Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Very Busy Spider, American Symbols and Matchbook Sentences

We just finished our third week of our Eric Carle unit with The Very Busy Spider
Such a simple little story but they love it!
Of course, if Gail Gibbons has written a book on a subject, I want it!! 
 Her books are simple and full of facts just right for this age level.
We charted our spider facts and tried to be as specific as possible!
I completely forgot to make copies of a real graphic organizer so I improvised! 
I really wanted to follow the same process I've used for the past few weeks because I
have been so happy with how well they are progressing in their writing following these steps.

Day One:  Read a fictional story on the subject-whole group.
Day Two:  Read a non-fictional book on the same subject-whole group.
Day Three: Chart facts-whole groups.
Day Four:  Use a graphic organizer to write three or four facts on the subject-small group. 
(This step involves the most time-editing, sounding out words, check for spacing
and proper use of upper and lower case letters.)
Day Five: Write final copy-small group.

We added our art work to the writing for our Eric Carle book. 
Next week we will add our final page to the book as we study The Tiny Seed.
I wanted to show you all how our American Symbols books turned out.  Remember, I bought this unit from Deanna Jump and started it in February.  This is a great unit that you can buy on tPt.  It also includes lessons on Abraham Lincoln and George Washington but I am adding those pages to our Famous Americans books!
I used an Alabama die cut for them to label where EXACTLY they live!

I got these pages from Musings of Me and her wonderful unit that she is making for each state!

I LOVED the directed drawings in this unit and will definitely use this unit again next year!
I also wanted to show you a cute little activity we picked up at a workshop a few years ago. 
I am making sentences from our Scott Foresman readers that the children have read the week before.  (This was from some random page that I had on hand as I was improvising at my table one day this week!)  
Cut a sheet of copy paper into thirds.  Fold almost in half but leave a small strip at the bottom to fold UP.

Students are given a baggie with the matchbook sheet and a cut
up sentence that they have to piece together.
They glue the sentence inside the book and then write it themselves.

They write their name on the small flap and illustrate the cover.
You could also use this with any story and have them write their favorite part on the inside or they could write about the characters, setting, beginning, middle, end-whatever you choose. If it is a non-fiction book, they can write facts on each flap inside.
I think I will use this as a go to activity during our fairytales unit.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fairytale Vocabulary Match-Up Game

Fairytale Vocabulary Match

Elements of a Fairytale

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fairytale Graphic Organizers

While we are on our mini Spring Break, I am looking ahead to our last thematic unit of the year~~~Our Fairytale Unit!  We have taught this unit in May for the past four years and LOVE it!  We use this theme to really focus on Story Elements - characters, setting, plot, beginning, middle, ending, etc. of a story.  I thought I would try out a few organizers that I plan on using this year.  I will post new documents to include with this unit pronto.  See what you think!

***I have noticed that my Scribd documents are showing a plain (boring!) font but when you click to download, the document will appear with the FUN font that I used while making said document!  FYI***

Fairytale Graphic Organizers

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Very Grouchy Ladybug

Our second full week of our Eric Carle study was all about The Grouchy Ladybug!  They love this story -they really like just how grouchy that ladybug gets! 
We start off reading The Very Grouchy Ladybug using the puppet and the clock. 
This year I chose two student assistants to use the puppet and keep up with the time on the clock. 
The next day we read  ladybug and beetle facts. 

I bought this pack of Insect cards from the Target dollar spot and they each got a chance to share their two favorite cards with the class.  It was amazing what many of them already knew.

We used this chart to list facts we learned about ladybugs.  I had to fill in every available space!
 My team and I have been very excited to see how the writing process is unfolding for the
children through the step by step process we are using with the graphic organizers that
Deanna Jump has provided through her tPt sight.  Click here to see what all she has to offer!

I wish I had taken a photo of the graphic organizer we used for our fact writing but I sure didn't! 
The day we charted the ladybug facts in whole group, we used the organizer to write four ladybug
facts in small groups.  The next day each child wrote their four facts in paragraph form to include
in our Eric Carle books. 
I can't emphasize enough how much easier it is for the children to write these facts in a paragraph after 
they have used the organizer.  I think if we utilize this process thoroughly in the last five weeks of school (we do a LOT of writing for this unit and our fairytale unit in May) it will, hopefully, embed the writing process in their thinking to use in the upper grades.

I took this photo before she wrote her fourth fact but since this was her second time writing these facts she felt confident in her writing and it flowed fairly easily.

Next came the artwork!

They each painted  their own paper red one afternoon.

The Very Grouchy Ladybug page in their book. 
Another day, we made our Aphids math page. 
Simple but they enjoy using the hole punch and the ink pad!

I think I will add a script to this page about aphids-it just looks a little blank! 
Ladybugs Are a Gardener

Of course, we charted the Ladybug Life Cycle and recorded this in our Science Journals.

We learned The Five Little Ladybugs poem and will include it in our Poetry Journal next week.  I like to give the children at least two weeks practice with a poem to really focus on learning it and then recognizing the sight words, punctuation and rhyming words.

Five Little Ladybugs
This is a Hungry Caterpillar story sequencing activity that I found online a few years ago. 
I looked and could not find it's source but I did find another sight that actually had quite a few
literacy and math activities for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Click here to see what they have!

This is one activity we use to practice nonsense words in small groups.
 It is very simple and not very original but they enjoy it!

I call out one letter at a time and the children say the sound it makes as they write it on their white board.  The first child that is able to read it as a word gets a sticker.  Not exactly rocket science but it is great practice for speed and fluency for DIBELS.

Practice, practice, practice!