Yoda Directed Draw Instructions

Boy oh Boy!  I have gotten a ton of questions about our Yoda Directed Draw.  I took some photos so you could see the steps I went through with the kiddos.  I hope this helps!  Thanks for all the amazing feedback.

Star Wars Day Yoda Directed Draw

Star Wars Legos

At my current rate of blogging I may have all my Star Wars posts up before next Star Wars Day- MAYBE!  I won't make any promises.  But... these ideas could be used at any time of the year not just Star Wars Day.  You could even use these at a Lego themed birthday party!!  I will say that this was definitely one of my favorite activities during Star Wars Day.  I gave each group of 3-4 kids a baggie containing a set of legos that I had taken out of a polybag.  Each group got the exact same set of legos, but nobody got the directions or a chance to see the polybag they came in.

I told the students that it was their mission to create a droid using ALL the legos in the baggie.  All the kids went to TOWN.  They loved it.  I will also add that each student in the group was actively participating.   Some students were thinking up ideas, others were building, some were separating-- they were all busy and working cooperatively.  LOVE THAT!

Star Wars Day Legos
Once all the droids had been completed, each group shared their droid with the class and explained what their droid could do and how they came up with their ideas.  Everyone was riveted to see all the different ideas that came out of the same set of legos.  When all the droids had been shared I showed them the polybag picture and they all felt that their droids were WAY better.  AWESOMENESS!

Oh so much fun with 'oo'

Last week our story was, "Dot and Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery"  and our phonics skill was 'oo' as in spoon.  I saw a cute spoon anchor chart on Pinterest.  The teacher had written all the words on spoons.  I thought that would be fun and I love to have my kiddos get up and move during our lessons.  So................  I went to Target to get 100 plastic spoons.  I probably didn't actually need 100, but in my head at that moment I couldn't accept anything less than a hundred.   I also made an amazing find during my spoon bonanza at Target, because, well, duh, it's Target.  As I was walking up to check out I passed these on SALE!
I have eyed these for quite awhile.  They are awesome.  But, I could never think of a way to actually use them.  I couldn't buy something for the sheer awesome factor alone.  Heavens!  I stood there gazing at these and holding my million spoons trying to conjure up a way for these spoons to interact with the BIG post it notes.  Then it hit me!  My kiddos could make their own spoon anchor charts.  BAM!  I had a reason to buy these, a real honest to goodness reason, a reason that would help to shape the minds of young children.  I had no reason NOT to buy them now.   I took them home and wrote 'oo' words on the spoons.  Some of the words rhymed with spoon and some of the words rhymed with foot.  Yes, I had many spoons with duplicates because honestly it was hard to come up with 100 different words.   When I got to school I spread all 100 spoons around my room.  Of course, the kids noticed immediately when they came in and I told them they would have to wait.  They could barely contain themselves trying to figure out why spoons were scattered all over the room.  Shockingly 100 spoons do cover more area than one would expect.  When one little guy noticed that the spoons had writing on them it escalated into a full scale guessing session.  I told them I 'guess' I couldn't make them wait to play my game any longer.  We gathered at the carpet and I told them that we would be playing a new game that I had just made up in my thinker.  But, first I wanted them to watch a couple of videos to help them play the game.  At this point I showed a couple of the 'oo' videos from Electric Company on Youtube.  We reviewed the sounds that 'oo' could make and then I knew they were "ready" for my game.  The students went back to their tables and they numbered off.   I told them that when I said "Go!"  person #1 would run (safely) and grab any spoon.  As soon as person #1 got back #2 could set out to pick up a spoon.  They continued working through everyone in their table group and then they started with #1 again.  It is important to note that the spoons were spread out around the room so students weren't all running in one direction.  When all the spoons had been collected I gave each group 2 cups and asked them to sort the spoons by the sound the 'oo' made in the word.  This was a bit challenging and a great exercise to differentiate the sounds.

Once we had reviewed each group's sorted spoons, I tasked them with making a "Spoon" poster for their words that had the same 'oo' sound as in spoon.  This is where those BIG post it notes made their appearance.  As expected the kids thought it was amazing that they had big sticky post it notes.  AMAZING!

