Friday, December 2, 2011

The Polar Express

Going along with our Polar Express theme this week, each student was given the chance to become the illustrator of their very own personal version of the story The Polar Express. Each day we worked on a new page to our book and by the end of the week, the book was complete. We discussed how being an illustrator is a very important job and it is important to not scribble scrabble through the pages. The reader likes to have interesting and detailed illustrations on the page to help make the story even better! Below are pictures that each student chose as either their favorite part of the story or their favorite illustration they drew.

Cookie Jar

During gym class today, we played a game called Cookie Jar. The object of the game was to grab a bean bag and find a dot to place it on. Once you placed your bean bag on the dot, which represented the "jar", it was your job to guard your cookie. If someone came to try and steal your cookie out of the jar, you had to tag them before they grabbed the cookie. If you got tagged, you had to leave that cookie jar and go try and get one from someone else. If your cookie got stolen, you were now on the hunt for a cookie from someones jar!

Number Stories

We have been creating number stories for all the numbers 1-10 this year. After they were laminated, we put them up in our classroom. We have them hanging right by our whole group/calendar area. This spot is perfect because there are several times either during math mini-lessons, calendar or when students are doing Daily 5 Math where we/they can refer to the posters as a reference guide. We will especially be using the "Story of 5" and "Story of 10" during both math instruction as well as daily during our calendar time every morning.

Surfer of the Week Class Visitor!

Our Surfer of the Week this week was Lily M. Her father came in to read two stories to our class today. One story was Olivia and the other was about having friends at school. The student's could not decide which one was their favorite, they were glad they were able to hear both stories. Thank you to Lily's dad for coming in and reading to us!

Did You Ever See a Reindeer?

This week for our poem, we focused on emphasizing (which was also an interesting word we placed in our word collector) various words in the poem to help our voice during reading. We read the poem in a boring voice, as well as our excited voices. We decided as a class that it actually was harder to read in a boring voice than in the exciting voice!

Below is video of the class reading the poem using their boring voice and then emphasizing important words in an exciting voice! I have to admit it's a little hard not to laugh when they are reading in a boring voice. They do such a great job of keeping it one tone and yes, very boring!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Look and Talk

Today we did a look and talk with a page from our math series big book. We described various similarities and differences that we found in the picture. Below are a few of the observations the class made.

  • Two bears have bows and two do not.
  • Two bears are girls and two bears are boys.
  • Two bears have stripes and two do not.
  • All four bears have jackets on, but they are all wearing different colors of jackets.
  • They all are wearing name tags.
  • They all have buttons on their jackets, but not the same amount of buttons. Bob has the most buttons and Dina has the least amount of buttons.
  • Two are wearing skirts and two are wearing pants.
  • Two are holding something and two are not. But, the two that are holding something are holding two different things. One is holding an umbrella and the other a bag of apples.
Great observations!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If I could ride a train I would....

Our writing topic this week was to imagine if you could travel anywhere on a train, where would you go. I gave an example that if I could ride a train I would go to the beach. The students were given a piece of paper that had the sentence started for them at the top of the page "If I could ride a train I would...." They were to then fill in the bottom portion by using our sight words "go" and "to". Below is a video of the class sharing their writing with their classmates.

More or Less

One of our Daily 5 Math mini-lessons today focused on comparing two groups of numbers and determining which group had more or less than the other group. Students took turns coming to the board and creating various numbers of objects in either box. The class then counted the items in each box and determined which had more and which had less. I then asked the class which box A or B had either more or less. Before moving on to the next set of numbers, one student was chosen to explain how he/she knew one box had more or less.

Retell a Story

We have been reading the story The Polar Express this week. During one of our CAFE mini-lessons that focused on the comprehension strategy "Beginning, Middle and End of a Story" we used pictures from the story and placed them in order of what happened first through last. Before completing the activity we took a picture walk and practiced two other strategies of our "3 Ways to Read a Book". Since we had already heard the story, we used the strategy of retelling a familiar story and reading the pictures. This lesson worked great as both a review as to what happened in the story and in practicing one of our CAFE strategies.

Skip in Place During PEP!

I had to take video of my students during a specific exercise in PEP before the tape changes. When they first started this particular tape, most of the kids struggled with skipping in place. Now that we have worked on this PEP tape every day for a couple of weeks, we have perfected the skip in place. I love watching their faces while they are skipping. They are smiling, concentrating, staring, determination and focused all on skipping in place. Absolutely makes me smile everytime!