Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Persuasive Writing

This year I have been trying out writing workshop. I don't think I'm super successful at it yet but I am working on it. My kids are a lot more independent and creative with their writing than they have been in years past. But I still need to work on the instruction part of my writing especially the revising and proofreading part. The past few weeks we've been working on persuasive writing. This is a common core standard or at least opinion writing is. I started the unit off with showing the kids a few public service announcements from youtube.
I showed this Smokey the Bear one from 2009.

Then a Give a Hoot Don't Pollute one.
And finally an army one. The first time we watched these videos it was not successful. The kids didn't get what was going on at all. But we talked about them and what they were trying to convince you to do. I then went back home that night and searched for some more videos to help explain what I was meaning. I found a few old commercials for Barbie dream house and micromachines. I also showed a wildlife preservation one with the Muppets and a marine one. They did a lot better with them this time. I think they were finally getting that commercials were trying to persuade them of something. Then we brainstormed a list of things that they would like to convince me to do. They came up with some crazy ideas which was good. I talked to them about being realistic and specific in what they were wanting me to do. Here's our list:

We also discussed how they were going to make an argument. They thought that all arguments were bad so we did a little role playing to show what I meant by wanting them to make a argument. The next step was making a graphic organizer. They picked one thing they wanted to try to convince me to do and then tell me four reasons about why they should.

Then they wrote a letter to me. Not all the students are finished and the ones that are done with writing need to revise and proof. This is my down fall but I'm trying to follow through with this project. Here are a few of their examples:

This last one is my favorite. She wants more math homework. So far it is going well. I think our next step will be to work on writing about some school problems and writing letters to our principal and assistant principal. I told them those that wrote compelling arguments I would do those activites. So we'll see which ones I end up doing. We also finished up a little writing from Valentine's day. I gotten a great freebie from A cupcake for the Teacher. It was Love is . . . My kids responses were so cute.
 This one says, "Love is love. Love is kind. Love is nice."
 This one says "Love is a strong feeling about someone or something."

This was one of my favorites. It said"Love is making other feel better when they are sad." This was a cute activity and even though we didn't have time on Valentine's Day I'm glad I made the time to do it today. What are you working on in writing? How do you teach persuasive writing?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Long Weekend and a freebie

We had a four day weekend and I should have gotten a lot more done. I was really lazy on Friday and didn't feel all that great. But we stayed busy Saturday and Sunday. My hubby is a boy scout leader. This is one of the things that I really love about him. He was an Eagle Scout himself and just took over the troop about a year ago. We had a ceremony for four boys to cross over from the cub scout pack into the boy scout troop. I was not only very proud of my hubby for being a part of this but it was neat because 3 out of the 4 boys I have known since they were in kindergarten and one of them was in my class for kindergarten and first grade. Sot it was neat to see how they have grown up. This is one of the things I love about living and working in a small community. Sunday we spent most of the day with church related stuff. My hubby and I are youth leaders and our youth group was singing at a a benefit concert. Last night I finally got around to doing a few things on my to do list. One of those was to make a place value write the room. I had one in my winter math workstations pack but I wanted to update the clipart to be non seasonal. I have some great new clipart from Ashley Hughes. After making this activity, I think I'm going to make a whole math unit using some cat and dog clipart. My kids are obsessed with pets.
Click here to get your copy of the freebie. 
I hope you can use this freebie. I plan on using it this week. My kids need some more practice with place value. I didn't get much done today either. I still have quite a few things on my to do list. I spent the day with my mom, sister and niece. We had a lot of fun shopping and hanging out. My two year old niece Sophie is a mess. I did get one other project finished this weekend. It's my alphabet soup pack. These are foldable books and graphic organizers for each letter.
Check it out on TPT here.  I hope you had a good weekend even if it wasn't a long one. It's time to get back to the grind tomorrow. Our next break is Spring Break which is the first week in April.
I'm linking up with
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day Fun

