Close Reading Strategy- Important Words

Hi there! It’s a great (cold) day around here and we’re staying warm by moving!

My sister-in-law (who is also a teacher) stopped by the classroom yesterday (because she had conferences and was done early) to check out my awesome kiddos and some of the things we’re doing in first grade! I was telling her about how we try to incorporate moving every day and as a school, we have a friendly competition each month to see the classroom that does the most movement!

She mentioned a website, Gonoodle, and after checking it out- I’m hooked!

Go Noodle

Go Noodle

It’s a totally FREE website that offers video clips of dances, stretches, yoga, breathing, and more! The videos are quick, only a couple of minutes, and the kids love them! Plus, it keeps track of how many minutes you move in all- a great motivation for my class since they always want to win the traveling trophy 🙂

During indoor recess today, we did one of the Olympic hurdle videos, a few kid Zumba dances, and even the breathing cool down. It’s great and I really think it’s worth checking out.

ClOSE READING

What is close reading? Close reading means reading a passage or text several times throughout a week, each time looking “closely” at different aspects. For example, one day you might read and look for vocabulary words, one day might be spent on text structure, another day is focused on text features. The point is for kids to see that you can read for different purposes and that good readers often read and re-read text for different reasons.

We try to do a close reading week at the end of each month. This month we read a non-fiction piece on prairie dogs. We spent the first day building background knowledge and vocabulary, the next day on the main idea and details, and another day comparing and contrasting.

What I wanted to share was a AMAZING strategy we saw modeled at a recent professional development inservice day.

The goal was for the kids to read the text and pick out the words they thought were the most important. They couldn’t pick the three words I’d already introduced on the first day as important vocabulary words. They needed to work in groups, pick 4 words they thought were important to the main idea, and write each word on a post-it.

Looking for important words

Looking for important words

Don’t you just love how they are all referencing back to the text?

Looking for important words

Looking for important words

In all honestly, I was a tiny weeny bit nervous how this would go. It was awesome when it was modeled for adults at the inservice day, but would my first graders be able to do this?

I am here to tell you- they did SO WELL! There was no confusion, the kids went right to work, read the text and looked for important words together.

Looking for important words

Looking for important words

Looking for important words

Looking for important words

On a side note- we don’t use Post-it’s that often in class, so that was also a big appeal to this lesson 😉

Looking for important words

Looking for important words

Looking for important words

Looking for important words

Now for the really cool part…. after all of the groups had found 4 words they thought were the most important in the passage, we put all of the words together to make a bar graph. The first group went up to the board and put up there post-its, reading the words out loud they found.

Putting up Post-its

Putting up Post-its

The next group next up and if they had a word that was the same as the first group, they put that post-it on top of the other post-it (building it up like the bar of a bar graph). If they had a word that was new, they added it to the row along the bottom. By the end, this is what it looked like…

Our graph

Our graph

The kids had so much fun with this! As we were building it, they squealed with delight as another one was added to a column.

So what was the word that the majority of the class thought was the most important?

Predators!

Predators!

Predators! This was the word that most of the class found to be important to the main idea and something we needed to know! (This was great and on-point!)

The second most common word was…

Sharp claws!

Sharp claws!

Sharp claws!

After this, the kids were given a page with a key on it, for the “key idea“, where we all wrote the word predators and had to define it with words and a picture.

I wanted to share this strategy because it was actually very simple, but also very effective. It got the kids looking and thinking about the word choice and the word meanings. They had to decide, discuss, and choose the words they thought were the most important and work together as a team.

This was a big hit! All the kids had fun and were busy learning at the same time!

Parents- this pack is coming home today. Check out all of the activities we did with the same piece of text. Ask your child what they learned!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlight Night- TONIGHT!

Parents- SPOTLIGHT NIGHT IS TONIGHT from 5:30- 7!

Please come to see your child’s data and growth! We will start in the classroom to share our data on the MAP tests and AIMSWEB fluency. After that, you’ll get to try out some centers around the room to see what we do in first grade! We will get to play a dice game in math, some science experiment, and technology in reading!

