Showing posts with label Daily 5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daily 5. Show all posts

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's all about the apples

It's time for another Five for Friday with Doodlebugs Teaching.

I teach in the middle of apple country.  There are at least 3 orchards within walking distance of my school.  It's pretty beautiful, actually.  Therefore, we make sure we cover apples in our curriculum.  I couldn't resist this purchase that I bought this week from A Year of Many Firsts. I love how it is a great introduction to close reading.  The simplistic text is prefect for fall for my first graders.  However, her product has 3 different leveled texts so its perfect for differentiation.

We used her fabulous product to read mini books about the life cycle of apples and to learn about apple trees during the various seasons. 

We also enjoyed doing a close read about apple picking.  I don't know what it is about highlighters but every time they get to use them, the kiddos squeal with delight.  We highlighted key details and vocabulary from the text and answered text dependent questions.

We also also labeled the parts of an apple.

I love the vocabulary activity in the product too!  We learned about various vocabulary words in relation to apples.  This sorting activity in which we identified the vocabulary word and found the word meaning and picture to match was adorable!

We  had an apple activity day this week where parents came in to volunteer and we had various apple themed stations set up.  Here are a few:

We predicted and estimated weight, measured circumference and predicted whether we thought an apple would sink or float.  After conducting our experiments we recorded our results.

I love how their personalities really came through when they made an apple person.

We worked hard on our Seasons of an Apple Tree book.  We used cotton balls to show the snow on the tree in winter, sticky dots for apples on a an apple tree in the fall, and paint to add pink blossoms to our spring apple tree.

We also brainstormed some apple adjectives.

It is safe to say we are now "apple experts!"

I began introducing capital letters this week and when to use them.  I re-created this anchor chart I saw on Pinterest.

which tied in really nicely with this book:

My implementation of writer's workshop this year is still going really well. In this session, we are learning how to add more details to our illustrations and our writing.

We are continuing to build reading stamina and it's slowly getting better!

We are learning how to choose "just right" books. I have been teaching the kiddos the "five finger method" to choosing a "just right" book. When they choose a book that interests them, they should open it up and if there are one or two words they cannot read the book is good fit. If there are three, they may need help reading it.  If there are four or five words they cannot read, the book is too hard.  We used A Year of Many First's Be a Reading Expert product to determine what is a "just right" book.  I love how she creates fictional characters and creates "real life" scenarios that we can talk through as a class.

 I don't know what the deal is this year but I have been dog tired by week's end.  Usually I have gotten into the swing of things by now and I don't fatigue as easy.  Maybe I'm just getting older.  Anywhoose.....when the hubby suggested going out for dinner I couldn't say yes fast enough.  Here are our little terrors at dinner.  

How was your week?

Saturday, September 6, 2014


It's time for another week of High/Low.  High/Low is a weekly weekly linky party in which we share our highs and lows for the week.  I love hearing about your week so don't forget to link up below.

It was an incredibly crazy week and I spent more time out of the classroom than I did in. More about that later.... 
However, I was able to begin introducing some of our daily routines such as writer's workshop and Daily 5.
After brainstorming why writer's write, we read this adorable story. Rocket loves to write but has trouble thinking of things to write about.  This was the perfect lead in to writer's workshop. This year I am incorporating the Lucy Caulkins Writer's Workshop approach.  The first mini lesson consists of drawing a picture, labeling it, and then attempting a sentence or two.  I modeled my writing and sounding out each word.  My piece was about my visit to my parent's house with our dogs.  I'm a horrible artist.  Don't judge.
I was amazed at how quick the students took off. I was expecting some moans and groans and maybe even a few tears but they were very comfortable writing away. Yay! 
 We concluded writer's workshop by sharing our pieces.  The next day I was able to introduce the next mini lesson- What do writer's do when they are done?  More on this next week.

We also began building reading stamina for our reading workshop: Daily 5.  I love, love, love, Be a Reading Expert by A Year of Many Firsts.
This book that comes with the product is not only adorable, but the perfect lead-in to introducing reading and the Daily 5 reading model.
I also love this Reading Expert or Not yet sort that was also in the product.

Each card introduces a character and highlights his/her reading behaviors.  We talked about each one and whether each child was displaying reading expert behavior. What a great and fun way to introduce building reading stamina!  Some kiddos modeled appropriate reading behaviors as well.
Then we were off!
We are using this chart to graph our progress with building reading stamina.
We are having some ups and downs and I kinda expected that so we'll keep plugging along.
It was a great week for what I was able to spend in the classroom because this happened...

My husband had surgery for hernia and it went nothing like we expected.  He had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and it was horrible!  I never, ever want to see his lips turn blue, face go white and that stare again!  He ended up having to be admitted and I spent 3 days in a constant state of anxiety and worry. He's my best friend and my whole life.  I can't imagine life without him.  My word, that was scary!
I'd love to hear about your week!  Don't forget to link up
An InLinkz Link-up

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Organizing Reading Groups

It's Wordless Wednesday!  Head on over to Second Grade Sugar and Spice to link up.

Here is a pic of how I organize my reading groups.  I use the Daily 5 model in my classroom.  I have my groups organized ahead of time and I display the groups on my SMARTboard so that my students know which rotation of the Daily 5 they are doing.  I see about 3 reading groups a day for my one hour literacy block.  My district will be shifting to Balanced Literacy in the fall.   

How do you run and organize your literacy block?

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