Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Teacher For The Day - End Of The Year Activities

Do you need a fun end of the year activity?  Why not give your students the chance to be Teacher For The Day? My kids had a blast planning their own lesson and teaching our class!

I started out by sending a letter home with the students explaining that they would get a chance to teach a short 5-10 minute lesson to our class. They could pick any topic and they would have to bring in all the needed materials to teach this lesson to our class.  They could teach us how to make some kind of food, a special dance move, how to draw something....the possibilities were endless!

On the back of the letter was their lesson plan. They had to tell me what they would be teaching, the materials they would need and the steps it would take to teach the lesson. There are two versions for both on-level and struggling writers. 

I planned on having about 4 students teach a lesson each day.  I made a special desk for them with a sign that said "Teacher For The Day", special markers, stickers, and a bell to ring to get the other students attention. 

We had some great lessons! We learned how to hoola hoop, jump rope, how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and how to make a paper airplane! One student taught us how to make fruit pizza....yum!

Another student taught us how to paint a rainbow.....

This student taught us how to care for our pets. She brought in a stuffed dog, dog bowls, a toy, brush and leash.  She told us all the ways to care for your pet and how to keep safe from strange dogs.  It was wonderful!

We learned how to frost cupcakes.  Our teacher for the day brought in everything we needed to each make our own cupcake!

The girls made Shopkins cupcakes and the boys made Minions!

Check out this little teacher! He taught us how to ride on a boogie board!!

After each lesson, the students completed a page in their Teacher For The Day book.  They wrote about what they learned from each teacher and illustrated their page. 

We had a great time learning from each other and I got a much needed BREAK for a little while! Perfect for the busy month of May when we are winding down the school year! Are you looking for something fun to do with your class too? You can grab Teacher For The Day  here.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

What Can You Make With A... DOT?

Have you ever read "The Dot" to your students?  It's a great story that basically teaches kids that even when you think you can't do something....you can do it!

In the story, a little girl named Vashti feels frustrated in art class because she thinks she can't draw.  Her teacher encourages her to make a mark on the paper and this begins her journey into discovering that you can make beautiful art with just DOTS.

We spent the week comparing and contrasting The Dot with it's companion piece Ish.  

The Dot

We started by making this anchor chart describing Vashti, the little girl in the story.  She starts out frustrated and angry because she thinks she can't draw, but by the end she is a fantastic artist! 

This was the perfect opportunity for some persuasive writing, so the students wrote their opinions of Vashti.  

We used these vocabulary cards to help us understand some tricky words in the story.  

We also made our "Coffee Filter Mobiles".  Each student was given three coffee filters and  colored them with markers.  I encouraged them to use LOTS OF COLOR! 

When they had finished the coloring, we sprayed them with water.  When they were dry we hooked them together with paper clips and hung them in the hall.  

The results were AMAZING.  When you walk below these beautiful creations it feels like you are in a wonderland. (The pictures really don't do it justice.....it is gorgeous in person) Check out a video of our mobiles here. 


The next day we compared and contrasted The Dot and Ish using this large Venn Diagram.  

The students also made their own Ven Diagram comparing the two books. 

Next, they did a little drawing of their own like the boy in "Ish" using this cute lift the flap page. 

Finally, we started our Circle Painting project.  This was the most fun!  I put a very large piece of white paper on the floor with various colors of bright paint in cups in the middle.  I have 15 students, so there was enough cups for every child to have a color and a paintbrush.  

The task was to paint either a circle or a dot on the paper....then each child moved one spot over and took a different color and painted another circle or dot.  They just kept moving around the paper painting circles and dots.  

The result was this absolutely GORGEOUS painting!

We used this painting project for another writing opportunity.  The students wrote their opinion of circle painting.  As you can imagine, most of the students loved it!

Day 3

There are so many great books to read as a companion to these lessons.  I chose to read Ten Black Dots and then the students were challenged to create their own art using only one black dot.  

Take a look at their fabulous creations!

If you're looking for a fun activity to end the year or something for International Dot Day, this is it.  My students loved it! Click here to grab all of these activities and more!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Learning About Trees

Learning about trees was a fun activity for my first grade students this week!  We learned about the importance of trees on our environment and all the things that we get from trees.

We started our lesson by reading the Scholastic News Magazine "Thank You Trees" and watching a short video about all the things we get from trees.

We followed this with a shared writing activity and the students each wrote one thing that we get from trees on a paper leaf that we attached to our tree anchor chart. 

Next the students made paper bag trees.  We used brown paper lunch bags and cut stips about half way down the bag. 

Pull the strips apart and twist tightly to form the branches of the tree. 

Next, twist the bag around to form the trunk and attach to a sheet of paper. 

The students added leaves to their trees and wrote some of the things that we get from trees on the leaves.  They added details to their project like animals, flowers, etc.