Sunday, October 27, 2013

The boy is back

My 8th grade son is back from his DC trip! It was hard having my baby fly across the country and be away for 6 days. Luckily the government was back to work in time for all his tours!
 We finished up our bat unit using my Bat Informative Reading and Writing packet. The students loved it! I focused more on nonfiction text features this year. After teaching the features, I let the class go through our nonfiction books armed with sticky notes looking for text features to label. You would think I was giving away candy, they were so excited for their chance to use the sticky notes
craft by Cupcake
We read Where's My Mummy and wrote about what our "mummy" does when we are scared.

We read Spookley the Square Pumpkin and then made our own original pumpkins.

My second graders made a jack-o-lantern and wrote a narrative about it.
I love having a bulletin board by the door. The kids often stop and read each other's work which I think is pretty adorable.  It is such a small school they know the kids in the other grade and seem to enjoy sharing a board.

I started teaching the 2nd graders cursive this week. I guess my school used to have first graders learn cursive. Can you believe that? The Spalding program we use has different cursive so I can't use any of the fonts I have. I miss the curls and tilt to be honest. Spalding looks so boring though I can see that it is probably easier for the kids.  I made my own font but it is tricky getting the letters to link nicely. Anyone ever make a cursive font and have any tips for this? I broke down and wrote lessons by hand. I feel like I am back in the dark ages. LOL.  Here is a screen shot of the font I made. My handwriting is usually better but I have to slow down and be so careful to make it the "Spalding" way.
I do really like the Spalding phonograms though. It is what I was doing but MUCH more in depth.  I'll post more about that another time. My bed is calling me.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bats and a FREEBIE

This week we started studying nonfiction using my Bats Informative Reading and Writing packet.
You can read all about the packet in more detail in this previous post.
We have been reading many bat books and determining if they are fiction or nonfiction. As we learn new facts about bats we add them to our circle maps.
I have been teaching about nonfiction text features as we come across them. I added them to our frame of reference in pink. They picked up diagrams easily but glossary is a tough one for firsties!

I had the students circle three facts they thought were interesting on their personal circle map.  Then I modeled how to fill in the flow map planning sheet using a power number topic sentence.
We did one fact at a time, starting with a transition word. I had the students share out the fact they chose  from their map and start it orally with the transition word. They did really great!

A few smarties really wanted to write more so I told they they could if the sentences were related. One girl wrote:

Bats are helpful to humans. They eat insects that hurt crops and spread seeds so more plants grow.


Next week we will write our final drafts and make our bat craft. I'll try to take more pics of those!

The first graders are also working on ABC order so I made a Halloween cut and paste. I posted it for FREE, all I ask is you leave me a comment here and/or feedback on TpT.
Clipart from KPM Doodles
I have to give a shout out to Kerri over at Teacher Bits and Bobs for the great Johnny Appleseed drawing tutorial! I wanted to do something different with my 2nd graders and this was perfect! Since I have such tiny bulletin boards I did cut the sizes down so it fit on 9x12 construction paper.

The 2nd graders get to go to a pumpkin patch this week so that should be fun!