Thursday, January 12, 2012

That Was Easy, MLK Jr., and Lots of Other News

More student motivation tricks.  I was given an easy button a while ago and have had in a cupboard somewhere.  It is from Staples and when you push it, it says, "That was easy."Well, it had made a comeback.  My chickadees put completed work in all kinds of places....the desktop, their cubby, their drawer, the counter top...the range of places is pretty impressive.  However, I would like to find them in the turn in box.  This is where the easy button comes in, once a  student puts their work in the basket, they get to push the easy button.  I know, so silly, but so rewarding:-)  Having papers in a proper place instead of all over the room makes me so happy, I don't even mind hearing, "that was easy" numerous times throughout the day!

We also did a lot with MLK Jr. this week.  We read Martin's Big Words.  We made a graphic organizer about what he did, what he wanted, and who he was.  Then we created portraits of him.  I have had this project for years, put while perusing Pinterest, saw how  Cara @ The First Grade Parade added the yellow.  Oh how the picture popped!   

Underneath the picture we wrote:
1.  What Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream was.
2.  What our dream is.
3.  The first step we were going to take to make that dream happen.

Tomorrow we are going to compare/contrast the inside and outside of a brown and white egg.

 And finally we worked on more American Symbols.  Whenever I start a new unit, I like to do a KWL chart and also have the kids do a picture walk.  I attach a picture to a big piece of paper and then students walk from picture to picture adding thoughts and questions.  This time, instead of keeping the giant paper and random writings I condensed it into more usable information.  And now we can go back and add more thoughts or change our beginning thinking.
Our picture walk.  Students write all over the big paper.

Some of what they know is pretty impressive.  Some of the questions cracked me up!  One student wanted to know if Mt. Rushmore had the rest of the president's bodies on the other side.  

Uncle Sam Book

We finally got to add information to our Symbols book.  One chickadee has labeled it the Uncle Sam book, because it is made to look like Uncle Sam's hat.  First we learned about a symbol, the flag.  Then we drew our own sketch and added information in our books.

US Flag Information Poster

 Last on our agenda for the week (so far) was our American Symbols Dictionary.  We make a prediction about the word.  Then we look up what it means.  We draw a sketch of the word and use it in a sentence.


  1. It is funny how little things motivate our kiddos. I have bubbles that I use to celebrate them for different things...OMGosh! I rock their little world when I blow bubbles on them!

    I love your American symbols pictures. We are about to start that.

    I would love for you to come visit me! I am one of your followers and love all that you share!

    I call me 3 nieces The Chickadees!

    Heather's Heart

    1. I am now following you and I love you "Penguin on a Shelf"!

  2. Just found your blog!

    I think your kiddos are going to have an AMAZING understanding of American symbols, its great!

    1. Well thanks! I think it is a fun unit, hopefully they will to!

  3. Omg! I love that easy button idea! I was trying to figure out an attention getter for my students to know when it's time to stop their morning work and start the weather calendar, I think I will use my easy button! Thanks!!

    1. Kids are so easily amused:-) Good look to you!

  4. I love the MLK activity and I am glad the easy button has helped work get turned in. On another note, did you notice that you can see who posted this comment??? :)

  5. Thanks for all the ideas!


  6. Great ideas!! I love that yellow popping, too!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  7. Great ideas! I'm your newest follower. I hope you will check out my blog and become a follower, too.

    Pitner's Potpourri

  8. I love your site. Started following just a bit ago. Your ideas are great!

  9. I love your American Symbols unit ideas! Your little kiddo asking about the bodies at Mount Rushmore is too cute!

    Primary Junction

  10. You're right... I like how the MLK Jr. pictures popped with the yellow behind them. Thanks for sharing!