Communities & Community Helpers Snapshot of Week 5

One of my favorite weeks of school is learning about our community and different community helpers.  Together we work on building our own community in our classroom, school, and town.  Luckily for us we live in a wonderful community with great families and fantastic schools.  During this week our focus was on text vs. world.  We worked on building connections to our world outside of our classroom.  To tie in the community helpers, we also focused on goods vs. services.  This year we learned about different helpers each morning and reviewed this concept.  By Friday my students understood the difference.  
We enjoyed some fun stories, "Town Mouse Country Mouse" & "On the Town" but there aren't a ton of stories geared towards first graders so I had to write a few. 
Each day we read about a different community helper, two that provided goods and two that provided services.  After we read about them, we wrote about them.  This was our writing for the week.  My students did a great job with their first informative writing pieces. You can see I modeled two sentences on the chart paper above. We also discussed rural, urban, and suburban communities.  These were not required vocabulary words but I knew some of my first graders were ready for it so it was also part of our discussion.
Do your students love highlighters?  Mine do!  I'm starting to love them too.  They are key to identifying important words and making connections.  My "firsties" are mastering the art of reviewing text for key words!  Here are a few of the fun activities we did together.
 Community Helpers

  
To end our week we had Career Day.  They dressed up as their future career.  It was so cute seeing them all dressed up.  Together in small group we discussed our careers and decided if we were providing a good or a service.  We also wrote about our career too!
At the end of the day, we shared what we were going to be and why.  I saved these for their portfolios.  It will be fun to look back some day and see these cute pictures.

As you can see, we were busy and had loads of fun.  I always say if I'm bored they are bored.  Happy Fall, I hope you could grab a few ideas from here!





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Family & Grandparent's Day






Last week was our unit on family with Grandparents being a huge focus.  We had a big event coming up to get ready for, Grandparent's Day!   We started off with a fun story called "Weird Parents" by Wood. This story is so funny and I can totally relate... Me being the weird parent of course.  We focused on text to self since it was all about the family.  We were able to make a lot of connections throughout the week.  Our vocabulary words were siblings, relative, and grandparent.  It was interesting to hear my students explain these words. They were amazing of course!  
We made these adorable family portraits.  Each one is so different and fun.  If my own children had made them, I may have framed them.  They take some time but are well worth it.  
Check out my family goodies below.
Ok, if you haven't read these Jean Reagan stories, you must. They are hilarious!  We used both versions to teach text to self.  The children were able to make wonderful connections and share their stories with their grandparents.  Of course, I was able to reminisce about my own which I love.  I just wish they were still here!


Check out these Grandmas and Grandpas!  I love the mustache.


We made cute little goodies for our grandparents all week.  This year I got smart with a few things.  We rolled up our goodies and tied them with a bow.  Since we eat lunch with our grandparents, it kept all of the food off of everything.  When lunch was over, they unrolled them and they were food free!

We used the All About Grandparents to make a slide show for them.  I collected all of their answers and put them on 6 different slides.  This is what I read to the grandparents.  My favorite this year was, Grandparents always...wear clothes!  Right out of the mouth of first graders. 
Grab all of these grandparent goodies in my bundle.
 This year the grandparents came in and my plan was to talk and do our thing first but they all started eating so I went with it!  As they ate lunch, I took pictures and chatted with a few.  When they were done, I did the slide show and the children sang them two songs we learned.  After that, they opened their goodies.  It was perfect!

We also spent the week working on the short o sound. Many of our activities can now be moved to the word work station because we have learned them and Daily 5 is up and running! Woohoo!!!


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Back to School ~ Friendships


On the third week of school we like to discuss friendships with our students.  There are so many great books to use for this unit, it is hard to pick.  Our comprehension focus for the week was retelling.  We focused on beginning, middle and end.  The first story we read was Peanut Butter and Cupcake.  I love how the author didn't use Jelly in the title. We discuss why he did that at the end of the story.  This book is hilarious filled with puns for even the adults.  
We discussed things that go together like peanut butter and jelly.  We matched a few and then came up with our own list.  Finally, we did this cute little craft.  The children really enjoy all of the activities. 
 Peanut Butter and Cupcake

Next we move on to my all time favorite author, Kevin Henkes.  I love all of his mouse stories.  For this week we read three of his stories, Chester's Way, Chrysanthemum, and A Weekend with Wendell.  I have also taught an author study on him in years past. This year we are more theme based.  
We started out with my favorite, Chester's Way.  We reviewed characters from the week before and wrote about what each character liked and what they all liked together.  We had to dig deeper in the book to remember.  They made the three characters to add to their writing.  I think they turned out cute.
Then we read Chrysanthemum.  This story talks a lot about how to treat others and how we are each our own unique person.  We looked closely at Chrysanthemum and discussed the different ways she felt in the story.  We also made this cute character and put our own good luck charms in her pocket.

