April Updates!

April has been a busy, busy month- especially this past weekend! There’s something about holiday weekends that just make them fly by.

I spent my holiday with my family and egg dying fun. The paper towel that you use to dry the eggs has always been my favorite part of the process. It always turns out tie-dyed and funky. Here is mine from this year…

Paper towel

Paper towel

Isn’t that great? I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

Since so much has been going on this past week, I figured I’d do a round-up post with some of the highlights.

Awards

Last week the students got their third quarter awards with all the other first graders from the Principal. The first award was for perfect attendance.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

They got a cute money bookmark that says “It pays to stay in school”.

The next award was for students who did all of their Read Across America organizers, which are like book reports all the kids do in the school.

Organizers

Organizers

The next award was for the students who met their 3rd quarter reading awards. Our end of the year reading goal is reading 60 or more words per minute. For 3rd quarter, students who read at least 50 words per minute met the goal and are on track to met the end of the year goal.

Awards

Awards

And lastly, three students were selected from each room that are leaders, students who are engaged, focused, and have excellent leadership qualities.

Leaders

Leaders

Look at those little leaders ๐Ÿ™‚

Bears

We are heavy into our bears unit. The whole school is learning about bears, and will be going to see the Disney movie Bears together next week! In preparation, my first graders have been busy bees learning about brown bears ๐Ÿ™‚

Article

Article

We read an article about bears last week. Then, the kids used a Close Reading vocabulary strategy to identify the important words from the passage.

Article

Article

How it works is like this: The kids are in small groups. Each group gets 4 post-its. The kids work together to find 4 words that they think are important words and relate to the main idea. They write one word on each post-it.

Once the groups have their words written on their post-its, we start putting them on the board. If the students have a word no other group has, the continue putting the post-its in a line. If the word is a repeat, they put it on top of the similar post-it. This builds a vertical column of the words the most students all thought were the most important.

Post-its

Post-its

So what word did the groups think was the most important?

Safe

Safe

Safe! Since the article did focus mostly on how mother bears keep their cubs safe, that word related to the main idea! The kids always do a great job picking out the important words and it really helps them focus on the words the author chooses and how they relate to the topic.

How Do I Compare to a Bear?

And we’ve come to my favorite project of the unit ๐Ÿ™‚

When we started planning this unit, we came up with the idea of comparing/contrasting the students with bears. Since we’ve really focused on this strategy, we thought it’s be a great refresher!

Using a top hat organizer, the students wrote down their ideas on how we are like bears and how we are not like bears. From the organizer, the students wrote the ideas into sentences.

The sentences were turned into the cutest project ever. Take a look…

My student bears!

My student bears!

My student bears!

My student bears!

My student bears!

My student bears!

Using a template, the students colored and cute out the body of the bear. The writing went in the middle of the bears belly. A day before, I’d taken the students pictures and printed them off for the faces. It adds such a fun, adorable touch to the project.

My student bears!

My student bears!

My student bears!

My student bears!

My student bears!

My student bears!

Bear writing

Bear writing

 

Here are some up close shots of their writing:

Bear writing

Bear writing

Is that not the best ending!?

Bear writing

Bear writing

Bear writing

Bear writing

Bear writing

Bear writing

Bear writing

Bear writing

We’ve all been having so much fun with this unit. The kids are learning about bears, and also practicing many different Common Core strategies along the way!

Thanks for taking the time to look into our classroom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composite Shapes (and a little QR code thrown in)

How could I not include QR codes in this post too? Do you remember my obsession!? ๐Ÿ™‚

***YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEETS BYย GOING HERE TO MY TPT STORE!***

We are right in the middle of our geometry unit and have spent a few weeks talking,learning,reviewing 2-D and 3-D shapes. After that, we began talking about composite shapes– or putting shapes together to make news shapes or pictures of things.

This practice took a few days and after we’d spent time understanding that putting together shapes can make a new shape, we played a scoot game in small groups to practice the skill.

Enter QR codes!

At each spot, I had a bin of shapes and a QR code that told the group what to do. The students used an iPad and the QR reader app to scan the QR code. When scanned, it read the directions to the students.

Scanning

Scanning

The directions were something like this: “Working as a team, use more than one shape to make a _________”. Some of the spots asked them to make a square, a rectangle, triangle, hexagon, etc. Others stations asked them to make a flower or a house out of the shapes.

Working

Working

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Again, I LOVE QR voice because it allows you to make directions oral in this way. The kids were so engaged when they got to the new rotation and really had to listen to the directions to see what to do.

There favorite spot in the rotation allowed them to make any shape they wanted with the shapes…

Free space!

Free space!

