Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lucky Clover

Not many people can say that they have a strong team.  I am so lucky I get to work with three AMAZING teachers!  Miss Ferguson is full of creative ideas and resources.  You walk into her room and you instantly can tell she was born to teach first grade.  At the beginning of the year, Miss Ferguson shared with us a nonsense word fluency game she had used to help her students master basic phonics skills.  She has created a new game for St. Patrick's Day called "Lucky Clover."  Click on the bear to download the game.

How to play:  Put all the clovers in a bag.  Players take turns pulling a clover out.  If the player reads the card, he/she keeps the card.  If not, they put it back in.  If the player pulls a "Lucky Clover," then he/she gets two turns.  The game is over when all the cards are used.

This is a fun game to help reinforce blending and phonics sounds.  It is going into my game station this week.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Make 10

We began our new Investigations Unit this week...Number Games and Crayon Puzzles.  Our focus this week was the number 10.  We played various games to help us master combinations of 10.  Making 10 is a fun and easy game that helps students develop fluency with two addend combinations of 10. 

You need four rows of five number cards, with the numbers facing up.  The goal is to find two cards that you can combine to make 10.  After a combination is found both players write the equation on their white board (or piece of paper).  Players take turns until no more combinations can be found.

After playing a few times, students challenged themselves by combining three cards to make 10. 

Take a Stand

Take a Stand, Lend a Hand, Stop Bullying Now! 

This was BES Anti-Bully week.  Students participated in various activities to learn about bullying and what to do when someone is being bullied.  Our favorite book of the week was Jungle Bullies by Steven Kroll.

We used this book and others to learn strategies when dealing with bullies.  I turned this into a Reader's Theater.  So in addition to the anti-bully work, we are working on fluency. 

We also made bracelets with anti-bully messages like "BES doesn't Bully", "Be nice", and "Take a Stand".

Finally we wrote tips for dealing with bullies.  We used the tips for the door decorating contest held this week.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Future Presidents

What would you do if you were President?  Here's a glimpse at some Presidential hopefuls for 2044 and many are ready to make the world a better place.  Some want to clean up parks, invent a new vegetable, and help people.  There are others who would take the jet and order a private pizza, go swimming, and rest (I'm guessing that student will not be running once he realizes the job expectations!)

This was our final project of a week long study on Presidents.  Currently we are studying Teeth.

Thank you to the parents who helped with this project.  I've had many stop in and say how much they love it. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

I want to thank Brooke from Primary Perspective for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award.  She continues to inspire me to implement and create lessons that are fun and memorable.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this 

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Seven Things about Shannon

1. I LOVE reading magazines! Now I do also LOVE books, but have a hard time reading books during the school year.  I enjoy all types of magazines: fashion, home, and fitness.  I can at least try to be healthy by looking at those health magazines.

2.  I try to make fresh juice often.  I love my juicer.  My favorite is carrot, celery, spinach, parsley, and ginger.  I know what you are thinking..."yuck!" But it is so good and I feel so much better when I drink it.

3.  I have a sensitivity to both cow's milk and yeast.  I have to limit my intake.  That's right no ice cream or grilled cheese!  However, I have discovered a world of food that I never knew existed.  Coconut milk ice cream, millet bread, and goat cheese.
My wonderful husband has helped me create my old favorites that will not make me sick.  I can now have pizza again thanks to him. Now he will not touch my pizza (millet bread crust and goat cheese) but I think it is absolutely delicious!

4.  I have a passion for yoga.  Yin Yoga is my favorite...very relaxing.

5.  My husband and I love to spend time on the lake during summer months.  Our favorite is gathering with friends in Norris Lake, TN.

6. I secretly want to learn to knit and make jewelry.  

7. I have an addiction to Starbucks...yes this needs to stop!

I could spend hours looking online at classroom blogs and websites.  I love to find new ideas for my classroom.

There are so many fabulous teachers.  Here are five of my favorite blogs:

Thanks again Brooke!

Friday, February 18, 2011

100th Day Creations

Here are a few photos of work created yesterday during our 100th Day Celebration.
When I am 100...

100th Day Designs

A Self Portrait

The 0's are Donuts and the 1 is the tube, squeezing jelly into the donuts.  There is a hand holding the 1.  The other hand is trying to steal the donut. :)

Can you guess?  This is a face, winking and eating.  One 0 is an eye, the other is the mouth eating food.  The 1 is the other eye, closed.  
I love their creativity!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

100 Days Smarter

Many schools celebrated the 100th Day of school a few weeks ago.  With our late start and several snow days we are a bit behind.  But today it was finally here.  Hip Hip Hooray!  Here is my amazing class all decked out in our Frog shirts.  We made the shirts for special days.  Aren't they the cutest class ever?!