I have never been a fan of  Valentine's Day. I might or might not have a t-shirt that says Love is Lame. Of course this was all before my hubby and I started dating. We started dating 2 years ago a month before Valentine's day. He loves to tease me about my love is lame attitude. Even though I wasn't a fan of the holiday I recognized how much the kids love it. I try to not show my dislike. I wear a v-day shirt, socks, necklace and lots of pink. Yesterday my hubby said just looking at me made him want to say Happy Valentine's day. We are no longer allowed to have a party to celebrate. We still exchange cards and had a special snack. We had a fun day anyway. Here are a couple of pictures from our fun day.
These are our fun bags we made. I had the students pick out scrapbook paper to make their hearts out of. I was inspired by  all the heart people I've seen on pinterest and blogs. I gave the kids googly eyes which made the heart people.

 We graphed conversation hearts. These papers came from Sarah Shelton at Kindergarten Korner. I loved her questions she had on the back. The kids had a lot of fun reading their hearts.

 The Sweetheart Snatcher stole our candy earlier in the day and we had to go on a hung to find it. If you haven't checked this packet out from Babbling Abby you should .They are great and my kids had so much fun with it.
 I made the kids Cupid's Floats. They had cherry 7 up and vanilla ice cream. Then they used Twizzlers for straw. We have made several floats this year and I think this one is my favorite.
While my kids enjoyed their snack they were reading their cards from their friends. It was so sweet. They thanked each other and really enjoyed the cards. It made my heart smile. I had a great day on the personal front too. My hubby had gotten us reservations at the Melting Pot. It was so good. Plus he got me a gorgeous new watch. I'm enjoying my long weekend. We have Friday and Monday off.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Teamwork or not

My kids are really struggling with working together. I posted about being frustrated a couple of weeks ago and got some great suggestions from my bloggy friends. Something I tried to do was to move my math time around and see if that helped any. They seemed so sleepy and out of it for math. So a few days a week we do math first thing in the morning. That seems to help some. I have a slight time constraint with doing math first thing because my ELL students leave for an hour at 9:10 or so. The other problem I had was the kids didn't seem to know how to work with a group. We work with partners a lot but we hadn't really worked that much in group of 3 or 4. So I decided to have them work with their math work stations partners and that seemed to help. But Tuesday we were starting our math lesson. We had already done the promethean board that introduces the activity and concept for the day. I had them go back to their seats with their partners and then they were suppose to work on building numbers with their partner. Everything fell apart at this time. I had 2 pairs that were getting they were suppose to work together. The rest of them were working on their own to build the number and finding they didn't have enough cubes. So we stopped the lesson. I took up the cubes and tried to work on working as a team rather than math. I told the kids they were going to draw a picture with their partner. They needed to talk about it and decide together what they were going to draw. Then they had choose the material they were going to use to make the picture. I wouldn't give them what they needed until they agreed. They then had to work on drawing the picture together. This took most of our morning. But I think they finally got that when I wanted them to work together or with a partner that they needed to talk and they needed to both have a part. Here are a couple of pictures of the kids working together:

Not only did the kids learn a lesson, but I did too. I need to remember to take the time to work on things like team building with the kids. So I'm asking you guys to help me come up with some other activities for team building. What do you do to help your students learn to work together? I would love to hear about it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

100th day Recap

Last Monday was our 100th day so I'm a little late in the posting this. But better late than never. My day on Monday got a little thrown off by a meeting in the afternoon during the 100th day activities.
I had asked my kids to send in 100 items and we still haven't done anything with those. I just realized that they are still sitting in the box they put them in when they brought them. Whoops.

