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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 29- Pirates and Underpants

That's right! If your first grader came home today and you asked him or her what they learned about in school today, their answer might have been, "Underpants." Now, I told the kids not to freak out their parents, but I know 6 year olds, and they love anything with a 'shock factor'. What could be more shocking than underpants?!

Well, let's get right down to it. What did we learn about in school today? Well, for one, we learned that adding 4 extra students to a classroom makes the day a little crazy. Nothing too horrible, but much more giggling and off-task activity than is normal in my classroom. So, we started the day with an "Arrrgh". That's right. We started with a Pirate grunt.

I'm not sure if Monday was "Talk Like A Pirate" Day, or if it is celebrated all this week, but I was disappointed in myself for not celebrating properly! Today, I wanted to make it right for my students. We began with Pirates Go to School.
Arrgh, me harty, it twer a wonderful thing to be speakin' Pirate. (cough)

It was fun! And the kids got a laugh! This opened a discussion on how pirates behave themselves as opposed to how we know to behave ourselves in a school setting.Review of school rules, anyone?
Tomorrow we are going to work on 'Pirate words'; words that have the -ar blend in them.

Moving on from pirates, we transitioned to dinosaurs. We started working with adjectives today. I began the lesson by pulling a long string of tickets off my ticket spool and posing this challenge, "I will give this entire strip of tickets to any student who can tell me what an adjective does." I honestly thought I had this one in the bag. I thought no one would get the answer. Boy, was I wrong!

You see the brilliant young mind in the blue shirt? She won her team 48 tickets. She confidently raised her hand and answered, "It describes things." Knock me over with a feather! I asked her where she learned that, and she told me that she learned it in Kindergarten. Way to go Kindergarten!

So, yes, adjectives do describe things. They describe nouns to be exact. We have not touched nouns yet. Amazingly enough, nouns are a pretty abstract concept. At this stage, it is easier to talk about (or describe) things. We will add nouns next.

I do love my charts! Here is the one we made today.
We separated our chart into: colors, shapes, how many (describing amounts), and sparkle words. Those are pretty self-explanatory, except maybe the 'sparkle'. I used that term because there are many ways to describe nouns that don't fit into the other categories. When students use 'sparkle' words in their writing, they can capture their audience and keep their attention. Sparkle words are very important!
To practice finding adjectives in writing, we needed a special book. One that would capture my 6 year old audience and keep their attention. We needed... underpants.

In this book, we answered the age old question of how the dinosaurs became extinct. They all died off in a HUGE Underpants War. That's right, their love of underpants was so strong they fought over which dino had the rights to the best pair. In the end, the cavemen were the winners. They got their underwear back. 
The pictures in this book are amazing. The kids had the best time pointing out the more ridiculous pairs of underpants. We found adjectives, rhyming words, discussed different eating habits of the giant lizzards, and had some belly-laughs. This book had grammar, phonics, and science all in one. 
(I did get a little anxious when an administrator walked past and we were laughing about underpants. The students wanted someone to walk in so bad so they could tell them what we were talking about!)

When I had the students go back to their seats, I told them about our writing application. They were to choose their favorite pair of underpants from the story and use adjectives from our chart to describe them. That caused a riot of laughter! Then I told them that the good looking papers were going in the hallway so the whole school could read all about underpants! This blog gets the first sneak peek of their writings.

You might not be able to tell, but this pair of underpants have a jack-o-lantern on them! It reads: The underpants is ugly and soft and the color is red. Great use of adjectives!

Tomorrow's book?

We are going to create aliens first, use adjectives to describe them, then create underpants for them, and describe the underpants too. Who knew adjectives could be this fun?

In math we worked on finding missing parts to '8'. We used unifix cubes today and I think that helped a little more than the two-colored circles we used yesterday. I walked around the room to see who grasped the concepts and who needs extra assistance. Tomorrow we are going to dive into the 'math diad' pool. Basically, we will work on having a productive partner talk time. This idea of 'missing parts' has really confused some of my kids, so I am interested to see where our conversations go.

Our Daily Brain

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