Hi all! Well, we made it!! I didn’t think it was possible but Friday has arrived. As the summer gets closer, I am having a harder time keeping it all together. This teacher is tired and there were several moments throughout the week where I was seriously concerned for my brain activity! I saw this image on Pinterest and I had to share. End of the year teacher problem, just too much to remember!
There is a light at the end of the tunnel though! My DRAs are complete and our math SGO end of the year assessments are done! Both are analyzed and my SGO goals have been met. Woohoo! Yannuzzi-1, Danielson-0. Now, I’m hoping to just enjoy my firsties and the activities we do together until that last day. June 19th you’re out there, aren’t you?! Here’s a recap of our week with my favorite linky party, Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love writing workshop. Whenever we start a new unit, my students literally cheer, whoop, and holler! It’s too funny. But, just like me they share a passion for creating stories and sharing them with their peers.
This week we started our last writing unit, Scenes to Series: Writing Realistic Fiction. My firsties were beyond excited when I told them that they were going to be taking a break from writing about things that they know a lot about, poetry, and writing about themselves to create pretend characters! The first two days we spent discussing our characters and creating back stories for them. We drew them, talked about who their friends might be, and created a back story for them.
This little love above created Michelle. A little girl who’s 5 years old who loves to wear dresses but with NO leggings. I found this too funny because this little one comes to school EVERY DAY wearing dresses and leggings! I know there’s a story there! This just goes to show that first graders are so capable of using moments from their own lives to inspire their writing.
The narrative writing that my first graders have begun to create is just too entertaining not to share! I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures my first graders create for their characters. At the end of the unit, we’ll publish all of our pieces and put them in a cut out cereal box to look like a real book series!
My little guy above created a character named Dr. Coloso! He loves to experiment in his basement but has been getting into LOTS of trouble with his mom and being put into time out! His first page had so many examples of things we’ve worked on in writing workshop throughout the year. My favorite is the last line, “He was in the middle of it then what happened…” To be continued. These firsties know how to keep a reader guessing!
This year I have tried to really take a step back and come up with activities to set the stage for my learners instead of jumping right into a new topic. This fantastic idea came from none other than Reagan Tunstall from Tunstall’s Teaching Times. I could spend hours on her blog and use it for professional development. Her original idea shows her students asking questions and commenting on photographs before beginning an ocean unit study. Our final first grade project is going to be an animal research report. Each first grade class has adopted a different habitat. The students will be researching animals in their habitats using Pebble Go. When our reports are written we’re going to use Audio Boo to record our reports and turn them into QR codes. Once this is all done, the first grade classes will decorate the hallways as our habitats and the students will go on a tour around the habitats by scanning the QR codes and learning about all the animals that live there!
I can’t wait for this to happen!
Before all of this could happen we needed to set the stage for our learning. I put out butcher paper with real photographs of animals and scenes from the Rain Forest (our class habitat). We took a gallery walk around the room, in absolute silence, as to not disturb the other museum visitors! When we came across a photograph we had a question about or comment, we stopped and wrote it down. We will continue to use these questions to guide our research.
Now that my students have asked questions about their new habitat and the animals that live there, we’re ready to jump into our research! I printed our animal report forms out and showed them to my students yesterday so they knew what would be in store for them. Today, we’ll assign animals and partners and get to research on our iPads using Pebble Go! If you’re not familiar with this awesome database, check it out here! It’s so user friendly and easy for students to use! My students will be paired up and use the student directions page from my Animal Research Reports packet to help them easily research their Rain Forest animal.
When we’re all done celebrating with our habitat hallway adventure, we’re going to compile our animal reports into a class book!
If you’re interested in this activity for some end of the year fun with your kiddos, there are 118 pages of animal report templates from 4 different habitats! Check the packet out in my TpT store here! I’ll be back with a more in depth post when we complete our projects!
|my husband, me, my brother, and my sister|
My little brother, who’s not so little anymore =( turned 21 last week! He’s finishing up his final semester at the University of Washington in Seattle and I haven’t seen him since December. I’m so incredibly proud of him because he’ll be graduating in a few short weeks an entire year early. I can’t begin to explain how impressed I am of him every day.
This weekend he’s coming home to celebrate my cousin’s wedding with the entire family. I’m looking forward to celebrating so many wonderful things with my family and being all together. Seattle, I’ll be seeing you in 3 weeks. It’s such a great city!
I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend. For those of you out for the summer, congratulations! Kick up your heels, you deserve the break! For those of us that are in the home stretch, we’ve got this!
Thanks for stopping by!
The PebbleGo database looks amazing! Does your district/administrator pay for a subscription or do you have to pay for it yourself? It looks like your kiddos are loving the research reports!
Hi Andrea! The PebbleGo database is awesome, I definitely recommend it. Our administration pays for it but they only got us the animal subscription. There are other parts of the site that you can subscribe to but we only use the animals for now. I'm hoping for more in the future! Have a great week!