Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Character Pumpkin Book Reports

Every month I try to send home a Family Project for each of my students to complete.  For example, one month I send home a paper and have the students make a map of their bedroom when we are learning about maps.  A different month I send home a turkey and have them decorate the turkey as a family.  Usually during October I send a pumpkin home and have the families decorate the pumpkin.  Well, this year I found an awesome idea and I just had to try it.  It is creative and it helps the students review some of the standards they have been working on.  I found the idea I think on Pinterest and then I had to go to TPT and purchase it. Here is what I purchased; Trick or Treat Pumpkin Book Reports by Hope King.  I loved this idea.  I thought it would be so much fun and I thought my classroom families would enjoy it too.

I sent home the treat bag for the students to complete as their Family Project for October.  I thought it was perfect.  Learning and being creative at the same time!  The students had to draw their cover on the front of their treat bag.  Inside the bag the students filled out the candy pieces with title, setting, characters, beginning, middle, end, and their favorite part.  Once the due date came, the students shared their stories with the class.  My students were so excited to share their bags with their classmates.  They had so much pride with them.  It seemed liked they really enjoyed the activity and so did their parents.  After everyone shared, we discussed their characters.  Each student had to bring in a pumpkin.  They had to make their pumpkin into their character from the book they did their report on.  I had our Reading Buddies (who are 3rd graders) come to our room and help us with our characters.  The buddies worked out so well.  The students LOVED making their pumpkin into their character.  I can't believe how great they turned out!!  Check them out!

photo of wolfelicious character pumpkin

Photo of Pumpkins

Photo of pumpkins

photo of pumpkins

photo of pumpkins

photo of pumpkins

I am definitely going to do this activity again.  I am so amazed at how well the students did with their reports and their pumpkins.  

Kindergarten, 2nd -

Sound Book

My class has been working on sounds.  They have the beginning sounds pretty well.  I wanted them to do something for Word Work that would help them with their sounds.  I wanted beginning sounds, but then I also wanted to make it a little bit harder with middle and ending sounds.
Well, after thinking about what I thought would be beneficial for them, here is what I came up with.  The Sound Book.  

Photo of Sound Book from Wolfelicious

Photo of Sound Book

Photo of Sound Book

Photo of Sound Book

Photo of Sound Book

Help your students learn beginning, middle, and ending sounds. Come check it out at TPT and Teachers Notebook

Thanks for stopping by.

Kindergarten, 2nd -

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oh Columbus

Boy, it has been very busy here at Wolfelicious!  The end of the first quarter came, parent conferences, Fire Safety and our Columbus activity.

This week at school we had a very busy fun week.  We had no school for students on Monday.  Tuesday we actually had a normal day.  Wednesday we had firefighters come talk to us about fire safety.  Today we made our ships and tomorrow we are having Continent Day. 
One of the things I have to teach about is Columbus.  Since we are a Core Knowledge school our curriculum has Columbus in it.  We have to have the students know who he is, what he wanted to do, where the ships came from, and that he called the people Indians since he thought he was in India.  I always use a Core Knowledge lesson plan to teach Columbus.  This year I used the CK lesson plan but then I also found a fabulous idea on a blog.  The Teacher Idea Factory had posted about an activity she does with her class.  After I read about it, I knew that I had to try it out!!  I LOVE the idea!  
I asked The Home Depot to donate some boxes to my class.  I was hoping to get washer/dryer boxes but unfortunately they didn't have any; however they did donate wardrobe boxes to our class.  (Thanks so much Home Depot).  I asked parents of the class to come in and help build a ship.  I laid out some craft materials and broke my class up by tables to work on their ship.  It was amazing to watch the ideas flowing of how to create a big ship.  I love how each ship turned out.  I hope it will be something the kiddos won't forget about doing.  I got to see them working together and thinking outside of the box. :)  Check out our ships: 
Photo of Pinta
Pinta side view

Photo of Pinta
Pinta front view

photo of Pinta
Pinta side view

Photo of Santa Maria
Santa Maria

Photo of Santa Maria
Santa Maria

Photo of Nina
The Nina

Photo of Nina
Didn't they do an excellent job?  Our classroom got messy and loud, but we got 3 amazing ships out of it.  Plus I bet the kiddos will remember who Columbus is and what his 3 ships were.

