Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Making the world a little brighter...

Every other week my class gets together with our 5th grade dual class (sidenote...check out my colleague Laura's blog as well @ Mrs. Castro's Class) to do a reading or writing activity. Recently we did a writing activity together tied to Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream for our country. After learning about Martin's dream, the kids worked together in the buddy pairs to compile their own dreams  for our world to make it a better place.

The kids each wrote a dream (the 5th graders were wonderful helpers for my kiddos) as well as each cut out a different colored hand to represent Martin's dream of us coming together and embracing diversity to attach!

Here are some examples of beautiful dreamers:

1.) "I have a dream that people will not fight."
2.) I have a dream that there is no war in the world."

1.) "I have a dream that people will play and learn more."
2.) "I have a dream that people will take care of animals."

As you can see, below each dream the student wrote his/her name on the shorter line. You could do this with another class, or within your own room by putting your students in partners. Or you could even have each student do it individually and write 2 dreams instead of one.

Here is our finished bulletin board with our dreams for our world!

If you'd like a free copy of this activity, click on the image below. It comes in English and Spanish.
(Border by Creative Clips)

In the spirit of thinking about how to make the world a little brighter, this week my kiddos completed their monthly service project. 

Our service project theme this month was "saying thanks" and "staying warm"!

Combine the two and we've got some adorable hot chocolate thank you cards.

First things first, yesterday, my kids and I taste tested some delicious hot chocolate after lunch and worked to describe it. Here is what we came up with:

Then today, we went back to this list and discussed which of the adjectives could also describe people, in particular the teachers and other staff members that work with us each day in our building. We outlined these words that described both hot chocolate and people with the blackish/brown marker.

After this, each of my kiddos received a post-it with the name of a teacher or staff member that has made a difference in our lives. 

I asked them to use 3 of the words from our chart that describe the selected individual to complete the key phrase "Hot chocolate is _________, ___________ and _____________. Just like you! Thank you for all that you do!"

They then glued their writing onto a hot chocolate mug (which you can snag free from Caitlin @ Kindergarten Smiles ) and glued on a few marshmallows for effect!

Finally, once they were finished, the kids brought over their project to me so I could add on the final touch- the real hot chocolate tied on by a ribbon to the back!

The kids had so much fun today delivering the chocolate to all of our super school helpers and were delighted to surprise them with such a simple gesture!

A little thank you goes a long way!

Here is the writing paper used for the activity if you'd like to try it out with your class in English!
(Border by Creative Clips)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mobile Peas and 3D Glasses!

Today I thought I would just bombard you all with some of my favorite activity randomness from the week...

We have been working on beefing up our "events" section of our fiction retells by reviewing the whole beginning, middle, end dealio.

I thought the classic "La princesa y el guisante" otherwise known as "The Princess and the Pea" would serve as a good solid story for this activity.

Meanwhile...we are studying balance and motion in science and it was the day to create "mobiles" on Thursday. 

So I thought...why not combine these two fab lessons into one...sometimes I am amazed as to how the "teacher" brain thinks these things through. Thus, "pea mobiles" were invented!

First, we read our story and the students wrote the beginning, middle, and ending events on three different peas. Then I passed out a cup with all "mobile" materials to each group as well as the "mobile making posters" to each student. (You can see a copy of one of these on my little blue-sleeved kiddos desk).

The original mobiles called for the students to hang notecards cut in half on each of the paperclips...but our peas were just way more fun!

It was quite tricky to get them to balance just right...

Here is a final product example. I had a few kids share that they were going to give their mobile to their little bro/sis to hang over their crib. ;). Too thoughtful!

In other super class news...we continued our shape review this week by moving on to good ole' 3D shapes.

We started by creating this quick anchor chart together...

As a quick hook, I asked my students who had attended a 3D movie?..nearly all raised their hands enthusiastically as I asked what was different about these types of movies and what they had to wear to be able to see these special effects successfully.

3D glasses of course they all shared in unison!

I then shared that we would be going on a 3D shape hunt around the classroom...and wearing the aforementioned 3D glasses so that we could do our jobs as mathematicians successfully!

Here is one of my cuties perusing the classroom...

And here is a copy of the glasses we used...(snag them by clicking on the image).
I literally just typed in "glasses printable" that day in school so I am sure there are many others to choose from if these aren't your cup of tea!

The students took them home to do search for 3D shapes around the casa for homework!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Shapes Galore

This past week we have been reviewing 2D shapes. 

We started by working together to create our 2D shape anchor chart

The kiddos also did a variety of sorts to practice distinguising between the shapes, including a 2D Shape Sort, I have previously shared with you all which you can grab a free copy of at my TpT store in English/Spanish, by clicking the cover page image below:

We also sorted shapes according to whether they follow the rules to be a polygon or not in our math journals.

Yesterday, we enjoyed a game of 2D Shapes Memory (my newest product!), which you can grab a copy of at my TpT store as well in both English/Spanish by clicking the image below:

The pack includes 12 different shape name cards and corresponding figures for students to use to practice their 2D shapes! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Literacy Center Sharing Prompts

Each day after the completion of our Daily 5 literacy centers, my students participate in a quick time of reflection. I find this time to be such an important piece of the whole literacy center experience, as it not only gives the students the opportunity to think about what they accomplished during literacy centers, but also share this with myself and their peers. 

To guide this reflection discussion, I select from a variety of sharing prompts that I have hanging on my wipe board each day. I may ask a questions such as "What was your favorite part of literacy centers today?" or " How did you challenge yourself during literacy centers today?". Then my students first take a moment to take turn sharing their responses with their tables partners,  and then I use my numbered sticks to select a few to share with the entire class. The whole process literally takes about 3 minutes, but it is 3 minutes well spent!

Here are what the prompt cards I have hanging on my board look like. I just punched a hole in them and hung them on a ring for each hanging!

If you'd like to snag a copy of my "Literacy Center Sharing Prompts"in English/Spanish you can do so by clicking on the image below. The pack includes 12 different sharing prompt cards in both languages for your using pleasure!

If you do guided math/math centers with your students, you may be interested in my "Math Sharing Prompts" that I have shared with you all in the past as well!