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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Spider Donuts

Each month, I like to do a recipe for one of our themes. I like to have the students write out the recipes and a review for the recipe and then take their picture for them to glue to the review. We make a "book" for each recipe.  You can see what I mean about a "book" for our recipes at the bottom of my Apple week post.

It all started when I used Denise's Tasty Tuesday in 2nd grade, but I had to kind of make up my own paper so that the format fit 1st grade a little better.  I still wanted to do it in 1st grade, just had to tweak it a little bit.

So this month's recipe is from our Spider Week. Check out that post {HERE} - there are some freebies for you to grab there too!


These were SUPER simple to make. All you need is:
-Mini Chocolate Donuts (enough for each kid...and maybe a few to snack on)
-a bag of Chinese Noodles (Chow Mein Noodles)
-Icing
-M&Ms


I was so impressed with some of my kids when they decided that their spider needed spinnerets and pedipalps! What?! Super proud teacher, right here!



Why do I love writing recipes???  Because it's a great step in a process and opinion writing piece! PLUS, it really does get them excited about more learning..and never wanting to miss school - you just never know when you'll miss a fun day, right!? ha!



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ahh! Spiders! With freebies!

So I thought October would be less chaotic than September.  Well, I was definitely wrong! ha! I think October may be one of my most favorite months to teach. I wish there were 5 or 6 weeks in October with all that I like to do.  Fire Fighters and 5 Senses, Bats, Spiders, Pumpkins, Halloween - I just can't fit it all in! ahh!

This is what it looks like on my floor when I try to plan for October. lol.


And when I go home? It doesn't look much better...lol



With the demise of my computer's hard drive last week, I'm a little behind in blogging. I lost some pictures - boo! But I will say that MOST of my files and clip art were saved on my external hard-drive. whew!

I'll get to our fire week and 5 senses, but let me focus on Spiders right now.

Quite honestly, I had SO much more I wanted to do with my kids with spiders, but last week was a 4 day week AND we had an early release day..that really knocked it down, time-wise, for me. And this week was supposed to be all about pumpkins, but because I needed to finish a few spider things, then we had to push pumpkins up a little. Sometimes I forget how much longer it really does take for 1st graders to do things...although I will say, most of my kids are able to keep up with me. lol

You can see what I've done in the past with Spiders {HERE}

Before we even started our unit, we did an activity from Deanna's Spider unit. I love this graphing activity. I do it every year - even with my 2nd graders.




After they finished their pie graph and analysis of the graph, we then did a class vote and bar graph. I always make sure to write about the data, since we inevitably have a graphing question on the district test. We really do a graph a week in my room...without even realizing we do! ha!


We then read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. The students wrote what they are busy doing, glued it onto a spider, and then we hung them up. I think it turned out so cute! I totally stole this idea from my neighbor teacher. I admit it. lol




Then we worked on fluency with our poem, My Little Spider. We Also practiced some grammar skills in the poem.


Another activity idea I got from Deanna was the camouflage idea. We had spider die-cuts in our volunteer room, so I found random scraps to make different color spiders. Then we wrote about camouflage, the definition, drew a picture, and wrote a sentence. I normally do this in our Vocabulary Journals, but I wanted to use the spider die-cut.


And can I tell you?? I was so super proud of some of my kids for using their Spelling Journals ALL. ON. THEIR. OWN to figure out how to spell words!


Another activity we did was learn about prepositions! We made our "My Spider's Walk" book, and they get a spider ring that gets to do what the book says.








You can download this fun little book for free - click on the picture!


I always like to "read" the Spider books on Bookflix. I love Bookflix because they have a fiction and non-fiction book paired up for everything.



We also did our tree map (from my Spiders Unit)


(See our room buddies?? They dress up for each month's festivities!) 

They wrote their own facts in their tree map and we glued it into our reader's notebook.

Then they used that to start writing their Spider Facts Writing!


Once they wrote out their writing and we went over it together, then they traced the words with a sharpie and erased the pencil marks. 

THEN, after that, they got to draw their webs. I taught them how to use a ruler to make a plus sign on the paper in the center (hahaha - that was fun) and then make an X through the center of the plus sign. THEN, draw the lines of the web. 

Ok. I must say. Sometimes it's so funny to watch them do things that I think are such simple things to do. I am constantly being hit with a new realm of reality with first grade. Sometimes I get pretty frustrated, I'm not going to lie. But other times, I just have to laugh and think "Duh, Jen! They need a little more help with this."

But the webs came out so cute!! After I "approve" their web, they get to trace that with the sharpie and color it too. And they drew spiders and traced them with sharpies.  They were SO excited to get to use sharpies. It was like the "mecca" for bribing them to finish their writing - haha!  Whatever works, right?









That writing paper isn't in my Spider pack, but you can download it {HERE} if you want it!


My guided reading book for that week (from Reading A-Z) was all about Spiders, for both books. I do have 4 groups, but only 2 sets of books. One group is only working on phonics and then my 2 lower/on grade level groups work in the C book and my highest level group (which is about 8 students  - so we meet on the floor as a big group) read out of the G book. But that's why I love Reading A-Z - all my groups can have the same theme, but at their level!


And here is my center menu for that week.  There are some blanks because those are not something that I have to share or show - it could just be something the kids know what to do on! haha



Words for the Week - October ELA centers 
Words for the Week - Rainbow Words
(Words for the week centers used to be called sight words and spelling words as separate centers, but I always had them do all the spelling AND sight words for the week in the center, so now I just call the center Words for the Week)
Listening Center - Aaaaargh! Spider! Book Review - October ELA centers 
Poetry - My Little Spider (scrambled poem)
Write the Room - Scrambled Spelling Words
Sentence Scramble - October ELA centers
Blends Versatiles
Label a Spider - October Label It!


