Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites (Chapter 5)

I'm so excited to be a part of this book study and as many of you may already know, I love a good graphic organizer! We use them daily in my classroom, especially during reading instruction. I also use them quite often during our Science and Social Studies times.  This chapter names several different types of organizers, such a KNL, Word Webs, Story Maps, Cause and Effect Charts, Character Trait organizers and more.  If you are someone like me, who is much more visual than auditory, then graphic organizers are extremely important to your learning.  The best part about them is that they appeal to both left and right brained learners.  They help us organize information but integrate both visual and verbal activities. 

Below are several examples of graphic organizers I've used in my room.  

This is an example of a character traits organizer we did in my room this week.  We first listed the traits of one of the main characters in Green Shamrocks. We completed this organizer together. I then sent my kiddos off in groups to complete a similar organizer on another character from the story.  

Main Idea Organizers

 Venn Diagrams

Below are my notes from the chapter. As you can see, I really try to use graphic organizers A LOT in my classroom, but my goal is to use them more in my math instruction. I also want to encourage my students to make their own organizers, in addition to the organizers I provide. 

I thought I'd leave you all with a few graphic organizers to use in your classroom, as a thanks for linking up.  If you'd like them, just click the graphic below.

I have also included the book study template for this chapter. 

We would love for you to link up below.

Don't forget to prepare for chapter 6 discussion over at One Extra Degree on March 17th.
Here is the rest of the schedule and you can join in at anytime!
Mrs. Jump’s Class Chapter 7 (March 28th)
The First Grade Parade  Chapter 8 (March 31st)
In April, you will be visiting these girls for the remainder of the study:
Mrs. Ehle’s Kindergarten Chapter 9 &10 (April 4th)
What The Teacher Wants Chapter 11 (April 7th)
First Grader At Last Chapter 12 (April 11th)
Erica’s Ed Ventures  Chapter 13 (April 14th)
KinderGals Chapter 14 &15 (April 18th)
A Rocky Top Teacher Chapter 16 (April 21st)
The Inspired Apple Chapter 17 (April 25th)
Little Warriors Chapter 18 (April 28th)
Falling Into First Chapter 19 (May 2nd)
Kickin’ it in Kindergarten Chapter 20 (May 5th)
If you are not a blogger (which is totally fine!!!) we still want to hear from you! Leave a comment below to let us know how you are incorporating this book in your classroom!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Peek at My Week: March 8, 2015

I mentioned in my last post, I'm not at all Irish. In fact I'm pretty much 0%. But I'm all about the holiday of St. Patrick's Day.  I love it! Next week we'll start the shenanigans with two of my absolutely favorite units.  My Super Shamrock Centers and More, really have just a bunch of fun activities including a science experiment and craftivity.  We're also going to be hitting some of those harder common core standards. Next week we'll be working on differentiated sequencing activities, retelling with a focus on problem and solution, character traits, point of view and vocabulary shades of meaning.  You can click below and download my visual plans. Once downloaded, you can grab a bunch of freebies as well as see the products I'm using by clicking on the pictures. I hope you have an awesome week! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Five For Friday

I'm linking up with 5 for Friday to share a some random from my week.  

My sweet friend Erica Bohrer posted this on Facebook and I couldn't have said it any better. 
Winter weather is driving me insane! I really just need to be able to run on trails again, get my fitness and healthy eating back on track and be able to walk outside without my face hurting it's so cold.  And PTL, this is our forecast for the next week. 
Now for some of y'all, like my sassy friend Deanna Jump who keeps telling me it's 86 where she is, this may seem not so great. But to me...this is like a tropical paradise.  In the spring in Cincinnati, close to sixty means getting a pedicure and  breaking out the flip flops. 

This week we celebrated Read Across America Week. I took 4,650 pictures, but I'll just share a few or a lot. 
My cuties with their directed drawings I got from First Grade Blue Skies.
Each year we have an author come during the week to share their books, as well as how they became an author and how the book came to be.  Our author was Susan Levine, who wrote Harriet's Homecoming, a book about the Falcons in Cincinnati.  She even brought a falcon. 

Some cookies for the good Doc's birthday and a game of roll the hats. 
 My cuties in hats. 
 Our superintendent reading to our kids.
 Wacky first grade teacher on Wacky Wednesday
 Wacky class! 

 Stacking turtles after reading Yertle. 
 Green eggs and ham!

 Next up, one of my favorite holidays of all, St. Patty's Day.  I'm not Irish, but I love some leprechaun shenanigans.  Here is my Pinterest board if you want some fun ideas. 

Here are a few of my favorite purchases lately.

My two new favorite online boutiques. 

That's it for this girls random. 
If you'd like to link up with 5 for Friday, click below.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lakeshore Learning and STEM

I don't know about you all, but since my very first days of teaching I've been in LOVE with Lakeshore Learning.  Getting a new Lakeshore catalog is like when my kids receive the Toys R Us Christmas catalog.   Lakeshore never disappoints and their products just simply get better and better. 

With all of the new standards and the emphasis on "21st Century Skills" I was so excited when I saw that Lakeshore now has a whole section of products dedicated to STEM.  If you don't already know, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. As you may know from reading this blog, I'm all about hands on learning, open ended questions and having students explore and discover.  These products are amazing for encouraging this.  

Lakeshore offered me a chance to check out one of their new items and I jumped at the chance. One of our standards first grade Physical Science is Motion and Materials.  I knew I had to have the "Engineer-A-Coaster Activity Kit" to help teach this topic. 

Below are some pictures of my students using the coaster kit in our classroom. I love watching them try out different configurations to see what might work.  They love seeing how fast they can make it roll. The kit also provides cards for suggested coasters. Seeing them work together to follow a plan is also so exciting.  

Not only is this a great learning tool, it's also become a favorite at indoor recess.  I don't know about you, but we haven't been outside in months! It makes this teacher's heart happy that my students have something educational, that promotes problem solving while they are stuck in doors.  

In fact we love it so much, I can't wait to purchase more.  These are a few of the products on my list to buy.

If you want to check out all the great STEM activities on Lakeshore, as well as everything else amazing they offer, you can click HERE. Make sure you click the link, as it will give my readers 20% off each purchase until March 31, 2015!