Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pumpkin Hunt, Pumpkin Treats and a Pumpkin Mishap

Phew. It’s over.

After getting 18 little ones into costumes and settling them down enough to do anything we started a Pumpkin Hunt! More appropriately titled Pumpkin, Bat, Spider Hunt!

First I got a bunch of dollar store foam Halloween shapes and wrote the numbers 1-10 on them. I made enough so pairs of kids could find a whole set from 1-10.
Then I hid them around the classroom. Visible enough that they didn’t have to go digging in anything.

Each partner had their own Pumpkin Hunt Page. When it was time, they went around with their partner and looked for the numbers 1-10.
When they found a number, they coloured it in on their page and put it in their bag.
When they had found every number and coloured it in, they came back to the carpet with their partner and sorted their numbers in order.
Then we did a little data collection.  They had to answer 3 questions: How many pumpkins do you have? How many bats do you have? How many spiders do you have?

On the bottom, students filled in the number table with the beginning sound that each foam shape made. For example: If their number 1 was on a pumpkin shape, they would write P. Number 2 on a bat shape, they would write B. Number 3 on a spider shape they would write S. Etc Etc…

We also had some awesome Halloween treats from some very generous parents! (Only Healthy!)


Lastly on to the Pumpkin Mishap….

I saw these super cute silly pumpkins on Doodle Bugs Teaching Blog.

And I thought…”Hey! My kids can do that! This is perfect for the day before Halloween when I need a sub because I have a math PD to go to all day.”

Well… pumpkins look a little different…
What happened??!!???!!!????

(love the guy in the top left btw..he makes me laugh)

All I see on teacher blogs is beautiful, perfect  kid work. Where are these perfect kids??? Because my turkeys are hard work.

Maybe it was the sub directions? I have in my head that if I was instructing them on this it would have turned out more like this…

(This is the demo I left for the sub…haha)

Who am I kidding?

These Jack-o-Lanterns have character… and show creativity… and a need for 1 step directions with visuals and frequent reminders.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Monday Musings

Here is a wordless Wednesday on a Monday. One of those days.

And I will leave you with a picture of my kitten Jack.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Halloween Fun

Short post today…..Just wanted to share what my boyfriend and I wore to a Halloween Party this weekend!

My BF dressed as a contestant on the Price is Right. All homemade by him.

photo (3)

I dressed up as the Travelocity Gnome. Again homemade.


Now what to wear for Halloween at school! The kids are allowed to dress up in costumes in the afternoon. I went as a birthday gift last year and want something new but I can’t think of anything! Does your school celebrate Halloween?

Any ideas???

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Line Art and HWT helper

A couple weeks ago, my fellow colleagues and I  discussed the new provincial report card that is coming out where I live. We looked at the art section and one thing that we now have to report on is Analysis and Communication. One of the grade 3 teachers suggested using criteria in Art in order to meet this piece. While I love criteria and setting expectations with my kids (Daily 5, Daily 5 math, Morning Meeting, etc) I’m not so sure I would love it in Art. My kiddos can’t use white glue much less follow criteria for creating an art piece.

I decided to start simple and try it out. In comes Line Art.

line art (2)
We talked about the different kinds of lines we see in the environment and then practiced taking our lines for a walk and drawing them from one end of our notebooks to the other. We then took 11 x 17 sheets of white paper and choose 3-5 different kinds of lines to draw.

Criteria # 1: Draw 3-5 different lines

Criteria #2: The lines need to go from one end of the paper to the other.

We then took out our paintbrushes and practiced using a paintbrush without water or paint. Back and forth….Back and Forth…..Back and Forth….I sounded like the Mom from I Love you Forever by Robert Munsch…HAHA (anyone?)

Then we were ready to actually PICK UP the paint with our brush. 

Which leads us into criteria 3.

Criteria #3: Paint each section a different colour.

Criteria #4: No white spaces

and VOILA! Line Art!

