Buckle up, people.This one is going to be all over the place!
1. Did you notice my new blog design? I have serious blog ADD. (And, regular ADD. But that's irrelevant.) I just get tired of the way my blog looks and never really truly loved my last design. So, when I saw this design at Shabby Creations, I was sold! It was dang cheap, too. Since my blog is not only about school (because, I do NOT want to keep up with multiple blogs), I wanted it to be not too "schoolish." Mission accomplished.
2. Today was Book Character day at our school. I don't think I've ever seen so much cuteness in one place! I'd say my favorite was a little boy in another first grade class who dressed up like Lebron James. Because, you know, we all love that book. Ha!
3. Last week, we learned all about inventors and scientists. This is a unit in our Treasures series. We used Cara Carroll's activites the last two years and I LOVE them! You can find all her awesome ideas here. We made the light bulb anchor charts, we filled out the inventor booklets and we even made our own inventions. Here are a few of their cute little creations:
4. Here are some updated pictures of our teeth writing that I wrote about yesterday. You can find that post here. We used a flow map to write paragraphs about losing a tooth.
5. We spent a lot of time this week focusing on retelling. In years past, I'll admit this was a difficult skill for me because I could never figure out a way to get my kids to tell enough. And, forget about them putting it all in order. Enter this book:
It is amazing!
It's such a great resource for teaching comprehension. One of the main things we use out of this book is the GO chart. This chart is used before reading a story. Here's a sample of what a GO chart looks like:
We do these all the time with our basal stories. We discuss the vocabulary and then the kids predict words that will be in the story. Then, they make predictions about the story. After we read, we use the third column to do some kind of comprehension: usually whatever skill we are working on that week.
The other great thing we use from this book is the retelling chart. This is the one I made last year and still use:
It's basically a triangle, square and a circle. The triangle is the beginning and the three points are characters, setting and problem. The square is the middle and provides the events of the story. Each corner is first, next, then and last. The circle is the end and is where you share the solution to the problem.
We read Henny Penny this week and together we put post-its on the charts to retell the story. And, I used the gradual release model to practice. I retold the story by myself, we retold it together, they retold it in groups with character cards they created themselves, they retold it to a partner and then I had them write it. We did all this over the course of two days. It took a while.
We made a little graphic organizer to go with the chart.
This is the front. It's just a little flip book.
Here's the inside. If you get past the spelling and lack of punctuation, you can see that the kiddos actually did a pretty good job of retelling the story of Henny Penny! And, I know when I assess them orally next week, they will do even better. They still don't have as much stamina in their writing as they do talking :)
Here are a few more:
Then, we read the story Little Rabbit out of our basal. It's very similar to Henny Penny... it just has different characters. We did all of the retelling we did with Henny Penny (minus the character retelling cards... we ran out of time!) But, instead of using the graphic organizer, I decided to give them the flow maps we used in the tooth writing. I wanted to make the connection that we had been retelling stories AND we had been retelling when we wrote about how our teeth came out.
Here is their retelling of Little Rabbit:
If you want some great retelling and comprehension ideas, I TOTALLY recommend The Power of Retelling.
Okay, I think that's all.
See, I told you I had ADD.
Enjoy the weekend!