Friday, November 09, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up -> Nov. 5-9

Our students have been very interested in learning more about the human body.
We set out some books on our Science and Discovery Table and looked and listened for student responses.  
This week we read a couple of books about the human body and briefly discussed some major body parts.  We wanted to know what the children already knew and what they wanted to learn about.
We also formed our research groups by asking students what they wanted to research more about.

Here are a few of the things we set up and worked on in our classroom this week:

Coding
We are well into coding, as students are becoming more familiar with directionality (up, down, left, right).
We tried this activity together on the Bright Links board - students had to draw arrows to show the direction the dog should travel in order to get to the dog house without running into any obstacles.
We tried this again using different colours of markers to show other possible paths the dog could take.
In small groups this week, I worked on using various templates (the students could choose which one to use) and create their own path.  Some students even used stickers to create obstacles. 


You can download all of the coding worksheets for FREE by clicking the picture below.

This game is inspired by Deanna McLennon - I hid a sticker under one of the Post-It Notes.  Students had to guess where it was....but by coding!
I had one student come up and guess by placing their sticker on the Post-It Note. 
Another student had to code the path by placing arrows on the pocket chart (wish I took a pic!). 
I always leave these activities out for students to try on their own afterwards while I work with my small group for math.

Peace - Remembrance Day
Since it is the week before Remembrance Day here in Canada I wanted to prepare the students by discussing what peace means to them.
We read the book, The Peace Book, by Todd Parr.
It's one of my favourites because it's simple enough for even the youngest learners to follow and understand.
Then we brainstormed what peace meant to them.

We set out the provocation asking "Can you make a poppy?" using loose parts.

In our small group (fine motor), we had students roll pieces of tissue paper into small balls and glue them onto the large poppy.  What a great way to practice fine motor skills!

Leaves
Our students are still so excited that there are leaves falling from the trees that they continue to bring them to school!  We decided to collect them all in our sensory bin that way we can closely see what happens to leaves over time.

I really like the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.  I thought it would be perfect to invite the students to create their own leaf person/animal using loose parts.
I like to laminate some of the real leaves also so that we can closely look at them (draw and paint what we see) without them getting too destroyed.

Letter Formation
It doesn't matter what time of year it is, I find students can always practice proper letter formation.
We invited students to use their finger to trace a letter in the sand tray.


The letter formation cards are found in my pack on TpT:

Math Numeral Cards - Pocket Chart
I want the students to begin to recognize numbers in various ways (dice, fingers, numeral, etc.) so we set out these cards at our pocket chart.

Alphabet Stamping
Our students are getting great at letter recognition/sound identification so this was a fun provocation to set out.
I made these letter stamping sheets in both upper and lower case as I have the letter stampers for both.
I also like to store the stampers in ice cube trays.  I write the letter above so students know where to put them (it actually made the activity much easier too!)



You can download these letter stamping worksheets for FREE by clicking the picture below:

Human Body Inquiry
This is the beginning of our Human Body Inquiry.  We just started working with research groups this week so there's lots more to come!

Here are my downloadable, editable plans for the week.
You might notice that on my week-at-a-glance I have a lot of centres that say "open-ended free play". 
I knew that we were starting a fairly large inquiry so I didn't over plan the week.
 I believe in allowing the students to also take ownership of centres and see what they would like to create and explore there.  You don't always have to plan for everything!

You can download the Week-at-a-Glance PDF version{here}.  
If you would like the editable version to modify this for your own class click {here}.  
You will need Power Point to edit.

I used the following fonts if you wish to keep it the same (free to download):


Friday, November 02, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up -> Oct. 29 - Nov. 2

Happy Halloween!
I hope everyone had a great week celebrating Halloween - we sure did!
Here's a look at what we were up to!

Can you make a web for the spider?
My teaching partners next door, Mrs. DeLuca and Mrs. Lamacchia, thought of this fun provocation last week and I knew I had to try it this week!
Students used string to wrap around pins on the cork board to create a web for the spider.  This was great to practice fine motor skills (especially when they had to take it apart!)

Felt Board - Go Away, Big Green Monster!
I made this felt board set years back (the ears are inside the pocket!).  Students really loved this book and I wanted them to retell it as it's easy enough to sequence for even my non-readers!

Sight Word Cauldrons
Sight word cards are hidden in the cauldrons filled with rice and students had to find them and write them on the mat.

Can you make a broom stick for the witch?
After reading this story last week (it's one of my favourites!) I searched for ideas on what we could do.  I came across this fun STEAM activity from Deanna Pecaski McLennon on Instagram.
Students had to use the materials (along with tape and glue) to create a broom stick for the witch to fly on.
Mrs. Petrone also made these story retelling spoons for students to use to tell each other the story. 

Light Table - Halloween Story Stones
My RECE, Mrs. Petrone, drew Halloween symbols and characters on these clear jewels and we left them on the light table for students to tell a Halloween story.

Halloween Monster Directed Drawing
Last week we had students do a directed drawing of a monster.  I got this idea a few years back from Deanna Jump.  After we drew the monsters, I set them up at a table for students to use watercolour paints.
 Didn't they come out adorable?





Helper of the Day - Coding!
We started learning about coding this week (more pics and info to come soon!).  Most of the Year 2 students remember a lot of this from last year and they absolutely love it!  So when I introduced the new way of figuring out the Helper of the Day the students were excited to decode!
See if you can do it too!