On another note, I bought my first outfit for my little Wolfe due in February.  I think it is so adorable.  It is so difficult to find cute boy clothes.
Photo of onesie

 Every Tuesday and Thursday night my son has Tee Ball.  It is so much fun watching him play.  I love watching to see how he interacts with others.

  Photo of Liam T Ball

Thanks for stopping by!

Kindergarten, 2nd -

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's a... Activity and Word Mats

I have two new activities I wanted to share today.  I just uploaded them to TPT and Teachers Notebook.  I am really excited about them.

The first one is called It is a...  
This is an activity to complete with your class about guessing the gender of your baby.  The students choose if they think it will be a boy or a girl.  They color the onesie and you make a graph to see what the class thinks the baby be.

Before the results

Photo of It's a...
After the results

Photo of It's a...Activity

I have been wanting my students to focus more on learning their sight words during our Word Work time.  I thought this activity would help them do that.  The students can use rainbow writing with each word or they can make the word using playdough.

Photo of Word Mats from Wolfelicious

Photo of Word Mats from Wolfelicious

Photo of Word Mats

Photo of Word Mats

I would love to have you go to my TPT store or my Teachers Notebook store and check them out.

Kindergarten, 2nd -

Monday, October 1, 2012

Daily Five and Improving My Centers

This year I am back doing the Daily Five in my classroom (Wahoo!).  I am super duper excited!  I love Daily Five and I think it really does work to help my students become lifelong readers and writers.  

This year has been kinda difficult to get my Daily Five centers to be completely like I want them to be because we had to start small groups so early.  My students have practiced and practiced and everyday they are doing better.  I think after people read the Daily Five book, people get their own interpretation about how to complete it in their classroom.  My interpretation is based on Daily Five, however I did change it to fit my class and to make it work for me.  It is a tad different than how the Sisters suggest doing it, but for right now it is working and I am already seeing improvement in the students. 

Photo of Lesson Plans by April Wolfe 
Click picture to see my lesson plan. 

My morning is broken up into chunks.  We do a whole group lesson and then we break up into centers/Daily 5.  (This is how the Sisters suggest to do the Daily Five)  I really think by breaking my day up into sections has helped the students retain more.  I used to do my reading, phonics, handwriting, and letters all during whole group time.  This year I have separated it and I am really liking it.

Here is a general idea of how my morning is.

8:15-8:45 My students are coming to the classroom, unpacking, doing their chores (Putting their snack where it goes, moving their lunch clip, etc.), and then completing their morning work. 

At 8:45 we start with learning the new letter for the week.  We go over how to write it and practice writing it.  We go over a poem with the letter and sing an ABC song.

Around 9:00 I have my first guided reading center and the students complete their first Daily Five center.  I have a group, the computers have a group, and then the rest of the class is participating in the same Daily Five center.  

Once I am finished with my guided reading center we come back together for a mini lesson.  After the mini lesson we switch centers.

My mini lessons consist of: Introducing a letter for the week using the Read Well program (parts of the program).  Writing lesson.  Read a story.  Go over phonograms and sight words.

Everyday I think about my Daily Five centers.  I want to make sure I am giving the students the best centers that I know how to do and help them become a successful reader and writer.  I have always wanted to do this, but this year I REALLY want to since I know I will be missing 2 months of school for my maternity leave. 

The students and I are constantly talking about what they should be doing during the center.  I always ask them what the principal would want to see if he walked in.

I have noticed that the Word Work center is usually the loudest of the Daily Five centers.  Here are some of the things we are completing during this rotation.

Photo of Letter Bingo
Letter Bingo!

Wiki Stick Letters photo
Making letters with Wiki Sticks.

Photo of Playdough letters
 Making letters with Play dough.

Photo of ABC Puzzle
 Alphabet Puzzle

Right now we are really concentrating on learning our letters during Word Work.  I will add different items for the students to do throughout the year with sight words, words, and writing sentences.

I LOVE the Daily Five!  Again, I am so excited to be using it in my classroom.  By the end of the year, my class WILL be successful readers and writers! 

Does you use the Daily 5 in your classroom?  How is it going for you?

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