Saturday, December 01, 2012

Tables, Anchor Charts, Gingerbread, OH MY!

On Thursday, something mind-blowing went down...MY TABLES ARRIVED!!! I ordered them about a month ago and, because I was incredibly impatient and could not wait until the custodian moved the desks on the weekend, I took matters into my own hands:
I spent my night moving desks out, and tables in. Great exercise, let me tell you! 
Ah, the finished product :) Already, the tables have solved so many little problems that were making my life (and the kiddies' lives) unnecessarily difficult: Now everyone can reach the supplies, goodbye silly arguments! And most importantly, I can easily sit and work with the groups that need one-on-one assistance during periods of independent work. Plus they increase walking space and generally look awesome.

Anyways, enough of my obsession with my new tables. On to some learning! First up: Science!
We have been learning about energy and this week was all about energy sources and outputs:
(sorry for the quality...I had to use my phone since my camera wasn't charged!)
We also completed a couple activities from my Science Pack

 Moving on now to literacy; First thing every morning, after morning routines, is our shared reading and literacy centres. This week we explored Ezra Jack Keats' infamous book, The Snowy Day:
I love this book, and so do the kiddies! I realized that way back when, we talked all about nonfiction but I kind of forgot about exploring fiction...oops! So this book was the perfect opportunity. We built on this anchor chart all week: 
(please excuse the horrible printing...especially at the bottom :S)
For our Oral Language Centre, I stole this awesome idea from my team teacher: The kids take turns giving each other instructions of various details to add to a blank colouring page. But here's the catch: I put up a screen between them so they couldn't peek at each other's drawings. The point is that they had to give very clear and detailed clues {shape, size, colour, location} so that the pictures would be as similar as possible at the end of the week. You can print off this worksheet and others like it HERE (scroll down and make sure to click for the B&W versions). These two did really well!
Next up, after literacy centres, we have shared/modelled whole group writing and independent writing. We are now finished with Making Connections and are moving on to Descriptive Writing. After our diagnostic assessment earlier in the week {describe one of the four seasons}, I'm starting off this unit with adjectives! First, I read the kiddies a couple pages from this FANTASTIC book to help them understand what adjectives are (I found my copy at a Miko Toy Warehouse Sale back home in Toronto, but you can grab a copy HERE)
 Here's the anchor chart we built with this book:
Kids love to talk about themselves so what better way to introduce adjectives than to have them describe their awesome and unique personalities?! This activity is included in my Writing Focus #3: Descriptive Writing unit:
(I love it: "I wrote clumsy bumsy because my mom calls me that!")

Next we were given an impromptu challenge to decorate gingerbread people for a contest held by the Canada Post Office. So after a busy day of hard work, we had a little holiday fun and decorated our gingerbread with markers, pencil crayons, sequins, stickers, and tinsel. I ended up with some gingerladies, gingercats, and even a gingerzombie! And of course, I forgot to take pictures of the finished product (blame it on my foggy Friday brain) so this will have to do for now:
And that's it for now! The snow is falling and I'm off to hunt for my first real Northwestern Ontario Christmas tree!!! God bless us, everyone :)

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