Thursday, February 26, 2015

3-D Shape Fun!

The past month, we've been learning all about 3-D shapes and my kids are having a blast! I even had one bring a book to me this morning and say, "There are 3-D solid shapes in this book!" {Insert happy teacher dance!} Here's a little recap of what we've done!
I like to introduce solid shapes the same way every year...with a snack of course!
I give the kids one of each and we talk about the attributes of each and chart before we eat them. For some reason, this really makes those attributes stick and they can immediately tell me how many faces and vertices each shape has.

After this introduction, we focus on a shape a day and work on sorting real life examples. We do this whole group and then on individual cut and paste activity pages.
Then, we review all the shapes together. We practice sorting with my shape sorting cards. When we sort, I make the kids tell me why the shape belongs in a certain group {for example, it has 1 vertice and 1 face shaped like a circle, so it's a cone}.
Probably my favorite thing we do is to make our 3-D shape people. My kids LOVED the 2-D shape people we made in the fall, and they were just as crazy about these! I didn't have time for the kids to make one of each of the shapes we learn, so I made copies of 5 of each shape and laid it out for the kids to pick the shape they wanted.
{I wish I could afford to make everything with cardstock!!}
Now, usually I pre-cut crafts for my kids, but on shape people, I always make them cut so they are working on and noticing the attributes of the shape.

The kids make the shape people by attaching eyes, arms, legs, hands, and feet to the body of their shape. I love these because the shapes are used over and over for the parts of the shape guy!
To finish, the kids write how many faces and vertices the shape has and attach it to their shape.
These little guys are always the perfect culmination of our 3-D shape unit!

If you'd like to check out these activities, you can click the picture below {and hurry while they're on sale today in the big TpT sale!}

You can also get this pack bundled with my 2-D shape pack if you need both!

I'm off to Tampa today to visit a Kagan model school...I am so excited!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Words of Encouragement

Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that my love language is most definitely words of affirmation. I mean, who doesn't love to be told that they've done a good job or that they're appreciated?? While I realize this isn't everyone's love language, I really try to give my kids at school lots of affirmation and I try to encourage them to give praise/encouragement to their classmates and friends all throughout the day. To help us think of ways to encourage others with our words today, we read Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.
I love this book for so many reasons. First, it is a great example of how a character can change in a story. Second, it a precious story of how our actions and words can build someone up and give them encouragement when they might need it most. After reading the story and discussing the changes in Mr. Hatch, we each picked a staff member of our school to surprise with some words of encouragement. My kids were so thoughtful in their writings and drawings, since they knew we were going to surprise who they were writing about later in the afternoon.
This sweetie has come such a long way in her letter/sound knowledge!

This one cracked me up!! She wrote it to our assistant principal and I love the part about her paying me!

I love the detail in his picture - it looks just like he's in her small group!
After we were done, we walked around campus and delivered our special valentines. The kids were so excited to read their writing to our staff and I loved that they saw doing something nice for others would make them feel good!

Our principal - seriously the best!
Our assistant principal - a.k.a. the lady who pays teachers ;)

Mrs. Hardy, our remediation teacher, and a SAINT! She is by far the most patient, loving teacher I've ever met!
If you would like to do this with your class, you can grab the writing page by clicking the picture below.
If you'd like more activities to go with this story, check out Cheryl's reading companion. It's an awesome pack, that has so many great activities!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What We've Been Up To

We've been having so much fun this past week digging into some of my favorite themes! We kicked off our week by making our guesses about what we thought the groundhog would see. The kids loved this activity and they did so well writing about their data! {This is part of my groundhog pack} One thing I've started doing this year that I love is to have the kids tell me what they notice about our data {written on the easel under our graph} before I ask them any questions.

After we watched the news to see what the groundhog predicted, we wrote about it and made these so, so cute groundhogs from my sweet friend Heidi.