We got a few more pumpkins in from our October Family Projects! I just love these. So stinkin' cute!




Oh, AND we started our math facts this week! After 2 days, I have kids that have already passed their quizzes and have moved on up in their facts...and they don't even know about the party yet - ha! If you want to see how I do these math fact quizzes, check out {THIS} post.



Need some book ideas for Spiders? Check out some of my favorites below.
What are some of your favorites?? Maybe I need to add a few more to my bookshelves - ha!








Whew! Hope you made it through all that!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Books!

While I'm not quite finished with my Spiders Unit, I'll be starting my Pumpkin Unit in the middle of this week. So I wanted to share some of my favorite pumpkin books with you. I might have quite a few more than just the ten I'm showing you, but these are some of my favorites.


There are SO many books in October that I love. I have a really hard time choosing which ones to use.

Here's a little synopsis of some of my favorite pumpkin books.

by Gail Gibbons
This is a great book for kids of all ages.  A favorite children's author, Gail Gibbons introduces all the details about the growth of pumkins along with some new terms for kids to learn.

by Steven Kroll
Two mice fall in love with the same pumpkin. One wants to carve the biggest jack-o'-lantern in the neighborhood with his pumpkin. The other wants to win the Biggest Pumpkin contest with his. But when they discover that their choice pumpkins are actually the same one, they decide to work together to grow the biggest pumpkin ever!

by Margaret McNamara
Which size pumpkin has the most seeds -- a big one or small one?  Or does it matter?  Follow along with the class activities and they try to find the answers

by George Levenson
Another great book for the life cycle of a pumpkin!

(many different authors!)
This is a cute book for rhyming and learning ordinal words. I have a fun poem freebie to go with this book {HERE}

by Linda White
This book is great for problem and solution!

by Stephen Wunderli
I came across this book while at the book store by accident. I read it and instantly fell in love with it! It is such a cute little book - a cross of fiction and nonfiction. A seed's journey from seed to Jack-O-Lantern.

by Erica Silverman
The witch wants to make pumpkin pie with her pumpkin she grew, but it's so big she can't get it off the vine. So she enlists the help of some friends. But then the smallest of her friends has an idea!

by Will Hubbel
Tim carves his pumpkin for Halloween, then sets it outside after Halloween is over. He spends the next few weeks observing it's changes. This is a great science project activity!

by Wendy Pfeffer
Another great book for the life cycle of a pumpkin! It also includes some yummy recipes!

I have a fun little Hands-On Pumpkin book if you want any math, science, or writing activities to add into your pumpkin week!

Click the picture below to grab the Pumpkin Song Freebies!!


Click on the books in the carousel below to check them out on Amazon. I hope these book suggestions help!




Here are some more of my favorite pumpkin books!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Family Projects


We're starting to get in some of our October Family Projects! I love these!! They turn out SO stinkin' cute!

More have come in, but we haven't had time to share them ALL just yet.






I love this pack. Every month, I send home a project for the families to do together. The project changes each month. There is also a writing component that goes with it. 


Check it out in my shops:





Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bat Week: Reading, Writing, and Poetry - freebies included!


Last week was one of my favorite weeks - BAT week!

Here are some of the books that are in my collection at school to read during the week.



After we read one of the NF books, we started in on the  Bats Tree Map. The numbers and checkmarks are from when we used this as our planning sheet for our Facts About Bats Writing. We glued it into our reader's notebook and kept adding to our tree map throughout the week.

We also learned how to draw a bat. I found this OH SO CUTE directed drawing from Bren in Room 10. When I made the print up for it, I made sure to put where I got it... because I knew I'd forget - ha!


One of the best things I like about directed drawings is that I get to learn how to draw too - haahaa!  I had my kids add a few more details so we could label the actual parts of the bat.


Then I had them draw the habitat that they would be living in....some got so creative!  Here's a cave.


And then the treebranch...I just love the artistic abilities that these kids have!


One of my favorite things that I purchased in the beginning of my blog following career is the super sentences from Sailing Through First. I used them a lot for 2nd grade, but I can tell already that they are going to be even better for my little 1st graders! We made sure to add an adjective to our writing this time, since we've been working on adjective a lot lately.


After we read Stellaluna, we did our SWBSF (found in my Bat pack) that they wrote in their reader's notebook. 


Then they wrote it out in paragraph form. They had to highlight the "cue" words to make sure they were writing the events in order and to make sure they included all their details. I will say that ALREADY my kids are getting how to turn their notes into writing!  I have a few that are still struggling, but that's ok - they're getting better!


The OH SO CUTE bat is a FREEBIE craft that comes from one of my favorite ladies, A Cupcake for the Teacher.



Then, we watched the YouTube video, Echolocation Song...maybe like a hundred times - they love it!  So I turned it into a song for their poetry journal and they illustrated what echolocation means. Click on the picture below to download the poem.



The funniest part?? I typed up the poem in a rush one morning and didn't even have time to proofread it... and we found a few mistakes - woops!! Oh well. A good editing lesson, right? haa!






Our end of the week writing project was to use our tree map to write at least 3 things about facts. Some wrote even more!  We glued the writing on top of our bat labeling picture.





Then we did another bat craft and turned it into a hat and they wrote their favorite bat fact on the back. My favorite bat fact? They eat almost 600 mosquitos in an hour!! This Florida girl would like to have a bat house in her backyard, please.



See some of the activities in this post in my Bats Unit!