Friday, 16 January 2015

Snow Time Five for Friday


Happy Friday!! Today was a loooonnng day - we had lots of fun but some other craziness in the school made it a little tricky to stay focussed. The end of the day could not come quick enough - and then some of my students were dawdling when getting ready for home. How to impress upon them the importance of being quick on a Friday at the end of the day without getting hysterical is something I am working on for next week. I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share some of our "snow time" activities from this week.








We made adorable snowman clocks. I used a free clock template I found here. We glued it to the bottom of a blue piece of construction paper and then I gave my students freedom to create the snowman that they wanted - no templates, no tracers. I love how they turned out. We added an I can statement to the top because they were going home and I wanted to be sure parents new the expectation.





We cut a pineapple! Big deal you say, wait there is more. We followed the procedural writing given to us by a Grade 3/4 class and used their success criteria to give them two stars and a wish feedback. The pineapple was delicious and it was really fun to go upstairs to see the big kids and give them our thoughts. We graphed our feelings about pineapple with a yes/no survey. I used my awesome thumbs up sticky notes I got at Target, which is now closing in Canada!!!!! Ugh!






We stacked mini-marshmallows to collect and organize data. We did this earlier with large marshmallows but we did not organize our data - this time we talked about how to show our data so that it was easy to understand and talk about. And we ate marshmallow, hello, who can resist!

 




 

We did a telling time scavenger hunt. We are working on telling time to the hour and half hour. We did a find your matching card activity (analogue and digital clock match). Then we did a find and record hunt. They had a blast.







We made a mini-snowman! We are working on procedural writing (that is why we did the pineapple cutting - it was a writing swap!). So I made a mini-snowman as the students gave me instructions. We recorded each step. Then we watched the snowman melt away throughout the day - this was to introduce the concept of elapsed time!!


You can check out the telling time task cards here if you are interested. The include a recording sheet to do the elapsed time snowman melting activity too.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Telling-Time-Task-Cards-to-the-Hour-and-Half-Hour-1653544



Saturday, 10 January 2015

Gold Medal Performance - Sparking Student Motivation


Happy Saturday!! I have no idea how cold it is today - because I have no intention of setting foot out of doors today. Today is my youngest daughters 12th birthday - but her dad is going out of town and her sister is at camp so we are having a girls day at home! We are in the final countdown to having two teenage girls in our house - give us strength.

I wanted to share a fun and easy tool I am using in my class this year. Over the summer I bought some of these gold medal necklaces at Michaels.



Anytime a student gives a great answer, shows big improvement....or really any time I want to reward someone, I give them a gold medal to wear for the rest of the day. Their faces light up, all the other students ask - "What did you do to get your gold medal?" I like that I can use them for anything or anyone that needs to be recognized. You used the anchor chart on your own - gold medal, you gave the attributes of a square - gold medal, you told the class facts about bats - gold medal, you found a pattern on the 100 Chart - gold medal.

At the end of the day, they give the gold medal back and get a sticker to wear home.



The label in the picture was one I quickly made and was struggling with - then I made these pictures that I just insert in my label sheet. I used a border from Teaching in a Small Town, clipart from Melonheadz, and a Font from KG.



If you want to try this out, right click on the picture and save yourself a copy - then just insert  it into the labels you use : )

I am linking up with my friend Joanne for her awesome linky....







Friday, 9 January 2015

Five for Frigid Friday!!

This is one Friday that TGIF does not even begin to cover how I am feeling!! The first week back after holidays and indoor recess all day, every day was almost more than me and my 19 first graders could take. Add to that, the school I taught at for the last 15 years had a snow day today!! Okay, time to focus on the goodness that is the weekend. I am linking up for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching.









We are hitting the snowman theme in our class. On Tuesday we made these adorable snowman windsocks. I got the idea here (from TeachWithMe). There is a template (that I did not use, I just winged it - hence they did not turn perfectly) and they should have a brim for the hat - but we ran out of black paper (and by that I mean...I used the last piece!). This was a great math activity - we talked about the shape of each piece and its attributes - then bam-o, prest-o, we turned our 2-D art into a 3-D shape and started our learning on 3D shapes.




We started our unit on procedural writing. Our first one...how to dress for the winter weather. We got all of our gear together and got ready and wrote our steps as we went. Then we went outside for 5 minutes - the only 5 minutes we spent outside all week. Of course my principal caught us on our way out...what are the chances (pretty high apparently - she also walked in while we were stacking marshmallows/cylinders to collect data!!)





We made these adorable snowmen that I have always loved. We used them to go with The Biggest, Best Snowman...a book we read a couple of times this week and used to work on B, M, E retells.




You can tell from the picture that I have moved away from giving my students tracers and just let them go for it - hence the floating bodies and snow globs instead of flakes.




