Saturday, February 6, 2016

Learning About Space

The last two weeks, we've been focusing on our Space unit.

I always start with the moon. They always love learning about the moon.  We made our Schema chart (I always use 2 different color sticky notes to show the old vs. new learning) and added to it throughout the first week. 

Here are some of the books we read throughout the unit...


And throughout the unit, I showed some videos on YouTube about being in space, as an astronaut.

I have a few different videos saved on my {SPACE CHANNEL} if you want to check them out. Let me know if you know of any others that I can add to show next year!!

In small groups, we read NF passages and focused on finding the answers RIGHT in the article....highlighting the answers.

And STEALING and SLIDING.... using part of the question in the answer...

They added a lot of new words to their vocabulary... they made their vocabulary journals for the unit and kept adding to them during the 2 weeks.

Once we finished adding words, I stapled all the pages in the book.

They made their orbit craft - this really helps them to visualize the orbit.

We did the comparison in small groups first, then I sent them back to their seat to finish the cut and paste activity.

We did on the board...

And then they used their venn-diagram in their notebooks to help plan for their writing ...

She is using her {Spelling Journal} to help with any words she doesn't know.

They wrote about how the moon was different from Earth....but you can just do moon facts too!

We spent a day in the computer lab researching stars. I wrote out 3 questions for them to find the answers to in PebbleGo. They are getting better and better at finding answers!

Then the finale - Astronaut craft!!

and space hat - of course! :)

Check out my Space Unit {HERE}

Friday, February 5, 2016

Quick Informal Math Assessment

This week, in first grade... our math was a LITTLE hard. 

Ok. This is one of the hard skills, I think. (speaking in my Junie B. Jones voice, there. haha)

We did balancing equations. I always bring out the teddy bear counters and balance for this skill.  They really get the visual...but then when it comes time to take away the visual and manipulatives, that's when they have a hard time with it. Same with "Making Ten to Add" 
- holy cow that one is hard!  

So, a few days after teaching the skill, I need to know who has it and who still needs help.  So, instead of giving them a "test," I pull them back 5-6 at a time to give them an informal assessment on the white boards. They don't know they're taking a "test" and I can really see what their thinking is when it's in small group. 

So, I have a card there with all their numbers written on it. I give them anywhere between 1 and 3 questions. As I "test" them, I cross off their numbers if they have the skill down. I circle it if they don't quite have it yet.  If they don't have it yet... or if they are a little iffy on it, then I might have them stay back for one more round of questions, to see how they do.

After I go through them all, I will focus my next few days on calling back those students to work more with them in small groups, or even if I have more time that day - but usually not.

That's when I bring out the math centers.

What do I do for Math centers??

**See how I organize my math centers {HERE}

I do a lot of activities from my {Monthly Math Centers}

and a lot of activities from my {Deck of Cards}...

(from when I taught 2nd grade....)

So I have my kids in small group with my focusing on those skills the need extra help with, and as I get them there, hopefully, then they get to go join the rest of the class for centers.

You can find my Math Center Sets {HERE}. This is this month's preview so you can see how they are set up. (This is 1st grade, but I also have 2nd grade sets!)

I also have a set for Grades 2-4