March 18, 2012

Up, Up and Away and Leprechauns at Play

Well, it was a busy week in first grade. We had lots of stuff to cover. Plus, I had my final unannounced observation for the year (soooo glad that's over with!) and was sick. So, I haven't had much time for blogging. But, I wanted to share a few of the fun things we did this week.

Every spring, we do a mini-unit on kites and balloons. We usually compare/contrast them and then the kids write about how they are alike and different. Last year, we pretty much scrapped the whole comparison thing and just wrote adjectives on kites because we ran out of time. But, this year, we decided to bring back the kites and balloons. Since one of our standards is writing opinion pieces, this proved to be a great topic to debate :)

We started off making an anchor chart about both kites and balloons.

After we wrote the information about kites, the kids went back to their seats and filled out a Circle Map about kites. I know this isn't exactly how Circle Maps are supposed to be used... but, I had the kids write things they liked about kites inside the circle and things they didn't like about kites outside the circle. This was a great way to seperate their thinking.

We did the same thing on the back of the same sheet with balloons.

Then, I had the kids decide whether they would rather have a kite or balloon. Then, I broke them up into the kite group and the balloon group and had them discuss why they would rather have a kite or balloon. I was shocked at how serious they were and how passionate they were about their choices. I thought I was going to have to break up a few debaters! HA.

Next, they used our flow maps to write a paragraph to share their opinions. I told them they had to state their opinion in the opening sentence, provide three reasons in the middle and ask a question as the closing sentence. Here are some of their flow maps...

They turned their flow maps into paragraphs and then I just stapeled them to scrapbook paper. We added some little kites and balloons, too.

On a random but somewhat related note, I totally forgot to show you the little project we made for Read Me Week. These hung at the front of the school in the lobby during the week of Dr. Suess' birthday. When I got them back, I taped them to my door for an extra little burst of color :)

I folded his face down so you can't see it. The balloons say "The more you read, the more places you'll go!" And, I took pictures of the kids holding a sign saying where reading takes them.

Friday, we had a visit in our room from a little friend.

He made a huge mess!
(And, for real, my leprechaun made this mess... not me. I told him he could mess it up, but not "really" mess it up. I can't handle the mess, ha.)

When my kids came back from PE and saw this message on the board and the big mess:

They. Went. Ballistic.

I've never seen them get so worked up. They were searching for clues and they just had so much fun. Then, our mischievous leprechaun popped into the room. And, if they weren't nuts before, they certainly were now!!!

Special thanks to Mr. Hedgepath, our Title 1 coordinator, who dressed up like a leprechaun for us two years in a row! I'd say the accent was even better this year. And, as a side note, I'm getting dang good at making homemade leprechaun beards, just sayin.

After he left and we were all threatened to calm ourselves down we made some cute little leprechauns and wrote about our experience.

Well, that's all I have to share tonight.

Thanks for reading!


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Heather's Heart