Friday, February 6, 2015

Five For Friday- Bear Has a Story to Tell, Measurement, and Morning Art

I'm happy to be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five For Friday Linky!  Here is a little bit about our week in first grade!  

February has arrived, and Valentine's Day is around the corner.  In December my assistant and I decorated our door with a penguin knowing that we would be able to enjoy it through the holiday season and through January.  Now with the addition of hearts to the penguin's scarf, the penguin gets to hang around through Valentine's Day :)  
My kinder-daughter did a fabulous job of updating the penguin's wardrobe. 

Every week (usually on Friday mornings) we do watercolor painting as our morning work.  We. love. it.  It starts our day off with such a lovely calm.  Many students like to draw with sharpies first and then paint in.  I love that we are regularly using the watercolor paints and that the students have the opportunity for free artistic expression.  Every once in a while I will put out directed drawing instruction sheets on the table or projected on the screen in case students want to use them for inspiration, but they are never required.  I encourage you to try this routine out once per week.  On the other days of the week my students are completing their academic morning work, but art is important too! 
Left to their own devices, children can come up with some wonderful artwork!  This student created her own "Ten on the Sled"-inspired" picture!
 This student is all about the process, and he created a visually pleasing masterpiece!

Our special story of the week was "Bear Has a Story To Tell."  It is a lovely story about a bear who tries to tell a story to his friends, but his friends are too busy getting ready for winter, so they don't have time.  Bear gets sleepy and falls asleep, and once he wakes up in spring he has forgotten his story.  The book ends in a delightful way that the students really enjoy.  The pictures in the book are lovely and it's a fairly quick read with obvious science connections.  
On Day 1 we read the book and discussed some of our predictions and connections.

On Day 2 we discussed a chart we had made about adaptations and preparations that some animals make for winter.  I then read them a short non-fiction book about hibernation and we played a drama game about animals in winter.  Because had discussed some animals that hibernate, migrate, etc. we were ready.  I would say something like, "snake" and the students would act as a hibernating snake.  But then I would call out an animal that does not hibernate (without reminding them that it doesn't hibernate or migrate, etc.) and they would act out what that animal might do during winter.  I called out ducks, flamingos, frogs, monkeys, bears, etc.  I saved one of the best ones for last: Bats.  I instructed them to be creative to show what a hibernating bat might look like.  The students CLEARLY were into it as you can see below:

After playing this dramatic game, I brought the students back to the carpet and we discussed the three vocabulary words and re-read the story along with a question:  What else could bear have said to convince his friends to take the time to listen to his story before winter?  The students came up with some really great answers! 

Day 3 was the time for reading the story again and then re-telling the story.  I actually showed the video of the book to the students instead of reading the book myself for the third time.  This book is on Bookflix.  After watching we moved onto the re-telling portion, I had different students describe what happened in the book (in order).  As each student told a part, I added the corresponding animal picture to our anchor chart.  
 After we re-told the story as a class, I let them know that they could each make their own puppet set.  They LOVE doing that, so they were happily engaged in the coloring, cutting and taping job.  To download your own copy of these animal puppets, click here. 
I actually ran out of popsicle sticks (gasp!) so I just gave each student three popsicle sticks and they put the bear on one, and then put the other animals front and back sharing the final two sticks.
As the students finished, they got into groups and re-told the story with their puppets.  I'm always amazed at how well they can remember the order and even exact words and phrases.  They usually remember the key vocabulary words that we focused on and include them as well!  Also, every puppet show needs an audience.  The students are always eager to pull up a chair and watch a few versions of the show.  The students prefer to use the chart stand as their puppet theater, which I think is fantastic, because the anchor chart is right there :)
We continued our unit on measurement.  We sorted our Polar measurement animal cards into two groups: Arctic and Antarctic animals.  I had the students point up if they thought the animal was an Arctic animal, and point down if they thought it was an Antarctic animal.  Pretty much my main goal was to reinforce that penguins and polar bears do not live together! 

 I then review how to measure using a non-standard ruler and some of the students who hadn't done this activity yet were able to complete it.
This week we also tried out some standard measurement using centimeters.  For one task the students were supposed to measure the parts of a house on handout that I've had for years (I don't have the file for it---it is a hand-drawn page).  I found that the students were measuring the arrows on the page, so we found success when I quickly used a highlighter to indicate which lines the students were to be measuring.  
When the students were finished on the front they were to turn over the page and document their measurement of random items around the room (they had to be smaller than the ruler).  Some students measured my shoe, and then the principal walked in.  I right away asked him if he would be willing to have his shoes measured (the answer was yes, of course!) and the students were eager to measure some more :)

Our phonics focus this week was on the ow/ou sound as in groundhog and crown.  We did some practicing on our whiteboards.  I had the students write out "ow" and "ou" on sticky notes and just change out the other letters.  It worked really well and the students felt rebellious because I allowed them to *gasp* use their whiteboard markers to write on the tiny post-it notes!  They enjoyed keeping a running record of their words by drawing pictures around the word area. This was nice because it gave the quicker students something to do while waiting for others.  

I hope you were able to get some ideas from this post.  I had a great weekend and I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with my family! 

Be sure to check out the other posts in the Five For Friday linky!

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