Monday, May 27, 2013

Independent Research

Yes, it's me again!  I am still alive, believe it or not.  This week I had one of those "Aha!" moments.  The kind where your lesson went so well that you can't believe you haven't been doing this ALL YEAR! I was really excited about how this turned out!

We have been doing individual research projects.  Have you ever heard of Pebblego?    Anyways, with Open House coming up, we decided that each 1st Grade classroom would research a differnt habitat and display our for our parents.  As soon as I heard that, I jumped all over the rainforest.  Not only is it my favorite habitat, but there are so many cool things you can do with it!  Who wouldn't be excited to decorate their hallway with all those cool animals?  

Jessica, one of my teammates, found this amazing Sticky Note Research template.  She also introduced me to Pebblego.  We took an ENTIRE day on laptops researching our own animals.  This was like heaven for my kids!  There were huge gasps when they found out we were going to be on the computer ALL DAY! Lucky us, the rainforest has EVERYTHING!  It has insects, gorillas, birds, wildcats, poison dart frogs, etc.. Once they picked their animal, they used the sticky note template and found all their answers.  Its designed for K-2 so it was at their reading level.  

Once they finished their research, they wrote it into a report.  Here is the kicker!  They literally had to copy their sticky notes in order and their writing flowed nicely!  The very first sticky said, "Attention Grabber".  Some of them wrote, "Have you ever been to the Rainforest?  If so, you may know that a _____ lives there!"  Then it led them into describing what it looked like, what it eats, etc...  There stories were AMAZING!   

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mothers Day

I know, I know, I'm late again!  I wanted to post about Mothers Day, and was super busy these past couple of weeks so here it is.....LATE!  I hope all of the mommies out there had a FAB Mothers Day!!  I'm so excited about the gift I had my kiddos make and just wanted to share it with other teachers.

If there is one thing out there that ALL moms like...what would it be?  RECIPES!!!  When my sister was in Pre-K, her class made a recipe book for my mom, and my mom STILL has it!  And guess what, SHE STILL USES IT!! Sooooo, (sneaky Ms. Svetina) tricked the parents!  Ok, so they probably knew.  But I'm pretending they didn't.  I sent out a letter with a really cute template my 1st grade teammate and I Maria made asking for their FAVORITE recipe.  EASY!! I made a really cute cover on cardstock and laminated it.  The back cover (also on cardstock) said, "Meet the Illustrator".  I put each child's picture on it and they wrote about themselves.  It was PRESH!  

Once they were in spirals, I had them illustrate each page.  Let me warn you, this takes a little bit of time.  I am a perfectionist, and I wanted each picture to actually look like the product.  I recommend starting the illustrating a week in advance.  Just do like 3 or 4 a day.  I literally was giving art lessons, but they turned out AWESOME!  

I can't include all the recipes because they have names on them, but it turned out awesome!  I'll post a sample of the "Meet the Illustrator" page tomorrow.. Have a great week! :)