I’m so excited to be here again. Friday, oh lovely Friday! Not only is it the last day of the work week but today I get to head out for a girls weekend for a dear friend’s bachelorette weekend. I’m so excited to spend the weekend with friends, lay out in the sunshine, and have a cold drink in my hand (or more than one!) Before I celebrate this exciting time, here are my five highlights from the week!
I shared the image on the left on Instagram yesterday and one similar for my Wordless Wednesday post but I wanted to show the finished product. On Wednesday, my students and I read through our mentor text for the week and discussed things that the main character thought, said, and did throughout the story. We marked up our chart with post-its and worked together to find different key points throughout the story that would help us better describe the character’s traits and how they felt. This chart helped us SO much at the end of our discussion to make inferences about the character’s emotions AND have evidence from the text to back up our opinions. I continued to use this chart later on in the week in small groups and we had even more success. It was so easy for students to replicate on their own on a post-it while reading independently as well. I think this strategy is a keeper, thank you Teacher’s College as always!
I have been struggling for a meaningful way to help my firsties better understand where a clock’s hands are when telling time to the half hour. Way too often my little guys were looking at a clock and saying that the time was 5:30 when it was only 4:30. They were not understanding that when you are telling time to the half hour, the hour hand is halfway between two numbers. Oh this first day of learning was a struggle so I was determined to find a way to visually support my littles’ understanding. I found the idea of clock rooms online and for the life of me I can’t find the original post, I will keep looking though!
I whipped up this quick anchor chart to show that a clock’s face, yes has 12 numbers on it, but those numbers all have their own “rooms.” For example, if the time is 4:30 the minute hand is on the 6 to show half past the hour. But, the hour hand will be in between 4 and 5. Even though the hour hand is not directly on the 4, it is still in 4’s room! It’s not in 5’s room yet so it can’t be 5:30, like so many of my little first graders wanted to say.
We did a lot of practice throughout the week building on mini Judy clocks. First showing time to the hour and then noticing what happened to the hands as we moved to time to the half hour. These clock rooms really helped our understanding of where the hands on the clock are for time to the half hour.
Going along with telling time this week, one of my littles came in to school so excited to share this All about Time book that she had created at home. I love writing and I am so excited that I have inspired this little one to use writing in all areas of her life. She had so many wonderful time word problems in her book that I used it for a math warm up one day. The students had to work on her word problems in pairs and share the answer.
I get a kick out of one of her pages, it reads “Say the difference between this clock and this one.” She’s referring to the analog and digital clocks. Then on the next page she drew a digital clock with arms and wrote, “It has no hands or does it?!” I just love her silly sense of humor!
At my Teacher’s College training on Tuesday, a fellow teacher shared these reading mantra cards that her students made. She expressed how much her students were struggling with reading fluency and staying focused while reading and decided to discuss the importance of mantras with her first graders. In turn, they created individual mantra cards to keep themselves motivated during reading workshop. I just LOVE this idea! The fact that they’re created by the students for the students I think is so brilliant.
I can’t wait to try this with my class next week. “Stop Jane focus!” is just too precious! I’m hoping these mantra cards will encourage my students to persevere through their own reading for the rest of the school year.
Yes, I am fully aware that April was National Poetry Month. A little teacher truth here…we didn’t find the time to squeeze it in. We were knee deep into our book review writing unit and the month just flew by and before I knew it April had come and gone. We didn’t discuss poetry, we didn’t read poetry, we didn’t celebrate poetry month! Yikes, ah, terrible!
However, I’ve decided to not let this small teacher infraction deter me from exposing my students to the beauty and fun of poetry. I created this Sweet Sweet Poetreat unit to inspire my little poets and encourage them to use their poet’s eyes and ears through plenty of different center activities! Over the next few weeks we’ll be listening to poems on iPads and illustrating a picture of the poem that we make in our minds, creating poems to familiar tunes that we know like Row, Row, Row Your Boat, creating poems with our senses, and writing cinquains! I can’t wait to get started and see my firsties take part in a different kind of writing. If you’re interested in checking out this packet because you maybe missed the boat on National Poetry Month too or are hoping to snag it for next year, check it out in my TpT store here!
Before I sign off for the weekend, I can’t wait to share a sneak peek of something very exciting to come! Teachers are my heroes. Whether they’re my coworkers, childhood teachers, or fellow teacher blogger inspirations, I am in awe of all of you! Your hard work, dedication to your students, and creativity is unmatched. For this reason, I can’t wait to share some exciting news coming up to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week! Be sure to check back on my blog Monday morning for some seriously exciting news!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! If you need me, I’ll be here, with my toes in the sand and most likely a drink in hand!