Tuesday, October 09, 2012

What We've Been Up To...

When we were in between themes (back to school and thanksgiving) I tried to string a fall theme across the curriculum. That actually worked out well for one of our word families. The -all word family includes the word fall so that was easy enough! 

At our class door I have this "What's the Password?" sign. I write two new words on it every week (sight words, theme words, etc.) using permanent marker. P.S. did you know that you can ERASE permanent marker from anything laminated with a regular pink eraser? LOVE it! Anyways, the kiddies high five each hand and say the words out loud as the go through the door. They think it's the greatest thing since Pokeman, and I get to see who knows their words/sounds and who needs more assistance!

 Next is our "What Can I Write About?" poster above the writing centre. If the kiddos are fast to finish whatever activity is assigned at the writing centre, they automatically know that it is time to free write in their writing notebooks. I soon learned that we needed to brainstorm some writing topics when my firsties were *constantly* asking me what to write about. So one day we brainstormed a whole list of ideas. I went home that night and drew up a good copy to post for their reference (credit due to the inspiring Abby Mullins!). I have not been asked that question since!

 Our writing checklist is also posted as it is an on-going reminder no matter what we are learning about. In writing right now, we are learning about recounts. But with any writing, we always need to ask ourselves:

 I also posted this visual writing rubric in our writing centre to help motivate the kiddies:
 Looking through some writing notebooks, I saw that many would write a couple words and then pump out a Michelangelo-equivalent piece of art. I am all for art but the writing centre is for WRITING! I love when they refer to this poster and ask me if their writing is "at the top" haha

As I mentioned, we are working on writing recounts. In order to make our writing more interesting, we started learning about the 5Ws. Holy Moly! I am blown away at how much writing they each produce now-- WAY better than before our 5Ws lessons. They are totally aware of how much detail they are including in their writing...they always come up and ask how many Ws they have haha 

 In Social Studies we have been talking about Rules and Responsibilities at home, school, and in the community. We did this activity (credit my classroom neighbour: Stacy Montgomery!) when we were talking about family trees.
 The tree trunk was made by painting and stamping each child's forearm, and the branches are their hands. Each leaf is for one member of his/her family. I love how they turned out!

 And last but not least I suppose I'll just throw in our class rules here...

That's it for now! Next up, some thanksgiving fun!

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