Did I love the process? No. Was I a little stressed? Yes. Could you hear me repeating again and again “Are you following the criteria?” as someone is painting blobs over multiple sections…Yes

Did my kids learn about criteria setting, self reflection and analysis of their work? YES!

After we finished, we reflected on our work and checked whether or not we followed the criteria.
Students were able to critically look at their work and make decisions about how they did. I had a few students give themselves 1 out of 4. And they were right.  Simple yet powerful for these students to see.


How do you think these kids did?

line art
Click {HERE} for the criteria to try this project out!

Now onto my new HWT Helper!

I was super excited to find this in my mailbox at school last week!

Its called the Double Line Writer and it helps you write your own double lines on whiteboards, easel paper etc!
It’s from Handwriting without Tears and fits with their Double Line Paper.

You can fit markers into it and make your double lines as wide as needed.

You can also turn it over and fit pencils or skinny markers into it!

No more wonky wavy lines! No more diagonal lines!

Okay so it’s a little wavy…but this was written after doing Walking School Bus in the pouring rain and coming back to work in my classroom with soaking wet pants and wet hair until 6:00.

Be kind.
Click {HERE} to go grab one of your own!

Note: I am in no way endorsed or affiliated with Handwriting Without Tears. Just a lover of all things to make me look more talented than I am. And they have lots.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Am I on Target?

Tri-conferences are coming up this week at school. We are getting reading to share with our parents all the learning that we have been doing. Today we completed a Behaviour Reflection to see if we were on target. We went over some of the things that are important for us to do in order to do our best learning in grade one.
We then reflected on our own behaviour and thought about whether or not we are on target. We used green, yellow and red dots to help us show our reflections.

Green= always
Yellow= sometimes
Red = rarely

Most of my kids were really honest and their self reflections matched what I would have said about their behaviour.

Here is one of my  little guys self reflections on his behaviour:

He was pretty honest! ( He was a little hard on himself on number #5…..)

Friday, 12 October 2012

A Wonderful Day

Today was a great day!

 I was so shocked to find out a couple days ago that I had won the ``Golden Apple Teacher Award`` from City TV's Breakfast Television!! This award is given to teachers in the community who are doing awesome things with their students! ( I`m glad somebody thinks I am!)  My sister nominated me for the award and I won! My kids received a pizza party courtesy of City TV and the host from Breakfast Television came to my class to film and interview me!

Hope everyone had a great week!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Math Number Puzzles

So here is a quick, cheap and easy idea to make number puzzles!


I use these ALL the time in Math Daily 5 for Math by Myself.

Foam cut outs from the dollar store
Ziploc Bag

Step 1: Figure out what you want to make your puzzle about! Depending on your kids, decide how many pieces each foam piece will have. In the beginning of the year, I like to cut them into 2 pieces. As the year goes on, I add more pieces and more parts to put together.

Step 2: Use a sharpie to draw/write on the foam pieces. (use sharpie or it will smear!….lesson learned)

Step 3: Cut into pieces and store in a ziploc bag.

puzzle 2

Step 4: Students take out the number puzzle…sort the puzzle pieces and solve! If need be, you can create recording pages to go with!

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Math Notebooks and HWT lowercase letter posters

This is just a quick post about a new page we did in our math notebooks.
We glued down sets of objects and then worked on counting each object and writing down a number to show how many there were. We practiced counting each object only once and touching each object as we counted.
october 6th, 2012 008october 6th, 2012 011october 6th, 2012 012
Once we move past these first few, I am going to begin differentiating the activities in our notebooks. I would like to have this as one of the choices in Math Writing but I’m not sure if we would be able to do this independently. I may need a sample activity done to show what to do when they are working by themselves.