After that, the spotlight is on art, music, and P.E. We will move together as a group through these different areas so you can see what your child does in these subjects as well.

I look forward to seeing you all there! It would be great to come support your child and learn more about what we’re doing!

Also- if you do come, students will get a certificate to the school store!

See you tonight at 5:30!

Red, Pink, and Glitter

Valentine’s day was last Friday. This was the second holiday on a Friday in a row (100th day was the Friday before)… which teachers out there all know that two parties within a week is difficult a lot of excitement! 😉

In all honestly, the kids were so adorable as they came into class wearing red and pink shirts. They had big smiles, bags full of cards, and couldn’t wait to start the party!

We did get lots of actual class work done, while having fun with Valentine’s day too!

Right before lunch, we took time to decorate bags that we would collect our Valentine’s day cards in later.

Bags

Bags

Bags

Bags

Students could decorate their bags any way they wanted- as long as it had their name on both sides. Most students choose to decorate with hearts, flowers, or red/pink/purple colors.

Bags

Bags

Bags

Bags

Bags

Bags

After the bags were done, we set them aside to use later in the day.

A little while later, it was time for math. We’ve been working on fact families in math, which is one of our Common Core math standards for first grade!

  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.6 Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).

***Parents- click HERE to read about all of the Common Core standards for first grade!***

Before we started, we read the book “Pete the Cat- Valentine’s Day is Cool”!

Pete

Pete

In case you haven’t noticed- I am our class is very obsessed with Pete the Cat. We all just love his silly style and cool attitude!

When we finished reading, the kids got a pink heart with three numbers written on it. It was up to them to use the three numbers to create 2 addition sentences and 2 subtraction sentences (the skill we’ve been focusing on!)

Fact family heart

Fact family heart

Fact family heart

Fact family heart

Fact family heart

Fact family heart

From there, the kids got a template with a Pete the Cat face, paws, and tail. They went to work coloring in that cool cat!

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

Using the pieces of Pete and the heart, they put it all together to make an adorable Valentine’s day math craft.

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

Pete

We also glued the craft to a piece of construction paper and added glitter glue dots around the edges. The kids had so much fun added these fun, glittery details.

Final project

Final project

Aren’t these too cute? I love them and they are now hanging out in our hallway. 🙂

Final project

Final project

Final project

Final project

Another math activity we did was candy heart counting, graphing, and adding!

This is one of my favorite things to do on Valentine’s day because it is a great math review of skills we’ve already learned, but also gives them a sweet treat when they finish!

To start, I pass out a handful of candy hearts to each student. The first thing they have to do is sort the colors and record how much they have of each color.

Sorting

Sorting

Then, the worksheet asks them to add together certain colors. For example, pink + yellow or blue + green. They have to write how many they had of each color and then find how many in all.

Adding

Adding

Adding

Adding

 

Adding

Adding

It gets trickier when it asks them to add three colors together! For example, pink + purple + orange. At first the kiddos were very confused by this… but then they thought and realized they could use the hearts to help them count! Boom– problem solved!

Adding

Adding

Adding

Adding

 

The next page has the kids graph how many of each color they have. This part is lots of fun- graphing is always a good time in our class!

Graphs

Graphs

Graphs

Graphs

Last- the kids have to use the candy hearts to measure some pictures on the back page. This is a great review of non-standard measurement that we started the school year with!

Measuring

Measuring

Measuring

Measuring

And then they put away all the candy and didn’t eat one piece of it…..

Did you believe that? 🙂

Ok, when they finished they got to snack on their hearts and take home any extra!

After this, it was TIME FOR THE MAIN EVENT!

They had been asking ALL DAY when it was time to pass out their cards and the moment was finally upon us. The kids set up their brown bags, got their cards, and started passing them out!

Ready…. set….. GO!

Passing out Valentine's

Passing out Valentine’s

Passing out Valentine's

Passing out Valentine’s

They all look very focused in these photos, and they were, but they were having so much fun walking around and passing out their cards! The room was full of an excited buzz!