Our Classroom Door
I wanted to post this for the past couple of weeks but I keep forgetting!
This was a provocation we set out a few weeks ago - students collected so many leaves, sticks, pebbles, etc. from our nature walks that we decided to use them to create our own fall tree.
 We turned that tree into our door decoration and added owls that were just perfect to get into the Halloween spirit!

Here are my week-at-a-glance plans - everything you see listed above (and lots more!) is included.

You can download the Week-at-a-Glance PDF version{here}.  
If you would like the editable version to modify this for your own class click {here}.  
You will need Power Point to edit.

I used the following fonts if you wish to keep it the same (free to download):


What's to come?  We are moving into lots of coding activities - I'll show you how to make your own board and start simple in your class!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up -> Oct. 22-26

'Twas the week before Halloween....yes, it was, and walking into our classroom this week sure felt like it!
Here are a few things we did!

EYEBALL FINE MOTOR ACTIVITY
When I set this activity up, I was intending the students who needed extra practice with all things fine motor to come and try it.  They did and they loved it so much that all students wanted a try!
It became so popular that the students have asked for it again next week!
Students had to pick up and place an eye ball (you can find these at Dollarama now just in time for Halloween) on the golf tee.  I poked the tees in a block of Plasticine which is sturdy.

5 LITTLE PUMPKINS - STEM ACTIVITY
I've seen this activity online for a few years now and truthfully we did it last year.  But the thing that changed this year?  I set out different materials.  That way the children that were in my class last year (Year 1) were able to try it again but it became a little more challenging.


HALLOWEEN SENSORY BIN
This was an easy to set up sensory bin - orange and black coloured pasta, Halloween trinkets (spiders, bats, witch fingers) and spider webs.  I added scoopers and small buckets on the shelf nearby.

DESIGN A FACE FOR THE JACK-O-LANTERN
Our pumpkin will be carved next week just in time for Halloween.  I wanted the students to decide on how it should look so I invited them to design a face.  We placed all entries on our board and then voted on our favourite before lunch today.  Stay tuned to see our jack-o-lantern next week!

TRACE THE LINES
My teaching partners next door, Mrs. DeLuca and Mrs. Lamacchia, let our students borrow these mats.  Children can spend time placing the jewels onto the different lines.  I want students to learn to develop persistence, fine motor skills and discuss different lines.  Great activity!

LIGHT TABLE JACK-O-LANTERN
Can you design a face for the pumpkin at the light table?

WHAT'S INSIDE THE PUMPKIN?
We have been examining pumpkins, gourds, and corn closely for the past few weeks.  The burning question, "Is the little pumpkin real?" kept coming up so this week I cut it in half and had the students look closely.  They smelled it, touched it, squished it and I left a small composting bin close by so we can examine what happens to it over time.  Stay tuned!

SKELETON LOOSE PARTS
I found this activity on Pinterest last week and loved the idea of using loose parts to create a skeleton (and I really love this book, too!).  Look at the amazing creations students came up with!
Lots of discussion around our body - how many bones do we have?  What else is in our body?  Why do we need skin?  I wonder where this will lead us!






PENTOMINOES
I bought a large box of pentominoes from Scholastic several years ago.  Growing up, I always loved the game Tetris and there are many activities you can have your students do that are similar.
I made these different-sized grids using grid chart paper and laminated them.  


GOURDS, PUMPKINS, CORN, oh my!
As I mentioned, we have been closely examining all things fall and we set out small pieces of Plasticine for students to create their favourite gourd/pumpkin/corn.





DESCRIBING PUMPKINS
I brought over the large pumpkin we are set to carve next week and had students describe it.  We wrote down everything about pumpkins and substituted these words in our weekly poem to see if it would make sense.

ALPHABET SORTING - BEGINNING SOUNDS
Every few weeks I like to set this activity up at our Pocket Chart centre.  Students use the cards to sort the pictures by beginning sounds.

You can find this activity here, or by clicking on the picture below, if you are interested in learning more:

NUMBERS TO 10
One of our small groups focuses on early number sense - students who are working on basic skills in number sense primarily (i.e. counting, 1:1 correspondence, making and breaking numbers, more/less, etc.).  I found these pumpkin ice cube trays years back and they are perfect to use as 10-frames!

HALLOWEEN MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
I wish I had taken a picture of the "after" with this activity - but since we only worked on it today I will definitely bring it out again next week.  With my students who are working on sight word recognition, I had them try this.  They removed the paper from the bottle and had to fill in the mystery letters using the alphabet chart you see here.  They could then read the secret Halloween message.

You can find this activity here, or by clicking the picture below, if you are interested:

HALLOWEEN WRITE THE ROOM
The group of students I have this year really like to "Write the Room" - I think it's because they get to carry a clipboard around and hunt for themed words.  I change the worksheets often and offer a variety for students to choose from.  Labelling the picture was a hit this week!

You can find this here, or by clicking the picture below, if you are interested:

HALLOWEEN CATAPULTS
At our Math Centre, students were invited to use the catapults (made from a clothespin tied around a block with an elastic) to see which number they got.  They recorded their answers on a paper.


Click below to download these numbered pumpkins for FREE.

Here are my week-at-a-glance plans - everything you see listed above (and lots more!) is included.

You can download the Week-at-a-Glance PDF version{here}.  
If you would like the editable version to modify this for your own class click {here}.  
You will need Power Point to edit.

I used the following fonts if you wish to keep it the same (free to download):