Monday, January 18, 2016

Hip Hip Hooray for the 100th Day!

Hello Friends!

Do you LOVE the 100th Day? Ours is coming up this week and I am excited!

There is something wonderful about the number 100...(could it be that it marks that we are more than halfway through the school year?)....who am I kidding? I teach in a year round school! Maybe it is their smiles as they are counting, reading, and writing 100's of things!

Today I want to share with you my 100th Day of School Celebration Centers and a FREEBIE.

100th day of school activities

I created this file a few years ago and each year the 100th day has been fun and low stress. :) I LOVE to have parents involved in our learning and this day seems to be a day parents who don't regularly volunteer (could it be the word CELEBRATION?) want to be involved.

About 2 weeks before the big day I send home a letter asking for volunteers and donations.

100th day of school activities

On the 100th day, I divide my class into 5 small groups. I have a parent volunteer lead an activity and stay at their assigned center for each rotation. The centers will take about 17-20 minutes before the students will be ready to rotate to the next center. If a student finishes a center early, I have them go to their desk  to count and tally shapes in the Can you find 100? printable (that way they will not bother other groups who are still working).

Here is a closer look at the 5 centers my students rotate through, it usually takes about 2 hours. 

The direction card makes it so easy for a parent to manage and I usually just rotate around the room to assist and take pictures of these smiles!

If you are interested in these Celebration Centers with EDITABLE Parent letters you can see more in my TpT shop {HERE}

This year I added 100 Rhyming Words to have just in case of bad weather (100 Ways to Exercise) or in a word work center later this week. I made 2 versions to share with you, a copy without the word of the picture in the box so my more advanced students would have to use their critical thinking skills to figure out a word family the picture represents, and another version with the word of the picture to support students thinking.

 I made a color and black and white version of each page. Depending how you plan to use it you could copy the black and white version back to back so students could take the printable home, or place a few of the color version in a plastic sleeve to be reused by students in a center. Included in the download there is also a direction card. :)

You can grab this FREEBIE here!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you also see 100's of smiles on your 100th day!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

So in Love...With Books Giveaway & Freebie!

Hey Friends!

I am Christina from Mrs. Winter's Bliss. I have been teaching 1st grade for 20 years. If you teach 1st you know what a special year it is completly exhausting  magical!  :) Anyway, I am excited to be linking up with 11 other amazing bloggers to share some of our favorite Valentine's Day books and FREEBIES with you! 

Along with the freebies for each book, we are also giving away a copy of each book. Make sure to read through to the end of the post to grab the freebies and a chance to WIN ALL 12 BOOKS! 

I chose to share the book Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime by Barbara Park. 

If you are like me and my 1st graders you already know what a hilarious and 
relatable character Junie B. is to us. This book is no exception! It's a mushy gushy mystery! 

In this story Junie B. can't wait to see all the valentine cards she'll get, but she never expected a big mushy card from a secret admirer! Who is the mystery guy? Junie B. is determined to find out! 

This book will make your students laugh out loud! I love the ending, such a sweet message of kindness!

My freebie is a packet of text dependent comprehension questions. I use them with my small group“independent” readers who are ready to dig deeper into what they are reading. Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime is a 2.1 (DRA 24) reading level.

There are 2 text dependent questions for students to provide a written response for each chapter. Also included are character analysis graphic organizers.

When I meet with my small group I have them bring their book and reading response sheet from the previous chapter they completed independently.

First, we discuss the main events of what they read and each child shares their responses to the comprehension questions assigned previously.  I give my students time to comment or question other student’s responses in the group.

Next, we preview vocabulary words in context to clarify meaning before they read independently.

I highlight the vocabulary words in the books so students can easily find them while we preview AND so students recall them as a word we discussed while reading independently. 

Last, each child reads the chapter and completes responses independently before our group meets again.

My students greatly enjoy the independence, have continued or ignited their love of reading, have become much better at writing responses to text dependent comprehension questions, and can better communicate their thinking with other students.

Of course you could use these response sheets to practice the rigorous text based written responses after reading aloud the book to your whole class, or as homework for individual students. 

You can grab this FREEBIE by clicking the picture or {here}! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Before you hop on to see my friend, Tori over at Tori's Teacher Tips, don't forget to grab my number! Each blogger will have a number at the end of his/her post. Collect all the numbers along the way, and when you're done, add them all up and enter the total number in the Rafflecopter below!

Good luck, happy hopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 1, 2016

Long Ago Informative Writing & a FREEBIE

Happy New Year!

I am always in awe of the new feels so refreshing to have a clean start to a new year. I am looking forward to seeing what 2016 has in store!

I have been on break from school for almost 4 weeks, so I am pretty excited to get back to the act of teaching my sweet first graders.

During break I have been busy creating a new writing unit that came to me before trackout.

At this time of the year I always teach a  "Long Ago"social studies unit. We also start an informative "All About" writing unit. Long ago before I know of TpT I created a writing booklet for my students to use as we compared the past to the present.

Let me tell you, it was not cute!! :)

So I had an idea to make a flap book that compared the past to the the present and I am so excited that it came out exactly as I envisioned! (rarely happens to me) This unit ended up to be so much more than I imagined, take a peek at some of the goodies!

I know since it is interactive with the moving flaps my kids are going to EAT.IT.UP.!  I love that our social studies unit is integrated with writing, so the writing unit becomes so meaningful to my students. I also love that there is not a lot of cutting to make the pages interactive to show past/present.

By the end of our unit my students will learn 5 topics from these (schools, homes, transportation, chores, jobs, entertainment, clothing, communication) and create an "All About" chapter book. The book will include an introduction, table of contents, chapter pages, and closing. We will use text features like labels, headings, and bold words to help our readers learn as true "All About" books do. 

I teach my students through books, websites, or videos about a topic a day and how to write a clear informative piece that teaches others about the topic.

While creating I thought it might be helpful for others to see how I teach the unit so I put together a planning guide. Also, through the years I have found so many great resources so I included online links to a lot of them to help other teachers. 

When finished my students will create their own informative chapter book that will look something like this. 

If you are interested in seeing more in my TpT shop you can click here: Long Ago and Today

If you have read through this post, I hope you got some good ideas. I have a FREEBIE for you even if you don't teach this writing unit. Your students would still love this printable! You could use it when teaching categorizing skills or compare and contrast. You can grab this for free {HERE}!

Thanks for stopping by and reading! If you have any additional resources (books, websites) you have found that makes teaching this unit even more engaging I'd love for you to leave a comment below! 

Happy 2016!