Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mo Willems - An Author Study with Pigeon, Elephant & Piggie, and Knuffle Bunny!

Do you LOVE Pigeon?! Do your kids LOVE Pigeon?!

I cannot get enough of that silly pigeon and my kids agree. He is a read-aloud favorite and my kids begggg for me to read a pigeon book at least once a day! 

I'm not a pigeon-only type of gal either. I think all three Knuffle Bunny books are just amazing for students in so many ways.... and those Elephant and Piggie books?! They are also class favorites.

Basically, I love Mo Willems. My class loves Mo Willems. and I think he is a literary genius! All this being said, my 1st grade team and I are finishing up our year with a few author studies. I knew my kids would SO enjoy studying Mo Willems and all his fantastic books, so I wanted to get started on this unit right away!

If you can't already tell... I am SO excited about this unit :)

I made a better preview so you can actually SEE some of the pages and types of activities in the unit... if you want to check that out... click HERE!

Here are some examples of activities included:

 Letters to write to Mo Willems!

Making inferences, comprehension questions, text-to-self connections and more with Elephant and Piggie! 

 Character changes over time, making predictions, looking at dialogue and more with all three Knuffle Bunny books!

Adjectives, text-dependent questions, opinion prompts, vocabulary and more with Pigeon!

A fun, creative writing activity looking at the unique photographs/illustrations in the Knuffle Bunny books!

Click on any of the images above to get a closer look :) The unit is on sale through tomorrow night (Wednesday 4/23).

PS- If you want to win a free copy... make sure you head on over to my facebook page!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Insects - Tons of freebies!

We have been studying insects the past few weeks in class! In my previous years, I had only taught about caterpillars and butterflies. This year I found out our science program will let us study a few different insects. 

First up, are meal worms!

I have plenty of butterfly activities from [this pack] I had made this year, but I needed a few different things for this unit, so I made a little mini-unit that I thought I would offer up as a freebie.

We held these crawling little buggers in our hands today and the kids were squirming and giggling all over the place! Then, we recorded our observations in our journal:

We unscrambled some insect sentences during handwriting:

and practiced mentally adding and subtracting 10 with this little math game:

Last, we did a little close reading all about the Venus Flytrap and my kids thought is was THE COOLEST PLANT EVER!

*This passage is actually in my Plants unit, but since we won't be studying those for a couple more weeks, I thought this would be a nice addition to our insect study*

All of the activities above (except the close read) are for FREE in this little unit I uploaded to TPT last night! I hope others can use them!

Happy Monday :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Measurement Fun & Plants!

We were back to business in room 102 and we were all about measurement!

Non-standard measurement that is.

Here are a few of the fun activities we did this week:

Measure Me! The kids were giggling like crazy as they made estimates about each part of their body and then measured how long their body was in cubes! We measured our heads, our hands, our feet, our waist, and more!

Crooked paths! Each pair of students got a piece of construction paper with two lines on it. The top line (A) was a straight line and the bottom line (B) was crooked and ended before the end of A. We looked at our lines and had a whole discussion about which one we thought was longer. 20 of my 21 kids thought A was longer because "it is straight" "it looks way longer" and "the end of the line is closer to the edge of the paper than B." Great ideas! Then one of my littles raised his hand and quietly said...

"I think B is longer" the kids couldn't believe he was saying this! I asked him why and he responded... "I'm imagining it to be straight" and I swear my teacher heart skipped a beat! I just smiled a BIG ole smile and said... "Very interesting! Let's measure them now and see what happens! We then measured each line with paper clips and recorded how long they were. To their surprise B was a couple paper clips longer!

On the other side of the paper were two really crooked paths. The top one had a lot more "crooks" in it and basically looked like a zig-zag line all the way across, while the bottom one had less "crooks." By the end of the lesson, my students realized that the more zig-zaggy the line was, the longer the line generally was!

This is a lesson straight from Investigations called "animal jumps." When the students got back from lunch there were huge pieces of masking tape all over the classroom labeled with different letters. I told the kids that while they were gone all these animals came into our classroom and jumped all over the place! They did not believe me in the slightest, but I kept up with my silly lie anyway.

The students got an envelope filled with 3 different measuring tools:
popsicle sticks
baby feet
basketball player feet

They had to travel around to each animal's jump and make an estimate for each tool. They then practiced measuring each line and at the end we talked about why the same line would have different measurements based on the tool we measured with - aka why is the kangaroo's jump only 5 basketball player feet?! when it is 22 baby feet long?!

It was an exhausting week, but the kids loved it! Next week in math, we move onto data and graphing!

I also wanted to share that I finished my plant unit and it is uploaded on TPT! We are working on insects right now, but then we are moving onto plants!

Here is a little sneak peek:
 A fun science experiment growing lima beans complete with observing journals, science readers, fact sheets, and an art/poetry project at the end!

 Literacy activities such as non-fiction close reads, fact/opinion sorts and plenty of word work centers.

Math centers and ready-to-use math printable games and activities.

Here are a few of the centers I already have prepped:
Of course I snagged these adorable felt spring containers from the Target $1 spot to hold my centers!

 Buzzing for Digraphs! Students match up the flower with the correct bee header and record!

Vowel puzzles! Students match up the long and short vowel pictures and create the little puzzles correctly. There is a flower with 3 pictures for each of the 5 short vowels and the 5 long vowels (with a recording sheet).

Sentence Scrambles! My kids struggle with this, so I added 6 sentence scrambles with plant facts on them for the kids to practice! Each sentence is color coded and have a symbol to match to the recording sheet. That way I can check to see they completed each one correctly!

To see more, click on any of the images above or click HERE!

Not that this post isn't LONG enough already, but I am a little late to join the party. Some of my Spring items are on sale from now through tomorrow night (3/30)!

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