We did so many fun things this past week I just had to write a nice long post sharing what's going on in our classroom.
The first one is my FAVORITE!!!!! I have said this in other posts, but I'll say it again ---- I LOVE TEACHING ABOUT PENGUINS!!!!! I was made to teach 1st grade I think. Of course the kiddies are so stinkin' cute and make me laugh everyday, but I also love the things we do each day.
So we started our Penguin Unit this week (click here to go to blog post about it). I saw this adorable idea over at First Grade Parade and just had to use it to kick off our learning about penguins. We named him Petey the Penguin. In my opinion, this is a MUCH better way to introduce a topic than KWL. With a KWL you find out what they know, but if they are wrong - what do you do? Tell them they are wrong or write something false on the chart. Ugh - it stifles the whole exploration process of learning. So on this chart we have Schema, Misconceptions, New Learning, and Questions. I explained to the kids that our schema is what we know, or THINK we know, about a topic. As we learn more we might find out that we had some misconceptions. Of course we have new learning on here, and as we were learning we found out we also had questions so we had to add an iceberg to keep our questions on :-)
We will be doing penguins for the next two weeks so this is just the beginning. I just LOVED hearing my firsties say, "Oh that was a misconception - move the post-it over!" Great vocabulary and great learning was going on this week that "anchored" on this "chart" ---- ha ha - get it "anchor chart". I can't wait to share with you some of the other activities we've been doing with penguins when we're all done.
The next thing we did this week was a freebie from Michelle Hudgeons using the children's book, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. This was a quick, easy way to talk about cause and effect with the kids. Plus, this craftivity is ridiculously adorable!!! Click HERE to get it.
One little thing we did this week in Math, which I wish we'd been doing all year long, was a number line activity that was totally a spur of the moment, in the middle of teaching, idea. I have this big number line up on my wall (I think most primary teachers do in their classrooms). I always think it's a great resource for kids to use, but really it is quite difficult for little first graders to look all the way across the room and try to count on the number line. So in comes Fred the Frog! I had this cut out of a frog and taped it to a ruler. Nothing big, but just having a frog jumping on the number line sparked their interest SO MUCH MORE than a plain pointer. It's amazing how such a little thing can grab a child's attention.
My next step was giving the kids their own number lines and having them "hop" on them to solve addition and subtraction equations. I really want to print out a bunch of little frogs, laminate them, and use them instead - but for now, we used colored chips. Believe me, I realize that this is not the most brilliant idea out there - but it just happened to be a turning point in so many of my students' understanding that I was super excited to share. Those are the moments I live for as a teacher!!!
Finally, we come to Friday! I had SUCH a fun day planned filled with Groundhog activities!!! Well, we ended up having a snow day and didn't have school. I was bummed because I was really excited for our day, but what teacher complains about a snow day --- NOT ME!!!! So, instead of groundhogs, I filled my day with LEPRECHAUNS!!!! I finally finished my St. Patrick's Day pack. Now I am so excited for St. Patrick's Day. Just look at this cute little leprechaun craftivity.....
I'll wait until after Valentine's Day to blog more about this unit, but I wanted to tell someone about it :-)
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Phew, I totally realize that this was a SUPER long post, so thanks for sticking with me. It's just fun when you have a week full of fun activities and want to share! I hope you found some new ideas too! As always, I love comments and hearing about what you are doing in your classrooms too. Is there anything you did recently that you are excited about too?????