Saturday, March 24, 2012

Farm: week one

We have just finished our first of three weeks learning about the farm.  So far, it's been a huge hit!  They love all the animals and learning where things come from.  We read a great book that was kinder appropriate and loaded with facts.  Short, sweet, and rhyming! 

We have also been reading the emergent reader that I created.  The kids love that they can read an entire paragraph by themselves, and have been using the book as a research tool for their writing.  Seeing them use the resources around them and being excited about it is awesome!

After reading the book together, we have also been using thinking maps to organize our thoughts and get ideas for writing.  Here is one we did about hens.

This type of thinking map is simple and familiar, so it's easy for them to create.  The only thing I've found that I don't like, is that when students use it to write, they start all of their sentences with the same word.  To encourage variety in their writing, we use this activity to organize thoughts as a group, but I take it off the SMART board when they write.  When I model writing, I also use different words to begin sentences and talk my way through that process.

To get my mini-unit farm pack with all the Language Arts and math goodies, go to my TpT store here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Farm fun!

I am so excited about our new unit!  The kids LOVE learning about the different animals, plants, and food that are on and come from the farm.  We have been reading a ton of books, learning all kinds of facts, using a search engine to find pictures (a bit of risky business, but an important skill), and having lots of discussion about everything farm!  I am in the process of creating my unit, and adding things every day.  I will post it soon (hopefully this weekend!) and hopefully others can enjoy it too.  Our class has been mainly working on reading an emergent reader I created, and writing about what we have learned.  I stepped it up a notch with the reader, eliminating the tracking dots, adding more text, and loading up on the vocabulary and high-frequency words.  They are doing so well, I can't wait to make another one!  I love the moments when you challenge them and they immediately rise to the occasion.  This has definitely been a good week in teaching :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Oh, report cards

Report cards are due soon so I pulled a 14+ hour day today to put a dent in them.  Thank goodness I just finished my St. Patrick's Day unit because I made lots of goodies that my little friends will be able to do independently while I assess.  We will be adding everything in sight and writing and reading all week long!  I know I'm crazy, but I love the late nights in my classroom when I can organize and get all some of those little things finally done.  My classroom really is my favorite place to be and I love those moments when I get to really appreciate my job.  For some St. Patty's Day fun, check out my unit on TpT!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

St. Patty's day is coming soon!

It's almost done! So far I've made tons of cards for matching games, ordering, finding pairs, addition and subtraction, plus writing, graphing, adding, subtracting, and reading worksheets.  I've also included a short reader featuring our newest star word, "have."  I can't wait to finish and start celebrating all the green fun!  I've already started laminating....