Saturday, February 28, 2015

Frog and Toad and Teaching Central Message

As I was looking for a way to teach the concept of the central message of a story, I stumbled upon some of my favorite books… Frog and Toad! I realized I had just found the perfect fiction books to help my students understand the concept. The children LOVE the characters of Frog and Toad. The students practically roll around on the carpet with laughter as I read them. After the reading, I had students think about the central message of the chapter read. I was amazed at the deep thinking of the students. In many cases, they came up with more advanced central messages than I expected! Check out our chart below! We are also in the process of creating Frog and Toad art and writing and I can't wait to share them soon.

We also compared Frog and Toad and brainstormed words to describe them. Check out the chart below. The students had so much fun with this chart. We will use it for our opinion writing coming up soon!

We have been doing an informational study with frogs and toads as well. We will compare the characters to real frogs and toads when we have completed our study. Check out the information unit here!

If you want to check out my Frog and Toad Together Unit, click here or check out this post!

Happy teaching!

Frogs and Toads Informational Unit

I am so excited to share an engaging unit my class has been immersed with the past week. Frogs and toads are the perfect subject matter to engage first graders and incorporate important informational learning. We have used the informational coloring book to learn facts about frogs and toads. We have compared frogs and toads with a venn diagram and have used the cut and paste life cycles and diagrams to check comprehension from information learned from the book. Of course there must be an art portion of the unit and the students had a wonderful time creating their cut and paste frogs. Check out the unit below! You can get it here!

Check out the Frog Art Here. It is also found in the Frogs and Toads Unit.

We have enjoyed writing about frogs and toads while comparing and contrasting facts learned. This unit has been a perfect accompaniment for our fiction Frog and Toad study using the wonderful works from Arnold Lobel… more on that soon!

Happy Teaching!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Fun!

Yesterday my class had a fun Valentine's Day celebration. I always love it when Valentine's Day (or party day) is right before a weekend! It always seems like the most high energy day of the year!

It is tradition at my school to have the students create Valentine's Day mailboxes for their valentines. The boxes are completed at home with family members. When my students brought in their boxes I was amazed with their creativity! Check some of the boxes out below!

Weren't they adorable?!

We also did some fun sight word Valentine's Day activities! Check them out here!

We had a great day, but I sure am happy to have the weekend!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Penguin Anchor Chart

Happy February! Wow! I can't believe that January is already over. This has been a whirlwind start to 2015. During the winter months I love to teach informational reading and writing through polar animals (as you can tell from my last few posts!). After studying polar bears for a few weeks, we have switched it up and started our Antarctic penguin unit. Today I wanted to share an informational penguin chart that my students and I created together. I used their  ideas from reading informational text to complete the chart as a class. The "Have, Can, Are" chart style is great for teaching informational writing. It is a great scaffold to assist the students with the informational style.
This chart has been an excellent resource for my students when writing about penguins. When we have completed the unit I will share some samples of the activities. If you are interested in the unit, check it out here.

Happy Teaching!

How to Draw Polar Animals- Writing Center

I am very excited to share a fun writing center that I have come up with. My students have been transitioning from narrative to explanatory/informative writing and I wanted to continue this during my centers time. Writing centers have traditionally been very open to student choice of topic in my classroom. For this new center, I wanted to provide my students with enough support to be able to write an explanatory piece independently.

To keep the students engaged and hook them into this style of writing, I decided to use the wintery theme of polar animals as a subject for the center. Each week I introduce a new polar animal and provide my students with a word bank and basic facts about the animal. The students then have some information to use when creating their own sentences. These resources are displayed for them at the writing center.

The students learn how to draw the animal using the steps on the page. They practice following the illustrated steps, and read the sentences to help them with their drawing.

Then the students write about the animal using the resources and knowledge they have gained. We talk a lot about not copying from the fact page, and instead using the word bank to help create sentences of their own. The writing center has been so engaging and my students have created quality informational writing using it. You can get it here!

Here are some examples from the writing center:

I have some fun art projects to implement once the students learn about the various polar animals. Check out our cute walrus project!
Check out the Arctic Fox and Antarctic Penguin  art projects!

Happy Teaching!!