Saturday, January 23, 2016

Five for Friday...or Saturday

Jumping right in this week! 

We studied rocks, rocks and more rocks! 
One thing that has been a benefit to teaching rocks is the fact that I collected rocks when I was little. Nerd alert I know haha... I did have a larger collection at one point but in a haste I threw it out saying to myself.." When will I EVER need this many rocks?!" well....first grade teacher you DID need those rocks! Well, I ended up restarting my collection through travel and such and my students love rocks!! 
One thing I like to to do with them is have different stations for them to observe the rocks. We talk about properties of rocks ahead of time so when they do this they can also take notes like a real scientist! We rotate the stations so they can see all of them. 
When they first get their tray, I have them just look with their eyes and write what they see. Then we TOUCH the rocks! We talk about texture and weight and other properties and record those observations as well. 
It's really not that fancy, but they love getting to touch and feel and see all the rocks and act like scientists. I also get a chance to hit the objectives and some higher order questions and thinking.  

Another activity we are working on and will be for awhile is writing a biography about a friend. Since we are studying nonfiction this falls right in line! 
We pair the kids up and they interview their friend. 
Some questions they ask are: 
What do they look like?
What are their hobbies?
Where do they live?
What do they want to be when they grow up and why?

They record all these answers down on their recording sheet.  
Once we have this accomplished they will take those notes and transfer them onto another planning page but put them into complete sentences. 
After that they will turn that into an actual book! 
I will post the finished products when they are finished being authors. 

Random alert!
Just two things I have been loving lately. 
Now we are ranch snobs around these parts. There is a restaurant near our house that makes the best cilantro ranch! I've been there so much and pretty much order it by the gallon that they actually told me the recipe...I've made it many times and liked mine but it just isn't the same. I am sure I missed an ingredient when I can't get over there to order the trough I have to settle usually. Well hubs and I went to Kroger and got a little wild...we ventured out and tried a new ranch....crazy I know!
But well, 2 days later it was all gone..needless to say it is perdy stinkin good!
These have been a favorite too. I got them at Costco and am hooked. They are not totally unhealthy either which is always plus! I am kinda a cilantro addict too....

Do you send books home for your kids to read? An amazing resource we have access to is Reading A-Z...ever heard of it? Well if you haven't you should check it out. Of course you need a subscription but it is worth it. I have printed off leveled readers Pre A-M to have available to send home with my kids for them to read their level each week. Well, all these books also require some organization. YAY! I have tubs! Lots of tubs! Once they had a home to live in keeping them organized when sending them home was a biggie. I need to be able to keep up with who took what and when and hopefully not repeat titles. 

Enter the spreadsheet. Many pages of it...I took time aside and recorded all the titles and levels. I put it in the spreadsheet including my kids magic numbers and poof! an easy way to check off who has what titles.

Then I made cards for each group. I put their magic numbers, level they need to be receiving, and then write the books I give on that level after checking them off the spreadsheet.
It might seem a little overboard...and it probably is...but HELLO I am Ashley..I am OCD..have we met? 

One idea we borrowed before the break was using the book "Mooseltoe" to write and create!
Here are some of the results.

This friend explained why she decorated hers this way.."The left side is before-the problem at the beginning. The right side is the solution side." 

Have a BLESSED week ahead!

This image says it all. Simple. True. Imperative.

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