Moving along, the next day the students got a piece of paper and a bin of shapes at each table. I asked them to use their shapes to make a composite shape of a zoo animal. The kids were so excited and got right to work! (I had them glue the recording sheet first so they realized to make their animal fit in the left over space) ๐Ÿ™‚

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

What was really cool was that during this building time, one student say “This is a lot like when we made our own constellations“. Exactly! I asked him why he said that and he said “Because constellations don’t look exactly like a picture either, you have to use your imagination, just like with these animals”. Bingo. Ah, what smart first graders I have! ๐Ÿ™‚

After the students had their animals built with blocks, I told them to record how many of each shape they used. They counted each shape and wrote the number on the recording paper.

Next, I told them that since we can’t glue those blocks down (groans from the masses), we’d use paper pieces of those shapes and glue them the same way they built their animal. I had the kiddos slide the animal they built off the paper, but still in tact on their desk. That way, they could look at the animal for reference as they built it again with the paper shapes.

They came to the table to retrieve the pieces they needed.

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

For me, it was easier to just have piles of the pieces on the table and the kids came up to get what they needed.

Then they got started gluing their animal together!

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

They looked so good already, didn’t they!?

Well, to take this project over the top, we decided to put these zoo animals in cages- just like they would be at the zoo!

I gave each student a piece of black paper and modeled how to cut thin black strips of paper. They used those strips to glue over their composite animal, just as if the animal were behind the bars in a cage.

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Lastly, they glued two thicker pieces of black paper on the top and the bottom to finish the cage. At the top they wrote the word “Zoo” with a white crayon and at the bottom, they wrote the name of the animal.

They turned out so cute and are hanging outside our classroom. Check them out!

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

I love them all and can’t get over how adorable they are! They also helped us practice using shapes to make composite shapes!

Thanks for checking in! It’s Friday, which means it’s almost weekend time! Have a good one! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QR Code Crazy!

Warning: I predict that the next few posts I write will all contain QR codes in some way. I’ve found QR Voice and I am ย slightly addicted.

Hi, my name is Ms. Tasch and I’m addicted to QR voice.

Admitting it is the first step, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

But first, here’s a slight look at other things I’m loving right now:

1. I mean… c’mon! How adorable is my nephew! I watched him a couple of weeks ago and ย always enjoy spending time with that little munchkin.

Lucas

Lucas

2. Last weekend, the fiancรฉ and I walked around a local downtown area by the lake. It was such a beautiful day (finally!) and we spent a few hours roaming in and out of stores. One of my favorites was a canning store that was also a bakery. As soon as we walked in and the smell hit us, I knew I loved this place. I also knew we wouldn’t be leaving empty handed! While we didn’t get one of those delicious looking Peep cookies below, we did leave with a mini pecan pie (called a Cutie Pie) and a toasted coconut bar- yum!

Peeps!

Peeps!

3. Before that adventure, we took time out to meet up with my sister-in-law and nieces for a walk around a local forest preserve. The adults kids and dogs all needed to get out of the house and run around! I love walks and it was the perfect day for one!

Walking!

Walking!

Finally….. QR codes!

What?

You knew it was coming- I’d already warned you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking at Pinterest one day, I saw a pin about using QR codes for kids to practice math. Hmm, I thought…. I’ve only ever used QR codes to take you a certain website. I was intrigued and clicked on the link, which brought me to my new addiction: qrvoice.net or QR Voice if you are searching for it.

Now, maybe I’ve been living under a rock and missed all the coolness of this, but if you are like me, here’s a breakdown of how it works:

You go to the website and type in a word, phrase, or sentence and it will create a QR code for you. All you have to do is copy and paste that code into a worksheet. When the students scan that code, it will say the word, phrase, or sentence you wanted! Amazing right!?

Well I definitely thought so and quickly created a hidden shapes review for my first graders!

Worksheet

Worksheet

First, there is a QR code, or the clue for the shape. The students worked together in small groups to scan the code. They had to be good listeners and hear what shape it was.

In the next box, the answer box, they had to write the name of the shape they heard when they scanned the code.

Finally, they had to draw a picture of the shape in the last box.

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

I can’t say enough how much we all loved this!

It was exciting for the kids and exciting for me…. ok maybe a little too exciting for me- I never knew this was possible!

Finding the hidden shapes

Finding the hidden shapes

I’m already thinking of all the different ways to use QR voice. And as I said, be prepared to see them on here! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve already created a rotating scoot game with composite shapes where students scan the code to hear the directions. And in sharing with a colleague, she wondered if it is possible to record students saying something and make a QR code for that. After searching- this is possible! By recording a student, emailing the file to yourself, uploading it to a Dropbox or website, you can create a QR code for that file. When scanned, you’ll hear the student talking!

Ah, I am in love with QR voice! The possibilities are endless.

Happy Tuesday ๐Ÿ™‚

 

P.S. I almost forgot…. I uploaded these files to TpT for FREE! Check out the link:ย QR Codes {Hidden Shapes}ย or look at the right hand side for my TpT store!