Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happenings in the Classroom

To celebrate Groundhog's Day we read Groundhog Gets a Say to learn a bit more about the groundhog.  Aside from a wonderful accent by yours truly, the kids absolutely loved this book.  They enjoyed all of the facts, and the minor characters along the way.  We created the chart afterward of all the facts we learned about our friendly groundhog.
To go along with the groundhog we continued our science study of the earth, moon, and sun by seeing how our own shadows move during the day.  Who knew it would be 50 some degrees in February (in Indiana!) and we could go outside for this?!  We have used Cara Carroll's Moon Mania unit off of TpT to get us started with the moon. It is wonderful!  To see how our Earth rotates during the day, we compared our shadows throughout the day by tracing our bodies, and looking the same direction each time.  

It was so fun when their light bulbs went off as to why their shadows moved! 

We have also been looking at story elements during the last week or two.  To begin we read Dog Breath: The Tale of Hally Tosis by Dav Pilkey.  This was a good story to start with, and the kids enjoyed all of the adventures of Hally Tosis.  After completing this anchor chart, they did some partner and independent practice with the graphic organizer.  Here is a copy of the graphic organizer I used to go with the anchor chart for independent practice.  

Thanks to my great teaching partner who found this idea, we also go to do fortune tellers (which, by the way, my kids had never heard them called cootie catchers before!) with story elements.  We first practiced with a read aloud, and then they had to read a book on their own.  Look how happy these kiddos are sharing about their story elements!  Okay, so maybe a bit embellished, but they begged to do them again the next day.  This may have been because I banned fortune tellers after a sub let them make  them with unkind things in them.  
You can find the version of the fortune teller we used here. The website also has other templates, and blank ones for you to type into! I can't wait to figure out other possibilities.  Find those at this website.

And finally...we were working on homonyms last week.  I gave each of them a word, and they had to find their partner.  To confirm the definitions of the words, they had to look them up in the dictionary and then draw a picture and write a sentence using the word.  When I was writing the cards, I don't think I even realized how many sets of homonyms there were! 

Well, that's all for me tonight! For a short week (we had Monday off for a Flex day!), I am still wiped out!

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