Tuesday, we started reading some of my favorite Valentines stories - there are so many good ones!! I love reading the ones about friends, since this about the time of year when we *sometimes* forget what being a good friend means.
First, we read The Biggest Valentine Ever {my kids love this series of books!}. It led us into a conversation about friendship. We made a little tree map about friends, then made the valentine mouse that Clayton and Desmond made in the book. The kids thought it was so cool that they could replicate the mouse from the story!

Another of my favorite stories is Silly Tilly's Valentine. It's perfect for finding text evidence! My kids did a great job of finding evidence as to why Tilly was silly.
After reading the story, I wanted my kids to practice "argument" writing. I wrote all my students' names on slips of paper and each child drew a friend to write about. They had to give evidence that showed why their person was a good friend. Y'all - it was so sweet!!
"She is nice to me because she shares"

"He never left my side. You know why - because he is my friend."

{He shares with his snack and he plays with me}
Probably the favorite story of the week was Froggy's First Kiss. The kids were rolling in laughter the whole time! After we read the story, we wrote about who our true valentine is and made these PRECIOUS Froggy and Frogilina from Jenn - so, so cute!!

{My Ms. Plant - melt my heart!}
Friday, we took a break from learning about 3D shapes in math and used a special snack to practice graphing. I mean, what's better than practicing math concepts with Valentine M&Ms?? When we do graphs, I usually always pre-sort whatever we're working with. It takes a little extra time, but it helps a lot! I love having my kids work with a variety of graph types, so this time, I made our bar graph go horizontal. You can grab the graph here as a freebie. :)

This week, we'll continue our Valentine fun and work on our Valentine bags. We'll make cute and so easy!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Celebrating the 100th Day!

If you teach in a primary grade, you already know what a big deal the 100th day of school is. Our 100th day was this past Thursday, and we had a blast!

 At the beginning of the week, I had the kids work on a home project to fill a bag with 100 of the same item. This was so good for the kids to visualize that 100 doesn't always look like the same amount, but that the bags still had an equal number of objects.

 The day before our big celebration, we talked about what we would be like when we're 100. It's so hard to get the kids to think about it sometimes, but they come up with some cute answers! Then, we made our 100th day people {thanks to Deanna Jump}. I always love how these turn out!
On the big day, I made a little banner for the kids to walk through and then {in a moment of craziness}, I threw confetti everywhere. To say the kids were excited would be a huge understatement! I also gave them a little 100th day bookmark.

To start our day, we made our hats. The kids colored a little "I am 100 days smarter" template then put 10 stickers on 10 strips so they had 100 stickers {I'm all about trying to ingrain that 10 groups of 10 is 100!}.

{view from the front}

{view from the top ;) }
Every year, I try to make my celebration a little bit better and more organized and this year I finally felt like I had it like I liked it!! After reading Cara's posts {you have to read them!!} about how she organized her 100th day, I knew I had to implement rotations. I don't know why I have never done it before!! I love teaching small group, so why have I spent the last 10 years stressing myself out doing all our 100th day activities whole group?? I decided to do 5 stations so that my tables could rotate together. Here are our rotations:

1. Roll to 100: The kids rolled a die, then colored that many spaces to see how many rolls it would take to get to 100.

 2. Gumball Machines: This idea came from Julie Lee originally {love her!}. I used the base from Cara's freebie pack, then because I know my kids needs a lot of counting support when counting to 100, I made a gumball with 10 ten frames to help. You can grab it in my 100th day freebies.

3. Make a 100 cube creation {this had us really working on our teamwork!]

4. Match 100 Hershey kisses to numbers on a hundreds chart

5. Glue 100 beads to a hundreds chart

Any time the kids finished their task before time was up, they worked on tracing to 100.

After our rotations, it was snack time! We worked to use 10 different pieces of 10 different snacks to create a 100 piece snack mix. Then, we dug into our 100th day cake {always a hit!}.

All throughout the day, I had kids telling me that this was the best day ever...I love days like that!  To grab the various hundreds charts I used, the hat pattern, and gumball ten frames, you can click here {they're free!}. 

We had such a fun day! I hope your 100th day was/is fabulous!