Sunday, October 18, 2015

Spider Study!

For the past week and a half, we have been up to our ears studying everything we can about spiders! I've never had the time to do a spider study before, so I was so excited to gather up as many spider-related resources as I could in reading, science, and math. I truly feel that cross-curricular studies are the most meaningful ones for students.

First, I began by collecting as many non-fiction books as I could find about spiders. Here are some options if you are looking for some great ones to use with your K-2 spider study.

I am blessed to have a smartboard in my classroom, so instead of using a bunch of chart paper to make various anchor charts and posters, I decided to streamline it and keep them all in digital form. It ended up working out SO nicely! We could easily go back and refer to our schema chart and add new notes pages for each topic we were learning about. Not to mention, I didn't have to worry about finding a place to hang up a million posters/anchor charts. Here's a few of our digital anchor charts we made:

Even if you don't have a smartboard in your room, you could easily create every single one of these anchor charts on big paper, powerpoint, etc.! We ended up making a separate page for each topic that we learned and studied about spiders.

I also got by with a little help from my TPT friends! I used A Year of Many Firsts' AMAZING non-fiction spider unit, which you can find here! She has gorgeous pictures and so many creative resources to use. We ended up referring to her spiders digital fact book, printable student readers, and spider fact book to record all of the facts we found. 

Lyndsey included 3 differentiated student read aloud books. I chose the middle leveled one for my first graders and we spent time reading and highlighting important details we found in the text.

Then we used the books to write our own facts in their student fact books, which we used all week to record facts about spiders.

Each book page had a different topic to write and draw about. My students loved filling it all out; and their writing turned out amazing! I'm so glad that there are amazing TPT sellers that help me teach wonderful units in my classroom! Thanks, Lyndsey!

Here are a few other fact-finding activities we did:

Parts of a Spider Labeling Anchor Chart

Then we used the anchor chart to label it using another resource from A Year of Many Firsts' spider unit. 

I also implemented many spider themed activities for whole group math, reading, and literacy centers. It's amazing what a little themed activity will do to increase my students' excitement and engagement in a learning activity. Since they were loving learning about spiders, they were all in on these fun activities! 

For our ELA time, I create this little Smartboard interactive Spider Sentence sort. The students had to move the spider's legs to the side of the body that it belonged to (sentence or not a sentence).

My students absolutely loved reading the Spider poem from Deedee Wills' October Poetry Unit. I gave them a giant plastic spider to act out the poem with each other's names and they couldn't even get over it! We'll be adding the poem to our reading interactive notebooks later this week and my kids will partner read it to practice fluency.

I also implemented our spider theme into many math activities we did last week. We've been working on addition concepts for the last few weeks, including decomposing numbers, so this adorable little freebie craftivity from Wild About Firsties was the perfect activity!

You can download the freebie here!

I hung them all up on a bulletin board in my classroom for some festive student decor!

We also did a little graphing activity: Do You Think Spiders are Cool or Creepy? Needless to say, I did NOT agree with the majority of my kids! Ha!

One of my teammates came up with this little data analysis sheet and we compared our results!

In math tubs, we've been working on fun themed activities like my Spidery Roll and Cover:

...Which can be found here along with other Halloween math tubs in my Trick or Treat! Math is Sweet! Math Stations Pack (click on the picture below to find out more!)

 photo TrickorTreatcover_zpsa1243100.png

To add a little fun to literacy centers, I made this little Spider Digraph Spinner game that my students loved! They spun the spinner, and based on whatever digraph they landed on (ch, th, sh), they had to find a word that began or ended with the digraph and color it by the color code till they filled up the entire spider web!

You can download this game for FREE by clicking on the picture below!

 photo spider preview 1_zpscssc015v.png

So, with all the fun we had learning about spiders, I must admit I am sad to see it go! However, that will be short-lived because this week we are going to begin our BAT unit... always one of my faves!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Five for Friday 10.16.15

Hey everyone! This has been a super odd week for me with a day off of school, parent teacher conferences, and two half days... but it didn't mean that we weren't just as busy in first grade! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share some of the fun I had this week.

We've been doing a big spider study for the last week and a half and my kids are SO into it. At conferences this week, so many parents were asking about our spider unit because their kids have been going home and telling them all they've learned. I love that! We kicked it off with a little spider graph that asked, "Do you think spiders are cool or creepy?" Note: I did not agree with the majority of my class. ;)

In keeping with our spider theme, we made this super cute Spider Sums to 8 craftivity from Wild About Firsties. We brainstormed all the ways to make 8 as a class and then each student picked one number sense they wanted to represent with their spider legs. 

I guest posted on my lovely friend Mrs. 3rd Grade's blog the other night as part of her 30 Amazing Teachers series and shared about a cute little Halloween gift I'm giving my first grade teammates this week! Click here to see how I put it all together (there's a link to the free gift tag I used from Eighteen25)!

Now that I'm teaching first grade, I'm teaching a lot of sounds, digraphs, vowel teams, etc. that I never had to teach in kindergarten before, so I was lacking a lot of resources to go with those phonics skills and struggling to find any printables that worked for my students. So, I did what any good teacher blogger does... I made my own! Included in this pack are 5 no-prep printables to go with the  -ck ending sound digraph (-ack, -eck, -ick, -ock, -uck). Students will read the words to practice fluency, highlight them in each word family, write and label pictures, read sentences, and write/illustrate their own sentences using -ck words. I tested these activity sheets out with my students and it really helped them with their spelling and fluency because they were interacting with the words in so many different ways. I just uploaded it to my TPT store... click on the picture to find out more!

 photo -ck cover page_zps9hutryb2.png

One of my favorite things about fall is... hockey starts! Hockey is my absolute favorite sport and I root hard for my Coyotes! I got to go to the home opener earlier in the week and had a blast!

I'm so glad Friday has arrived! I am ready for a weekend! Hope you'll link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday fun!