Friday, November 21, 2014

Five for Friday: Parent-Teacher Conference Week

The This week was parent-teacher conference week! That means a full week of extra early minimum days (11:20am dismissal) and around 1.5 hours of daily whole group instruction! Yet somehow, we still got quite a bit done (language arts-wise, of course). So on to Five for Friday!

My school has a partnership with a non-profit organization called Starting Arts which brings arts education to schools. Our class meets once a week with a Starting Arts instructor and goes through four different art rotations. Our first rotation was theater. The kids learned some acting skills and practiced being performers and audience members. Our current rotation is dance. The kids have been learning some stretches and dance moves. 

On Wednesday, I took the day off (but came back for conferences!) to attend my boyfriend's swearing-in ceremony. He is now a corrections officer! So proud of him, yet also not sure what to think of what might be ahead of him in his new career. 

One of the many things we did for Language Arts this week, learning and practicing sight words! We read the word, spell the word out loud, write the word in the air, write it on our whiteboards, and write a sentence using the sight word. Whew! Tons of activities!

We also talked about plural nouns and the rules for adding -s and -es. 

Despite the weird schedule, one thing we kept consistent for the week was Daily Five. I normally assign kids to their Daily Five rotations for the day. On Friday, though, we had a short time for Daily Five due to some morning ceremonies, so that kids were given the freedom to choose their own Daily Five rotation. Boy, were they delighted!

And that concludes my week! All but one (a no-show) parent conference are done and now my files can go back in the cabinet!

Now, to just make it through the two days before Thanksgiving break! (Wishing I was back at my old school right now, because we got the whole week off there!)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Two Posts in One: Fake Five for Friday and 2015 Calendar

I've been trying to write a Five for Friday post ever since Friday but all my pictures are on my phone and for some reason they keep failing to upload on blogger. Major sadness. That only means that I will have to go back to using my camera to take pictures because I'm simply too lazy to email all the pics on the phone to the computer. However, my phone is doing a good job uploading to instagram and twitter so let's pull some pictures from there to share the big highlight from last week! We only had three days of school (2.5 really since Friday is a half day for us) so there wasn't much happening anyways.

Children's author, Kathryn Otoshi came to visit our school and also autographed books! If you haven't read her books, One, Zero, and Two, you definitely should! Not only do they teach social skills, they also dabble in some math skills too! (even, odd, greater than, less than, number values, skip counting, etc.)
Love her autographs! So cute!
Check out the books on Amazon!
Full disclosure: Affliate links below

We also talked about Veterans' Day. We watched some videos below that my wonderful colleague found:

Reading of the book, The Wall by Eve Bunting:

A good explanation of the poppy's significance with veterans:

Then we did some writing and made a poppy craft.

 The air is starting to get chilly (North California resident here) which also means the holidays are secretly creeping up on us. That brings me on to my next topic...


What do you give your students and what do you have your students make to give their families? I usually order books for my students through Scholastic as my gift to them. Student gifts to the families have varied every year from wax paper lanterns to sock snowmen. However, no matter what the gift is, we always pair it with a 2015 calendar. People have been asking me when the 2015 calendar is coming out and it's finally here! Best of all, just like all my other calendars, this one is free too!
Click on the image above to get it from my TpT store!
If you need some ideas on how to make this calendar into a gift, below are some pictures of what I've done with them in the past. Click on the picture to get to the corresponding blog post to read more!

2014 Calendar
2013 Calendar
Another crazy week to come! It's parent-teacher conference week! We get a full week of minimum days which end at 11:20. That means minus the 1.5 hours of ELA time I'm committing myself to (1 hour small group, 30min whole group), I only have around 50 minutes of instruction time for other subjects every day! Not sure how much we are going to get accomplished this week but we will see what we can do!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Five for Friday

Since I'm supposedly back to the blogging world that means back to my weekly (hopefully) Five for Friday!

My theme this week was about giving thanks. We started by reading Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks.

(Click on the image to see it on Amazon)

The book basically goes through different things that different kids are thankful for and the reasons why. This led to a discussion about what we are thankful for, which I listed on a circle map. (Love thinking maps!)

Once we listed the things we were thankful for, it was time for some writing!

Writing template came from Shawna Devoe from The Picture Book's Teacher Edition.

I didn't take pictures of everything...I wish I had. But on a different day we talked about nouns. I incorporated our theme of giving thanks to nouns by have the kids categorize the things we were thankful for into people/animals, places, and things. We also went through our circle map and sorted the words there.

Here's what I do have pictures of though! Thankful turkeys! Template courtesy of First Grade Fanatics

These are now hung up on our classroom window (my makeshift bulletin board). 

Thursday nights are "date" nights with the boyfriend. I'm a pretty easy date to satisfy because all I ever want are french fries. They are my comfort food! Mmmm~

Today, a volunteer docent from a nearby art museum came to do an in-class presentation on art. He talked about lines, color, and texture. Then the class got to look at different pieces of artwork and try to identify the lines, colors, and textures they saw.

Cuddles time with the pup when I get home!

He's starting to get a fan club in my classroom. (I talk about him a lot in class and show my kiddos pictures and videos of him) Students are turning in fanart of Snap!

The week is finally over! It felt SO long! Probably had to do with it being the last week the benchmark window was open. One of the benchmarks we have to assess is F&P testing, which is done 1-on-1. All of us first grade teachers were given a half-day sub for testing, but four hours is definitely not enough time to test 22 kids. I think I only had 8 students officially done after those four hours! Ended up not meeting with my reading groups this week so that I could have that hour to keep testing kids. Managed to finish all of them on time. Phew! Now to get report cards finished. Good thing we get a long weekend to complete them. Too bad I also scheduled a mini vacation with the boyfriend to Santa Cruz for the weekend just to relax. Oh well. Things will get done eventually!

Just out of curiosity, who else has Monday off? At least two other districts I know of are only taking Tuesday off for Veteran's Day which is just very strange to me. I am super thankful for this four-day weekend. I definitely need it!