We celebrated the 100th day  It began in morning meeting.  I always ask a morning question.  Many times we estimate.  This week we have be estimating coins, then writing the value.  Today I had 100 pennies in jar.  Apparently I am pretty predictable.  Every student estimated 100 pennies.  Here we are putting them in groups of ten to count.
Next came a reading of 100 Hungry Ants.  Students had to draw a way the ants could march in equal rows.  This lesson came from mathwire.  We also (tried) to write 100 words.  We made text-to-self connections with 100th Day Worries.

After lunch the fun began.  The students enjoyed our 100th Day Stations.
1.  Estimation Station.  Is it more or less than 100?
2.  How many ways to make 100? (A favorite)  Students did addition, subtraction, and multiplication.  They used tally marks and created coin combinations.
3.  Name patterns.  Students had to write their first name over and over again in a 100 chart, then color the first letter to create a pattern.  This also came from Mathwire.
4.  100th Design.  Students got the number 100 and had to create a design with those numbers.  This idea comes from Michelle Gagne.  This was SO much fun.  Students created faces, bikes, necklaces.  I will have to take some more photos and post them on the blog.
5.  100th Day Snack.  A very yummy station. Students each got 10 pieces of 10 items to eat 100 pieces of yum!

We had so much fun!  The students did an AMAZING job with the stations, even with a surprise fire drill.

We finished up our celebration after special.  Yesterday, students used Pixie to draw a current self-portrait and one of what they will look like when they are 100.  We printed them out and colored them.  Today, students wrote what they can do now and what they hope to do when they are 100.  Students hope to see, walk, and eat when they are 100.  This is a modified lesson from Mrs. Jump and Mrs. Larremore

It was such a special day!  Thanks to all the parents who helped make the day a HUGE success!

Monday, February 7, 2011

What color is a Polar Bear?!

We completed our study of Polar Animals last week.  Students dived into this unit.  We began with the study of Penguins.  We created a Schema/New Learning Chart to monitor our study.  I had introduced students to misconceptions back in November, so we created a spot for misconceptions.  I couldn't have planned a better learning opportunity. On Day One of our study, a student shared her schema:  Polar Bears are enemies to Penguins.  I added to a post-it and placed it under Schema.  I just couldn't wait for a student to realize that this was, in fact, a misconception.  The next day we read National Geographic for Kids Penguins.  I was reading about Penguins' enemies...Did you know that rats are enemies to some types of Penguins?!  As I was reading, I would add New Learning Post-its and revisit the Schema section.  I reread the student's statement on Polar Bears.  I paused for a minute and said "That's interesting.  This book mentioned several enemies, but never said anything about a Polar Bear.  I wonder why?"  I could see the kids thinking hard and all of a sudden a hand flew up.  He knew the answer...They can't be enemies because they live on the opposite sides of the world!"  That student got a "kiss my brain!"
 Though I do not have a picture of our Schema/New Learning chart, I do have a photo of our Penguin Tree Map.  We finished Penguins with an "All About Penguins" writing.  Inside the adorable penguins are the student's writing pieces.  (Thanks Mrs. Chitwood for creating the wonderful display!)

Now what color is a Polar Bear?  After several snow days, we finally were able to work with Polar Bears.  Students are always fascinated with this beautiful creature.  They just cannot believe that the skin of a Polar Bear is black and it's fur is actually colorless.  With our Polar Bear study, students created their own personal Polar Bear tree maps.  We displayed the tree maps with our Polar Bears.  To remind students that the Polar bear has black skin, we trace a Polar Bear on black construction paper and go over it with chalk.

We finished Polar Bears with a measurement and writing activity.  Students learned that the paw of an adult male can be up to 18 inches in length.  We created life-size paws and completed another "All About" writing.  As you can see I am out of room and have not displayed these.  I think I am going to turn them into a class book. 
It was such a fun unit!  Now we are studying Heart Health in celebration of Valentine's Day, using a Picture Perfect Science unit.  I will post photos soon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Valentine Book Exchange

I am VERY excited that my class will be participating in a Valentine Book Exchange with some blog friends over the next few weeks.  We have each sent our favorite Valentine's Day book and we will begin our book study next week.  I created a reading journal to go along with the study and have modified it so teachers who are not participating in the exchange can use it in their classroom.  You could study five favorite books of students or you could even have a book exchange within your school! 

We will be finishing up with a text-to-text connection lesson using the Valentine Venn Diagram from Brooke Perry.