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Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 52- Happy Halloween!

It's finally here! The day my students have waited for for at least a month now.... Halloween! The writing prompt during TIER II time was on what students liked about Halloween, we had a mini discussion during calendar time about Halloween. We even had a special visitor, just in time for Halloween!

Our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Overton, came to school today as... Goldilocks. Yes, as in Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Have I mentioned lately how much I love our Administration?

Teachers were able to sign up for times to have Goldilocks come visit their classrooms and share her story. Even better than a guest reader, Goldilocks came with her own writing extension activity that was specifically geared toward that specific grade level. LOVE IT!

In case you missed it, you can watch the video HERE! (My camera acted up a little in the beginning, so I missed the first 2 pages. Sorry!) My class combined with Ms. Leahy's.

At the end, Goldilocks shared the writing prompt- After Goldilocks escaped out of the Bears' window, she came across the 3 Little Pigs' houses. Should she go in? 

We went back to our classroom and made a chart of what we knew about the Goldilocks story, and what we thought about her going into the Pigs' houses.

After discussing Goldie's behavior in the Bears' home, most of my students decided that she should not go in, because she doesn't know how to behave herself. I was impressed with the students that went out on a limb and said she should go in. One student mentioned that the Pigs should let her come in to save her from the Wolf. I just love when my students make connections!

The best part of the Goldilocks writing prompt? Two students from my class and Ms. Leahy's class will have their work chosen as the best and.... those students will get a pizza party! Talk about incentive!

My students have time to finish their writings, but they will have more time tomorrow. I'll keep you posted as to who won the pizza party!

Our math lesson from today was a little tricky, so I am posting a mini math lesson in a separate blog to try to explain what is going on. What I'm noticing is that my students need more work with manipulatives. We actually stopped our math lesson in the middle because I could tell my students were reaching their frustration level. Tomorrow will be better because I'm coming prepared with more manipulatives!

Pictures from literacy centers today:

 Read, Build, Write mats. This week we are using the transportation cards.

** Special Surprise!!** As an added bonus, because it's Halloween, I found another special guest to be a Guest Reader! You'll have to check out THIS POST  to see who it is!!

Our Daily Brain

Mini Math Lesson- Making 10 on a ten frame

This is a mini lesson on what we worked on today.

*Note to self- never teach my students without manipulatives!

Click HERE to watch the lesson. Or watch it below.

Celebrity Story Saturday- Halloween Edition

It's not Saturday... it's even better!

It's Halloween and I found the perfect Celebrity Reader to celebrate! I first saw this person a week ago when she substituted for Mrs. Watts, one of the kindergarten teachers here at the Hills. I have never seen Mrs. Watt's class so well behaved! (and that's saying A LOT since they do really well for Mrs. Watts)

Tonight's reader is the ONE, the ONLY... MS. VIOLA SWAMP!

You can click HERE to listen to the story, or watch it below.

Thank you, Ms. Swamp for agreeing to read to us! (she's scary!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Celebrity Story Saturday 11

Welcome to the club... Ms. Smith!

Let me tell you how wonderful Ms. Smith is. This was her first week back from being on maternity leave, (after giving birth to a precious baby girl) and she jumped at the chance to get to read on the blog. I love how  her heart is geared toward our students here at the Hills! She is one of our Exceptional Educators in our Special Ed department and we are glad to have her back!

Today, Ms. Smith is reading Rainy Day!


TIER II videos

I wanted to take a minute to show off how wonderfully my students are doing in our TIER II group.

TIER II is our extra reading intervention time. We have been working on building our sight word fluency and building vocabulary. I've mentioned in a previous post that we had been working on a book called Spots.

For an extension activity, I typed up some of the sentences from the book, printed them and cut them out. Now it's up to the students to put the sentences back together. I was so impressed with how my soldiers jumped into this activity, I had to share their brilliance!

Must have gotten his words mixed with another student's bag. Had two 'mug's on his. Oops!

Don't you just want to reach through the computer and pinch their cheeks? Great job, Soldiers! You made this General proud!

Mini Math Lesson- Adding on from 5 on a 10-frame

I had mentioned yesterday that a few of my students struggled during our math lesson. I think the problem was that the lesson combined two previous lessons and expected the kids to be able to do two different operations for each question. It took us a while to get into a groove where they finally started understanding what was going on.

So, in order to explain the lesson, I wanted to share a mini lesson with you at home. It's easier to show a video than try to explain it all using the written word. I hope this helps!

