Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Celebrating Thanksgiving with my first graders has been, by far, my favorite thing yet! As a culminating activity to our Thanksgiving unit, we had a giant Thanksgiving feast to celebrate the season. We made pilgrim hats & bibs and Indian headbands & vests to wear for the occasion. Well…actually…because there was SO dang much to do these last couple of weeks {Veteran’s Day, VIP Day, Thanksgiving Feast, etc."}, my class didn’t exactly get around to the Indian vests. That also has something to do with the fact that I couldn’t cut one the right way to save my life!! The fun feast was catered by one of my favorites…Dickey’s!!!!…and the kids dined on turkey, ham, mac & cheese, green beans, rolls, and homemade cookies {one of the sweet first grade moms made peanut free chocolate chip cookies for the WHOLE grade level…and they were GOOD!} It was such a fun experience for both the kids and their parents…us too!! Can’t wait to celebrate Thanksgiving with my littles again next year!

We read a story about the first Thanksgiving before heading out to the feast. It was fun to hear the kids throw in little facts here and there remembering what we’ve learned these last couple of weeks!


My sweet class…the dang cutest pilgrims I’ve ever seen!


The “tables” & placemats were set up in the first grade hallway so we could ALL eat together :)


The kids were served by our sweet moms and they just thought it was the coolest thing ever!!


Such a fun way to tie up everything we’ve learned!!



Our school held it’s annual Grandparent’s/VIP Day on Friday. This is a day that all the kids, one class at a time, perform songs for their V.I.P’s. {coordinated by our music teacher} This is a HUGE event at our school. After the performance, the parents/grandparents/family members come back to the kids’ classrooms to see all their work and then the kids can leave with their guests for an off campus lunch…and then stay gone for the rest of the day {if they want}. Needless to say, I LOVE this day! A lot goes into getting ready for this special day. My kids wrote about their favorite memory with their VIP and illustrated their writing and we made sure to display all their hard work around the classroom. My favorite was the way we set up their desks. Since we loved those Mayflowers so much, we decided to let them “sail” on their desks…


It was a HUGE hit with our VIP’s!!! We’ll definitely do this again next year!! Loved it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There’s Still Time!

If you haven’t bought Deanna Jump’s Thanksgiving Unit, you’re in luck!! There’s still time!! Here’s a little sneak peek into our turkey fun…

We completed a fun little pie graph and interpreted the data…


I gave a little mini-lesson on writing a three-step how to using an example of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Using a fun little idea in Deanna’s unit, we wrote a three-step how-to about catching a turkey! Then I had the kids make their own cute little coffee filter turkeys :)


Head on over to Teachers Pay Teachers and get your own copy of Deanna Jump’s Thanksgiving Unit…there’s still time!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

If You Sailed On The Mayflower…

Today we celebrated “Mayflower Day”!! Okay…so I made that up…but I thought that sounded pretty fitting for our day today :) We started by reading a non-fiction book about the Mayflower. I can’t remember which one, but I checked it out from our school library and it was really good!! It was a great book to review Table of Contents also :) Each “chapter” was only a page or two long. After each page, we stopped to jot. During our stop to jot time, the kids gave me a few facts they learned from that chapter.


We learned a lot of really cool facts!! Did you know that the water was so unsafe to drink that everyone on the Mayflower…children included…drank beer?!?! Ummmm…yeah. That interesting tidbit of info was definitely in the book and you should’ve heard the conversations that transpired after reading that fun little fact :) Wow.

After brainstorming, I had the kids choose 5 facts to write about for their Mayflower books. Y’all. These books are DARLING. A few of the girls on our team have been making these “bag boats” for a few years and I LOVE them!!! They’re PERFECT for a little Mayflower fun!!


We compiled all their facts into this little book…



I used pencils to hold up the sails…just incase you’re wondering :)

There were a couple of extra “pages” left in the book, so we filled them in with a thinking map & a survey/graph. We made a Mayflower brace map to show the parts of the whole…


And I also had the kids survey their classmates asking them whether or not they would have liked to travel on the Mayflower if they were pilgrims. Not surprisingly, they all said NO!!!! The kids graphed their classmates responses and wrote about their data as well.


You can download the Mayflower brace map & graph HERE.