Passing out Valentine's

Passing out Valentine’s

All in all, it was a really great Valentine’s day. The kids did a lot of fun crafts and projects and ended the day with a Valentine’s party. The last thing I want to share with you is a card one of my student’s gave to me. When I read it, it melted my heart and was a good reminder of why I do what I do.

 

:)

🙂

It’s the little things that make it all worth it! All of the things the students gave me were heart warming and thoughtful! I am blessed with a wonderful class and supportive families- I can’t wait to keep working and learning with everyone!

Have a great night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awards!

Last week we celebrated second quarter awards! The first grades all got together to give out awards for many different things, including students who met the winter reading goal of reading 40 or more words per minute!

Reading 40 words!

Reading 40 words!

The friends above all read 40 or more words on a reading passage in one minute! Good work friends! Keep reading each night at home!

We also got awards for students who had perfect attendance during the second quarter- no absences!

Perfect attendance!

Perfect attendance!

They got special buttons to show that they are cool and in school everyday!

The next awards were for kiddos who did all of the reading organizers (book reports) during second quarter. That means, they turned in the 6 reading reports each month that go home with homework! Not only do they get a prize each month for this, they also get a prize each quarter, (this quarter was a fun bracelet!) AND if they do ALL of them for the entire year, they get the end of year prize!

Bracelets!

Bracelets!

GREAT WORK turning in your homework reading calendars!

The last award was for three special friends who have shown leadership qualities in our classroom all of second quarter. They were engaged, determined, and a great role model for others!

Nice work!

Nice work!

These friends got special medals that they can wear to school any day to show they are a leader in the school!

Nice work to all of my first grade friends! Remember- it’ easy to get a prize for third quarter! Come to school everyday, turn in your reading monthly homework, practice reading every night at home, and show you are a leader!

I’m very proud of all my students! You’re all growing so much- don’t stop trying and we’ll keep moving forward together!

 

 

 

100th Day!

 

100th Day!

100th Day!

Today was the 100th day of school! We did it- we are 100 days smarter, 100 days bigger, and 100 days into first grade! We celebrated the day in many FUN ways. 🙂

For starters, after lunch we put on our 100 day capes! Last week, we sent home plastic capes and notes to families asking them to decorate the cape with 100 objects. They could use stickers, pictures, drawings, cereal, pom-pons, etc. to make their cape special. The kids were so excited when we told them they were going to make capes with 100 things- they kept saying they would look like super heroes! 🙂

So after lunch, the capes went on!

Class

Class

So here are my firsties all wearing their awesome capes! I was blown away by how creative and wonderful the capes were. I can tell how hard the kids and their families worked on these- they were AMAZING! Here are some close ups of a few capes…

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

Cape

 

Class

Class

The first activity we did was to write and draw about our capes. The students had to write a describing sentence about the objects they used on their capes and draw a picture of themselves.

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

Picture

 

After this the kids were off the music class (A big thanks to Mr. P for letting us wear our capes there!) and right after, we met in the gym with the other first grade classes.

The students got some time to check out each others capes and see their friends in other classes. At first the kids were very shy, but in a few minutes, they were talking, laughing running, and having fun with each other 🙂

I snapped a picture as we were leaving…

100 Day!

100 Day!

As we were leaving, a hand went in the air. “Ms. Tasch, do you think we could show our 5th grade buddies our capes?” How could I say no to that?! So up the stairs we went (on a mini parade) to show our fifth grade buddies (and a few other 4th grade classrooms) our capes. I think the kids loved showing them off 🙂

Back in the classroom, the students finished their writing/drawing papers while we also watched a short 100th day video called “The 100th Day of Circus School”.

100th Day

100th Day

Next, the kids got a 100th day paper with a big 100 number on it. Inside the number were different shapes. The students had to color each shape a specific color, count how many shapes there were, and graph each number.

