Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm a little late...

I just can't seem to keep up with posting on a regular basis! I used to be so good, I don't know what's happened to me! I will be finished with graduate school in two weeks, so maybe things will get a little more manageable after that! Anyway, I just wanted to share a few things we did last week...We celebrated the 100th day of school (sadly I completely forgot to take pics - but we loved learning about a googol thanks to Ms. McCumbee's great idea), continued our learning about making inferences, wrapped up our African American history unit, and celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday on Friday. I'm not a huge Seuss fan (I know...pause for reaction), but with the Lorax movie coming out last Friday, I thought I should do something :)

For making inferences, I love this activity! I used to do it in first grade too, but with much more scaffolding. I re-typed some poems about animals from a few poetry books I have in my room (or just photocopied them out of the book), covered up the animal names with white out, and then put my students in groups to use text clues to infer what animal the poem was about. My students couldn't wait to hear if they had gotten their animal right - it was definitely a success!

Making this quilt was one of our culminating activities with African American History. We read a book about freedom quilts (I am drawing a blank on the title) and then chose one of the symbols to make. This one was called "Shoo Fly" because it told them to scatter like flies if danger was nearby. It was more challenging for some student than others even though they used pattern blocks to trace the shapes (as you can see in the bottom row)!

For Seuss Day we made Oobleck - so much fun! Our fingers were all green!

We also read The Lorax and made this bulletin board. This idea was inspired by Monica Schroeder's bulletin board. After reading the book, my students split up into groups to compare The Lorax and the Once-ler, find the effects of making the Thneads, completing a story map, making a list of the ways we use trees, and a list of how we can help our environment (the last two are hard to see in the picture - they are on green paper below the board). Finding the author's purpose was the most difficult - I definitely need to spend more time on that!

This is a close-up of the writing activity my students did immediately after reading the book.

On another note, I am taking a class on teaching vocabulary right now, and it is amazing! It is changing my life haha. I am working on some lesson plans for myself as we speak, but hopefully will have some resources for all of you asap. I don't know about you, but I feel like I never have enough time for vocabulary - and the reading program my school has (Storytown) chooses the most random words for students to learn...and then they don't remember them 2 weeks later! This year I have been using Fancy Nancy as my vocabulary "program," which has been going better than just following the book, but I still think I can do better. I am excited about trying out these lesson plans this week - I will be back soon with more info!


Think, Wonder, and Teach said...

Can't wait to hear more about this new vocab program!!

Mrs Poland
Think, Wonder, & Teach

Emily said...

I'm a new follower and a second grade teacher as well! Love your stuff!


Jill said...

I love your quilt! It looks awesome.

I bought academic vocab binders and made copies of vocabulary four square things and we've hardly used them... I need another hour in my school day! My kids keep harassing me that they want to do more vocabulary!

Marvelous Multiagers!

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