Thursday, November 21, 2013

Alabama/Auburn Ideas & Thanksgiving

Hi Friends! Today, I decided to share some old posts that I wrote around this time of year, in case you're looking for Thanksgiving/football ideas. I teach in Alabama, so Thanksgiving means the biggest game of the year is coming up: the Iron Bowl (Roll Tide!) I always tried to do something fun with Alabama/Auburn in first grade because the kids LOVE it! Three years ago I shared what we did right as I started my blog. I'm planning Iron Bowl activities for my fifth graders now, so I'll share them soon. Hopefully you can get some ideas if you want to have some football fun with your class! 

***Be sure and check out Southern Belle Inspired! New post is up :) :)

Alabama v. Auburn (Roll Tide!!!!!!)
Around here, the annual Alabama/Auburn game is a pretty big deal. It was held the day after Thanksgiving and since we were out of school the whole week of Thanksgiving, we celebrated this day the last day that we were in school. All the kids wore either Alabama or Auburn colors. We divided the desks into two groups and all the Auburn fans sat together and all the Alabama fans sat together (Roll Tide!) We did many fun activities that day and I thought I'd share some with everyone. I have lots of pics from this day on my class wiki, so be sure and check it out! :) The link below will take you directly to the page.
* We did cause and effect sentences about the game. This is a hard skill for some of my kids and doing this activity helped. I had them tell why they thought their team would win the game. For example: I think Alabama will win the Iron Bowl because ______. When they finished, they had to tell me the cause and the effect. Here are some of their sentences...

We also made Team Color "A's":

During snack, we had a cookie decorating contest. The kids used red/white and orange/blue sprinkles and icing to decorate their cookies. We had 3 winners. Here's the link for pictures. This was the kids favorite activity!
My favorite part of the day was the Reading Iron Bowl. A team member from each team was asked questions about skills that we had covered in reading and math. Alabama won 4 to 2. I just wish the real iron bowl had gone that way!! 

Looking for a quick and simply Thanksgiving project? Here's my Thanksgiving door from a couple of years ago. :)
Today, we made lists about what we were thankful for. Then, we made pilgrim hats to display our thankful lists and thus our new door was created!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Subject/Verb Freebie

Today we tackled subject/verb agreement and my kids did great! We did several activities with this so the kids had tons of practice. I created this sheet as part of the lesson and I though I'd share it with y'all if anyone can use it. It contains adorable clipart from Melonheadz that is themed around Paul Revere since that's our story this week. Click the pic to download it:

We coded the subjects (singular or plural) using two highlighters. Then we determined which verb agreed with the subject.

We then worked with more sentences. These came from their practice book, but I had them cut the sentences out and glue them onto a colored sheet of paper. I hate simply pulling out a workbook page so anytime the kids can add something to the activity, I'm happy! I feel like they get so much more when they create something rather than always filling out a workbook page.

In small groups, we been busy practicing close reading! The kids are doing fabulously with this. I've found a ton of great resources on TpT that make close reading easy and fun! I'll do a post soon on my favorite finds :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Classroom Happenings

Come check out what my sweet fifth graders have been busy learning. :)

We tackle subject-verb agreement tomorrow, which we need lots of help on! After editing our narrative essays, we could definitely use some practice on this. 

We are doing a sorting activity and these will make the perfect headers/reminders to sort the sentences by.

We've also been busy practicing close reading, which is going wonderfully! I just wish I could figure out some way to get the text in their hands and not use so many copies! I want them to be able to highlight and write notes in the margins, but it's eating away at my copies! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

We are on week two of author's purpose. We are now working on adding more detail to our response on the author's purpose for writing. They can easily tell me whether the purpose is to inform, entertain, or persuade, but we are having a little difficulty being able to identify what exactly the author's trying to inform the reader about. I used Rachel Lynette's Author's Purpose task cards to get in a little practice. Then, to serve as a reminder, I typed three of the task cards and enlarged the font so they could be displayed on our Author's Purpose board. We highlighted the evidence that the author included that showcased what the purpose for writing was. 

Narrative writing is going great! We have LOTS of work to do on our grammar, but my goodness they love to write! I'll take excitement about essay writing any day! :) We will be writing a nonfiction piece next, so I invested in this amazing product, which I cannot wait to use. :)

Be sure and check out which products I'm loving over at my beauty/fashion blog Southern Belle Inspired :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Author's Purpose

Last week we talked about Author's Purpose. We did several fun activities to practice this skill. We did a sorting activity where we took different pieces of text and sorted them into the correct group. I recreated Amy Lemons' adorable posters to use as sorting headers

We are still working on Author's Purpose this week, so I left a little room on our board for a few more additions. I like having these boards so the kids can refer back to them throughout the class and during centers.

Our reading series comes with something they call a "Reader's Writer's Notebook", but all it really is is a workbook. I don't like to use it often because we cover the skills in different ways, but sometimes there's some good stuff. This page contained this passage and graphic organizer, so to make the lesson more interactive and engaging, I wrote the passage out on the chart paper and made a graphic organizer. The kids took turns highlighting the info and filling out the graphic organizer. I did this with a fact and opinion activity a few weeks back and it works really well!

You can see my weekend update over at Southern Belle Inspired. I meant to include this as a Five for Friday post, but of course, forgot. :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Phonics Packs Giveaway

Happy Saturday, y'all! I've uploaded three new phonics packs today and I thought I'd give a copy away. :) Leave a comment telling me how you're spending your long weekend and I'll pick three commenters tomorrow. Click each pic to check out the new units.