Friday, February 16, 2018

100th Day & Valentine's Day

The way the school calendar is set up means that the 100th Day of School and Valentine's Day almost always fall in the same week. So this week we had two parties in the span of three days! It was a lot of fun. Thanks to all the families who were able to help by volunteering, providing treats, or sending in Valentine's. The kids had a great time. Here are some pictures!

First we made 100th day crowns.

Then did some writing with the prompt "I wish I had 100..." I loved seeing their answers! Everything from 100 dollars to 100 cats.

Then we made a 100 day trail mix with 100 items (10 of each food).

For Valentine's Day, we decorated our treat bags.

And then opened our Valentines!

We also had a Valentine's party that involved a candy hearts science experiment, making friendship bracelets for each other, playing Valentines-themed Bingo, and making a craft. Plus eating more treats! It was sugar-filled, love-filled day.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Publishing our All About books, and more

This week we published our All About books, which turned out great! The publishing process includes choosing a favorite, editing it and making sure everything is complete and makes sense, and coloring the pictures. This time around we also added an About the Author page! After we published them, the kids read them to their reading partners. The completed books are currently hanging up in the classroom and will be sent home in a few weeks for you to see!

We've also done some fun projects and learning activities lately. We read the book The Story of Snow, a non-fiction book on how snow crystals are formed. We then used pattern block shapes to make snowflakes. I love how they turned out!

Last, we've been doing a lot of work with vowels and CVC words lately. CVC stands for consonant-vowel-consonant, and refers to three-letter words that follow that pattern, such as cat, pin, and hot. These words are the next step in learning to apply letter sounds to writing, and the kids are doing a great job with it. Below are pictures of various ways we've been practicing, including using letter cubes, magnetic letters, and paper and pencil.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Explore tables

Every few weeks I try to set up a new explore table, also called a "provocation," that gets students thinking and trying new activities related to science, social studies, literacy and math. I usually post a question that gets them started, and they can take it in whichever direction they'd like. Some are more open-ended than others, and I usually try to relate them to what we're learning in our core curriculum, or else what students have expressed interest in lately. The kids can explore them throughout the day at various times, including choice time, literacy workstations, and phonics time. Below are several examples that we've had in the room lately!

Can you match these faces?
This one is a pre-made activity that I purchased as part of a Discovery Box kit on skin color and identity. The game can work as memory or matching practice, and helps students look closely at facial features on a diverse array of pictures.

Can you stamp these words?
This provocation had half-sheet pictures portraying a dog, a cat, a fox, and other pictures that can be spelled with three letters (called CVC words, for consonant-vowel-consonant). The letter stamps made them more intriguing than just having pencils out for writing.

Can you draw a snowflake?
This one was a bigger hit than I expected! I just put out blue sharpies, quarter sheets of paper, and a step-by-step drawing of a snowflake for them to try.

Can you make real words and nonsense words?
For this activity, you roll three letter dice, put the vowel in the middle, and see what word you get. If it's a real word, you record it on the "real word" column, and if it's a silly word (like bem or dop), you record it on the "nonsense word" column.

Can you draw your family?
This one included a tutorial on how to draw a person, plus words to label the members of their family, skin color crayons, and sharpies for outlining. We modeled our drawings off of Todd Parr's The Family Book.