this post is way too long and I'm only up to lunch.  I'd love to see other first grade schedules.  How do you find time for everything?