Saturday, October 27, 2012

Skeletons and Monster Verbs!

This week were busy putting together our paper plate skeletons and labeling the bones.  We could not have done it without the help of Valerie, Mrs. B and Mrs. Van Nice.  Thank you so much!

Last week we were introduced to our skeletal system and extended our learning this week by putting our skeletons together and digging a little deeper to learn the names and functions of each of the major bones from our feet to our skulls.  While we were putting our skeletons together we listened to and sang Dem Bones.

We have also been learning about adjectives and how they describe nouns.  We made some cutie pie monsters and followed the pattern from the book That's Not My Monster.  After we made our monsters we rotated through stations that contained 2 or 3 of our classmates monsters.  We chose a monster that wasn't ours and then picked a noun and described it with an adjective.  It was kind of tricky because we couldn't change the structure of the sentence Mrs. Williams gave us (That's not my monster.  Its_______ are too _______.  The last sentence was; That's my monster.  Its ________ are so______.).  When we were finished with this part we copied the entire piece of writing in our most beautiful handwriting.  This lesson helped us learn about writing complete sentences, using adjectives to describe nouns, sentence structure and provided some spelling and handwriting practice.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Math, Math, Math!

Each day we rotate through several different math activities.  We refer to them as our SMART activities.  S=strategy games, M=manipulatives, A=all about numbers, R=reading & writing about math, T=teacher time.  We know that if we work hard in all of these areas we will be the best mathematicians we can be!

This is an "all about numbers" activity we have been working on.  We are decomposing numbers and learning about place value and how to write a number in expanded form.

This is our Ant Story Problem Journal.  We just finished creating ant story problems and are now working on solving each others problems.  First we draw a picture to show how we figured out the answer.  Then we write it down in our own words.  And last, but not least, we write an equation showing how we figured out the problem.

This is one of our strategy games.  We are studying all the different ways to make the sum of numbers 6-9.

This is another strategy game we have been working on.  We are learning to count minutes on the clock by 5's and working on a little probability at the same time.

Bucket O' Bugs is our manipulatives activity.  We choose a subtraction math fact card and place the number of bugs on the "difference mat."  Then we think of a story problem about the difference between each number of bugs.  We also record the subtraction fact on a record sheet saying, "the difference between 6 and 4 is 2."
We will share pictures of our Ant Story Problems soon.  Our teacher thinks they rock!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dem Bones

We are learning about our skeletal system in health this week.  We are loving the book and song, Dem Bones by Bob Barner.  We found a great youtube video and are working hard on learning the correct terminology for each of the major bones in our skeleton.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Let's Go Exploring!

Last year I decided to take a chance and do something a little bit out of my comfort zone...I relinquished some of my structured teaching time to my students so they could go exploring.  From 8:00-8:10 students are encouraged to explore something in the classroom.  Sometimes it is the materials for a science experiment, sometimes it is objects related to an upcoming lesson and sometimes it is technology.

This morning it was our classroom ipads...

As students arrived this morning I let them know they could explore their ipad.  I only gave one direction, "Explore the apps you have on your ipad and see what you can see?"

When Explore Time was over we gathered for our morning meeting.  I asked students to share something they had learned this morning while exploring their ipad.  This is what they shared:

"I learned how to scroll down and get stamps on Doodle Buddies."
"I learned there were a lot of different apps on my ipad."
"I learned how to scroll in on Google Earth."
"I learned how to take pictures and videos using Photo Booth."
"I learned some new countries."
"I learned how to search for different places on Google Earth."
"I learned how to do stamping on Doodle Buddies."
"I learned how to make a slide show with video and pictures on Photo Booth."

Students were teaching each other and me how to do all of these things.  We were learning and discovering together.  I know we will be able to go further with our learning because I give my students this time.  Don't be afraid...try it!  You won't be disappointed.

Side Note: Many of my students arrive between 7:30 and 7:45 so most get more than 10 minutes to explore.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Musical Sight Words

There are many ways to practice reading and spelling sight words (those words we see and use most often in our reading and writing) but one of our favorite ways is to play Musical Sight Words.  We try to get a game or two in each week.

What you need:

-index cards/strips of paper
-a music player

How to play:

-place one word, one marker and one student on each chair.
-start your music maestro/a!
-students walk around and around until the music stops.
-when the music stops students stop at the nearest chair to read and trace the sight word with the marker.