Next up….TURKEY FUN!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Few More Math Ideas Before The Holidays

Here are a couple more ideas for you to *squeeze in* {HA!!!} before Thanksgiving break :)

How funky is your turkey?! Here’s a little fact family activity your kids will love! Each kiddo gets a half circle {turkey body} and a triangle {turkey head}. The kids take two dice and roll. Let’s say they roll a 4 & 2. They have to add the numbers together to get the sum {third #}. They write these numbers in each corner of the turkey head with the sum sitting in the beak. Then the kiddos take 4 different feathers and write a different number sentence on each to match the fact family in the turkey head :) They’ll assemble the turkey and make as many as they can in the time they have for math tubs :) I don’t have a template for this…I just traced a paper plate cut out lots of circles, and then cut those in half. Then I cut triangles to fit, beaks to fit on the triangles, and then feathers. The kids will cut and assemble their own legs & feet.


If you’re ready for a little estimation practice, then this little activity would be perfect! Set out a few little cups filled with corn kernels. The kids have to use the kernels to estimate the amount it would take to fill four different workspaces…then they have to count and record the actual number. This little activity comes with the workspaces & a recording sheet.




Saturday, November 13, 2010

Symmetrical Pattern Block Turkeys

This week we had a little fun with symmetry. To reinforce the concept, I had my cuties make these fun little pattern block turkeys. It was a great little assessment to see which of my kiddos were struggling with the concept :) I absolutely LOVE how different they all turned out! Can’t wait to do these again next year!



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pilgrim Projects

Our kids are learning about Thanksgiving customs and traditions and we’ve REALLY gotten into learning all about the pilgrims. The kids are FASCINATED!! They just can’t imagine that little pilgrim boys and girls didn’t have DSI’s & American Girl dolls ;) We started learning about pilgrims reading a few realistic fiction & non-fiction books from our library.


We really LOVE this one!!! It’s super informational and it’s got lots of great facts about the Mayflower, pilgrims, and the first Thanksgiving!


We learned that life was different for pilgrim boys than girls. We learned a lot of neat facts about little pilgrim boys & girls. The kids were most amazed that only pilgrim boys were allowed to go to school. We did a little Venn diagram to compare & contrast pilgrim boys & girls.


After we compared boys & girls, I had the kids start a little project. I modeled how to draw both a pilgrim boy & girl in KidPix and then had each of the kids draw themselves as pilgrims on the computer. They also had to choose one fact that we learned and complete the writing prompt, “If I were a pilgrim boy/girl, I would…”



I LOVE how different they all turned out!!

We also learned that pilgrims could only take one trunk full of their belongings on the Mayflower. Most pilgrims only packed clothes, tools, and their Bibles. I made little suitcases for the kids and inside they had to write a list of things they would take with them if they were traveling on the Mayflower…ANYTHING they wanted :) They absolutely LOVED this!!



We also compared boys & girls today to boys & girls from long ago. They had A LOT to say about this one!


After completing our Venn diagram, the kids had a choice between two different writing prompts, I can__________, but a pilgrim could not. OR I have ___________, but a pilgrim did not. Then they got to make their own little pilgrim boys and girls to go with their writing.



Next up: MAYFLOWER! Can’t wait!!

A Time For Turkeys

We have been busy this month!! We’ve been learning about a little bit of everything from turkeys, to pilgrims, to the Mayflower. Here are just a couple of little things we’ve been doing with turkeys…with LOTS more to come!!!

We were working on “long a” this week and our chunks were –ake, –ate, & –ave. So I made these fun little word family turkeys and had the kids write words to match each turkey on colorful little feathers! They LOVED it!!


I also included a set of turkeys with nothing typed in the bellies….just incase you’d want to program them yourself :)wordfamilyturkeys

We read the book, Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving…nightbeforethxgvg

…and followed up with this fun little activity! One of the teachers on our team had this fun little turkey template, so I had the kids make their own turkeys and then wrote a little “picket sign” for the turkeys to hold…Chick Fil A style ;) Each of their signs started with, “Eat more…” and they had to fill in the rest. You can’t see it too well, but this one says, “Eat more mackinchees!” {mac & cheese}. Then we hung them from the ceiling!


We’re also in the midst of preparing for our big Thanksgiving feast next week, so we had the kids do a little handwriting/art activity that will be laminated and used as their placemats for the feast. They turned out so dang cute!!



I love this time of year!!

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