Sunday, January 30, 2011

February Author Study: Olivia!

I try and do a different author study each month, but so far this year, that hasn't happened. We studied Kevin Henkes in August, and started Mo Williems in September but we had so much fun with his books, that we extended it into October. November and December were both crazy with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and snow days, that we didn't get to one. And after missing a week in January due to snow, February seemed like the perfect time to introduce a new author. I decided to go with Ian Falconer, author of the Olivia books. My kids LOVE Olivia. I have an Olivia DVD that we watch at snack and it's a favorite in my class, so the kids were super excited to learn more about our favorite pig. We kicked off the author study with an art project. In the book, Olivia loves to go to museums and look at all the paintings, but she doesn't understand some of them, like the "scribble scrabble paintings". We talked about two different artists: Leonardo Di Vinci and Jackson Pollock, who is famous for what my kids now call "scribble scrabble" painting. I told half the class to draw the Mona Lisa and the other half to draw a Jackson Pollock style painting. They LOVED this! I have created a glog (an online poster) for my class wiki. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We love Snow days!! :)

I haven't shared this cute craft that my kids made. I found it from an art teacher's blog. I forgot to take a picture of my kid's, but this was the example I made. They turned out really cute. I'll have to remember to post some pictures of their work. After being out of school for a week, we were lovin' some snow days! ;)

Frog and Toad Plant a Garden

My kids are loving this week's reading story, Frog and Toad: The Garden. And I have to say, I'm loving it too! We are learning a lot about how to plant a garden and what hard work it takes. Yesterday we did an activity that showed how a seed grew. The kids loved the "science" activity! :)

I don't know about ya'll, but I get Frog and Toad mixed up sometimes! They looked so similiar to me. I thought if I was having problems keeping them straight, some of my kids were surely having the same problem, so we made character maps of both Frog and Toad on our SmartBoard. This helped a TON. Plus, it didn't hurt that they got to write on the SmartBoard...who doesn't love that?!? :)

And later on in the week, I plan on discussing the differences between frogs and toads. I created a venn diagram for this. I've displayed it already in a classroom and the kids are really excited to be learning about frogs and toads. A 2nd grade teacher is letting us come to her classroom tomorrow to see tadpoles! We are loving amphibians! :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jan's New Home...Character Spotlight

We've been snowed in! We haven't had school since last Friday and I'm lovin' it! I've planned all sorts of things to go along with our story next week, Jan's New Home. The story is about a little girl that has to move to another house. At first, she is very nervous and sad about leaving, but at the end, she starts to feel excited about all the new changes. This story goes along perfectly with the unit theme of Changes. Here is a character spotlight on Jan that I am going to have my kids make. I used the Paper Dolls cartridge on my Cricut to make Jan. My plan is to go ahead and cut all the pieces and let my kids make their own Jan doll to display with their character map.

I also found a neat idea in the Teacher's Edition of Reading Street. Since the characters in the story move to a new city, I'm going to use this time to incorprate some social studies and talk about different parts of the country. Each student will pick a place to live if they could live anyway in our country. We are going to use magazines to cut out pictures that go along with the area that the student picks. Here is my example to show the kids:

Any Scott Foresman teachers out there with any ideas for Jan's New Home? I'd love to hear them!! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ruby in Her Own Time: Plot

"Plot has three parts: Beginning, Middle, and End!"
I have said this over and over and over!
I have drilled this into my kids heads all week long and I think they finally get it! We did this plot activity Wednesday and made ducks today. I love the anchor chart that the kids filled out. I found it on teacherspayteachers. Kim Adsit created it and she has an entire packet of comprehension anchor charts for students to fill out. They are great! There are charts for plot, character maps, story maps, setting, all kinds of skills! Check it out!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I found this great idea on First Grader at Last. Sarah Cooley created "Noun Town", which I thought was adorable. I told my kids to draw either a person, place, thing, or animal. We did this the last week of school and I'm just now getting the board done and I think the kids will be excited to see it up. The man at the top is the Mayor of Noun Town.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ruby Helpers: Compound Words

Our reading story next week is Ruby In Her Own Time and part of the phonics skill is compound words. To help my kids understand this concept, I made Ruby Helpers. I'm going to display these on the white board while we talk about compound words.