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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

Can you design a face for the pumpkin at the light table?

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!

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!

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.  

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.

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.

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:

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!

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:

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:

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):

Friday, October 19, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up -> Oct. 15-19

With Halloween just around the corner, it's hard not to begin to get into Halloween spirit!  We had a few centres this week that were spooky but there's more to come next week!

Can you pick up the spiders using tweezers?
I think this was the *most* fun activity this week as nearly all the children wanted a turn and kept revisiting this provocation.  Using the tweezers, students had to pick up the plastic spiders and put them in the bowl.  I found these large spider web bowls at Dollarama last week and just added white yarn around them forming a web.

Halloween Story - Loose Parts
We use loose parts a lot in our class.  They are a great tool for students to express creativity and build language.  Here the students created their own Halloween stories and, if they chose, could draw or write about them.  I also video taped them saying their story.

Leaf Tree
We collected a bunch of leaves, sticks and other materials from outdoors.  Truthfully our students this year are loving the outdoors and we spend much time during the week exploring nature.  They often want to collect items of nature and bring them inside to look more closely.  With all of the goodies accumulated, we decided to draw a large tree on butcher paper and invite our students to glue the leaves and sticks to it, creating a fall scene.  We taped this to our classroom door yesterday (picture to come - check back on Instagram), and will perhaps Halloween art work to it throughout the next two weeks.

Leaf Patterns
This week we spent much time in large and small groups working on patterning.  I set up this provocation for students to show me all that they know about patterns.  These leaves (also from Dollarama) were perfect - students could make different patterns based on colour, size, and shape!

Science and Discovery - Painting Pumpkins and Gourds
We set out large and small pumpkins, various gourds and corn at our Science and Discovery Centre last week for students to observe and wonder.  This week, to add to it, we invited students to look closely and draw what they see.  They learned how to draw with pencil first and then trace over it using a permanent black marker before using water colour paints.

Math - Small Group Patterning
In my small group for math this week, I focused on creating simple patterns (AB, ABC) using manipulatives.  I wanted students to understand that patterns repeat and I wanted them to understand that each pattern has a core, or rule, that it follows.
Lots more on patterning to come!

Math - Small Group *Intervention*
We have some students who are working on basic math skills (i.e. 1:1 correspondence, counting, subitizing, etc.) and in our Math Intervention group Mrs. Petrone (RECE) made these mats and ghosts (made from beans).  Students had to count out the number of beans and place them on the mat.

5 Little Pumpkins Poem
If you haven't heard of this poem, it's truly one of my favourites for this time of year! The students quickly caught on to the words and loved the activities set up around the class.  We had our students act out the poem by placing a pumpkin mask in front of their face while reciting each part.  Another student got to turn off the lights when we clapped "out".

I made these pumpkin felt board pieces a few years back for students to retell the poem.

You can download the poem for free by clicking below.

This poem is from my Rhyme and Chime pack on TpT, where you get over 90 poems to last you the whole year!

Pocket Chart
At our pocket chart centre, I wanted students to focus on the word "little" so we used the predictable text poem "Little Pumpkins".

You can find this activity (and lots more for the whole year!) in my All Year Long Pocket Chart Fun pack on TpT.

We also introduced these fluency cards.  Each Monday, our students learn a new poem for the week.  We revisit this poem several times, and by the end of the week, most of them are very fluent with saying it.  You see, by memorising the poem, students are learning to listen for rhyming words, chanting and listening for syllables, and keeping the rhythm.  I made these cards because we always read the poem in different, funny ways too (i.e. ghost voice, sad voice, robot voice).  I printed and put these cards in a small tin and we had fun choosing a few cards and reading our weekly poem in that voice!

I just uploaded these Fluency Cards for Choral Reading to TpT if you'd like to see more!

Here are my weekly plans!
I had a few e-mails asking if I could post them earlier in the week as opposed to the end of the week/weekend but the truth is, things often change as students interests change and we like to update that on our weekly plans.  I also like to take pictures of the centres and provocations and include them - it's just easier at the end of the week.

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):

I've also had many questions about what happens during small group learning time.  I'll be sure to write a post soon about that!