 I hit 100 hershey kisses around the room that had the numbers on them. The kids worked in groups to find the kisses while the rest of the class worked on writing their numbers to 100. They found all but 3 of them the first day. I found the others the next day. I had them put their hershey kisses on the 100s chart which wasn't my best plan. The next day when we were going over the numbers we used the promethean board and highlighted the numbers. That worked a lot better.
 We also made a 100 day snack. This was the first year I didn't ask students to bring in specific snacks and that was a mistake. I just asked for donations and we only got 6 different things. So the kids got to choose 4 things they wanted 20 of instead of just 10. But we were doing this at the very end of the day so the kids had to take their snacks home.
 The last activity we did was making a picture out of 100 squares. I asked my assistant to get the 100 squares for each student together the week before. One of the middle school teaches accused me of cruel and unusual punishment. The kids did a great job and I realized when uploading these pictures I didn't take one of the final products. I'll have to do that tomorrow and add it to the post. they were so quiet and working so hard. It was interesting to see the ones who made a picture and those that just glued them down all over.

The 100th day is a prime example of one of my biggest downfalls as a teacher. I get these great ideas and never seem to have time to finish them. I had the materials to make 100 day hats and had plans to do some counting with their collections but we just didn't get it done. I have such a hard time balancing fun activities with all the required learning we need to do. I had bought stickers and book marks from Target earlier in the month and didn't find them until Friday. Four days after the 100th day. Does anyone else have this problem? Please tell me I'm not the only one. I hope to be back later this week with what we've been doing for persuasive writing. So far these lessons are going well.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Multiple Meaning Words and a freebie.

Today was the 100th day of school. I had plans to post all about our 100 day activities but I had to go to a meeting in the middle of our celebration and didn't get things finished. So stay tuned and hopefully tomorrow we'll finish our activities and I'll get it posted.
Last week one of our skills in our reading series was multiple meaning words. I don't always follow exactly what is in the reading book. But multiple meaning words are part of common core so I started thinking about how to teach this. My one little word is intention and I'm trying to be a lot more intentional with my lessons. I've been trying to use resources I have to create better lessons. I have been using Brain Pop a lot more. This is the first year we've had a subscription to brain pop as a school and I'm loving it. There are some great videos but I couldn't find anything for multiple meaning words. So my next resource was my computer. I created a powerpoint presentation. I just used clip art from microsoft. The presentation has the word and then one picture showing that is what the kids expect the word to mean. I asked them to think about other meanings of the word. Then with one click, you can reveal another picture of the word. I think I'm explaining too much. I'm sharing the file. Just click here to get the presentation.
Here's a picture of one of slides,
It's not super flashy but it was perfect for my class. I was really proud of how well the kids did coming up with different meanings of the words.
After we went over the presentation, I gave each student a piece of paper. They hot dog folded it and then cut three flaps to make a flip book. They picked three words and wrote and drew a picture showing the two meanings.

This was the first lesson on this topic. I think my next step is to see if the students have any words to add to the presentation and then have them write sentences using each meaning of the word. This was one of our tested skills on our weekly reading test and most of them did well with it. Do you have any tricks to teaching multiple meaning words? If you grab my powerpoint, leave me some love. It makes me smile that I can help other people. My store is still on sale until midnight tonight if you didn't get your shopping done yesterday.
I'm linking up with Classroom Freebies Manic Mondays. Be sure to check out all the other freebies.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday Sale

I'm sure you know all about the sale today. But here are a few of my friends that are having a sale. I'm hoping I'll have some time to do a little shopping. Between church and a super bowl party at church not sure how much time I'll have. That's why I loaded my cart up with a few things yesterday. Here are a few things in my cart:
I'm sure I could find plenty more things to add to my cart but I accidentally bought some things earlier in the week before the sale.
We had a flood day on Thursday and I created a new activity. It's a CVCE game with a valentine's day theme.
Check it out here.
I also posted Words that Pop Up Unit 4 last week so be sure to check it out. It goes along with the Treasures series for first grade.
SO that's all my shameless self promotion. I hope you get some good deals at the sale and that your team wins the super bowl. I don't really have any preferences for the teams playing. I'm just going to enjoy the food.
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