29 January 2016

Five for Friday- Jan. 29th 2016

My favorite link up of the week with DoodleBugs Five For Friday 

Dream House Writing
Sometimes it doesn't all fit nice and neat on a bulletin board and that's ok. :)

I read the story If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen and students first designed their house and then wrote about their house and gave reason as to why their house is awesome, great, or the best. Students really enjoyed this activity. I like to give students the paper to draw and design first to give students a chance to get their thoughts on paper without the pressure of feeling like they need to get started writing immediately. It is important to give students a chance to develop ideas before demanding results. 
Here are some of their designs.

After designing, students wrote about their house in their writing journal. Once that was complete I had a conference with each child about their writing and about adding details to different parts to make their writing more interesting. I then allowed students to get on google drive and type their writing. After typing, I talked to each individual student once more about their typed writing. We are still working on spacing correctly and remembering to punctuate while typing. 

Lastly, I helped students create a voki character from on voki.com and add their writing to the character to publish their writing. The characters are now on our school website and students absolutely love visiting the page and listening to each other's writing.

So, I mentioned being excited about hearing of Blendspace last week. Now, I am using it to organize websites, games and videos about specific topics we are studying. I've added these blendspace links to our class website and edmodo for students to easily access at school and home. I am planning to create a blendspace of parent resources to add to my school website as well to give parents more info about number talks, comprehension questions to ask students when they finish reading a story and lots more. 

100th Day of School
Padlet- 100 Compliments and Acts of Kindness
If you've not used padlet, it's a great place to create message boards for students to post comments, questions and show understanding.

Aging Booth- This was such a fun app. My students laughed like crazy when they saw themselves. I may have even sneakily changed some of their edmodo profile pictures to these when they weren't looking. :) 

I used plickers as a quick pre-assessment for the measurement unit we are starting. If you've not used them yet...stop waiting! You need to print them and use them ASAP. They are so easy to use and give you real time results. 
You can order them laminated in anti-glare laminate or print them for free on cardstock. 

This is a picture of my students using plickers from earlier in the year.

This week ended great with a Pay Day song from my administrators and I was announced as the January Staff Member of the Month!

Thanks for listening to my randomness for the week!

23 January 2016

Five For Friday- January 22nd

My favorite link up of the week with DoodleBugs Five For Friday 

Evidence Based Writing and Document Based Questions

We've been learning about and trying to implement both of these writing tactics. 

I now have a Text-Based Evidence Anchor Chart hanging behind my Guided Reading table where I meet with small groups. After reading a story on their reading level, I have students write a response in their Reading Logs. I am having students use the language from the chart to answer the questions. They can use the guided reading books to cite their evidence. 
For example, we read a book about insects and how they look close up with a magnifying glass. I then asked students to write about how insects look close up, but use evidence from the text to support their answer. So far, this is working well with them having the leveled books at hand to use as support.

Let me know if you have other ways to incorporate Text-Based Evidence.

We are also learning about using Document Based Questions.
This was the first time I've seen Blendspace.
Blendspace is a free web tool for teachers to collect resources in one place to form a bundled, interactive lesson for students and colleagues. 

Here is a link to the presentation we saw about DBQ's 

We now want to start using primary sources and documents for students to read and inform their responses to questions. As a first grade teacher, I think it would be great to use these while learning about the famous historical figures in our Social Studies Standards: Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Tubman, Theodore Roosevelt, and George Washington Carver. 

Have you used blendspace or DBQ's in your class? If you have some great ideas, please share! 

Peer Observations

We recently had training about DOK in our classrooms. This week we were able to visit other classrooms and record DOK that we noticed in those classrooms. I really enjoy conducting Peer Observations and learning from others, as well as having others come in my own classroom and walk away with something they can use. I had about 12 people come observe me throughout the week. 

One thing I would suggest for next time would be to leave a post-it note in the classrooms you visit with one nice thing to say or compliment. One teacher left a post-it note on my door before leaving and I didn't even notice it until later in the day, but it made me smile. I wish I had thought to do the same with the teachers I visited.

Techie Idea- Desmos Polygraph
Our Math Coach shared this great site for students to use with a partner this week. It is a lot like digital "Guess Who" but with math of course.
Two students play on different computers. One student selects an answer while the other students types yes/no questions to try and figure out which picture/number/shape (depending on what you are learning about) is correct. 
This was on Desmos.com, but you have to then search polygraph to find the games. I am sure this site has other great things to offer, but have not had the time to look through it all yet.

100th Day of School
Before running out the door Friday, because of the snow coming. You know how it is in Georgia....
I had to hang this 100 Day of School banner for kids to see when they walk in Monday. :)

Snow in Georgia

Thanks for listening to my randomness for the week!

16 January 2016

Five for Friday- January 15th

My favorite link up of the week with DoodleBugs Five For Friday 

Pet Writing
While working on opinion writing, I read I Wanna Iguana, Pet Show, What Pet Should I Get, Not Norman and Harry the Dirty Dog. Students used popplet to organize their ideas for what kind of pet they would want and reasons to support their opinion of why this would be a good pet. After completing the popplet, students wrote in their journal about the pet they would want including reasons to support their opinion. After writing in their journal they typed their writing and used the sock puppet app to record their voice reading their own writing. The QR Code takes you to a video of the sock puppet reading the writing. We also water color painted the pet to go along with our writing. Students really enjoyed writing about pets this week!

Sock Puppet Published Writing

Amazing Race
I've been working hard to exercise each day this week for my team.

This has been my snack each day this week.

I received stability balls for each student in my class!

I also received this primary journals for writing. I love that they have writing lines on each page for handwriting that is perfect for first grade compared to a regular notebook.

Phonics Posters with Real Photographs
I am really excited about this posters. I plan to post them on the wall as well as place them in binders for each group to have and read if they have finished other work. You can use these during guided reading lessons to focus on a specific phonics skill.  This is a great resource for RTI interventions for students to read through these short vowel posters. At the bottom of each page is a sentence that focuses on the spelling pattern being taught.

Click HERE to see them in the store.

Family Time- Board Games
Lately my family has had fun playing some new board games. Feel free to try some of these out yourself with your friends and family.

Sheriff of Nottingham

Ticket to Ride

Mexican Dominoes

Thanks for listening to my randomness for the week!