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…
Isn’t that great? I love it 🙂
Since so much has been going on this past week, I figured I’d do a round-up post with some of the highlights.
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.
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.
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.
And lastly, three students were selected from each room that are leaders, students who are engaged, focused, and have excellent leadership qualities.
Look at those little leaders 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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.
So what word did the groups think was the most important?
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 🙂
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…
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.
Here are some up close shots of their writing:
Is that not the best ending!?
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!