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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 71- Shape Wars

Today it was Plane Shapes vs Solids. Or, as we defined them, flat vs. 3-D.
I asked my students if they knew what it meant to say that a shape was 3-D. I received blank stares. So, I asked a different question,
"Who has ever gone to see a 3-D movie?"
Lots of raised hands now.
"Ok, who can tell me the difference between a regular movie and a 3-D movie?"

Student answers ranged from:
"3-D movies are scary." to "They have cartoons."

Finally, one brilliant soldier raised his hand.

"Mrs. Delk, in a 3-D movie, things pop out at you."
Kiss your brain, Soldier! That was a perfect answer!

I explained that a plane shape is flat, you can't hold it in your hand. Whereas a 3-D shape seems to pop off the page, and can be held.We made a list of plane and 3-D shapes while finding the 3-D shapes around the room.
Yeah, I messed up trying to draw a pyramid. As it turns out, my drawing skills are worse than I originally thought. Never fear, that's why the Internet was created! We just popped over to Google and found some wonderful examples of ancient pyramids.

But the brilliance of my students doesn't begin and end with shape knowledge. Earlier in the week, one of my female soldiers informed the class of a mathematical finding she encountered over Thanksgiving break:

"Mrs. Delk, did you know that no matter what doubles fact you add, the answer is always an even number?"
*Knock me over with a feather! This came out of the blue during calendar time.*
Me- "Really? When did you find that out?"
Soldier- "I was practicing my facts over the break and I found it out."

We practiced some to show everyone that she was right. Oh my goodness, I was so proud!

Later in the day, we were looking at the blog to see some pictures of the flood, and she made another connection. (but not in math) We were looking at {THIS} post, and looking at this picture of our playground:

and she said, "Mrs. Delk, that looks like a billibong!" Now, if you're new to the blog, she was referencing an Australian lesson where we learned some fascinating Aussie vocabulary. This is a billibong:

I can definitely see the similarities. I love when my students prove that they were listening!

Well, even though our playground is no longer under water, it is still a nasty piece of wetland. So, we had recess inside. We've been in school for 4 months and my students still love the same blocks and read/ color books. What can I say? I'm all about cheap thrills.


 Read and color books

Playing a sight word phrase card game. You can find the game {HERE}

The soldier in the blue shirt is addicted to this game! She wants to play it every time we have recess inside. I can tell she's getting better at her reading fluency too so I'm not going to tell her no!

Pictures from literacy centers today:

 Read, Build, Write cards and Spelling Texters

Our Daily Brain

Kindergarten Korner

I want you to look at these smiling faces.

Is it any wonder why our kindergarten students love to come to school? We have a terrific team of kindergarten teachers and their enthusiasm for teaching matches their students' enthusiasm for life.

Our kindergarten teachers came together to create... A BLOG! Specifically geared toward kindergarten parents and teachers, their blog will cover classroom objectives while also sharing ideas and weekly activities.

So, head over to Kindergarten Korner, and share in the love!

p.s. They are also working on geometric shapes and they have a helpful post along with a song/ video! Check it out {HERE}!

The Fantastic 5s

I've mentioned before how much I love Ms.Waddell, one of our 5th grade teachers. However, I have neglected to share her new blog! I'm a horrible person and I am so sorry!

Ms. Waddell's blog came about one day when I came to her class to share a story about a boy who had...

Her students loved the story, and I mentioned that I had given them a Shout Out on my blog for their Naked Nouns writing activity. Of course they wanted to see it, and after seeing it they wanted one of their own! We set it up that morning in class!

Her students chose the name of their blog: The Fantastic 5s. Head on over and give them a shout out of your own!

Destination Graduation

Do you hear that?.... That faint typing sound?... It sounds like it's coming from..... Ms. Beckett!

That's right, we have ANOTHER BLOGGER here at Clifton Hills! I'm proud to introduce Ms. Beckett to the blogging world! She is another of our first grade teachers, and I am glad she is on my team.

Her blog title is Destination Graduation. I love the title because it shows that she has high expectations for all of her students!
You can visit her blog my clicking on her blog title or by clicking on this link:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Free Printables- Pattern Block Templates

As I was stumbling along in Blog Land, I came across a Blog named PreKinders. Yes, I now it is geared toward Pre-K teachers, but there are some great ideas to be found! (even for older level students!)

For example, we have been studying shapes for a while now, and my students love to play with their shape patterns, so you should click {HERE}and visit PreKinders for some pattern block printables!

Day 70- The New Power of 10

Due to the flooding yesterday, Hamilton County schools opened 2 hours late today. What did that mean for my class? No related arts or TIER II reading intervention. We came in, unpacked, and started straight into math.

Behavior-wise, it was a great day! Everyone went home on yellow! (gold star for everyone!) Of course, it helps that I only had 10 students today.

That's right. 10. TEN! Seven of my students were out today! The room felt empty. (probably because it was)

As a teacher, only having 10 students in one's classroom poses a problem. I didn't want to introduce a brand new concept since half of my students would miss it. But I didn't want to waste a day because I was missing students! What to do... what to do...