And then the best part-- well, the best part to me, I picked up each post it note and stuck it to the bulletin board.  No staples needed.  YES!  Quick, Easy and made a great display for the kids to refer back to during the week.

Compare and Contrast

This week one of our reading skills for, "Dot and Jabber" is to compare and contrast.  We have touched on this skill throughout the year.  I was ready for my kiddos to hit it home.  So, we went with life size Venn diagrams via hula hoops.  I'm clearly a big believer that the bigger you go the better they'll learn it.  I keep seeing this theme as I look back at previous posts.  Well, whatever works right?  So I gathered the children around our Venn diagram and randomly chose 2 students with my handy dandy stick picker app (if you don't have that app you must).  Each student stood in one of the hoops and the class called out differences between the students.  I wrote these down on sticky notes and planned to lay them on the ground around the students.  But... when I handed the stickies to Miss K she started sticking them to her and I thought BRILLIANT!!  How cute is that and it really provides a much better visual.   I would say that they definitely have this concept down.

Star Wars Directed Draw

I have become rather passionate about incorporating directed draws into my lessons when I can.  I thought Star Wars day would be a great opportunity for a directed draw.  But..............  I could not find any on TpT or from a Google search.  There was nothing out there, which really surprised me.  So... I thought.... I'll make one myself.  Which is terrifying.  I have said it before and I will say it again.  Art + Me = Disaster.  Plus, art with first graders would elicit honest commentary that I wasn't sure I could handle.  I decided I would jump in and if this part of the day went badly the kiddos would forget all about it in in their Yoda Soda haze and I could just quietly dispose of the evidence.  Guess what?  They turned out great.  I couldn't be prouder of these kids.   Yes, these yodas may resemble Shrek or The Grinch.  But, who cares?  We love them and that is all that matters.  What do you think?

Star Wars Science

I'm sure you've been on the edge of your seat waiting to see another activity from Star Wars Day.  Well, I will not disappoint (if the bar has not been set too high).  Ha Ha.  Please keep in mind this was an entire day of Star Wars related activities.  If you are interested in implementing The Force into your classroom you may want to check out my previous posts.  This post is on the science activity that we did.  I searched high and low for Star Wars science.  There were lots of fun ones on TpT, but for some reason I kept going back to one I had seen years before when creating a Star Wars birthday party for my son.  I really loved it and decided to implement it in a classroom setting and it went marvelously.  Except for one thing.......... the kids had no reference to Han Solo being frozen in carbonite.  Excuse me-what the what??  I assumed (yes, I know) that the kiddos had a least a vague recollection of that epic scene.  Uh-NO!  It is all about The Force Awakens now and I had to do a little back peddling.  Thank goodness I found a snippet of the scene recreated with Star Wars legos and we watched that.  Once my students had a frame of reference we were ready to begin.  How would we get Han Solo out of the carbonite?  The kids had lots of great ideas and we jotted them all down.  Then... I gave everyone their own Han in carbonite.  They could not believe what was happening.  I just love this age, everything is so amazing!!  I think they actually cheered.  Hilarious.  They took this task super duper seriously.  Han needed to be freed immediately and this was just the crew to do it.  Each table got a cup of vinegar and they began dripping the vinegar onto the frozen Han.  We used the neon straws as droppers and again the crowd went wild.  I really had no idea that neon straws would evoke this kind of excitement.  When Han started to bubble it was complete CRAZY town (in a good way).  This was definitely a hit and an activity I will definitely do again.  You can check out the whole post from the originator {here}.
Star Wars Day Science