Or click HERE to watch video

Thank you. Mrs. Hasselberg for filming!

Day 51- Half Day

What a fun day!
We started with our K-2 Awards Ceremony- first grade does Perfect Attendance, Citizenship, and Most Improved. Then we had our dance! The dance cost students $35 Cub Cash, and good behavior. For 30 minutes of fun, that's a steal! With Mr. Burney as our DJ, we knew the music would be great. The beats were bumping, students were jumping, and my students looked like they had swallowed a spoonful of nasty medicine. No joke.
There were more standing in this line, but they ran when they saw the camera. They went to stand somewhere else. :)
Some of my soldiers decided to adopt the fetal position until it was over.
Did that stop our teachers from taking advantage of the rockin' awesome tunes? Of course not! Get it, Ladies!

You know how I'm always mentioning the fabulous Ms. Leahy who finds all of our poems for us? She's the one in the Clifton Hills sweatshirt! You might also recognize Mrs. Godbout from a previous post where she taught us her Shape Songs.
But don't you worry! As soon as I put the camera down and started dancing, my soldiers realized that they couldn't look any worse than I did, and they started dancing too. :)

Once we went back to the room, the kids got to finish their Naked Nouns pictures.
Which I proudly posted on my wall. Then we headed over to the carpet to hear the story...

I was a little worried my students might think the story was too young for them, but they loved it! Yea! I liked the story because it talked about Halloween, but didn't get too scary. (not that my students couldn't have handled it. They love to talk about scary stuff) After the story, they were given a Haunted House to decorate. I told them that the house needed to be decorated properly for Halloween. It could be as scary as they wanted.

 Complete with fake blood, bats and ghosts in the windows, and a tombstone.

Spiders. Creepy.

 Those yellow creatures trying to get into the house would be zombie ninjas. I'd freak out!

Ghosts, bats, and snakes. I wouldn't trick-or-treat there!

What most impressed me was my students' focus when working on the Naked Nouns and Haunted House activities. I didn't have any crazy outbursts or lag-time. We worked until time for lunch.
After lunch, we cleaned up. packed up and went home! Not too shabby!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 50- Naked Nouns

If I were to name the highlight of our day, it would be when I introduced our grammar lesson using the word "Naked". *giggle*

"Ooohh, Mrs. Delk! That's gross!" 
Me- "What's so gross about it? You were naked when you were born."

So, why was I grossing my students out? To review adjectives, of course.

I got the idea from a 5th grade teacher named Ms. Waddell. You might remember her from a previous post where teachers shared different songs and chants. She was getting ready to teach a lesson called No Naked Nouns. She wanted her students to understand the importance of using adjectives to 'dress up' nouns. Until a noun has an adjective describing it, it's NAKED.

So, I grabbed a copy of her adjective clothes...( you can click on the picture and copy/ paste if you want to use it too!)

got together with Ms. Leahy and came up with a cute poem (because our students love poems!)...

and began to plot how to review adjectives, using the word 'naked' for the shock value, and still keep the lesson on a level where our kids would get it.

After posting the poem on the board and introducing the topic of the lesson, we headed over to the carpet to read the story that would get our creative juices flowing. Now, I had gone all over the school looking for this book.

Any teacher worth their salt knows that this book is wonderful for teaching adjectives and new vocabulary. However, the only copy in the building was in the library and there were teachers sequestered in the library having their turn in the math professional development. *groan*

Luckily, I had bought this book at our book fair a few weeks ago.
Still good for adjectives and vocabulary, with the added bonus of being a seasonal book for an upcoming holiday. Score! We read through the story and posted new vocabulary terms as we went. Most of the words were French terms that Fancy Nancy likes to use.

French terms- (as they were used in the book)
Voila!- Look here!
A la mode- with ice cream
Oh la la- how nice
Bonjour!- Hello!
Mais oui- of course
Tres chic- very beautiful, fancy
Merci- thank you (I added this one)

New vocabulary-
Grateful- happy and thankful
Destination- the place where you are going
Banquet- a big meal
Mature- acting like a grown up
Charming- nice, makes others feel special

Oh my goodness! My soldiers had the best time with this! I asked Ms. White, who is Ms. Leahy's student teacher, to get a quick video of the kids repeating these terms. Of course, I reminded them to use their fancy fingers to make the terms more meaningful!