We'll make a chart. I love charts.

The math lesson for the day was a toughie. In fact, when I looked it over I hated it. It was confusing and complicated, and that for me! I could only imagine how my students would handle it! The topic was making a chart of how to create new shapes. So, instead of doing the workbook page, we created our own chart. Since there were only 11 of us total, including me, we sat in a circle on the carpet for the lesson. Each student had a bag of geometric shapes, and a piece of paper to act as their table. (while sitting on the floor)

First shape- hexagon.
 6 triangles, 2 trapezoids

2 rhombuses and 2 triangles, 1 trapezoid and 3 triangles

3 rhombuses, and our filled out chart

Next a trapezoid-
 3 triangles, 1 triangle and 1 rhombus

2 triangles
Our filled in chart-

The last challenge before lunch- girls were to make a flower and boys were to make a robot. I have to say, my boys were more creative.
My girls' creations-

My boys' creations-
 We ended the lesson with one boy and one girl having to explain which shapes they used on their creation.

My students had a good time, and we didn't even need a workbook page to get the lesson across. Yea!

After lunch, during whole group reading time we looked at our new poems, found by Ms. Leahy. They are poems on shapes! How fitting! I didn't get a picture, but I hope to get video of us tomorrow!

My students were excited to be able to do literacy centers again today! They haven't gotten to touch them in over 2 weeks, so today was a treat!

 Spelling Texters

 Rhyming word matching game

In science we are learning about famous scientists and inventors. As a grade level, we decided on:
Thomas Edison

George Washington Carver,

and Benjamin Franklin

 I make a quick power point last night to be able to introduce them today. If you would like to check out the power point, you can see it HERE. Most of the information I found came from Wikipedia and Google.

Here's hoping my students are all back tomorrow!
Our Daily Brain

Figurin' Out Fourth

We teachers at the Hills seem to have been hit by the Blogging Bug! Welcome to the blogging community... Ms. Hawkins!
Ms. Hawkins is currently a 4th grade teacher, but she has experience in 1st and 3rd as well. She is full of great ideas and helpful hints. (I know I've picked her brain a few times!)

Well, she has started her new blog Figurin' Out Fourth to document her year in fourth grade, and to help parents and students. Check her out!
While you're there, leave her a comment!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fabulous in First

Welcome to the Blogging world, Ms. Leahy!

I know everyone remembers the fabulous Ms. Leahy. She is the finder of all of the poems we use in class. She is a wonderful first grade teacher, and now she is a member of the blogging community!

To see the post where Ms. Leahy shows off her mad dancing skills, click HERE!

To check out her new Blog, Fabulous in First, click HERE!

Day 69 (?)- Channeling Gene Kelly

This post will be better if you listen to this song while reading.

It was a glorious feeling! To wade through ankle deep water from where I had to park, (behind our school and down a block) to pick up my 10 students who valiantly braved the weather to further their education, to get to my classroom to hear 20 min later that school was going to be closing early due to flooding.

My first thought, "Well, duh!"

The sight from the front of our school, and our parking lot. (hence the reason everyone had to park behind the school on higher land) Our school was built decades ago during a time when no one apparently cared that it would be placed in the middle of a flood zone.

We teachers have learned to prepare ourselves during the rainy seasons.
1. Never park in the parking lot if there is more than a 60% chance of rain for the day.
2. Keep boots and an umbrella in your car at all times
3. Have all parents on speed-dial just in case of early dismissals
4. Laugh at the Newbie teachers who don't believe the stories until they see it for themselves :)

Here is a look at our playground. To quote a 5th grader, "There's ducks on our playground!" Well, technically they were geese, but yes, there were aquatic birds enjoying our playground.

 The tree in the background of the second picture is where second grade had our 'beach day' at the end of the year last year. It is usually a nice open field next to our playground.

The flooding was not limited to our part of Hamilton County. In fact, flooding was an epidemic all over the county. Check out the news report from News Channel 9 HERE.

But were we teachers worried? NO! Did we panic? NO! We made sure our men were geared up and ready to go to work!

Mr. Moore and Mr. Burney, masters of style and grace under pressure, made sure that students leaving early were kept safe and sound, and that teachers who needed cars moved were not overly burdened. Well done, Gentlemen! Well done!

Not to be left out, and also sporting her fashion sense despite the nasty weather, Ms. Brewer worked hard to make sure that parents and students were matched during the early dismissals.
Ms. Brewer is our resident fashion plate, so it comes as no surprise that she can make galoshes look good too!

"But what of the children. Mrs. Delk? The children!"
Never fear, my students were hard at work. That's right! My soldiers were working! By 9am I only had 8 students left, so we worked on math centers.

 Working on domino fact families, and sorting attributes.

And even when I was down to 3 kids, they stayed focused! I had 2 soldiers work on their fact families right up until the end!

 So, by 10am the school was empty and the waters were still rising. Tonight the news informed us to expect more rain, and possibly snow. Hamilton County is on a 2 hour delay for Tuesday. And, surprise, surprise, we are on a Flood Watch for the night.

Oh, what a glorious feeling!