Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Asking Sentences and Question Marks!

Happy Hump Day, Everyone!!

As of about 30 minutes ago I have officially completed all of my coursework for my ESL endorsement and couldn't be more relieved!  Woohoo!  Now what will I do with all of my spare Wednesday nights instead of sit in a windowless sub-zero temperature room? Nashville and Top Chef come to mind...

Moving on, I'm trying my hardest to be consistent with my blogging so I thought I'd update today with a fun little activity I whipped up this week!  In first grade we are working on our "I Can" statements which currently include producing asking sentences and using appropriate punctuation.  I was trying to think of a fun and interactive (yet structured) activity that would help my kids grasp this concept and I think I found a lesson keeper!  

I started by introducing our BIG question mark.  We talked about what a question mark does and words that the question mark likes to use to ask all of the things he wonders about.  

Then, I put an interesting picture up on the board.  We practiced using our question words to produce asking sentences about the picture.  It was a bit of a struggle at first, so we made sure to emphasize that questions are things we WONDER.  Sure, I still got a few "I wonder I think that's cool" but hey, you can't win every time!  

Then, I put SUPER cool pictures at each table and gave each kiddo a recording sheet complete with an "asking word" word bank.  The kids spent time at each table looking closely at the pictures and recording one "asking sentence" that they had about each picture using the words in the word bank and, of course, a question mark!   It was a SMASHING success...the kids loved it!  What a fun way to get the kids really thinking and talking to one another about the pictures!

Click the picture below to download this fun activity for free!  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Deck the Halls with a Jammin' Linky Party Playlist!

Good Morning!

Before I start my blog post today, I'd love to get your input on a couple things that I am teaching post-break!  Do you ever have those days when, despite all the cute ideas on Pinterest, your creative juices just aren't flowing?  I'm trying to think of a really great ways to teach my firsties about verb tenses AND character traits.  I haven't introduced these skills yet and I anticipate them being really tricky.  Do any of you fabulous bloggers have some brilliant ideas that have worked for you in the past?  Buehller?  Buehller?

Anyways, on to the rest of my blog post...during class meetings in my classroom, we share a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" (things that went great/we really enjoyed that day or things that made us feel sad/could need a little work that day).  Why not start with a "thumbs up/thumbs down" in today's blog post?

Here we go...

THUMBS DOWN to my long, blissful, sleeping-in filled Thanksgiving Break coming to an end after today.  I'm excited to see all my kiddos but not quite as excited for my alarm to go off at 5:30!

THUMBS UP to Cyber Monday/Tuesday sale at TpT !  Everything in my store will be 20% off PLUS you can get another 10% off from TpT!  This means that everything will be up to 28% off...can't wait!  Though I did cheat a little and buy some full-priced items over break (because, let's get real, it was absolutely necessary in that moment), I'm excited to make some great purchases in these upcoming days!  Love it!

I am taking part in this fun linky party hosted by Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge to share my holiday TpT "playlist" with you all!  First, you start with the playlist...

Then, you select the songs you'd like to share!  I chose to share 3 smashing hits...

First up, "Oh Management, Oh Management":

I picked my daily schedule cards for this one because they are one of my top-sellers!  Also because they are a lifesaver in my class!  "When's recess?" "Look at the schedule."  "Are we doing writing today?"  "I'm not sure...look at the schedule."  Oh, and my personal favorite, "Miss D'Andrea, how come you ALWAYS forget to put the schedule up?"  (Touching my heart for dramatic effect) "Oh my goodness, Miss D'Andrea just has SO many jobs so that we have lots of awesome learning to do at school.  Sometimes she forgets one small job like putting up the schedule.  Let me do that RIGHT now so that our day doesn't fall apart...!" Haha!

My second hot track on my playlist is "I Saw Mommy With a Science and Social Studies Resource":

First and foremost, how awesome is the title of that song?  Hilarious.  I decided to choose my newly updated "Camouflage Hunt Fun!" product for this one.  This is one of my favorite activities during my polar/arctic animals unit.  The kids love learning about camouflage!  

Lastly, the playlist ends with the ever-popular "Walking in a Math Wonderland"...

For this one, I chose my Double Digit Addition and Subtraction QR Code products!  One of them includes regrouping and the other one is without!  Fun, fun!

That's all for today, folks!  I hope you all enjoy your last day before it's back to the grind tomorrow!