As we progressed with the lesson, every visitor we had (and we had 3 during the lesson) got to be impressed with our fancy new vocabulary terms. Ms. Gillem, Mrs. Green, and Mr. Evans were all told that their outfits were 'tres chic'. :)

After we went back to our seats, we made a new list of fancy words, to go along with our adjectives anchor chart we had made previously. Here are our new words...

The assignment- write adjectives on the different articles of clothing and color. Then use the different clothes to create outfits for Nancy and Ned Noun that are worthy of an "Oh la la!" We did this lesson towards the end of the day, so not everyone got finished. I promised the kids more time tomorrow. Here are some examples of their work.
 Too cute, right?! If you'd like a copy of the Naked Nouns poem, you can download it HERE.

  At the end of the day we had a school-wide Anti-Bullying assembly in the gym. After the presentation, Mrs. Worley, our school's Administrative Assistant and Ruler of the School (I really don't know what we would do without her), explained to the students about the upcoming  chocolate fund-raiser. More information on that will go home with students tomorrow.      

**REMINDERS** Last day for Parent/ Teacher conferences is tomorrow. I will be at school until 3:30. Report cards will be given out at the conference.
** Tomorrow is a half day. Students will be dismissed at 11:30!

I didn't cover everything we did today, but I did that for a reason. The math we covered today was a tough concept for some of my students, so I want to do a special post just about today's lesson. I also have some special videos that I'll share! I'm hoping that since I'll be student-free for a few hours tomorrow, I'll have time to do a more in-depth post. (I'll keep my fingers crossed!)

Our Daily Brain

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 49- Celebrity Soldeirs

Today was a great day.

We started with getting to write about Halloween. I had told my students that they were not allowed to mention the H-word until after Fall Break, and they were good about following directions. Now that fall break is over, we have around 5 conversations about Halloween per day. *sigh*

While I had my TIER II reading group at my table, the rest of the class were writing about their favorite part of Halloween. First we made a word bank of words they might want to use in their writing.

The words mostly centered around costumes they want to wear. I have to admit, they did a good job. We shared our writings when I finished with my reading group. Here are a few samples of their work.

 I am going to be a super girl. I can fly in the sky. I see 15 stars in the sky.

I like vampires because he is scary at all. 
(I'm thinking he meant scariest of all.)

 I want to be a princess because it have a magic stick.
(She wants a wand!)

I like to be a witch. The witch like to trick-or-treat. The witch has a pumpkins.

So, what were we doing in my TIER II group? Well, we were working on combining all the sight words that we have practiced so far. You can visit THIS site to see some of the sight words and activities that we use. For extra practice, I've made each of the students a game they will get to play with a partner tomorrow.

I found the template for the game board HERE. I simply printed it off, wrote in the words that we have been working on, and made copies for each of the students.
*Once students have mastered recognizing the words, we will make the game more interesting by having the students put the words in a sentence in order to get to more forward.

Math's focus was on Almost Doubles. Basically, numbers that really want to be doubles, but just don't make the cut. You might remember our starting doubles facts from THIS post when we worked on making even numbers. Even numbers are numbers that have pairs.
So, my students understand doubles. In fact, they understood it so well, that when we made this handy-dandy chart...
 (Double Bubble! Remember that gum?)
... when we made this chart, the kids recognized some patterns! Pattern #1- the numbers used in the doubles facts were getting bigger by ones. 1+1, 2+2, 3+3, etc. Pattern #2- the answers got bigger by 2's!
We did the facts up to 5 using our hands. The rest of the facts, we used our brains- way better. I let the kids write the facts as we checked the answers. 

The trick of the lesson was taking their understanding of doubles, and applying it to almost doubles facts. 
Let me explain. Check out this picture.

1+1 is a doubles fact. Each digit is the same and they make a perfect pair.
But what would happen if we threw another digit in?
So now instead of 1+1, we have 2+1. This is almost a doubles fact. It has one perfect pair (1+1), but it also has an extra 1. 
In our previous math adoption (Everyday Math) they called this a Doubles+1 fact. The student recognizes that there is one set of doubles in the equation, then adds 1. So, for this equation, 1+1 is the doubles fact, then add another 1 to get the answer of 3.

When we worked on practicing almost doubles facts, the kids didn't seem to have any trouble until we got to 5+6. Basically, they ran out of fingers. They were allowed to use their fingers, unifix cubes, the put-in-your-brain-and-count-up method, whatever they had in their mathematic arsenal. Only a few remembered to find the doubles fact (5+5) first, then add the extra 1.

