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Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 86- Back in the saddle again

I'm not going to lie, it was very hard to get up this morning. I really enjoyed my break, and I hope my students did as well!

We started our morning with a little surprise. I told my students that they would not be seeing the Related Arts teachers anymore.....

in the mornings. *collective sigh of relief*

The first grade and fifth grade teachers got together and decided to swap their related arts times so fifth grade can work on preparing their students for the BIG WRITING PROMPT that is coming in February. So, for the next few weeks we will be having our related arts classes at 1pm.

Whatever will we do with our mornings? Work hard, of course! I introduced our new centers, provided my the wonderful Ms. Leahy. During our Professional Development days, the first grade team decided to re-vamp our literacy centers. Ms. Leahy shared that her centers are working great, her students are staying on task, the centers hit the 5 components of literacy, and they don't require a lot of changes from week to week.

I'm all about working smarter, not harder! Here are some pictures from today's center work.

 Buddy reading and filling out a story map. 
Nothing Earth-shattering, but it kept my students on task, and I could hear giggling when two of the students got to a funny part in the leveled reader I put in the tub. (I made sure to put in the reader they read the last week we were in school, so they wouldn't need my help with the words.)

Spelling Texters/ Read-and-Write the room/ Noun Town

We have done this one since the beginning of the year, but it is on of my students' favorites. We combined it with a Read-and-Write the room sheet where the students will write the words and put them in sentences. 

For Noun Town, students work on a worksheet on nouns as a review. I take up the worksheets, but students will see them again next week. We will use the same worksheet to find nouns, adjectives, and verbs. That's 3 weeks worth of work on one worksheet! (Since we are only allowed a certain number of copies per month, this is wonderful!)

 Picnic Basket and Vegetable Soup

This was a cute idea from Ms. Leahy. In the Picnic Basket (it's just a box in my room, but in Leahy's classroom it really is a basket) students get to choose a picture to write about. They can use the Anchor Charts that we have made in class to help them add flashy words to help describe their pictures. 

The best part about these pictures is that they are part of a vocabulary building program that the school bought years ago. On the back of the picture is a fancy new vocabulary word. For example, on the back of the picture on the right (of the lady decorating the cake) is the word embellishment. The baker is adding flowers as an embellishment.

For the Vegetable Soup part of the center, the students must put the vocabulary words on the back of the pictures in ABC order. After putting them in order, they will put the words in a sentence of their own. Students can do this with a partner at their table, or individually. If students run out of work, they are to also put the Words to Know (on the board) in ABC order as well.

 Word Work/ Meet the Vowels

Students in this center first work on an activity on the vowel of the week. This week we are working on words with the long 'i' sound. After completing the activity, students will build the Words to Know (from the Houghton Mifflin story for the week) using magnetic letters. The Words to Know are usually a mixture of sight words, new vocabulary words, and the phonics skill for the week.

Poetry/ Fluency

Students read the poem of the week with a partner and find different words to circle, highlight, underline, etc. In this poem, sight words were highlighted in yellow, new vocabulary was underlined in pink, and science words were underlined in green. Students get their pictures made with their poems (to make sure that they do it!) Then they can keep it in their poetry folders.

Ms. Leahy typed up the different centers so we could print them out and tape them to the different center boxes. I'll ask her about sharing them on her blog so everyone can share the center love!

Of course that couldn't take up all of our morning time. In whole group, we read the short story The Mouse's House. It's a Teacher-Read- Aloud story from the Houghtom Mifflin series.

It's a story about animals who find an article of clothing (a red sock) and decide that it would make a comfortable home. While reading, one of my soldiers made a text-to-text connection!

Soldier- "Mrs. Delk, that's like another story I heard in kindergarten!"
Me- "Really? Do you remember which one?"
Soldier- "I don't remember the name, but it's the one about the mitten!"
Me- "Could it be The Mitten by Jan Brett?"
Soldier- "Yeah, that's it!"

Now, I know I own a copy of this story, but I couldn't find it anywhere. So I had my students time me while I ran all the way to the library (across the hall), searched for the book (Mrs. Green found it for me), and ran all the way back to the classroom (back across the hall). All in all, it took 42 seconds. Best workout ever.

We read both stories and made a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the similar plots.

But the morning is still not done! We still had math!
To make an hour long math session short, we working on turning large numbers into groups of tens, with extras. Need an example? Here you go...

Take the number 34.
Now, say it S-L-O-W... 30....4.
Very good. Did you notice how it sounded like two numbers, 30 and 4?
Next we found which of those numbers is a 10. (the number you would say when counting by 10s) 30 is a 10!
How many tens get you to 30? Count by tens! 10...20...30! That's 3 sets of 10!
So, the number 34 has three sets of 10 and 4 extras!

All this learning, and all before lunch!

Our writing practice for the day: We made some New Years Resolutions! Thanks to Ladybug's Teacher Files, we had a totally cute graphic organizer with which to prepare ourselves for the new year.

 In science we started a new unit on Matter.

Student- "Mrs. Delk, what's matter?"
Me- "Nothing! What's a-matter with you?"

HAHAHAHA!! Oh, I crack myself up!

Anyhoo- we started by watching  short video on BrainPop Jr. to introduce the topic. Then we started a chart that we will fill in as we learn more.

I know you're impressed with how much we accomplished on our first day back. Saddle up your horses, folks! General Delk's Army is ready to ride into the new year!

Our Daily Brain

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