March 9, 2012

A Peek at our Week...

This week was kind of tricky. Report cards are due Monday, running records and sight word assessments were due Thursday and it was a short week. So, honestly, my kiddos did a little something that we don't do too often: busy work. Well, kind of.
We focused this week on American Symbols. I've been feeling like we needed to talk about all this stuff because somehow President's Day passed us by this year. I can't believe I'm admitting this on my blog, but it's true. We did ZERO presidents activities this year. Which is a darn shame because I always enjoy it and my kids do, too!
So, each afternoon, I read my kiddos a book about an American Symbol. And, we talked about it and filled in possibly the most boring anchor chart in the history of the world.

I mean, really, how hard would it have been for me to draw a tiny version of each symbol? But, all I was worried about was getting back to my table to test. You can judge me all you want. But, if you're a teacher, chances are you know just what I'm talking about.

After we read about each symbol, the kids went back to their seats and worked on their books. Books, you might be asking? Ahh, yes.

Such a thing of beauty, isn't it? 
(Note the sarcasm.)

And, what is inside these charming little books?

Just four graphic organizers. You know... the graphic organizers we use for EVERYTHING.

But, my kids didn't mind. Plus, they do them totally independently. So, win/win for a test-giving crazy person like me.

Want to see some of their cutie-patootie American Symbols?

 Sure you do...

Their little books actually turned out pretty cute.

 I mean, if it had been a normal week, we definitely would have done a big writing project and made some of the cute little "craftivities" I've been pinning like a fool. But, real life just got in the way. And, for this week, this was a good activity that my kids really got into and learned a lot. 

When I finally finished my testing, I decided to treat my kiddos to a little lesson on the president and the White House. My kids were uh-mazed!!! They couldn't believe the White House has a bowling alley and movie theater inside it! 

I let the kids make little post cards to "send" to the White House.

Nice rendition of President Obama, wouldn't you say?

We also started making a new poster recently that I wanted to share. Every week, I've been letting my kiddos come up with a poster of words that contain our skill. We add them to the poster on Monday and we talk about what part of speech they are. Then, we practice reading them together.

On Tuesday or Wednesday, we add some suffixes to the word. The kids have to tell me the root word and then spell the suffix for me. Then, when we read the words each day, they have to read them with the suffixes.

My friend Claire gave me this idea and I have LOVED using it in my class. It's been a great source of words for us to read together every day. The kids especially like to read it in funny voices. ( I normally let them write the words... but, we had some issues with that this week so I took over. It happens sometimes, what can I say?)

And, lastly, we spent a lot of time this week talking about test-taking strategies. I've noticed that in taking our weekly "standards-based" tests (that come with our reading series), my kiddos just do a lot of guessing. So, we talked about what good test-takers do and we went through a test together and practiced these strategies.

So, here's to some (hopefully) better test-takers in first grade.

Well, that was a little glance at our week.

I hope I didn't bore you to tears.


Faizan said...

Thanks for this American symbols book...Its very informative and nice for students ...I really like it very much...Thanks for this information.....

Graphic Organizers