Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vocabulary -- Use it or Lose it - BINGO


Another way that we keep the vocabulary words students learn through our Text Talk series fresh, useful, and exciting is by playing "Vocabulary Bingo." Usually saved for Friday review, and especially if a resource is canceled, it is a wonderful way for children to hear, see, and use the words they have learned over the past few months. The words in this series of cards are from the first half of the year. Through a free "make your own bingo cards" site on line, we added vocabulary words previously studied and made up the cards. The teacher will read the definition and/or use it in a sentence. A student will raise his/her hand with the answer and then the word will be shown on the Elmo (overhead). In this way, first grade students (no matter what reading level) will be able to see the word and mark it with a cube on his/her bingo card. Students love to play bingo, and using vocabulary words keeps the review and the learning ongoing...BINGO anyone?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse Mystery Reader


To our future mystery readers, it will be hard to top this one. This is a sample of the read aloud done by Mrs.R. (our first mystery reader.) The students thoroughly enjoyed hearing this story done is such a creative way. It was wonderful!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse - Mystery Reader

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We have been enjoying our second author study of this year -- the works of Kevin Henkes. One of our favorites books thus far is the story of Lilly and her purple, plastic purse. Today, we were visited by our very own Mrs. R. who not only teaches at our school, but her child is in our class. She came in with her "Lilly" cart full of ties (because Mr. Slinger always wore the neatest ties), movie star glasses, purses, and of course "cheesy snacks". Mrs. R. treated the children to a wonderful reading of this classroom favorite. This is the story of Lilly the mouse. She idolizes her teacher Mr. Slinger, but when she comes to school flaunting three jingly quarters, movie-star glasses and a purple plastic purse "that played a jaunty tune when it was opened," she interrupts Mr. Slinger's lessons. After one too many disruptions, he confiscates the purse until the day's end. I think your child could tell you the rest of the story.
We so enjoyed Mrs. R.'s storytelling and props today...oh, did we forget to mention the live mouse...?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spicing Up Skills Block with R-Controlled Words


After brainstorming r-controlled words today in Skills Block, students were invited to play a game using the these types of words. A wooden block was used as a die. On the "die" was written "ar", "er", "ir", "or", and "ur". A sheet was given to each pair of students with various "r-controlled" words. After a child rolled the die, he/she had to find a word with those two letters, say the word, then cross it out on the sheet. When they had a straight line crossed out (just like Bingo), the game was over and they could play again. This proved to be a wonderful way to review r-controlled words and have great fun at the same time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day and President's Rolled Into One


This week we decided to join Valentine's Day festivities with President's Day. Because of the huge celebrations around the country for Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday and because we love him so much, we thought to combine the two holidays into one!! Our centers included making "Love Bugs," "Valentine Cards," "Decorating Cupcakes," "Picture Frames," "Penny Necklaces," and "Tri-color Bead Hearts." A "President" book center was awaiting students after the crafts were completed. In Math, we studied the penny -- including the words "In God We Trust" and "One Cent", where to find the date it was minted, and the Lincoln Memorial on the back. Did you know that you can see Lincoln on the back of a penny -- inside the Lincoln Memorial? Well, when you get a brand new penny, find your magnifying glass and look for him!! Each child was given a large chocolate penny to enjoy!! Then during the last part of the day, we sang "Happy Birthday" to President Lincoln and we all shared a piece of his glorious birthday cake!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Abraham Lincoln - 200th Birthday Cards

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We are participating in an Online Project to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Our birthday cards to Mr. Lincoln were mailed today to Springfield, Illinois together with other school's cards across the nation. We thought you would like to see the birthday greetings and celebrate with us.Creative Projects for the PreK-6 Elementary Classroom is hosted by Jennifer Wagner who is the organizer of this event. We enjoyed doing this so much, we can't wait to try more on line projects with her. Our pictures are also at http://www.jenuinetech.com/Projects/lincoln2009/activityone.html at the participant's section. Do you want to know more about the presidents? Then visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/change_has_come_to_whitehouse-gov/
On Friday, Feb. 13th, we will be celebrating two events: Valentine's Day and Lincoln's birthday. Wait until you see the cake!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Abraham Lincoln - Happy 200th Birthday!


This year marks the 200th birthday of our 16th president - Abraham Lincoln. The children have been very interested in learning about him. We have been reading books about his youth (he had one year of schooling), he loved to read (he would read while plowing a field), and his hat had a purpose (he would keep his important papers in it.) All of these stories add to the children's new found interest in this great man. We have signed up for an online project, together with many other schools across our nation. Today, the children made birthday cards for Mr. Lincoln. The cards will be mailed to Springfield, Illinois on Friday, to be exhibited with other cards from students around the country. A slide show of the cards will soon be published. The book, "Abe Lincoln and the Muddy Pig" by Stephen Krensky is a true story about young Mr. Lincoln. He put on his first brand new suit and was on his way to give an important speech. Abe came across a pig stuck in the mud. He tried to keep walking but felt so bad for the pig, he turned back to help it. Of course, the pig didn't know he was trying to help and kicked up a fuss. Both the pig and Abe were covered in mud. He did save the pig and gave the speech. His words were so moving that the audience didn't notice the dirty suit...and the pig is said to have shown up too! These kinds of stories have endeared this man to our students and they are having a wonderful time learning about him. Tomorrow...who or what influenced Mr. Lincoln to grow a beard?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's Sleepover Day -- Finally!!


On Friday, we celebrated the annual First Grade Sleepover. The excitement was almost too much to contain. Children were running around in their pajamas and carrying their homemade bears, flashlights, and in some cases, night shades. The day started with a parade around the inside of the school, with lights out and flashlights on. Everyone sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". Students from other grades lined the halls to watch this tradition. (Earlier in the week, a former student, Kayla, came to our classroom with her bear from a few years ago and told of the great time she had at her sleepover. She answered student's questions and told them of all the fun they were going to have.)
After the parade, we went to the cafeteria to have a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and bacon. Mrs. Phillips kicked off the fun with the "Hokie Pokie" and "The Chicken Dance." The day was filled with activities directed by our resource team. The P.E. coaches had outside games planned, the music teacher taught square dancing, and the art teachers showed the students how to make book covers to contain the story they are going to write about this day. In the afternoon, Miss KK presented a shadow play of "Ira Sleeps Over" and it was dancing and popcorn after that! When the children finally arrived back in our classroom at the end of the day, a sleepover cake made by one of our parents was cut and distributed. It was a beautiful ending to a wonderful day!