Friday, October 13, 2017

Monsterously Good Adjectives!

Here is a great way to get your students excited about adjectives using the book Go Away Big Green Monster.  Check out our anchor chart and adorable monster crafts that we made in this fun halloween writing lesson!

Lately we have been working on different parts of speech.....we started with nouns and verbs and the last couple of weeks we've been focusing on adjectives.  I really love adjectives....the kids seem to really get into it and love finding different ways to use describing words in their sentences.
We created this anchor chart over the course of about 2 weeks and the students have been referring to is in their writing.

This week I had the kids make monsters and we described them using adjectives.  I read them the book "Go Away Big Green Monster" by Ed Emberly. This book is super cute....sort of a "lift the flap" kind of book and the kids love it.  It's full of adjectives with sentences like "big green face" and "purple squiggly hair".  You can pick it up here

After reading the book we made an anchor chart full of adjectives that describe monsters:

I made my own monster and my firsties and I worked together on a "shared writing" to describe my monster.  Shared writing is a technique where the students and the teacher compose a text together, with both contributing their thoughts and ideas to the process, while the teacher acts as the scribe and writes the text as it is composed.  We worked to use plenty of adjectives in our description: 

After working together on our shared writing, my firsties got busy making their own monsters! They didn't have a pattern to work with.....just their own imaginations.  I really love when kids create their own stuff, rather than copying from a pattern.  The only direction was to use their imagination and include lots of colors and parts to their monster so that they would have lots to describe.  When their monster was complete, they wrote their own description using our anchor charts as reference.  I think they did a great job in their writing and their monsters turned out super cute!!


Bone Soup Math and Literacy Unit

Are you looking for a new Halloween activity for your classroom? This cute October unit is based on the book Bone Soup and includes games and writing activities that are sure to scare up some great writing with your students! 

Last weekend my son came into town to visit for a few days from Texas (I only get to see him a few times a year because he lives across the country so YAY for the visit!) and we went shopping together.  He likes to shop just about as much as I do, lucky me, and so we stopped at one of our favorites - Barnes and Noble.  Ahhhh....every teacher loves a good bookstore.

Of course I had to take a look at the children's book section and found the cutest book!! Have you seen it?  It's called Bone Soup.  You can pick it up here.

This adorable story is about a little goblin who comes into town and tricks everyone into giving up all their goodies (eyeballs, toenail clippings, bones, etc💀👻) to make his soup.  It's a great book for sequence of events and also creative writing!  What kid doesn't like a book about eyeballs and toenail clippings????? Soooo, I donned my best witches hat and creepiest voice and read the story aloud to them.  To make it more enticing I made a little table and a cauldron full of creepiness....

We started off with a Shared Writing.  If you read my blog regularly, you know I ❤️ Shared Writing. I told my firsties that I wanted to make Bone Soup and asked them what I should put in it. Since we have been studying about adjectives lately, we used our best describing words to make it more interesting. 

Next, I told them that I needed to create a recipe from all of these ingredients.  I told them that a good recipe always includes the amount needed, so we used number words in our recipe (more adjectives....Yay!!)

Finally it was time for the Fab Firsties to create their own Bone Soup recipe.  They each had a turn at reaching into my cauldron and choosing five creepy ingredients! They made a cauldron craft and completed their own recipe, making sure to use adjectives in their recipe.  

I put their recipes on display in our hallway and made it into a mini station for the rest of the week.  My class and the other first grades can visit it during center time and create Magic Potions and write in our potion book! 

If you'd like to do this activity and so much more with your kiddos, click here to see my complete "Bone Soup Literacy and Math Unit".  Your students are sure to have a spook-tacular time with all of these fun activities! 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

October Learning Centers

Are you ready to get your October Learning Centers started?  Well I have a bunch of cute ideas for you this month! Take a look.....

Spelling Center

Adding a few props to your centers will make them so much more fun and engaging for your students.  You would be surprised at how excited they get with a fancy pen or silly hat! Something new at Spelling this month is "Spooky Spelling" - my firsties write their words in white crayon and then paint over them with watercolors.  And just like MAGIC they appear!! This activity is differentiated into three levels - this picture shows the "on level" activity.

Another fun activity is Spin A Word....spin the spinner and follow the directions for writing your spelling words - in all capital letters, fancy letters, rainbow writing, etc.  You never know where the spinner will land!

Math Center

If you need some cute Math ideas, you students will love these! This month, in math, we are working on addition skills.  My struggling firsties are still working on some number recognition so they have a counting activity. Are you brave enough to reach inside and count the spooky spiders and eyeballs??

My on level firsties are working on addition.  I found the cutest little drink holders at Dollar Tree...removed the straws and filled them with different halloween goodies that we are using for the counters.  Spider rings, halloween erasers, mini pumpkins, etc all make great manipulatives for this type of activity!

For a challenge, I made another worksheet where the kids use the same monster drink holders and they make an addition fact and also the related fact, by changing the order of the addends.

We are also working on matching our addition sentences to ten frames with these cute games!

Finally we're feeding hungry monsters at the Math Center! Kids have to solve the addition sentence "cookie" and feed it to the correct monster! 