I'm not going to stress over this. There is still plenty of time to collect more addition strategies this year. :)

It was during lunch they my class received the BEST. NEWS. EVER. Literally, it was news! Like, in the newspaper!
General Delk's Army was in the newspaper! You can read the BLOG post, or you can check out the ARTICLE! We were pretty much on Cloud 9 the rest of the day. :)
Thank you, Times Free Press!

After lunch, we had a Hamilton County writing prompt. Our prompt: Pretend you are given a monkey to baby-sit. What would you do with the monkey? (that's not word-for-word, but it's the gist) My students are wonderful about knowing how to use our anchor charts that are around the room. Students used adjectives, onomatopoeia, Halloween words that were still on the board, Antarctic words, and land forms in their stories. I didn't have the time to check out all of their papers, but one student did write that she would take her monkey to see a hill. 
Oh, the cleverness of my students!

Pictures from literacy centers: (the kids get so excited when they know they're going to get their pictures made!)

Our Daily Brain

** REMINDER** Parent/ Teacher conferences still going on this week. I will be in the building until 4 tomorrow if you'd like to come by and I will be making phone calls to parents I haven't heard from. Friday is a 1/2 day and I will be available for a conference until 3:30. Report cards will be given during the conference.


Yes, the Soldiers of General Delk's Army have reached stardom! It all began about a month ago... the school had a fire drill and there happened to be a reporter from the Chattanooga Times Free Press at the school interviewing Mr. Evans about our new crosswalk.

Well, the reporter needed a class to get their picture at the crosswalk, and Mr. Evans chose my class! (because all of my parents have signed permission forms to let their students be photographed) After showing the class' photogenic side, the reporter, Katie Ward, happened to ask Mr. Evans, "Is there anything else happening here at Clifton Hills that you'd like to tell me about?" To which, Mr. Evans turned to me and told her, "Delk here has a blog. Tell her about the blog, Delk!"


To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what I said at the time. I'm pretty sure I was doing a good impression of a deer in headlights. But, whatever I said, Ms. Ward must have liked! We spoke again the Friday before fall break and she asked me a few more questions about why I started the blog, the blog's purpose, etc.

I wasn't expecting much, maybe just a little blurb on the side of another article. I mean, it's just a little blog, nothing Earth-shattering, right? NOPE!

Check us out! This is the picture that appeared next to the ARTICLE about the class blog! (Um, the sun was really bright. Sorry 'bout the squints!) My soldiers cheered when they saw their picture in the paper! My solders- Rock Stars!

So, thank you, Times Free Press for turning my students into celebrities! I hope everyone enjoys the article. Ms. Ward, you do fabulous work! :)

Read the article HERE!

Here's a picture of the class with the article. No squints here!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 48- Hello, Mrs. Hughes!

Today I was blessed enough to be in another Professional Development. If you haven't already noticed, we have those a lot here. Today's was Math centered, just like the previous one.
My soldiers were blessed enough to have a wonderful substitute teacher, Mrs. Hughes.

Mrs. Hughes is our Literacy Coach here at Clifton Hills. She is a wonderful resource for the teachers! I am constantly picking her brain for more ideas for the classroom. :)

The good news- Mrs. Hughes LOVED the class and the students were very well behaved! In fact, they got so interested in their Poem for this week, Flutter, Flutter Little Bat, that Mrs. Hughes plugged her computer into the Promethean Board and they researched bats as a class!

As you can see, they read the poem and found the rhyming words.

The bad news- no Daily Brain at the end of this post. I can promise you, the students went home with a full brain!

In math, the lesson was on Doubles Facts. My students already work with doubles facts when they do their Counting By 2's Cha-Cha. Students learned the definition of double- having two of the same thing. When counting with doubles, the main thing to remember is that you are adding the number to itself!

For reading, Mrs. Hughes reviewed a story from our book. It's a story called Seasons and it tells about things that happen and animals you would find in different seasons. After reading with the class, she had the kids help her fill out a fabulous chart. (Mrs. Hughes loves charts too!)

After making the chart, students were to pick their favorite season and write at least 3 sentences telling why that season was their favorite. (and once again, my students impressed Mrs. Hughes with their writing abilities!)
Here are some samples of their wonderful work:

I am going to post the chart and the students' writings outside our classroom. Come by and check us out!

So, all in all, this was a great day! Everyone went home happy!

**REMINDER** Today is my long day for Parent/ Teacher conferences. I am typing this post from school! I will be available tonight until 6pm, and tomorrow until 4:30. Friday is a half day and I will stay in the building until 3:30. Report cards are given out during the conference!