Honey Bee Facts!

Next week we start the story, "Honey Bees" from Reading Street.  It seems so weird to read and learn about Honey Bees in JANUARY.  I really wish Reading Street could align their stories with the seasons (#teacherproblems).  I decided that I would introduce reading for research in my small groups.  The students will use a variety of texts to locate facts about bees. I will use the basal, reading a-z stories, and a variety of texts I have pulled from other sources.  We will work to locate 6 interesting facts about bees.  We will talk about moving past the obvious.  Yes, bees are yellow and black!  We don't need to put that down as a fact.  Once the students have chosen 6 facts, they will circle their favorite 3 facts that they want to include in their research writing piece.  We will work together to add those 3 facts to the graphic organizer.  We will also work on a topic sentence and conclusion as we fill out the graphic organizer.  I have made a graphic organizer with labels so students can easily transfer the information from the graphic organizer to their writing paper.   I will post the student's final products after they finish.
If you are interested in checking out my packet for this activity you can find it {here}.

Honey Bees Noun Hunt

Next week our Reading Street story is, "Honey Bees."  One of our skills for the week is 'nouns in sentences.'  My little firsties will be tasked with locating the noun in a variety of sentences.  I thought it would be fun to have the students go on a noun hunt in the story, "Honey Bees" after they buddy read it.  I made this little sheet for my kiddos to record the nouns they find.  I also included a "bonus box" asking the students to illustrate the noun on page 185.  Click {here} to download a copy of the sheet I made for FREE!

Reading Street Decodables

I fell in love with the decodable activites that I found at Life in First Grade.  Unfortunately, she did not have the new decodable stories and I found that I really needed them in my classroom.  So I contacted Life in First Grade and asked if I could make the rest and she said, "YEP!" because she isn't teaching first grade anymore (bummer for us).  I just finished the decodables for "Honey Bees." and I can't wait to use them next week.  I retyped the stories and made an activity to practice the phonics skills.  I also added a second page to practice comprehension strategies.
I have been asked how I use the decodables in my classroom.    I use the first decodable story whole group on Monday ad I am very deliberate in teaching the specific skills.  My students buddy read the second decodable and work on it together on Wednesday.  I use the third decodable on Thursday as a quick check.  The students work independently.  My strategic kiddos work on it with a parent volunteer.  This is what works for me at this point in time.  I am always readjusting and tweaking to make things run better.  I have added all three decodables to my TpT store for FREE!!!  I would love to hear how you use the decodables in your classroom!!

Santa's Stuck

I just love how these Santa's turned out. So cute!  Thanks again to First Grade Wow for a super cute Santa Craftivity   I don't know which is better, the Santa's or the explanations of what they would do!  I'm especially fond of the little guy who would help him AFTER he opened his presents.  The priorities of a first grader.

Santa Adjectives

I found this adorable lesson from First Grade Wow, and wow was it cute!  You need to check her post out for all the details {here}   My version is definitely not as "wow" as hers.  But, I thought it would be a fun way to work with adjectives during this last week before Christmas!!!!
We started by watching an old (I use the term loosely) School House Rock adjective video on YouTube.  The kids really got into it.  After the video we brainstormed  adjectives for Santa's beard.  First Grade Wow used Santa's cherry nose.  I am already doing similes with Rudolph's nose so I went with his beard. 

Once we had a supply of adjectives to choose from we moved on to this ADORABLE Santa craft.  My kiddos oohed and aahed when I showed them my sample.  I knew it was going to be a hit.  You can get the patterns {here} for FREE because First Grade Wow is that awesome.  The kiddos then wrote adjectives describing Santa's beard
along the edge of the beard.  ADORBS!

Needs vs. Wants Santa Fun

This is our last week before Christmas break and my kiddos know it.  They are soooooo excited.  This week we are writing our letters to Santa so I decided a lesson in needs vs. wants was in order.  I found {this adorable activity from The First Grade Parade} and I just knew we had to do it.
I started the activity by opening my Santa sack and pulling out a variety of objects.  We talked about whether they were needs or wants.  After we did that we sorted a few clip art pictures onto our needs and wants Santa sacks.  The kiddos really enjoyed this.  Finally, I gave them 2 index cards to draw and label 1 need and 1 want.  
We reviewed all the needs and wants together before I turned them loose to fill out the graphic organizer.  You can download the graphic organizer {here} for FREE.  

The kids were finally ready to choose 1 need and 2 wants for their Santa letter.   We turned on some Pandora Christmas music and the kids got right to work.  They are very serious about their Santa letters.  I just love these.

We will write our final copy tomorrow with a craftivity from Amy Lemons.  I can't

Hour of Code Fun

My firsties had so much fun participating in the Hour of Code.  I used {this video}
 by one of the creators of minecraft as an introduction.  My kids were pretty impressed that I knew what Minecraft was.  Ha ha.  I also showed them my blog and we typed something together.  I then showed them the blog page translated into html code.  You could do that with any webpage by right clicking and choosing view source.  My kiddos were riveted and they were super excited to try coding.  I used the app, "Daisy the Dinosaur" as our first hands on experience.  We are lucky enough to have Apple TV so we could project  he app onto the Smartboard.  The kids were completely hooked at this point so I turned them loose and they LOVED it.  I'm sure coding will be part of our classroom throughout the year.  

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