Star Wars Math

As I mentioned in earlier posts- May the Fourth was a celebration of EPIC proportions at my school.  The whole school was in the Star Wars spirit and my little classroom was brimming with Star Wars learning.  I remember LOVING Star Wars as a kid and playing a lot of Star Wars at recess.  I wanted my firsties to experience the same magic for at least one day.  I was hard pressed to find Star Wars learning activities and ones that actually were geared for the younger set.  So... I decided to make my own and that task remained on my to do list FOR WEEKS.  Then.... the magic happened during a trip to Target.  Honestly, isn't that where all the teacher magic happens?  I spotted... wait for it... STAR WARS CEREAL!!!!!!!  Are you kidding me?  I had no idea it even existed.  I immediately thought of all the Lucky Charms sorting and Valentine heart sorting activities I have done through the years and I just knew that my kiddos needed to sort Star Wars themed marshmallows.  I came home and made sorting mats for "gathering data" and recording sheets that allowed them to analyze their data--very official, we are.  The kids absolutely had a blast.
Star Wars Day Math

Final Syllable -le

Final syllable -le can be so hard to teach and to be honest I kinda dread those lessons.  Some kids are born with a gene that makes them spell words -el  No Matter What!!  It can be so frustrating for them and ME.  When I saw the lesson in my first grade teacher manual I was very apprehensive to say the least!  Are you kidding me??  It is hard enough for second graders I couldn't imagine first graders.   I decided to tackle this lesson head on.  I took the bull by the horns.  I was not going to let this concept defeat me or my kiddos.  And you know what?  It went really well.  Shockingly well.   After watching a couple of youtube videos on the concept and making an anchor chart together I had my kiddos play this game I found {here} for FREE!  My class loved it.  They had to read the word they landed on and write the word using the doodlebuddy app on the ipad.   If you are going to be teaching this skill, I highly recommend trying out this fun game.

Star Wars Day

Our class had so much fun on May the Fourth.  Our school had a Star Wars spirit day and most of the students were representing Star Wars in one way or another.  Our whole school looked AMAZING.  Now that I'm writing this, it has just occurred to me that we should have had a school photo taken.  Dang!  This may have been my favorite spirit day by far (and we have awesome spirit days).  Our classroom tasks were all Star Wars related for the day and we were BUSY!! One way we marked this special day was to make Yoda Soda.  You do need to channel "The Force" if you make Yoda Soda, it's the force that makes it so yummy.  In addition to the force you will need rainbow sherbet, sprite and neon straws.  The kids went nannas for the neon straws too.  That was completely a fluke that I used those, but they were a hit so if you make Yoda Soda in your classroom or at home go with the neon straws.  
Star Wars Day

Shark Directed Drawing

I am loving directed drawing activities with my firsties.  I'm a big believer that a child's art should be a reflection of them and that made me a little leery of directed drawing in the past.  That, and I am not a great artist.  But...  Holy Moly Batman, kids can be creative with anything.  Directed drawings just give them a direction and the rest is all them, baby!  I just love their sharks that we did during SHARK WEEK 2016.

Shark Week!

My kiddos had such a great time learning about sharks.  We used Amy Lemons and Katie King's May Rooted in Reading.  The unit is geared for second grade, but I was able to use many ideas for my firsties and will do the rest next year because I am looping up with my class and getting back to second grade.  Win! Win!  We started out our week with this anchor chart.  The kids wrote one thing they thought they knew about sharks on the purple sticky notes.  We read through all the shark facts as we put them on our anchor chart.  The kids really got a kick out of this.  Next, we used the blue sticky notes to write down 1 thing they wanted to learn about sharks.  This was very insightful.  One thing is true, kids LOVE sharks!!

Reading Street Decodables Unit 5

Thank you so much for all the wonderful feedback on the decodables reader activities.  I just finished Unit 5 and they are posted in my TpT store for free!! 

Decodable Readers for 'Tippy-Toe Chick, Go!'

I just finished up a new set of decodable readers for "Tippy-Toe Chick, Go!"  You can grab them for FREE {here}.  I like to use this in a variety of ways to practice the phonics and comprehension skills for the story.

First Grade and Inferring! Yikes!!

Is it just me, or is inferring a REALLY difficult skill for littles to grasp?  I am always looking for fun ways to teach this skill.  I started following Jessica Travis on IG (Wild About Firsties) and I saw her post about 'Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar.'  I fell in love with it.  Firsties love to be detectives.  They already fancy themselves knowers of everything.   So I knew this activity
 would be a hit. If you are looking for some fun inferring activities you can check out Jessica's activity {here}.
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