Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bats and Spiders Informational Non Fiction Unit

To wrap up our Informational Non Fiction Unit, we spent a week creating informational projects for a Gallery Walk.  (2 classes learned about spiders while the other 3 classes learned about bats.)  Each first grade student has at least one item displayed in our hallway. We have outside hallways, so we used hot glue, gorilla tape and a staple gun!

Our ideas came from Pinterest, units we purchased or things we created.  (Have I mentioned how creative my teammate Kathy is?)

WARNING:  Lots of pictures!

There are facts on each spider.

His abdomen is the circle map our class created!  

Spider Diagrams the students drew themselves!
Yes, they drew these themselves!

Some of our Spider Reports

Don't you just love her beginning?  She has a second page not shown here.  Here concluding sentence asked, "Now what you would do if a spider scared you?"

Spider Poems


There are facts on each bat.

This is the actual size of the largest bat.  Yikes!!!

Here are some of our Bat Reports:

These turned out BEAUTIFUL!

We hung a poster at the end of the hallway for other classes to leave comments about what they learned and enjoyed on the Gallery Walk.  I cannot wait to see what they write!  I am so impressed with our student's work and am excited to see their reactions when they see the hallway tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Congratulations Megan!  You WON your very own pencil sharpener!!!
Check your email!

I'm off to work on my evaluation while waiting on the air conditioner repair man......I can think of much more appealing options!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry....

Only 7 hours left to enter!  And you do NOT want to miss out on winning one of these.  FIVE of my colleagues got their new precious pink pencil sharpeners today.  "Jealous" is not strong enough of a word to describe how I felt when I saw them sitting so nicely in their mailboxes.  I LOVE my green one.....but the pink is sooooo pretty....and it matches my classroom.....and pink is my favorite color!  (No, I did not steal one of theirs.  Even though it was a really rough day and a new pretty pink pencil sharpener would have made me feel better.)
Can I enter my own giveaway?

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Non Fiction Text Features and Giveaway!

This week we learned about Non Fiction Texts.  I used this unit from Kim Adsit's.  GET IT!!

Then we practiced finding non fiction text features with our Prove It wands.  Can you say Quick Formative Assessment??!?!?!!?!?  (I used books from our reading series and science series.  Some of them were at a higher reading level than my firsties, but it didn't matter.  The goal was to find the text features, not learn about the topic in their book.  I gave the students different books so they couldn't look at their neighbors.  Then we traded books and did it again.)  Photographs, captions, bold words, fancy words, headings, Table of Contents, index....Oh My!   We were little detectives.  Next week we will use sticky notes to find the features.  I let them add their books to their book bins (for Daily 5) when we were finished.  They were sooooo excited!

Don't forget to enter the Pencil Sharpener Giveaway.  It is almost over!  I would love if you could share the giveaway. :-)

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I am spending the rest of my Sunday by taking advantage of all of the sales on TPT and finding non fiction activities (and hopefully books) on spiders.  Any suggestions?
(My store is on sale, too!  Click the picture to visit.  My Halloween units are at a great price!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget to enter to win your very own pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  It's easy!

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Can't wait and want to buy your own?  Click {here}.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Units and a Giveaway!

Need some new resources for Halloween?  Check out 3 of my TPT products by clicking the pictures!

Now for a giveaway!  I am lucky enough to be giving away another FABULOUS pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!  I have told you all how amazing these things are.  Six of my colleagues placed an order Friday!  (I do have to say that I am very jealous because they are now available in pink!!!)  
If you order a pink one in October, $1 will be donated to cancer charities.  Check out Classroom Friendly Supplies by clicking on the picture below.

Here is the Rafflecopter so you can win your own!  FYI: You must like Classroom Friendly Supplies on FB to win!

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Good Luck!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Answers to your Daily 5 Questions

I received several questions about my Daily 3 post.  Here are the answers!

First of all:  READ THE BOOK!!!!  Like I mentioned in the previous post, I have read, reread and read it again!  I do not feel you can be successful in Daily 5 without reading and fully understanding it.

Mini Lessons
Each mini lesson is about 10-15 minutes long.

Mini Lesson #1 is phonics and phonemic awareness.   We start with morning message where I include phonics, grammar and conventions.  Then we do a quick phonemic awareness activity.

Mini Lesson #2 is our reading skill.  (Last week it was setting.  This week it is nonfiction.)  This is usually my longest mini lesson, about 15 minutes.

Mini Lesson #3 is a reading strategy lesson.  (I am using CAFE.)  This is 10 minutes max!

After each rotation, we do a quick debrief about what worked, what did not work, and I see if they have any questions or need clarification on something.  This is only about 1 minute while they are putting supplies away and regrouping on the carpet.

Mini Lesson #4 is a writing mini lesson followed by time for students to write.  I conference with individual students as needed.  

I use the bookmarks I made.  I put them on TPT for free.  Click the picture if you want to grab them.

Each rotation is only 15 minutes.  I think this is long enough for my group at this point in the school year!   Even if we could make it longer, our schedule doesn't really allow for it.

Small Groups
I am working with small groups during each rotation as opposed to individual conferencing.  To make sure I am not pulling kids from the same activity each day, I alternate what activity I pull them from.  For example, on Monday I work with groups who are supposed to be at Read To Self.  Then Tuesday, I work with groups who are supposed to be at Read To Someone.  If our teacher table activity is up before the 15 minutes, they go to where they are supposed to be.
I only have 5 students at each activity so this keeps my group number small at teacher table.  This also helps me make sure I see each student each day.  (Something I was never able to accomplish when I did traditional centers!)  It also works logistically if I need to work with individual students for assessments, make up something they missed, etc.
The downside to this is that I have a mixed ability group with me at the teacher table.  It has been okay so far, but see that this could be more difficult as their reading progresses.  I am still thinking out how to make this work!  

I LOVE seeing how Daily 5 is working in everyones classrooms!  And I REALLY love hearing that I am not the only one who can't make it Daily 5!