Library Center

My firsties ❤️ to sit and read in our cozy library!  Add a few new Halloween books, a witches hat and witches fingers for pointers and you MAGICALLY have some engaged kiddos reading books! When they are finished, they can complete a report about they book they read - 3 levels to meet the needs of all your kids!

Big Book Center

We have been learning about adjectives and I found the cutest poem on Pinterest to use for this activity!  I added it to our big book station along with some great October books, a monster hat and a fuzzy monster hand to use as a pointer! 

Word Work Center

This month my firsties are building their sight words with letter tiles and working on the "ck" ending. I found these cute little plastic pumpkins at Dollar Tree.  Each pumpkin has the letter tiles to build one of our sight words.  The kiddos have to dump them out and arrange the letters in the right order, then write it on the worksheet.  

Do you have kiddos working on higher level word families?   These haunted houses and ghosts are a huge hit with my firsties!  Match the ghost to his correct haunted house. 

And of course, an all time favorite is "Write the Room".  This month we are searching for Halloween words! 

Another fun game is "Pickin' Pumpkins in the Pumpkin Patch".  The kids are working on sight words in this game.  It's great fun....but don't land on the rotten pumpkin or you'll have to go back to start! 

Art Center

A great way to keep your kids engaged at the art center is an easy craft.  I keep it simple so that my firsties can finish it in about 15-20 minutes, the time I spend with each reading group during guided reading. This week they are making "candy corn".  If they finish the task early they can use some of the other materials at the art station like play dough, markers, fancy scissors, etc.  

Some of our other projects this month will be witches, ghosts and a pumpkin man.  These are all super simple, with just 2 or 3 patterns, and easy for the kids to do on their own with no help from me.  

Writing Center

Finally, a few simple tasks at the Writing Center will round things out in your room.  This month, we are working on labeling and making lists.  I've added some cute, colorful mini word walls to spark their imagination along with story starters for "Witches Brew", "Favorite Halloween Candy" and "If I Were a Ghost...".  

So that's what is happening at our centers during the month of October.  If you would like to check these centers out a little closer, they are available on my TPT store here.  

I'd love to hear what you are doing in your room during the month of October! Do you use centers?? Leave a comment and let me know! Hope you have a great October  🎃 and be sure to come on back for a visit next week, because there's always something fun happening in......

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Learning About The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin

Are you getting ready to learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin? Why not combine that with your grammar lesson on adjectives? You can have an easy writing activity and adorable fall crafts that your students will LOVE.  Read on to see how I combine Science and Writing in this first grade lesson using the books Jamie's Pumpkin and The Pumpkin Book!

It's finally beginning to feel like fall around here!  The air is crisp and the leaves are changing colors. It's my favorite time of the year!!🎃 So......of course it's time to break out the PUMPKINS! We spent last week learning all about they grow, describing them, what you can make out of fun.  My firsties loved it! Check out this lesson, so you can get started doing the same thing!

We started out the week with one of my favorite books for this season "Jamie's Pumpkin".....the illustrations in this book are beautiful.  They are the most lovely watercolors and the book shows the sequence of how a pumpkin grows.  In our Shared Writing lesson, the children helped me compose my own story of how a pumpkin grows.  I showed them how to use the words First, Next, Then and Last in this writing.  

I think it's super important to begin a writing lesson with Shared Writing.  This really helps the kids get their own ideas in their head and models the thought process involved in writing. It helps them become independent writers and gives them confidence to try writing on their own.  We made these cute little crafts to go with it and then the kids wrote the sequence of how a pumpkin grows. I never leave my writing on the board for the students to copy, although I did leave just the words First, Next Then and Last as a reminder.  

We also read Gail Gibbons book "The Pumpkin Book".  If you have never used any of her books in class, check them out! They are really great informational text for younger kids.  We ❤️ Gail Gibbons! This book describes pumpkins and we used this as an opportunity to learn more ADJECTIVES. We have been learning all about adjectives this month.  

We took a look at some real pumpkins and then made this cute Pumpkin Adjectives anchor chart in our interactive writing. 

I also found this cute poem on Deanna Jumps blog that we sang.  I put this poem at our Big Book Station after we did it as a whole group, for my firsties to practice on their own. 

We made big pumpkins and wrote adjectives all around them:

Do you use Scholastic News in your classroom?  It's really pretty fantastic. We don't have a formal Science or Social Studies curriculum in our school, so we supplement with Scholastic and it's really helpful.  Plus, it has a great online component! Cool games, videos and interactive lessons that go with each Scholastic News and it comes FREE with your subscription.  We read our newest magazine and then we made a list of things we can do with pumpkins in another interactive writing lesson.  

I always like to finish up a mini unit with a report on what we have learned.  I teach my firsties to use a web to gather their information.  We made one together on the board and then I showed them how to use this web to write a report.  I found the best You Tube video from Teacher Tipster on different "openings and closings" to use with kids when teaching them to write reports and stories.  He is the best! You can find the video here

We finished up our week with my FAB FIRSTIES making their own webs and reports about Pumpkins.  They used their openings and closings and tried to include some adjectives to make it more interesting. I think they turned out pretty fabulous!!

So we had a GREAT about you?  What fun things are you doing with pumpkins in your classroom?? Leave a post and let me know so we can share it with everyone!  Happy Fall Y'all!

🍭 Firstieland