I also created some Handwriting without Tears posters for the lowercase letters. We have been reviewing Capital Letters and are ready to move on. In Handwriting without Tears, there are tall letters, small letters and descending letters.  I am going to use these when teaching lowercase and then add them to our wall for when the kids are writing.
I am going to share them but…I need something answered! This may be silly but I couldn’t remember if the letter “i” was a small letter or a tall letter because of the dot. Anyone know? I don’t have my books with me to check!


We are also going to start practicing how to write on 2 line paper. Writing on double line paper helps to transition kids to write on any other type of paper including single line paper as they get older.


And for all my Canadian friends and followers…Happy Thanksgiving! Yay for the long weekend!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

I’m helping out a giveaway!

Barbara over at Grade ONEderful has reached 500 followers and is having a giveaway!!
8 bloggers (including myself) are giving away fantastic prizes and there will be 8 winners!!
Head on over to her blog and join in the fun!
I’m giving away my new Spinnerama math Set!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Word Work, Math Bags, Morning Message and Beads

Again….a little bit of a scrambled post. I’ve been taking tons of pictures in class lately and so have my kids. We have been practicing using the class set of cameras to document our learning. This morning during the sharing part of Morning Meeting, students worked with a partner to answer the question “What is your favourite colour?” They took a picture of each other and then came back to the circle to share. When it came time to do the whip share…instead of sharing their favourite colour, they had to share their partners! It was a good activity to see who was listening to their friend. Later in the day we used the pictures that the kids took to make our first post on our own blogs. Each student has their own blog on Kidblog and we are going to using this site to create e-portfolios for conferences. Students are going to document their work through pictures and videos and then post and reflect about why that piece of work was chosen.
Click on the picture to sign up your class!


Ok now onto Word Work. We just started talking about this job in Daily 5 and our first task was to cut out the sorting cards that we would be using during Daily 5.  I use Beverly Tyner for my small group guided reading and her book comes with really great sorting cards. She basically has everything you would need to run guided reading and then some.


Her book is based around the 5 stages of reading: Beginning, Emergent, Fledgling, Transitional and Independent. So after assessing my students and finding out what stage they fell into, the students got sorting cards that were “just right" for them.

Some students are sorting capital and lowercase letters starting with BSMAC…


Some students have beginning sound cards starting with BSM…


And some students have started sorting cards with the short “a” sound…


Once I finish assessing sight words, students will also get 10 sight words to cut and add to their word work folder. These are the letters and words that they will work on when they go to a work work activity.

They store them in a ziploc bag that is taped to the inside of their word work notebook.


Once they master those letters, words etc…then new ones are cut out and added to their notebook and the old ones are taken out. I am able to differentiate for each of my students while they work on the same word work job. For example… there is student A and student B. Student A is working on letter identification and letter sound of BSMAC. Student B is working on the short “a” sound in words. They can BOTH do word dough during word work with their own sorting cards.
Math Bags: We added 2 new pieces to our math bags this week. Counters and a Double Ten Frame Board. The counters are squares cut out of foam. One side is blank and the other side has a number on it. Students have the numbers 1-15 twice…so 30 counters in total. Then they have 3 yellow counters which have the symbols +  - and = on it.


We sorted and ordered our counters to make sure they were all there and then played ten frame flash as a group. I flashed a ten frame and students had to build it on their mat with their foam counters.

Morning Message: Every morning when the students come in their is a message on the easel. It is their job to read it and respond to it.  If they can`t read it…then they need to ask a friend for help or myself. They have become really independent with this job and instead of just standing there when they do not know what to do (like in the beginning) they are now going up to friends and asking for help.

Here are some of the Morning Messages in the past couple days.

We then read through the message during Morning Meeting, talk about sight words, punctuation, the date, etc, etc.

Beads: I use beads as a choice during Exploration time. Boys love it. Girls love it. It is great for fine motor and it keeps them busy for a long time. It may take 2-3 times during Explorations in order to finish it. I buy the beads at Michaels Craft Store with a….and get the boards there as well.


That`s all for me today. This is what we do in Grade One.
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