Going Batty in First Grade!


One of my favorite times of year is the fall. I have a serious problem shopping at the stores because I want to buy everything for my classroom.  This year was no different.  In Ohio we have a store called Meijers.  It is a grocery store and more.  TROUBLE!  This year I found this adorable shirt and scarf.  Of course I had to buy both.  It was an investment for all of my future years to teaching.  Everyday I decided to wear something batty.  The kids enjoyed trying to find out what I was wearing.  I had to invade my husbands closet for a Batman shirt but other than that, I had it covered.  I wore these two goodies and I had a headband (I decided to spare you the picture) as well as some batty socks.  I love generating excitement in my students with the little things.  

This week our focus was on fact and opinion.  Of course we sang the fact and opinion song to learn the difference.  I decided to do a KWL chart instead of schema and new learning because we have done that chart numerous times this year already.  So we changed it up a bit.  I think my bat turned out pretty cute myself.  We added Learned facts each day.  Now this cute little chart is in my science center with all of my other bat goodies.  I like to make my center something we have already learned about so they are independent during my guided reading groups.  So next week they will do bat games, vocabulary, and all kinds of goodies in my science center.


Here are few of the featured books we read this week.  Two of my favorites are not pictured, "Bats" by Gail Gibbons and "Stellaluna" by Janell Cannon.  You can see we worked on fact and opinion each day.  One of my FAVORITE things to do in 1st grade is an anticipation guide.  A WHAT?  If you have never done one, it is a must.  All you need is non-fiction text and a template.  There are a few examples above, I will tell you how it works.  Before reading the book, you pass out the paper.  I have my students use a highlighter for this part, you can see it on the left side of the papers.  I read each statement and they have to predict if they think it is true or false on the "What I Think" side.  Why do I use highlighters??? So they don't change their answers.  It is so important for them to learn that it is ok to predict wrong.  So I STRESS that I will only be looking at the "What I Learned" side of the paper. Then we read the book. I tell them to raise their hand if they hear a fact from the anticipation guide. Then I stop and we discuss.  After reading the book we go back and I re-read the statements.  The students then circle the correct answer true or false.  They get super excited when they are right!    I'm not exaggerating when I tell you they LOVE this activity.

We did a lot of writing throughout the week too!  We wrote an opinion piece about being a bat. They had to choose if they would or would not want to be a bat.  We always do a prewriting activity which you can see above.  Then we take the prewriting and write about it.  If you look closely you can see my first grader checked off his prewriting as he added them to his story.  One of my favorite things to see.  I also took a photo of a a bat writing where I used highlighter to make the lines for one of my students.  Not everyone is the same writer.  So for this friend, we worked on one sentence at a time.  He dictated the sentence, I made the lines, then he wrote the sentence.  We did this 3 times and his story turned out great!  
When I model for my students most of the time I write in front of them. This week, I wrote one of my stories ahead of time on chart paper.  I taped it to the SMART board and we fixed all of my mistakes. I cut out little bats too and we glued them for periods.  They enjoyed this activity and LOVED telling me all the things I did wrong.
We also wrote Batty Similes and bats can, have, are... papers.  
Of course we had to read a little bat poetry so we worked on our Bat flip book.  I feel it is important, and it is one of our standards, to expose children to poetry. We worked on digging deeper into the poem, sequencing, rhyming, fill in the blank and illustrating. 
It wouldn't be a batty week of fun if we didn't wear our black and bring in flashlights.  We used them in the reading center and in small group guided reading.  So much fun.  I need to dig out my old ones and use them for the whole month.
Finally we did a few crafts this week.  Together we made the fun little paper crafts on the left.  With the help of my AMAZING parents, we made the sock bats on the right.  I had each child send in an old black sock.  This year I had a time slots and invited parents to come in to help make them.  They turned out so cute.  While they worked on the bats, I was able to meet with my small groups in guided reading and the students completed Daily 5.  It was a little crazy if you walked in my room but organized chaos!  I didn't have time to hang them yet but some of my teammates did so I took a picture of theirs hanging up. 
Speaking of teammates, mine are so creative and fun to work with. I wish that for all my fellow teachers.  Here are a few things they did in their room. We all did the hanging bats.  One teacher gave the children vampire teeth, took their picture and make bats.  Another teacher took normal pictures and made bats.  I think they all turned out great!
I hope you were able to gather a few ideas from this post.  Happy Fall!!







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