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

100 Day Shape Hunt

To end the day, we did a really fun movement activity. The students were challenged to jump for…. 100 seconds! I found a cute YouTube video that counted up to 100 with some music and the kids had to jump the whole time!

Jumping

Jumping

Ok, the blurry picture is hard to see- but that shows how much they were moving! The kiddos were so into this! They jumped, jiggled, and shook the whole 100 seconds!

Jumping

Jumping

All done!

All done!

When we hit 100 seconds, they flopped down into their seats 😉

It was such a fun day! The kids were adorable in their capes, we did so many exciting activities, and got to share with the other classes how we made our capes.

It was the perfect way to celebrate being in first day 100 days. I want to tell the families again how much I appreciate you taking the time to make such wonderful capes! The kids loved it and I know they appreciate the support. Have a great weekend! See you next week to see what the 101st day of school brings 🙂

100th Day!

100th Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T, T, 0 (Can you tell what we’re learning about?)

Different types of objects of course!

But first… a sneak peak on my 100th day cape…

Zebra!

Zebra!

Can you tell what the theme is?

Light

Continuing with our unit on light, we’re learning all about how light passes through different types of objects- such as transparent objects, translucent objects, and opaque objects….. T, T, O!

The three types of objects were introduced with examples…

Sort

Sort

….that we sorted into the three categories (the lights are off in the picture because we held up a flashlight to each object!)

The examples of transparent objects (clear things that let ALL the light pass through) were plastic writing sleeves, plastic bins, and a baggie. The translucent things we sorted (things that let SOME light pass through) were a white plastic bag, a piece of paper, and a colored square. Finally, the opaque objects (things that don’t let ANY light pass through) were a book, a magazine, and a mouse pad.

The next day, we reviewed these types of objects…

Review

Review

…together as a class. Then- we discussed where we saw more of these examples in the room.

Once we really knew what these objects were…. it was time for a ROOM HUNT!

The kids objective was to go around the room with a recording worksheet to find examples of things that were transparent, translucent, and opaque! After a few quick reminders, they were off!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

I love the above picture- how inquisitive is that!? It brought up a great example and discussion about what type of object that chart was…. opaque or translucent!?

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

I’m loving the above picture as well…. I caught her in deep thought 🙂

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

Room hunt!

One of the main reasons I love doing things like this- besides the fact that it gets them engaged through moving- is that it really makes the kids apply what they know. They have to find real examples and analyze which category it should be put into. This means they really have to understand the meanings and apply that knowledge to the situation. (But to the kiddos- it’s just fun! One boy came up to me doing the hunt and said “I just LOVE this!)

Discussion

Discussion

Afterwards, we gathered in a circle and talked with each other and partners about what we found.

Discussion

Discussion

Sometimes partner discussions work better than whole class discussions, because everyone is so excited to share what they found! With partners, they all get a chance to share and lessens the shouting out of turn 🙂

Discussion

Discussion

If you want to check out some of the other worksheets we’ve used during this unit on light, look at my TpT store for the 37 page Light pack I’ve created!

Light!

Light!

Just click here: Light Pack!

 

100th Day Cape

Parents- did you start working on the 100th day cape?

The idea is this: we want a fun way to celebrate the 100th day of school! One of the first grade teachers saw the idea of the kids creating a cape at home with 100 objects on it. On Friday, the kids will bring their capes to school and we’ll use them throughout the day for lots of fun activities!

I made mine this weekend. It started with this…

Supplies

Supplies

….and turned into this…

Cape!

Cape!

I found everything I needed at Wal-mart for only a couple of dollars. I thought the kids would love all of the animals and that the cheetah print in the middle fit the theme!

I hope your capes are starting to get made at your homes! Remember, you can attach 100 of anything- things you find around the home, things you make, things you buy- onto the cape. ALSO- if you don’t want to use the plastic tablecloth we sent home, feel free to use cloth or other types of fabric (I got the pink fabric at Wal-mart for about $3)

Bring the capes to school Friday for a fun, fabulous, and SUPER 100th day!

I can’t wait to see them!!!! 🙂