Friday, October 28, 2011

 Galaxies Galore

We ended our three day week, with some sculpting and glitter....all before the afternoon conferences began.  Glitter is crazy, you might be thinking, but it actually turned out to be pretty fun and un-messy!  We started with black playdough for the atmosphere.  Then we added the glitter in clumps or all over to be the stars.  Finally we had to decide how many planets our new galaxy should have and how they should be arranged.  Final product, the new galaxy that astronauts have yet to discover.

Shockingly, the glitter stayed with the playdough and didn't end up all over our floor!

Monday, October 24, 2011

 Lines and Shapes Pumpkin Patch

This week is a three day week, because of conferences.  Fun things happen during short weeks....special projects and art.   So pumpkins and art are this week's mash-up.   We have been practicing lines and shapes and applied our skills to pumpkins.  Check out the Lines and Shapes Pumpkin Patch!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

 This Week

Clutter Free Classroom is having a what did you do this week linky party.  Here are a few of this week's highlights:

1)  A new student joined our class.  For no reason I know of, I love getting new students.  (Especially when they even out my class numbers.)  The tip someone gave me, that has been so helpful with new students.  Put everything you need for new students all in one place.  Then when you are getting ready for them, everything is in one place.
This is my bag of everything I need for a new student.
 Then I just pull out one of each thing and it is ready for the new chickadee.
2)  We have been working on strategies for addition.  First we looked at some great posters made by Mrs. Lemons here is an image of one of them.  Then we worked in groups to make our own posters.  (Pictures coming soon.  Camera got left behind on Friday.)
Here are the student versions: 
Draw a Picture
 Use a Fact Family
 Use Your Doubles
 Use Your Doubles
 Put the Big Number in Your Head and Count Up
 Flip Flop

Monday, October 17, 2011

 Read-Aloud Linky Party

Swimming Into Second is having a Read-Aloud Linky Party and I do love a party! I like to read series books as read-alouds.  I usually only read the first one as a teaser and encourage students to add the next one to their bookbags. 

Our favorite read aloud is a series by Emily Jenkins.  The first one is called Toys Go Out.  Each toy has a unique personality and they go on all sorts of adventures.

Our favorite adventure is when Lumphy, the Buffalo, gets peanut butter all over him and has to go to the basement for the washing machine.  At first he is afraid, but then he meets Frank, the washing machine and his whole outlook changes:-)

Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

 Classroom Tour

For those who don't get to come to school everyday, here is our home away from home.

This is the poster on our door.  It is surrounded by a picture of all the people in our class.
 Next is our info. board.  It has a copy of the most recent Friday Foote Facts (our newsletter) and the lunch menu.  We students arrive they put their magnet on their plan for lunch that day.
Curtain wall-behind the curtains are all sorts of good things.  Teacher guides, student books for Treasures, math, and health.  The most important thing the curtains hide are the backpack buckets.  Students keep their coats and backpacks in big black tubs and they are hidden behind the curtains.  
 Continuing around the room we have our behavior clip chart and our supply baskets.  The mini-fridge and coffee pot (for Friday hot chocolates) are behind the curtains.
 Turn the corner and you find the sink and our Rocket Glyphs.  The crates have library books about our current theme and white boards.
 The purple and green cabinets store read-alouds, mentor texts, and professional reading books.  They also hold our Friday Fun choices, Legos, games, stencils, etc. 
 Next we arrive at the left side of the carpet area.  This is where we do calendar, go over our daily agenda and targets. 
 And our Birthday Bags.
 The right side of our carpet area.  The document camera is here as well as our special classroom friends. We LOVE the risers!  It allows the carpet area to take up so much less space and leaves more room for the best part of the tour.....
 The LIBRARY!  We have a tent, lamps, and lots of books.
 Notice our Reading Monsters, just waiting for someone to choose a good book, read it, and feed them!
 This is the nonfiction side of the library.  Some of our reading anchor charts.  You can also see the snack bins and our cubbies.
 Math choice tubs.  This is a work in progress area.
 Our small group space and where I usually keep my stuff.
The blue drawers and table next to it is considered my "desk."
Our drawers for unfinished work, handwriting journals, and dictionaries.  This is also where we keep our mugs for hot chocolate Fridays.
 And now we have made a full circle.  This is the view from the door.  Love the wall of windows!
Glad you could visit,

 Art Lines and Shapes

Art is fun and gives the other side of our brain a workout.  So glad my school is part of the Right Brain Initiative.  I love love love all the fun ideas found on Pinterest.  Even more fun is when I actually get to do something I pinned:-)  I have a lines and shape lesson plan that I usually use, but the Pinterest had a much more fun idea.  Each students pretended to be blowing a bubble.  Then I took a picture of their  profile and printed them out in black and white.  They glued it to their page and made it look as though the lines and shapes were being spewed out of the student's mouth.  Here is a link to the blog with a whole picture Lines and Shapes Spewing

Saturday, October 8, 2011

 Clever Kiddos

Learning about writing can be fun.  We made a list of story beginnings that didn't necessarily invite readers to join in the story and made a list of bold beginnings.  I suggested a "fun" optional at home activity be making a graveyard of boring beginnings.  Each headstone or grave marker had an example of a boring beginning.  More students participate than I expected:-)  One creative darling made a 3-D graveyard!
"Bad Beginnings Cemetary.  Here lies all bad beginnings."  "'One Day' not needed, Love Good Begninngs'"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

 Writing Modes Chart

Writing modes always had me so confused when I was in school.  Hopefully this will help my students remember.
First I brought in a Christmas gift.  We were all very curious about what it could be what it was for.
Then we began our chart.  We drew the gift. 
 And then explained the four modes of writing using the gift.

 Some of their reasons were great!
 We could even smell what was inside the gift.
Each Monday, I write four prompts on the board.  These become the prompts for Work on Writing.  Now that we have introduced the modes, students can start being the creators of our weekly writing prompts. 

Happy Writing!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

 Christmas in the Mailbox

Do you ever think about books you read as a child, but don't have any more?  One  of my favorite books (that no one has ever heard of) as a kid was called A Cat and Mouse Love Story.  It even impacted recess. We had a giant jungle gym and we would play Cat & Mouse.  Somehow I lost my copy of the book and it is no longer in print.  Fortunately, Amazon is not deterred by out of print books and I found a used copy a while ago, and then forgot that I bought it.  So today a strange air mail envelope came and I opened it up to find that oh so memorable book.  Stopping in the midst of my Saturday baking frenzy, I started reading and immediately remembered how much I loved the rhyming tale of Leola the cat and Jasper the mouse!
I can not wait to share it with my kiddos!  I think we will read The Island of the Skog (another book I loved as a kid) and do a Text to Text mini-lesson this week.