Thursday, February 23, 2012

Paleontology anyone? Free "Mister Bones" Literacy Pack!

I love the fact that we get to study dinosaurs again!  We first learned about dinosaurs back in October.  They learned that some dinosaurs were Herbivores and some were Carnivores.  This week we read about Mister Bones: The founder of the T-Rex! 

The students also got to experience digging bones themselves.  I ordered a few excavating kits for the students to practice with!  You can order these Dinosaur Fossil Kits  for only $2.99 each and they arrive really quickly!  I got mine in 2 days!  I ordered 6 and had small groups of 4-5 work together.  If you don't have time for this, you can always use a toothpick and chocolate chip cookies and dig out the chocolate chips.

Our Grammar and Writing skill was adjectives, so we did a lot of practicing during Writer's Workshop.  We started out using adjectives in sentences with this activity.  Then they began using it more in their stories.

When they finished digging for bones, they worked on sequencing this event.  They wrote about it using this graphic organizer.

Our phonics skill was Long Vowel /oa/ /ow/ and 3-letter blends.  They had fun playing the games in centers!

This is a Word Work game that I use with spinners.  If you don't have clear spinners, you can just use a paperclip with a pencil.

All these activities are FREE in my Mister Bones Literacy Pack.  Click Picture link to download

Friday, February 17, 2012

Creative Writing with "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds

 This week we read the story "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds.  This is one of our stories from the Reading Street program but can also be purchased at Amazon. It is about a girl who is upset because she thinks she can't draw.  With the help of her art teacher, she discovers she is a really great artist.   
For one of our activities, the students were given a small piece of construction paper and they were to cut out a circle to represent a dot.  Then they were to make something out of it.  This is how a few turned out!

We did a little creative writing with this story as well.   

I wanted to have a way for the students to experience how the girl in the story must have felt when she tried to draw.  I gave the students a step by step drawing activity.  Some of the students told me it was hard, but I encouraged them not to give up like the girl in the story.  All of them finished and all of them were GREAT!!Here is how a few turned out.

CLICK HERE to download these writing activities

If you follow Reading Street, here are free word cards with long vowel /ea/, and inflected endings /ier/ /ied/ /iest/ to go with Unit 4 Week 2 - "The Dot". 

CLICK HERE to download.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Free Last Minute Valentine Activity

Anyone needing last minute math activities that don't take a long time to prepare for Valentine's Day tomorrow?  Here is a free  activity I call Valentine Estimation Station.  I like that it is doesn't take long to prepare or do in class.  All you need are small clear cups and a few bags of the Valentine M & M's.

I only fill in up to 70 or 80 m & m's so they can estimate and count smaller amounts.

Working in small groups or partners, the students start out by making a guess on how many m&m's are in their cup and write it in the top jar.  Then they count them using the tens and ones mat.  After they count how many are really in their cup, they fill in the number in the bottom jar.  Last they sort them by colors and fill in the color graph.

The students have been learning place value so this is a great mat to use when counting.  They start by filling in the tens and then fill in the ones with the left overs.  They count them by 10's and 1's when finished.

Click the Heart to download

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Butterfly Garden Fun!

We began this Unit about 6 weeks ago and it definitely was a favorite for me and my students.  I bought a butterfly net at Walmart last summer and couldn’t wait to use it this year!  When you purchase the net, it comes with a certificate for free caterpillars but you would need to pay the shipping.  I was fortunate this year to get caterpillars from our local Butterfly Garden so they could just eat leaves instead of the gel that comes in the cups from the mail order.  One of the other first grade teachers did get the mail order so we could compare.  I had only a few die but all 5 of hers survived and turned into butterflies.

Caterpillars from the kit
 Our Very Hungry Caterpillars from the Butterfly Garden

 Our caterpillar ready to shed it's skin

 One of the Chrysalis's

 Our Butterflies!

The students kept track of our caterpillars in their Weekly Journal

I also was able to get a butterfly  education kit with real butterfly wings and samples of a real Chrysalis. The students used the butterfly wing cards I made in a compare and contrast activity.


 We made butterfly glyphs to go with their Butterfly Life Cycle writing.

 Blogger is not being nice to me today.  Just tilt your it your neck stretch of the day

The students played They Very Hungry Caterpillar game with vocabulary cards.

This Butterfly Math and Literacy Unit  is now available on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Click the link below.