Friday, January 10, 2014

Five for Friday - Woohoo!

Woohoo!   It is Friday and I am so excited for a nice quiet evening at home by myself.  The boys all had different things going on and my dear sweet husband went to hang out with the two oldest!   AHHHHHH!!!  I love the quiet!   I am excited to share some of my favorite things from this week, a lot about How to Writing in Kindergarten!    My kiddos this year LOVE Writers Workshop and are now writing for at least 30 minutes at a time and  (MOST)  are actively engaging in meaningful writing the whole time.  They are amazing me!   
HOW TO WRITING Intro Day 1 -   We have begun our 4th Unit of Study this week week in Kindergarten and it is all about How To!   It has been really cool to see the light go on with my students this week as they are beginning to see themselves as teachers.   We had to start this How to Unit  with How to Build a Snowman since we have been off for Winter Break and have had crazy snowy weather so of course we all had schema!   We walked through each step using those important words : First, Next, Then & Last, discussing as we went and evening acting it out!   (I am in no way an artist, so please don't laugh!!  Okay,  we do laugh at my drawings!  LOL) 

HOW TO WRITING  Intro Day 2 -  In our district we have been very fortunate to not only have done Matt Glover book studies but also have had HIM in our building and have gotten to see him at work up close and personal.    Our Units of Study follow a lot of his ideas, so for this day we spent a great deal of our Writers Workshop becoming familiar with "real"  How to Books.     Some of my favorite are by Inez Snyder  - APPLES TO APPLESAUCE ,   WAX TO CRAYON,   TOMATOES TO CATSUP,  & MILK TO ICE CREAM.    We also read some books by Edana Eckart  -   I CAN RIDE A BIKE,   I LIKE TO SKATEBOARD,   &  I CAN PLAY SOCCER.   We also read some Fiction texts including PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST  & CHARLIE NEEDS A CLOAK by Tomie DePaolo.    This was a great day of immersion and we spent a lot of turn and talk time telling our PBJ partners what we were noticing about these books and how and what they taught us.   It was a great day of learning. 

HOW TO WRITING  Intro Day 3 -  (this was our day today, since we only really had a 3  1/2 day week)     Today I felt like a lightbulb went off  and I got that big teacher grin that happens when things align.   Being the first week back,  we had to have a fire drill but because of the weather we were doing a talk through with our kids and ALL OF A SUDDEN…..  I thought why not do a How To Writing about How to Do a Fire Drill.   Walllaaahh!  

First we read FIRE DRILL by Paul DuBois Jacobs.  Then we completed our  How To Do a Fire Drill.  (It probably should have a better title -  What To Do In A Fire,  but….   it was just a practice and a quick thought! )  It was a great launch into our discussion about things that we all know how to do.     It is nothing fancy at all (seriously) ,  but my students really are getting good at using those How To words and thinking about the steps.       I was just excited that the stars aligned and we got it done!  Good discussion.    After this,  we had begun to talk about all the things we knew how to do - (I kinda blew my 10-15 min. focus lesson time,  but…   the students were really pretty engaged. )     As they went back to write,  they took an organizer back with them to write down things they knew how to do!  I was surprised at how many things they could think of (but that's what happens with good discussion,  huh?? )   

This is from Kim Adsit's How to Writing packet.  You can click on the picture to get it!   It's a good one.  I do not follow all her ideas.  I use a lot of Deanna Jumps Writing materials and pick things up everywhere that I think will fit purposefully in our Units of study.   It's a Hodge Podge,  but it works!!  That's all for How to Writing this week!   Can you feel my excitement? 

During Readers Workshop this week we have been working on text to text connections!!    K.RL.9  With prompting and support,  comparing and contrasting the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.   I used the two books above to work on this standard some more.   This has been a hard one for a lot of my students and so we have needed a lot of prompting and support!!  (ME TOO! )    We created an anchor chart (sorry I forgot to take a picture) comparing the stories,  first retelling what the key details were in each story and then discovering how the experiences of Oliver and Grace were alike.   I was impressed with how quickly some of them understood that" both were told they couldn't do something and then in the end they proved they could."  "They both experience a lot of different feelings".  "They both have families that love them very much." One of my students picked up on how disappointed Oliver was that he didn't win the talent show and they thought he was hoping that everyone would stop calling him a sissy if he did.   (That was deep)!   These are two great books for comparing and contrasting adventures and experiences.   I am working on developing a post about this standard with lots of great examples because I have not been able to find (online anyway) other great familiar to us books with great adventures and experiences.   A couple of others I have thought of are …  WHEN SOPHIE GETS ANGRY… REALLY, REALLY ANGRY… by Molly Bang   & I WAS SO MAD by Mercer Mayer;   JULIUS THE BABY OF THE WORLD by Kevin Henkes  &  MY ROTTEN RED HEADED OLDER BROTHER by Patricia Polacco.   These are some great ones.  Keep checking back and I will post about that standard soon!  

The other thing that I  have loved is watching my kiddos play Teen Tangle.   This is an Everyday Math game that I have adapted.  They ask for it all the time.  It is so funny to watch them play!    They get contorted in some of the craziest ways BUT ..  they know their teen numbers!     You can take a look at this TRICKY TEENS post to see what's included in my Tricky Teens packet.  It's a good one!  You also can find it at my TpT store.  Click on the picture.  

Here's a couple of pics of my students playing!   They crack me up. 
 I hate to have to blur faces because they are such cutie pies!  

Thank you for letting me share today and I hope that each one of you has a blessed weekend!   Angel

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