Monday, January 27, 2014

Our "mini" Research Project

We've wrapped up our study (for now) of nonfiction text features.  Our first grade team will be doing another huge research and writing project at the end of April, beginning of May like we did last year.  My class will be doing ours over Woodland animals later in the year so we chose to do our "mini" research project over Polar animals for now.  We went through a few pages in my unit to get a feel for what we will be doing in a few months.  My firsties had a lot of fun and are very excited for the 'big" project later.  Here are a few pics of their "mini" project:

(If you would like to see all the pages included,
I have a the pages to go with the polar bear in the preview.)

Here are the other two research projects if you would like to check them out too!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Nonfiction Text Features (2) and a Teacher's Dream!

As promised, I am back with a little more from our Nonfiction Text Features study.   
(If you want to see part one, click here)

I pulled a bunch of Nonfiction books from my shelves and scattered them on the table.  I let each child pick one to take back to their desk.  We talked through all the different features that was listed on our chart and the children looked through their book to see if they had each one.  After we looked at many different features from different books, I asked them to get a scrap piece of paper and write down 3 different facts that they learned from reading.  Here are a few pics of our research:

Sometimes the simplest activities turn out to be the best.  My firsties absolutely loved getting to look through and find all the different features we have been learning about.  

On Fridays we try and have "free" centers in the afternoon.  We test all day and I have a ton to get graded and into the computer.  They always have the choice to do any of the centers we worked on for the week or read from different books around the room.  I was frantically working at my table and noticed a great silence.  This is quite unusual for free centers so when I looked around my room this is what I saw:

ALL my children were reading!  They CHOSE to read!  All on their OWN!  I didn't have to beg or plead.  I couldn't believe it!  It definitely was a teacher's dream!

May your students choose to read all on their own this week!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Nonfiction Text Features

We've been talking about Nonfiction Text Features this last week.  My firsties are really enjoying our discussions and finding all the features in different books.  We started off our talk by using a portion of Christy and Tammy's Snowmen at Night unit.
Snowmen at Night ~ Booktivities for the Common Core Classroom

We read the book and then sorted the sentences about the snowmen into fiction and nonfiction.  

I made these posters last year and we use them for our discussions every time.

Today we used old Scholastic Book Orders and did and Fiction/Nonfiction sort.  I got the idea from the AmAzInG Christina at Sugar and Spice.  My firsties really enjoyed this.  

 (ugh! I don't know why these pics won't rotate!)

We've also begun using Tania's Polar Bear Nonfiction Unit.  

NonFiction Text Features (Polar Bear Edition)

We are taking her small text feature pictures and gluing them in our notebooks so we can describe each one.

We plan using all this Nonfiction talk to lead into our Polar Animals Shared Research and Writing Project.  If you haven't seen my post on this click here.  

I will be back later to show you more about our Nonfiction study!

Have a great week!  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I've Got a New Toy!


I just bought an iPad mini and am excited about trying to use it in my classroom.  I would like to have some suggestions about apps to use with my first graders.  What do you use?  What works for you?  How do you manage only one iPad in the classroom?

I'd love to hear from you!  Thanks!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Honey Bees

I just wanted to give you a quick little post tonight.

We use Scott Foresman as our reading series.  This week's story was "Honey Bees".  We talked about how the cells are shaped like hexagons just like the yellow pattern block we use all the time in math.  We each took a block and traced it to make bee hives.  The kids LOVED it.  I think they really turned out cute!  Take a look:

Isn't she a cutie!

I had to share this little guy's bee.  I thought it was just precious.  

Happy Friday everyone and "Bee" good! :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Getting Back into the Groove

Oh my.  It's been awhile friends!  I took a break the last few weeks from all things work.  I spent all my time and effort with my family and had a wonderful time.  We had a 1/2 day work day today to get ready for our little ones tomorrow.  (Of course, I've never stayed only half a day in my entire 13 years of teaching!) 

What's up with this crazy Arctic weather?  This is what my car said this morning when I got to work:

10 degrees!  Now, I know that many of you are many digits below 0 but 10 is dang cold for Oklahoma!  We are not used to these temperatures and I can't stand it.  I do not like cold weather!  

In keeping with the Winter Weather theme, we are starting on our winter centers this week.  Here are a couple we will be working on.

~Word Families~
The students match the buttons to the correct word family hat.

(Background paper: Whimsy Workshop)

~Compound Words~
The students match the correct word mittens to the snowball pictures.

(Background paper: Whimsy Workshop)

Both of these centers are a part of my Winter Literacy Centers Pack.  

There are a few more center activities in this pack that we will work on next week.  Hopefully I'll be back with more pics of them. :)

Click on the picture above if you would like to take a closer look.

Have a great week back at it!
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