Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We have Green Thumbs!!

Last week we finished our planting unit.  This unit always amazes the students.  First we grew Lima bean plants. Most of the students thought there was no way we could grow plants from Lima beans. (I love to surprise them!)
This year we used cotton balls for the planting and not paper towels. They did pretty well! Here's one that sprouted, and they got even bigger than this!! 
We also saw how the water travels through the plant by putting carnations in dyed water.  

We wrote about our observations. 

We finished our week off with a fantastic spring party that was garden themed!  The students got to plant, make bird feeders, hunt eggs and more!!  Here are some cute pictures: 

They also made this cute art work for me!! I love it!!! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Expanding Our Audience

Following along with the Lucy Calkins Writing Series, we have been continued writing to solve a problem we see.  We read several books from the Why Should I? series such as Why Should I Share? and Why Should I Listen?

These books helped students to see how they could turn their persuasive letters and posters into books.  I have been so impressed with the students' persuasive writing. I have a few students who are just dieing to read it to Mrs. Basler, our principal.  She videotaped one of our students, Sophia, and shared it with the entire school so other students could be persuaded by her! Here is the video she took.  I'm so proud of this student with her writing and also the level of character she displays.  I can't wait to post more pictures of other student work soon! We will be posting our writings around school to persuade others to solve some of the problems we see.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Expanding Persuasive Writing

We continued to expand out persuasive writing this week.  We had our incoming kindergarteners come for a visit so we wrote them letters to convince them kindergarten is fun! Now I need some convincing to let these kiddos go to first grade!! Here are two letters they wrote to them. I'm amazed at how "long and "strong" their writing is getting!!!

We are now expanding our persuasive writing to solve problems we see around us. Here are a few charts and some posters we created.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Can you persuade the teacher?

This week we began our persuasive writing unit. We first started reading the book, Hey Little Ant. The students enjoyed this book quite a bit.  It's about a boy and whether or not he should step on an ant. Of course, I had a student tell me there was an ant on me and when I went to look she yelled, "April fools!" She totally got me! Let's just say after that I had several "ants" appearing throughout the day! :) 
Our next persuasive writing was a lot of fun. I got the idea from this blog: 
I asked the students if they thought I should give them a cookie before lunch. They then had to write a letter trying to persuade me one way or the other.  Some were pretty convincing, and I feel for all those parents who hear their pleas every day as they are pretty good! :)  Check out some of the writings and the charts we used below:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day and the Kings of ING!

This past week was a short one with my students as the teachers had Kindergarten registration!  I can't believe it's that time of year.  I'm not even close to letting these kiddos go!  We had a great time doing some St. Patrick's Day activities.  We read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover.  That series is always a big hit with my students.  We also learned about the sound "ing" makes.  We used this activity to make crowns. 

For St. Patrick's Day, we also wrote who means more to them than gold found here.   After we came back from recess we found that our room had shamrocks and "gold" spread all over it!  Check out our pictures below. 

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

What a week to learn about weather! 82 degrees one day and snow the next!

This year we did a lot of fun things with our weather unit!  Thanks to Pinterest and my genius sister-in-law, who is a middle school science teacher up in St. Louis. I also used a lot of FREE, cute stuff from First Grade Parade.   We made it rain in a glass, and this year the kids were all able to see it up on our Promethean Board because of our NEW document camera.  Check out the time lapsed video below.  (I think it will only play on computers.  I can't get it to play on my iPad or iPhone. Sorry.)  We added drops of water to the shaving cream which eventually got so heavy it rained.  You can get the recording sheet I made for that here.


We also used a microwave to show the water cycle.  We heated the water (like the sun) and the water evaporated and condensed on the top of the microwave.   

We also read one of my favorite childhood books, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.   We are working on visualizing as we read so we created this chart with our five senses.  

Check out some of their writing below.  I found this great freebie at First Grade Fever.  I loved this student's idea of Dip 'n Dots raining!  How creative!

Let's hope our precipitation continues to be rain only and no more SNOW!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

This year we had to reschedule Dr. Seuss day due to a SNOW DAY!  I cannot believe this weather!  82 degrees today, and we are suppose to have snow tomorrow?! Seriously? Well we enjoyed the past two days to say the least.  Check out some of our pictures from Dr. Seuss Day.  We got together with our buddies to have "green eggs" (green sherbet with whipped cream), did some fun Truffula Tree writing, and took some fun Lorax pictures.  We had a seuss-tastic day!  

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