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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Merry & Bright & ELA Fun!

Is your December a whirlwind?

I enjoy teaching in December. It's fun and quick. But it can be a little crazy! Right?

I decided my kiddos needed a few more fun independent activities so...

My kiddos love playing card games. This one will not only help them practice their decoding skills, it also supports their learning about adjectives and understanding that vocabulary through opposites... a huge help for English language learners.

 I really like using quick readers in class. We usually do them as a whole group activity first. Then I use them again with my below level reading group. I also put them out as an independent activity for my kiddos who are at and above grade level. These two readers support adjectives and fluency standards.

 A HUGE hit in our classroom are the sight word board games. In this resource I've included a board complete with the words that we are practicing in my class right now as well as a "blank" board so that teachers can input any words they choose to be practiced.

As always, I've included a complete writing lesson. This narrative lesson includes step-by-step directions, all you need for the writing plan, final draft and an adorable cumulating activity craft.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Tasting Adjectives FREEBIE

This week is going to be busy in my classroom. We just have this week to finish out November.

I'm not complaining.

I am very happy to have all of next week off.

Tuesday we're going on a field trip. I'm hoping that I remember to take pictures that I can share. :) On Friday we have an additional minimum day. It is also the first week of our 2nd trimester.

Since our Friday is going to be short, our Thanksgiving celebration is going to be as well. We are going to do a little pumpkin pie tasting.

In previous years, I've done a full on pizza party. We made headdresses and pilgrim hats and put all of the desks together in one big "family feast" table. It was fun and a lot of work - especially on the years when there were very few volunteers.

Then we started going on a field trip each November, and I felt horrible about asking parents to donate to the cost of the field trip AND a party in one month... so I ended the party.

Last year I read the class the Thanksgiving Junie B. Jones story.
It's cute and funny. Exactly what you'd expect from Junie B.

The kiddos in the story have some mixed feelings about pumpkin pie. While reading the story I discovered my kiddos did as well.

So, after finishing the book (I read a chapter from a chapter book to my class each day after lunch), I decided to bring a couple of Costco pumpkin pies into class. I pre-sliced them, brought in small plates, napkins, forks and whipped cream.

Each kiddo got a slice whether they said they liked pie or not.

Then we sat and looked at it. We graphed how many people liked pumpkin pie and how many didn't. 
We used our eyes to describe how it looked.
orange, wet, yummy, disgusting, smoothy, speckilly, gooey

We used our nose to describe how it smelled.
disgusting, pumpkiny, cinnamony, sweet

Then we tasted it a part at a time. First the whipped cream.... then wrote the adjectives that described that. Then the pie filling and its attributes. After that we dissected the crust and listed its descriptors. Finally we took a bit (albeit very tiny for some) and described the dessert as a whole.

Finally we took another poll and made a new tally chart, to find if the number of kids who liked pumpkin pie had changed. AND, indeed it had. We brought a few more to the "I LIKE it!" side.

The kids LOVED this activity. I let them sit wherever they wanted, so they could "hang" with their friends and discuss their findings... as well as celebrate their love/hate for pumpkin pie. The only rule, you had to at least TRY it. I think they enjoyed that they didn't HAVE to write positive words if that's not the way they felt after trying it.

They cleaned up on their own mess. Had fun. Created no headaches. AND did something academic!

Easy. Peasy.

Here is what my kiddos will be completing this week. Click on it to grab yourself a FREE copy.

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