Pictures of the Day: May 6, 2015

Ok, hold on tight–today was a VERY eventful day and so this post is picture-heavy. I think I counted 10.  But then I may have added more. 🙂  You ready?  Let’s go!

I usually put the pics in these posts in order based on when they happen, so these would come first anyway, but I’m also putting them first because I think they set the tone for the whole day.  The way things usually work in Rm. 202 is that I have a plan and then we decide how that will work for us that day, and often times things change (sometimes really drastically, sometime they just take a little bit different direction).

I was meeting with a group today and after our book, we got out our whiteboards for word work.  I remembered that we had talked about a chart/sign to help kiddos remember what to do with the pencil sharpener (we just got 2 new crank ones–you know, old school!) and for some reason people are CRAZY with them.  What I know about what this group knows and what they need, they were the ones to make the chart!  As we talked about what the sign should be called, they agreed that “PENCIL SHARPENER RULES” would make sense (like the chart we made to help our friends remember how to wisely use our construction paper).  As we got started talking about how to write PENCIL, we clapped out the syllables, wrote the PEN part and started working on the CIL chunk, talking about how it could either be PENSIL  or PENCIL.  It wasn’t a clear decision about which was correct (I thought for sure they’d be able to tell which one looked right), so I took it to mean we needed to learn something new.  So we started talking about C and how it has a soft sound and a hard sound.

Now…being me and doing what I do, I didn’t just start saying something like “Now these are the rules for hard C and soft C and when the C proceeds these letters it’s this and when it’s these it’s that,”–you get the idea.  Instead, we started making  a list of C words and put them in the correct column together.  Almost immediately, Makayla noticed that there were lots of Os on the hard side.  We kept going and pretty soon we noticed that the letters on the soft C side were E and I and that the other letters were on the other list.  Voila! We had a rule.  Well at least a conjecture that we thought we could use and teach our friends.

So…being Rm. 202 friends and doing what we do, we thought another sign was in order.  This one they decided to hang on the word wall–right by the letter C. 🙂  Hopefully we’ll finish soon.  Who knows?  We’re working on at least 3 other interactive writing projects and we’ve only got 15 more days!  Oh well, guess there’s always next year!

Whew! That was a long one. Ok…so I know that it looks like Nate is just being a super-silly 1st grader in this picture, but he’s actually posing like that for a reason. I tried to kill 3 stones with this one picture and show you: the yummy (and tiny) chocolate bar and SUPER cute gift card he brought from Whole Foods today (yep, I said CUTE–there’s a picture next to show the detail) AND the tooth he lost on Monday. Ok, I guess he didn’t actually lose it, he had to get it taken out but it’s gone nevertheless and you can finally see his big ‘ole grown-up tooth coming through!

See, I told you it was cute! It’s funny because without the scale of that bag to Nate in the previous picture you don’t see the funny size of these 2 objects. It will be hard to spend that gift card because it is seriously one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I told the kids I’d probably ask for it back after I redeem it and save it in my Writer’s Notebook. Um…just because that’s what I do. 🙂

C.J. and I worked really hard with build a castle with the Lincoln Logs during choice time today.  It’s the first time I’ve done that.  So fun!  The rest of the class was really impressed too, I guess, because they kept coming over to take pictures of their own!

Um…yeah, so this happened during choice time, too: Emily made me a bonnet! She came over at one point and had to measure the string so she’d know the strap was the right size, and she pointed out how she put a little tag in it, too, so I’d know what way was the back. First graders are kind of amazing, I’d say!

Alright, two more, and these fit into the I’ve-officially-lost-track-of-how-many-teeth-we’ve-lost category.  I am pretty sure it’s over 20 now, but needless to say, 1st grade mouths are VERY HOLEY at this time of year.  So cute!!

Pictures of the Day–April 17, 2015

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY!! I wish I could share my amazing Spring weather with you (although obviously some of you are enjoying the same warm temps and sunshine as me….but for those of you that aren’t, here’s what I see outside my end of the school:And then there are the other pictures I chose for today.  They all include big ‘ole smiles that show how happy a place Robinson is. Happy Friday!

This smile come from a SUPER example of how Peyton used one of Marla Frazee’s craft moves in his own writing: just like the pictures in Roller Coaster, he added a detail to his picture of Fredbird from his Cardinal story. It says, “The Cardinals won and Fredbird goes CRAZY” and his feathers are falling out because he’s so excited.  LOVE that he’s using the examples of authors we’re learning about–exactly what we’ve been talking about!

We were working on another text in interactive writing today, and I wasn’t going to include another picture of our MANY words we’ve been writing, but there was something about this cute face that changed my mind. Great work, Landen!

There’s not a lot I need to say about this picture except look at that great crown and that AMAZING first grade smile! Say cheese, Sara!

Remember how I said that Robinson is a happy place to be? Here are three more reasons why–my other two teammates Rachael and Rochelle, and the fact that people just show up and give you ice cream and say Happy Friday! What a treat on a beautiful day. 🙂 I LOVE MY JOB!!