Next we read A Weekend with Wendell.  He is a little stinker and super bossy.  We discussed how no one likes to be bossed around.  It is hard to be friends with someone who acts that way.  
We packed a bag full of goodies for our sleepover.  We worked on our writing skill, making a list.  



Also this week we worked in our new Science notebooks.  We learned about Science, how to treat our notebook, and what scientists do.  The children are really getting excited about Science thanks to Babbling Abby and The First Grade Parade.  Check out their amazing resource.

Finally, we focused on the short i sound this week.  We did many fun activities all week but the best was the spelling assessment.  Check out number 7!  It looks like we need a little more practice.
 Short I Spelling

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Apple Science Freebie Fun!



This month we are linking up to give you some fun fall ideas, just in time for September!  


Apples are always a great unit to do in the fall!  In first grade we try to tie it into Science as much as possible.  My first graders have been busy learning about "What is Science?" & "What does a Scientist do?"  Next up for us is the Scientific Method.  Once we have learned that process, we will practice the method becoming little first grade scientists.  
One of the first activities we do as scientists is testing the different parts of an apple to see if they will sink or float, a simple but effective lesson to work through the process. In this freebie, you can test the whole apple, half of the apple, the seeds, and the stem.  



Click below to grab this fun activity! 
 Apple Science Freebie
  
I hope your students enjoy exploring an apple as much as mine do!
If your looking for some more fun apple activities, check out my complete apple packet!

 Apples

Best of luck on the 2 $50 TpT gift cards and Happy Fall!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Back to School with ...RULES & ROUTINES

For our second week of school we began to focus on rules and routines in the classroom.  We read five fun stories that were great springboards for our classroom discussion on the rules.  By this time we already had great examples in our own classroom.


Our Comprehension strategies for the week in large group were characters and setting.  All week long we reviewed them with our stories as well.  We used the posters from my comprehension packet as well as some the the worksheets to teach and review both characters and setting.  This packet is the bases for all of the strategies I will be teaching throughout the year.  If you continue to read this series, you will see which books lend themselves to the strategies.  

The first book we read was "The Recess Queen".  We discussed Mean Jean and her character change.  We also listed good choices you can make in school and at recess.  I love how open ended the activity is. I have some students who can write sentences and some who draw pictures and label.  Each option allows them to be successful and get their point across while still showing me what they learned. 

On Tuesday we read, "Officer Buckle & Gloria".  Again a great story to focus on character and setting.  We discussed safety tips for our classroom and school.  Each child made a star to show a safety tip for the school year.

Next we read, "David Goes to School".  The kids love this story.  It actually reminds me of my childhood and how school used to be, not so much anymore. (Especially the chalk erasers!)  We made these cute David crafts.  

Then we read "Miss Nelson is Missing.  The children are so engaged wondering where she went.  The ending is perfect.  Some years my students don't seem to get it that it was her the whole time.  This year they got it right away!  We compared Viola Swamp to Miss Nelson using words or pictures.  We also discussed how the students were acting and why the teacher had to leave.  
Some of these goodies are offered in my Rules and Routines Packet!

 Finally, we ended the week with one of my all time favorites, "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse".  Lilly reminds me so much of Junie B. Jones.  They are both so silly and full of personality.  We looked at both Lilly and Mr. Slinger and sorted things that each character loved.  We also enjoyed making Lilly.  I wasn't going to do the purse/pack too but my students wanted to so we did those too!  They listed what they would keep in their purse/pack.  They turned out soo cute.  I just love how different they all are.  I couldn't replicate them if I tried.  The craft and activity for Lilly came from my Kevin Henkes Author Study, not my rules and routines although I do have some activities in there too.   It just fit in perfectly for our week.

For word work, we began our study on Short a.  Our spelling words all had this pattern and the children worked on a few activities each day.  I'm super excited about our spelling focus this year too! Here is a peek at a few of our activities.   We will make our way through the short vowels and then focus on different hunks and chunks.



Gearing up for week 3, Friendship! Stay tuned.

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