Friday, October 21, 2016

Stellaluna Obsessed!

Don't you just love the book Stellaluna? I sure do! Each year, I make little things, here and there for the book and this year, I finally went all in and finished my Stellaluna Unit! It's easy prep and fun to teach! It includes some math, literacy, writing and a little stem experiment! Better yet, you don't have to buy anything to go along with the unit (my favorite part)!

Here's a peek at our fun with Stellaluna this week!

First, we started off by reading the book! If you don't own it, you can find it here to play online.

After, we read the book, we filled out an anchor chart and pulled out some story elements. On the first day, we discussed the setting pretty heavily. This is because on the graphic organizer, I didn't just want students to tell me what the setting was, but I wanted them to tell me HOW they knew that was the setting.

For the rest of the week, we discussed the story elements even further. Here is a problem and solution example!

I am so proud of how they're explaining themselves!

Something else we worked on was short vowel words. Students got smalls square letters to cut out and a bat mat.

Then, each time they made a word, they read it and wrote it,
This little sweetie caught on quick, to stick with a word family!
After we did this whole group, I stuck it at word work for the week! This is one that can be done again and again!

We completed a few math activities!
This week, we worked a lot on finding missing addends.
We also did a write the room activity to get the kids up and moving around!
On the activity seen below, they used their bats in their ten frame on their paper to find the missing addend.

Then, one of my favorite activities we did this week was a stem one! It was a last minute idea I got when we were listening to the book being read to us online.
In the book it says, "Stellaluna could not fly because her wings were like wet paper."
So... I thought... let's test that out and see what it means!?!!

We made guesses before we tested it out. We talked about what it meant for a bat to fly 'better.'

Afterwards, students reflected on their own, then we shared out!

-It was heavier which made it fall faster.-
-It glided down slowly.-

After doing the activity, students can then complete a fun little craft to document their learning.

To put some icing on the cake for our Stellaluna week, we sang a song, read a poem and drew a picture to illustrate our learning!

Next, week we are going to be learning all about non-fiction text and learning about actual bats! EEKK!! We will be using my Text Features Unit to pull out facts and use Text Features!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Otis and the Scarecrow - Books Teacher Love

Welcome to another monthly edition of Books Teachers Love. This month, I am sharing a book with you (well books) that I used last year in the month of November. It is one of my favorite units!

The books I am sharing this month is, "Otis and the Scarecrow."

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We spent an entire week on Otis and learning about him as a character. 
We also threw in some verb work!

We first read the book, "Otis and the Scarecrow."
We reviewed the term character and we added the words, "main character" to the anchor chart.
After we read the book, we discussed his inside character traits. I wrote them on sticky notes and added them to the chart. 

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We read a different Otis book each day of the week. Each time, we added more character traits.

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As we came up with character traits throughout the week, we also worked on providing reasons for why we chose those traits.

We picked three character traits to REALLY focus on. We numbered the trait, numbered the word because and numbered some more text evidence. This worked like a *charm.*

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After our character study, we did a directed drawing activity of Otis. Then, we added our character trait description.

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The kids had so much fun with this unit!

To check out more books for November, click the links below!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pete the Cat Week

Each week, I love to focus our theme around what phonics skill we are working on in the classroom, as many other teachers do. This week, we went with the famous, "Pete the Cat." He is always so much fun!

When we had our Pete the Cat week, we were still very much in the midst of learning routines and procedures, so we didn't get as much done as I had hoped, but we became better students. That's a win for me!

We began the week reading with our short a phonics lesson. I introduced 4 work families and the students helped create new words by placing letters in front of the word families. Students practiced writing the new words on their white boards.

The next day, we were introduced to our poem of the week. I get out phonics poems here. I use the sentence strips to write our poem because on day 2, I cut up the words and we work to unscramble the poem. Day 3, we see if there are any sight words in the poem. There was only 1 since we only had 5 new sight words to look for. It was our first week of words. On day 5, students read their poem to a partner to work on some fluency!

Since, we were at the start of school when we did Pete the Cat, I thought it'd be perfect to use the following directions craft from Teacher by the Beach's Cat Pack. I read, "Pete the Cat, I Love my White Shoes," and then we did our pete craft. When students finished they worked on number recognition with this coloring activity.

We also had learned all of our reading stations by the middle of this week. So, my students learned how to play the popcorn sight word game. They play this while they wait for me to come to the teacher table... while I'm managing the chaos of kids trying to get started at their stations with out talking (Oh, the struggle). lol

At the teacher table, we did a color word lesson. I read the book, "Pete the Cat, Too Cool for School" to the students. Then, using flash cards. We matched our crayons to the color word. Students laid their crayon on the flashcard that said the correlating color. Afterwards, students completed the coloring sheet you see below. You can grab that here.

Something to help manage students in each group that I came up with on the fly... and I think, someone else came up with it but I can't remember who? Anyway, I grabbed some graduation caps from a free table at my school and I picked 5 responsible students to be quiet captains. There is one quiet captain at each group. When their group gets too noisy, they just do the infamous, "SH, sh, SH SH SH" tune. Then, the group repeats the rhythm.

I also introduced the kids to Cause & Effect! We read the book, and identified cause and effect situations from "Pete the Cat, I Love my White Shoes." 

Afterwards, students completed this reading response. 

To end our week, we read, "Pete the Cat & His Four Groovy Buttons." Then, we made this adorable but simple craft that I found on Pinterest!
You just need, graham crackers, vanilla icing, yellow food coloring and M&M's!

Thanks for seeing what we've been up to in Mrs. Hursh's class!
I'll be back soon with details from our Fish Week for Short I!