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Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 9- Whew! What a Day!

It was an exciting day here at Clifton Hills! I feel like we had an entire week fit into one day. I hope we saved something for tomorrow. ;)

The day started with our watching the video of Mr. Burney reading to us. Once I got the computer, speakers, and Promethean hooked up properly, the kids and I took a look at the blog. They were so excited to see that Mr. Burney was our Saturday guest. I've never seen so much concentration on a reader as the kids gave to Mr. Burney. I think it was a success.

From the blog we started a fluency piece using poetry. We used this poem before in the first week of school and revisited it today.
As a class we had underlined every "us", highlighted each "some of us" phrase, and colored over the word "can". Why go through all the trouble? I wanted the kids to see the repetition.

Not all of my students can read the poem by him or herself, but each can recognize that when a phrase is highlighted, it must say "some of us". I also added some movement. When we said the underlined  word "us" anywhere in the sentence, we spread out our arms like we were underlining it. When we said the colored in word "can", we put our arms up like we were boxing it in. By adding muscle memory, the kids started looking for correct places when they would move. They anticipated the next movement, and the proper word that went with it. That's the beginning of prediction, which is a comprehension skill!

Last week we had it down to a science, we looked so good! This week, well, we'll keep working on it. The kids wanted to video, so I did. I think it would have gone a little better if I had been doing the movements with them instead of videoing, but oh well.

We will keep using this poem as a fluency piece, and will revisit it when we talk about verbs. The students have a poetry folder started. By the end of the year it should be full of poems that can share!

Next, we started a new project. A new ABC informational text entitled General Delk's Guide to Clifton Hills. This will be a book on the rules and regulations of Clifton Hills; written by the kids as an ABC book. I can tell you're on the edge of your seat in anticipation. :)
This activity is going to last us the week, so we are going slow.

At 9:30 on the dot we arrived in the library for the book dedication. It went really well! Mr. Evans was unavailable (he was registering his child for school), but we had Mrs. Overton come and celebrate with us. If you have not had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Overton, I suggest you make time. She is a wonderful Assistant Principal with a real heart for kids. She made the kids feel special and brilliant. (which they are!)

 Here she is with our finished book titled ABC Learn Animals With Me! As she read the book she was duly impressed with all of our hard work.

Here is General Delk's Army with Mrs. Overton, Mrs. Watson and Mrs. Arellano (Ms. Amanda to the kids). Mrs. Watson and Mrs. Arellano are mentioned in the book's dedication page for all of their help in making this ABC informational text. (the video of Mrs. Overton reading the book is on a separate post)

But wait, there's more! The day isn't even half done yet! After library we went back to the room and did a mini-lesson on antonyms. We used another poetry piece, I had it written on chart paper, and we went through and found all the antonyms. I've found that antonyms are easier to understand than synonyms. It's like our brain automatically wants to find opposites. We circled the opposites, color coded of course, and wrote them on the other side of the chart. Then we added some more antonyms that we knew.

From here we went to our seats and checked for understanding. Meaning- we did an art activity to prove we knew what we were talking about. I had each student take a blank piece of paper, fold it in half, choose a pair of opposites and illustrate them.
My little soldiers took to this assignment like ducks take to water. I was very impressed with their work!

I couldn't take a picture of everyone's work, but they will be posted in our room- come on by! Here is just a sneak peek of their creativity...

Fast- a car, Slow- a turtle
Smile and Frown
Impressive right?
After lunch and recess we came back for math. We reviewed making groups of numbers up to 9, they are getting really good at turning objects into numbers; then taking a number and creating objects to symbolize them. (seeing a number and making dots to match)
* The kids' homework for tonight was a worksheet just like they see everyday in class. They have to make dots for numbers, then use dots that are given to answer questions- Dominoes!!

We ended the day by continuing in our study of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. We went over a power point I made to review the ways we classify each category of animal, then we added to our knowledge. I introduced the terms carnivore, herbivore and omnivore.

Carnivore- eats only meat; has sharp teeth to tear meat.
Herbivores- eat only plants; have flat teeth to grind their food

Omnivore- eat meat and plants; have sharp and flat teeth to chew their food

I don't know about you, but now I need a nap. This was a great day of teaching and learning!

Our Daily Brain

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