Pictures of the Day–April 16, 2015

This is day 4 of this feature, and I LOVE IT!!  I know I will always write long posts (because that’s just how I roll, plus sometimes there’s a longer story to tell), but I love how the snapshots we’re sharing give you a quick peek into life in Rm. 202.  Hopefully you feel the same! Here today’s gems:

After yesterday’s picture of Emily, the group that finished the construction paper rules chart wanted to be in on the fun (see how she’s there again? 🙂 ). Look at all of those words!

Check it out: we finished our rules today and we were SUPER proud of all of the words that we put on there! It’s a theme that has come up many times this week: how many words we have all around our room. I should post a video of tour of all of the authentic kid-writing that graces our walls. It’s pretty amazing what these little people can do!!

Today was a Walker’s Club day, and since teachers’ laps count in our competition, I went out to do my part for Rm. 202. I was SUPER proud to be able to add 3 LAPS today! In flip-flops. And a dress. AND I ran some of it. So far I’ve only added 2 laps per week, but this week I got to put down 4 for Rm. 202’s total. YAY!! 🙂

Pictures of the Day–April 15, 2015

I am creating a hashtag now for this feature, so share it if you like as an easy way for people (including you!) to peek into what’s going on in Rm. 202.  I think I’ll use #RM202POD1415.  Ok, maybe it’s a little long….got any ideas?  Please feel free to share!

Ok, so here’s the cuteness from first grade on this BEAUTIFUL St. Louis Wednesday:

It’s a little heard to tell from this picture, but there are MORE LOST TEETH from Rm. 202 mouths!! The best part of this picture is that Amelia and Charlie lost the SAME tooth last night! Picture-of-the-day-worthy for sure!

After we got done with interactive writing today, Emily said, “WOW–look at all of the words I wrote today!!” OF COURSE I had to take a picture! Way to go, Em!

Remember how Cardinal Day and Hat Day were on Monday? Well in order to do Hat Day, I had to abstain from wearing Cardinal gear (it just didn’t match…). So when I saw Ms. Lewis also wearing her navy Cardinal shirt, we had to pose for a pic. Say cheese!

Nate came over to me at Choice Time and said, “I made a B from the Jenga blocks. Wanna see it?” First of all, I was thinking he meant a BEE not a B, so I was impressed anyway, but then he showed me the detail that he added of the green parts (“I made them from paper and colored them green!”) it was even better. I wonder if he made it that way on purpose because it’s my favorite color….:)

I Know an Old Lady, Do You?

During 2nd quarter, one of our big ideas during Reader’s Workshop was comparing various versions of the same text.  An easy one–as well as a favorite–was I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  We found 3 versions initially and read them (and then found a couple more!), creating a chart to represent all the parts of the story.

I Know an Old Lady retold by G. Brian Karas: Somehow I managed to only have a picture of our “lady” without her labels! We spent much time labeling all of those things in her belly!

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro: This one shows our super work at labels using interactive writing. Plus, this old lady is super stylish with a belt, some glasses and a bow in her hair. 🙂

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie by Alison Jackson: This may be my favorite lady yet! Check out that 10-layer cake in her stomach!

After we had read our stories, we dug in to start comparing and contrasting the stories.  We talked about how to do this in an organized way, and so kiddos were introduced to the Venn Diagram.  Well, reintroduced to the idea, but the name and the was new.  We had a 1st draft that ended up too messy to use, but it worked for us to understand how the diagram worked.

Once we knew how to put the pieces together, kiddos worked in pairs to write the parts that were the same and different.  Again, what we had learned during many interactive writing lessons lately paid off!

Another great example of interactive writing as well as great ideas for how the stories were the same and different! Super smart first grade thinking!

Close up of I Know an Old Lady

Close up of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves

Close up of I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie and the “same” sections of the diagram

Of which stories have you read different versions?  Share some suggestions with us! 🙂

Interactive Writing Explained

**Disclaimer–I am SO excited to share this post and have been thinking about the right way to write it for a LONG time!  My kiddos worked SO hard on the writing in this story and are rockstars in my book.  THANKS FOR READING!!**

If you have been here for a while then you know that this year is my first year in first grade in a LONG, LONG time!  I got my start there more than a decade ago, then moved on to work with “big” kids for a while and am back to my roots.  Much has changed, but I’m finding that many things have stayed the same–some things are just good teaching.  Best practice.  Good stuff for kids.  Interactive writing is one of those things.  I learned how to do it back then and am being reminded of it’s importance and power with kids today.  Let me explain. 🙂

First of all a definition: interactive writing is a writing experience (often whole group) where teacher and students “share the pen” to create meaningful text together.  The teacher, using what she knows about students and their current understandings about letters, sounds, words, etc., purposefully chooses kids to add certain parts to the composition, building on their knowledge and helping them make connections to new skills and concepts.  This is not done haphazardly, and is best done with planning ahead of time–although I have had some amazing experiences with IW that happens “on the fly.”  Ideally, the texts you compose together because touchstones for future learning; revising and revisiting are part of the process. Continue reading