We worked on the "ing" sound with the King of Ing ...since it was the Epiphany and the 3 kings finally showed up and all. I had found this freebie and this freebie with some fun ideas.




We also watched this video a couple of times.







Since I have firmly decided not to give up coffee (slowly reducing cream and sugar) I did the next logical thing - taught my daughter how to make me a coffee using the Tassimo and add just the right amount of cream and sugar. It is one of those jobs that she loves and offers to do all the time. On a Saturday morning it is pure heaven.


See you tomorrow for some motivating ideas : )



Monday, 5 January 2015

Top 5 Posts of 2014


I thought I would take a quick minute to look back at some of my posts from 2014...well the early part of 2014 and the summer, a.k.a the time when I was still blogging : )

I am linking up with my friend Jivey to bring you...

http://ideasbyjivey.blogspot.ca/2014/12/top-5-blog-posts-of-2014.html

Okay so here they are...

#5. Multiplying Penguins. I linked up with the Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text linky and shared this book...




Click here to check out this post...freebie included : )

#4. Point of View. Again I was linking up with the Collaboration Cuties to share some books on Point of View that are perfect for MKL day or Black History Month.


Click here to check out the post and pick up the freebie above.


#3. Persuasive Writing with a Mentor Text. Shockingly, this was another mentor text link up (I think I may tend to blog about books more than anything else!!).


This is a picture of my students hard at work writing persuasive letters. Click here to check out the post.

#2. Flippin' Friday - Paragraph Writing. I tried to start my own little blogging tradition to keep me on track and focussed - I was not 100% successful but I did manage a few good ones.

Frame from Lovin Lit, Fonts from KG Fonts


 
 

 
People really seemed to like the paragraph interactive element. Click here to check out the post.
 
#1. What's the Question. This time I was linking up with my friend Holly at the Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried it Tuesday to share this...



Click here to read the post explaining how I used this and where I got the idea (yes Pinterest but really Scholastic).

That is it the Top 5 posts from last year....hopefully this year will bring some more sharing of ideas, books and freebies.

Hope you had a great first day back - mine is like a blur - I am not really sure what happened - I just know I have to go back again tomorrow!
 
 


Sunday, 4 January 2015

Goodbye December.....Hello January with a Freebie



You may be asking yourself..."Is she really going to post stuff about December?"  and the answer is yes, yes I am. This blog post has been on my to-do list since around December 15th and I NEED to cross it off my list. But if you read (or quickly scroll to the end) there is a cute calendar card freebie for January!

You may remember that I has both a reindeer and elf theme going in my classroom this year. Instead of doing Secret Elf Pals we had a Kind-deer visit our classroom. Each day the Kind-deer would love notes for our class giving us a kind task to complete. This was a huge hit with my students - every day they were super excited to see what the Kind-deer had left for us and most of them were just as eager to complete the task.



Another thing that was happening in our classroom was a Christmas tree countdown. I saw this pin on Pinterest as an Advent countdown. I used the templates provided by Pink Suede shoes here to create trees. Each night a tree would magically disappear (at least that is what my students thought - really I just put them away in a box- they were pretty labour intensive - I am saving these bad boys!).



As part of our reindeer/elf theme we made a graph (I try to sneak data management in as much as I can).



Each student voted and wrote why they chose reindeer or elf. As you can see reindeers were not very popular....I was a little surprised. I am not sure if it was because we were doing a non-fiction study of reindeer and they felt elves were more magical....but things changed when we read this book....



This was a new find for me this year. It is obviously about Santa's reindeer going on strike - sort of like the farm animals in Click Clack Moo (great way to keep working on persuasive books with a holiday theme) Santa tries to replace them with a variety of animals - each animal meets some of the criteria but each also has a unique drawback too.




 
This book really sparked my students' interest in Santa's reindeer. They started to wonder what would reindeer do with their time, what do they do in the North Pole, what do they do all year....which led me to think that I should create this....
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reindeer-Applications-A-Persuasive-Writing-Activity-1629454
 
It is just like my elf applications activity - only with super fun jobs for the reindeer - like D.J., teacher, weather reporter and Public Relations Officer!! Click here to check it out on TpT.
 
I have this book in my Amazon cart...ready for next year...it is the elf version...
 
 
 
Okay, I know that this post is a little bit behind the times (but just think how happy I am to cross it off my to do list!).
 
In January my classroom will be all about snow and snowmen. To get things started I made some new calendar cards. Now that my math course is done - I know I will be able to blog and share ideas in a more timely fashion - which makes me so happy (it is very stressful seeing blog ideas on the to do list and never getting to them). Click here to pick up a copy for your classroom.
 
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B20koPwy0VFOQm5oTENnZjJwR2M/edit

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B20koPwy0VFOQm5oTENnZjJwR2M/view?usp=sharing

Hope you enjoy your last day of break - good luck tomorrow!!!