Friday, April 12, 2013

Contraction Surgery, Earth Day, & more!

On Monday, I told my kids that I asked my dad, "Dr. Nowak" to visit our class this week so that he could show us how to perform surgery. He couldn't get a flight on such short notice so instead, he lied down on the fax machine and faxed himself to 1E-B.

Introducing, Dr. Nowak:
It was pretty fun for me since most of them believed me, and now they think that when you fax something real it becomes a cartoon. HA! ...don't judge me, parents lie to their kids about Santa, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy...there's plenty of time to learn the details of a fax machine later in life ;)

ANYWAYS, all week we talked about contractions and how two words can undergo surgery (performed by very skilled doctors) in order to become one brand spankin' new word! They LOVED being doctors and helping Dr. Nowak to "surgically remove a letter" and build contractions. 

Typically we wouldn't be talking about contractions in too much depth in only grade one, however I initially noticed some of my higher-level students randomly putting apostrophes in their writing. Slowly more and more students were adopting this new "trend" so I thought they would be interested in understanding what contractions really were and how to use them in their own writing...and oh my word, they ate. it. up. 

On Friday, I transfered Dr. Nowak and all of our successful surgeries to our classroom door so we can refer to the words for the rest of the year:

My Word Work centre activity for the week reinforced this new skill:
(The above contractions activity is available in my Spring Math & Literacy Pack)
By MATCHING contractions, it really helped the kiddies make sense of HOW two words become a contraction--noticing the similarities between the two words and their contraction (e.g. "do not" still begins the same as "don't" and "o" is replaced by the apostrophe, etc.)

Because we recently finished the topic of Inferring during our writing block, I set up my Art Centre as a visual representation of what we had learned:
The idea was that the kiddies cut out PART of a picture in a magazine, glue it onto their paper, and "infer" with their drawings as to what the rest of the image/scenery would look like (in a way that would make sense).

I was so impressed with what they all came up with. Here's a few to share:
A stylish little lady :P
(This particular child simply found a "cool pattern" in a magazine and used it as a skirt. So creative!)
Only in NWO would children not get in trouble for posting weapons in their pictures! #stilladjustingtonorthernlife 
(yes, when people hash-tag annoyingly long ideas it drives me mental but I felt left out :( HA!!)

Moving on...we are almost done our science unit--Materials, Objects, & Everyday Structures--so I had my kiddies put their knowledge to the test by building a garage for my toy giraffe, Gerald, and his car.

Their structures had to be strong, waterproof, and fit both the car and Gerald with enough room for Gerald to walk around his car. At the end of the week we tested each structure by pouring water on them and observing how they held up to the elements:

Now for the fun stuff!!! I LOVE Earth Day and art, so combining the two is totally my cup of tea (I love tea, too!!!!) more thing I love: The Lorax. ...My fiance gets so annoyed at me because all I ever want to watch on movie night are Disney and Pixar movies...never "good" movies. Whatever, Dr. Seuss is the bomb. 
ANYWAYS, we brainstormed all about why taking care of the Earth is so important. After adding their names to our little world,  the kiddies wrote one promise (on a cloud) to Mother Earth of how we will personally help her to stay clean and happy:
Quote reads: "No job is too big, no action too small, for the care of the Earth is a task for us all."
(e.g. I will help the Earth by: "not littering," "not picking flowers," and my personal FAV: "not crashing my four wheeler into trees." HAHA ...I would not be able to make that promise)
After watching a clip from The Lorax, we talked about how the Lorax loved and protected the Truffula trees, and why that was such an important job. Then we thought about our jobs as visitors on the Earth and choose a natural element that we wanted to speak for:
Oh. My. Word. I LOVE how all of these turned out, they did a fantastic job. (The "technical" focus of the activity was mixed-media expression so I put out a wide variety of materials that the kiddies could choose to use in their creations)
(To make the Lorax, I just free-hand drew him on construction paper. I printed and cut out the quote in chunks and had each student decorate one word so that it was a class effort. Turned out to be super cute!)
Click HERE to download the Dr. Seuss quote for FREE!
Have a happy weekend!! :)

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