Sunday, February 15, 2015

A little bit of this.... a little bit of that.....

Is it just me or is this winter draaaaaagggginnnngg on and on?!  It's about that time of year where I think all of us in the snowy states are just in a funk!  Thankfully, I get to go on a honeymoon in 2 months and get out of this cold! :)  So I decided to blog today because I have so much going on and have not had time to catch up on here!  Besides school and wedding planning, we are buying our first house!  It is all so exciting but also just really chaotic!  I can't wait to share some of what I have been doing for the wedding with you but since they are all still works in progress, I have to wait!

So, I will share what I have been doing at school!  We have tried to get out for recess as much as we possible!  And what better way to keep the kiddos out of trouble than put them to work! 

We have a full set of shovels and almost every single student was working hard to help out our custodians this day!  Unfortunately, since then, we have gotten much more snow (can you tell I hate the cold weather?)!  But, it does keep our first graders entertained!

I have been working on getting a SUB TUB together.  I see these on Pinterest and obviously it is a great idea!  So I got some activities and games together to put into the tub!  Since I differentiate all my activities, I tried to find things that all students could do but I ended up leveling some things!  I wrote a note to the sub to simply call students by group when doing these activities since the students all know what group they are in.  Some things I included are:
- Sight Word Bingo
- Story Sequencing
My Teacher Is Missing FREE Activity
- Addition/Subtraction Games

...and even though I am not a fan, I did include some worksheets in case the sub needs some down time!  I am working on creating some SUB UNITS for some popular read aloud books but until then...this is what I have!  Do you have a sub tub?  I would love to hear what activities you included!  

We started some new centers recently too!  The students LOVE them!!  The first center is the sentence/picture matching.  I made this one and you can get your copy HERE.  I love this one because it reinforces comprehension skills and helps my struggling readers learn to figure out new words by using the picture.  It is differentiated by the colored borders on the pictures and sentences.  For struggling students, you can provide only one color to work with.  And for advanced students, they can work with the whole set.

I also started my Noun & Verb Center!  Students use the cards to first sort the nouns and the verbs but then they have to USE them!  The mat has a cheat on it so the students know where to put the noun and where to put the verb to make a sentence.  Then they have to write their sentence.  So they are practicing identifying, using, and writing nouns and verbs all in one center!

We just finished our Tacky the Penguin Whole Brain Teaching Unit on characters, setting, and plots!  The students had so much fun learning through our crazy Tacky books!  In my final assessment, I got a fun little answer for the setting... I love first grade inventive spelling!

It was perfect to use Tacky to study characters, setting, and plot because now we are moving into Informational Text and we can compare the Tacky books to Informational Text about penguins!  It has really helped students understand the differences!

And of course we have to use our Whole Brain Teaching BRAINIES!

I created an informational text unit that follows perfectly with the Tacky unit!  Students will be able to recognize features of Informational Text and become authors of their own text!  (And I just LOVE hearing my students use the word text!)  You can check out my Penguin Research Project HERE!

I have included WBT Power Pix and a WBT 5 Step Lesson!

We are just starting this unit so I will add more pictures of how my class used these resources as we go along!  Right now we are studying the Power Pix & looking at different features of text using non-fiction penguin books from the library.  However, most of the time, my students are more excited about learning about penguins than learning about text features!  ....still not sure if that is a good thing or not :)

This is how I arranged the Power Pix for Informational Text...

This way the students know our Main Idea is Informational Text and the other Power Pix are the features!

And we are still doing these "Ask Me About" papers on Fridays!

I think I might hire this student to draw my Power Pix next year :)
She is an amazing artist!  This is the actual power pic for verb....

When the students do these "Ask Me About" papers, they have to explain to me WHAT each concept is before they are allowed to put it in their folders.  This way I know they are not just copying off our Focus Wall!

And last share for the day... but certainly not least...

We have finally started the Genius Ladder!  (You can download this awesome game for FREE on the Whole Brain Teaching website.)

We have been working on turning BLAH Sentences into SPICY sentences!  My students know that a BLAH sentence is just an article, noun, and a verb.  Some of them can be a little "cool" but most of them are "boring" and put us to sleep!  We want to wake up and party so we need ...... ADJECTIVES!  We have been practicing adjectives with the Electronic SuperSpeed Grammar game from WBT so now we are applying them with the Genius Ladder!  This week I am hoping we can move up to the 3rd step which is the EXTENDER Sentence!

Here is an example of "Spicy Sentences".... I had my students fill out the adjective sheet to describe each noun.  Then I had them use some of the adjectives and nouns to create spicy sentences!  This particular student was doing so well, I challenged her to an extended sentence and that is what she was writing on the bottom :)

My students LOVE turning BLAH sentences into SPICY sentences and I am so happy to see them excited about writing!  If you have any questions on how to use any of the Whole Brain Teaching materials, feel free to email me or leave me a comment below!  It WILL transform your class!  Remember, I teach at an urban priority school and our school day is 8 and a half hours long.... with Whole Brain Teaching, my students never get tired of learning!