Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkins, haunted houses, spiders, skeletons...

To start our pumpkin activities, we introduced adjectives by writing describing words on our pumpkin. 

 We also made predictions of how many seeds we thought were inside our pumpkin.

 We then took a vote using tally marks to decide what face we would like to carve on our pumpkin.

While separating the seeds from the 'pumpkin brains' (we liked to call it), we practiced our counting. We found that there were 519 seeds in our pumpkin! They were amazed! We also used our seeds to solve addition story problems. The students used their placemats to write their math addition sentences.

We had a great time with this guy! We will be writing stories about him soon...

Other Halloween activities that we did...
 We used our spelling words to write on our spider legs.  Before attaching the legs, we put them in ABC order.  *Not sure where this came from...not my idea!! 

We read In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting and discussed the adjectives throughout the story.  The students LOVED this story! They got really into it! After talking about the adjectives in the book, we made a chart of our own...

This next activity came from a blog somewhere out there in blogland. I'm not to sure who created it.  If you know, leave me a message so I can attach the link! But we used it to help us write descriptive words about what a haunted house might look like, sound like and feel like.  We highlighted the adjectives that we used.

Throughout the week we read Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler.  This is one of my favorite Halloween books to read each year.  This year, the students created their own skeleton and then wrote in response to a prompt. 
"To help Skeleton get rid of his hiccups I would have him 'scare himself'."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Predicting, Sequence of Events, Labeling, Retelling...

The other day we ended up having a chunk of time open.  So we decided to do a quick mini lesson on Lucille Colandro's book, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves.  While reading, we focused on the sequence of events.  Some of my students were able to figure out that the old lady would sneeze out a scarecrow at the end.  But before I showed my them the last page, I had the students go back to their seats to illustrate their prediction of what they thought the last picture showed.  As they were drawing, I reread the story to them. We gathered back together and shared our predictions...

Then I showed my kiddos the last page to see if any of our friends were close.  They cracked up! After sharing our pictures, we decided to go back and label our pictures in the correct order.
We finished the lesson by practicing retelling the story together, and then to our neighbor, without looking at the book.  They did a great job!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Updated: Bats...FREEBIE

I've been using ideas and plans from other great bloggers this week.  My class is learning ALL about BATS.  (I'm personally not a fan, but they love them!)

Mrs. Carroll over at The First Grade Parade has some really cute activities to go with the book, Stellaluna. Head on over there if you're looking for lessons on Beginning/Middle/End, story elements, compare/contrast, ABC order and hands-on centers for matching words with pictures....all of which involve BATS!!!

I also incorporated Jodi's bat activities over at Fun in First Grade.  She used yarn to show the wingspan measurements of the smallest and largest bat.

After doing that with my kiddos, I added a Math activity of my own to extend the lesson.  I gave each student a pipe-cleaner that was cut into a 5 inch piece (the wingspan of the smallest bat).  The students were to find things around the room that were also 5 inches.  Then we took our 6 foot string (the wingspan of the largest bat) and we found 3 things in the room to document.  Below is the worksheet we used to record our findings.
Bats - Measurement
 Here is an example of what my students did in class today...

Other bat activities we've done together...