I sent my kiddos a short postcard over the Christmas holidays as the return of school came near. It simply said, Dear ________, I can't wait to see you on Monday! Love, Mrs. Bussey. One little fella, who is very expressive, came in the door with a GIANT smile and said, "I got your letter. I put it on my bulletin board." You have to say it with LOTS of voice and a BIG smile. He obviously felt so special, like he was THE only one in the room that received a card. I could tell it meant a lot to him. Later, he said..."You know I thought it said orbut it said on." I replied that I guess I needed to work on my handwriting. And again, with LOTS of voice inflections and a BIG smile, he through his arms up in the air and said, "It's OK! Everyone makes mistakes!" I had to laugh!
Upon returning from Christmas holidays, a student who is considered to be a behavior issue and entered first grade with a behavior IEP (and who does at times drive me CRAZY), told me during lunch, "I missed you , I missed school and I missed learning." Need I say more? THAT's why we teach. :>)
Hall display idea from Leslie: Have students each write and illustrate about their New Year resolution and display in the hall with paper flash lights "shining" on their writings with the heading "We're going to shine in 2011!" See a sketch by clicking here.
What a great time to also learn about shadows and the -tion and -sion endings.
I was so proud of these writings! I used a graphic organizer with the students in this guided writing project and the results were amazing! These stories had so much "voice." Click on snowmen under the labels to the side to find the organizer that I displayed on the SMARTboard for this writing project.
So cute! The kids loved decorating their snowmen with Sharpies. I tie a pretty red ribbon bow through each hole and type the following poem to attach: This isn't just a snowman as anyone can see. I made it with my finger which is a part of me. Now each year when you trim the tree you'll look back and recall, Christmas 2010 when my hand was just this small.
I posted the organizer that you see above on the SMARTboard for the "What Snowmen do at Night" writing project and led my students in their writing ONE sentence at a time, really discussing how EACH sentence begins with a capital and ends with an end mark. Sentence #1: Tell your snowman's name. #2: Tell how our snowman looks. #3 Tell what your snowman does at night. #4 Tell how your snowman feels at night. #5 Tell what your snowman might say if it could talk. The students writings were fantastic and their snowmen were adorable. Using the organizer worked out really well.
OK- This was one of those "light bulb" Hallelujah moments!I used to do these snowmen ornaments on the round Christmas balls- the ones that take up tons of space, the ones that can break, the ones that are difficult to find if you wait till the last minute. You get the idea. I kept trying to think of something else to use to create these ornaments. While in a building supply store one day looking at paint samples, I came across the lovely paint and wood samples that already have a nice little hole at the top.Using that brain for something other than a hat rack, I collected enough for 3-4 years worth of students.Each year, I pull them out, spray paint the fronts with metal/wood spray paint. I use a royal blue. Then, I dip each child's finger into white acrylic paint, slide the finger across the bottom to look like snow and thenuse the finger tip to make 3 dots for the snowman's body. When this dries, I let each child use permanent markers to add decorations. I keep a silver Sharpie on hand for the kids to use, as well. This is a CHEAP and adorable ornament for the students to make for their parents. I tie a pretty red ribbon bow through each hole and type the following poem to attach: This isn't just a snowman as anyone can see. I made it with my finger which is a part of me. Now each year when you trim the tree you'll look back and recall, Christmas 2010 when my hand was just this small.
Oh my goodness! What an adorable read aloud! It has the kids sitting on the edges of their seats, so to speak! (We sit on the carpet. haha) It is about 3 toys and their lives...
Lumphy, StingRay and Plastic are stuffed animals. (Well, Plastic is... what is Plastic, anyway?)
They live with the girl who sleeps on the high bed with the big pillows. It's very nice there.
But what is the meaning of life?
And why is clean better than dirty?
And what will happen if StingRay tries to go in the water?
Of course, you have to read it with silly voices to make it come alive! And to the kids, the stuffed animals do come alive...in your classroom. I have been trying to find a new read (other than Junie B) and I have found one! It is a must read! Let me know how you and your students like it!
Hey, hey, what ya going to say, what you going to say when mom and dad ask what did you do in school today? At the end of each day, I chant this with the kids, we discuss our day, and then the captain of the day selects a memory from the day. The memory needs to be something new that we did or learned. I write it on a sticky note. This is our growing timeline/number line.
OK- This is about the most favorite idea I have come up with in a long time and I want to make more! Just a binder and you see the front...It says, "I can write a..." Inside I have divided it into sections with various choices: letter, list, book, recipe, Top 10 List, and story. After each choice, I have placed a clear page protector with printable pages or paper to complete each writing activity. It takes a little time to restock sometimes but I love that the students can just grab it and take it to their desks or anywhere!
We use the Everyday Math Program. I made up the rules with the GAME acronym:
G= Get started quickly, A=Always take turns, M= Manners, E= End and clean up when bell rings. I laminated a bunch of sentence strips. I write the games on the strips as we learn them. This way, I can erase and use it again each year.
Students worked in teams and charted whether they would or would not want to be a Pilgrim. They had to support their choices with reasons, telling why or why not. This was a great informal assessment to show whether the students understood the differences in the way of life back then compared to now.
I saw this idea on First Grade Parade BLOG . We were learning to write lists and learning about the Pilgrims voyage on the Mayflower, so this was perfect timing. The students enjoyed their pretend voyage!