Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Bowling Time!

In 1st grade math, my students were learning about fact families of 10. For the lesson, we used empty bottles and tennis balls to set up our own bowling alley in the middle of our room. Early in the week, I sent home a letter to the families asking for them to send in any empty plastic bottles. The families were more than helpful and we ended up with more bottles than you could imagine. (We recycled the extras!) Overall, the activity was very successful and the students had a blast!

Me: "How many pins did you knock down?"

Student: "I knocked down 5!"

Me: "How did you know so quickly?"

Student: "Because, there are 5 pins still up and I know 5 + 5 = 10!"

Woohoo! He got it! Number sense, number sense, number sense!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Miss Nelson Is Missing Draw Talk!

During reading block, I told the story of “Miss Nelson Is Missing” by Harry Allard through a draw talk storytelling experience. Draw talk is a form of storytelling that involves drawing 5 or 6 major events on a large pad of paper beforehand, and then while telling the story you draw in smaller elements of the story to bring in details. I learned all about this method in an awesome college course I took my senior year.
The children were so engaged while they listened to me tell this story through draw talk. They loved seeing my illustrations and were eager to see what details I added to each picture. For a few weeks afterwards, they were asking me to tell all stories that way! I highly recommend this method of storytelling for your students.
Here is the picture I drew of the opening scene of the book. Boy, did this picture take FOREVER to draw! Thank goodness I only had to draw in spit balls and paper planes while I told the story!
Here are a few pictures of the illustrations that I drew based on the book. The pictures are now laminated so I apologize for the quality of these images.

Hitting the Books!

Even though college is finished, it doesn’t mean I am done with my homework. I have decided to buy some books to educate myself further. During my student teaching, I had the opportunity to start reading a few books by Lucy Calkins and Richard Allington. Unfortunately, I never got to finish those books because of the hustle and bustle of the semester. But, now that I have more time, I decided to use some of my hard earned waitressing money to buy a few titles online. I purchased Calkins’ Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement and The Art of Teaching Reading; also, I bought Allington’s Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read and Write. I am so excited for these books to come in so I can learn some new ideas and methods! If anyone has any other book suggestions, I would LOVE to hear about them! Thank you!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

3, 2, 1, BLASTOFF!!!

          Over the past few weeks, I have been teaching all about outer space. While the children have loved all the lessons in the unit, this astronaut lesson was definitely their favorite! Here is a picture of me in the astronaut suit that I made myself! I bought a paint suit from Home Depot and attached spray-painted shaving caps and NASA pictures. For the space pack, I rolled up an old roof rack luggage cover and used the attached straps to wear it. The helmet was an old motorcycle helmet that I simply spray-painted and added letter stickers.
         For the lesson, I introduced all the parts of the astronaut suit and taught the children all about the life of an astronaut in space. Of course, the burning question on all the students’ minds was about how astronauts go to the bathroom in space. Oh boy, did they think that was funny!
         Next, it was time to live like astronauts. Everyone got to taste a piece of freeze dried ice cream. (FYI: For a total of 41 students, 5 bags were plenty for each student to have a taste!) We used adjectives such as, hard, creamy, smooth, and chocolaty to describe the ice cream’s taste, texture, and smell. Then, as a class, we took a vote whether we liked freeze dried or regular ice cream better. We organized our information on a graph like the one pictured here. The winner was regular ice cream. It won by 2 votes!
         The following day, the students kept asking more about astronauts. I decided, being that the class just learned about how to write a letter, it would be appropriate and exciting for the children to write letters to an astronaut. So, we did! Here are a couple examples.

Monday, October 8, 2012

About Me

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