Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Techy Teacher Tuesday Schedule a Facebook Status

I am linking up with Katie from Queen of the First Grade Jungle for Techy Teacher Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Opinion Writing & Day 13/14 Early!

Thank you for all the wonderfully sweet comments on the My Favorite Ice Cream Opinion writing. It was a hit with my class, and you as well! 
Here is how I finished up the writing lesson. The students transferred their reasons to a final draft. Then we went back for some final revisions.  I modeled creating a final draft for them. I made purposeful errors for them to help me correct. 
The students then went back and made their final revisions. I have to say, the whole lesson was one of the most engaging writing lessons I have ever taught. I really felt like they got it! 
 Here is the boring and basic anchor chart I made. (It needs work!) =)
 This week we started on the Will You Be My Valentine? opinion writing. I started off the lesson reading If You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant. The boy tells several characters what he will do if he is their Valentine. After reading the story, we talked about good character traits. These are the traits my students came up with for the boy. 
I then proceeded the lesson (over the past three days) in the same manor as the ice cream lesson.
We began with an opinion statement. The next day, they wrote their three reasons why they would make a good Valentine. 
 "because I am a fast runner. I am a smart boy. I will get you candy." This boy had a little trouble starting off, but then I think he got it! 
"I love my friends. I would take you to the woods. (His favorite place to be.) I would take your phone number." (I guess he knows something about dating! LOL) 
Today we finished up with restating our opinion and creating a final draft. (I forgot to take pictures!) Tomorrow, they will make revisions and share with the class. 
You can find this activity here
Moving onto other news...
Here are the links to Days 13 & 14. I hope you have enjoyed our blog hop and all the great freebies! I hope it saved you some time in your planning. We all need all the help we can get with finding extra time. =) Thanks for joining us...and stay tuned! We have some exciting give aways and teaching tools planned in the next few weeks! Make sure you become a "follower" of our blogs and Facebook! 
Head to Teacher's Toolkit for Day 13...
And My Primary Paradise for Day 14...

Thanks to Mel for the great graphics for our hop! 

Frog Spot Blog From the Pond

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Common Core Opinion Writing

Last week, I moved into opinion writing with my students. The first day, I read Treasures of the Heart by Alice Ann Miller. If you are not familiar with it, it is about a boy who keeps his "treasures" under his bed. His collection of treasures include broken toys, a rubber band, and many other odd things. For each treasure, a story is implied by the boy who is trying to convince his mom not to clean up his treasures. 
After reading, we discussed why the boy would keep such items. Then I led into opinions. We discussed that an opinion is how you feel about something. After modeling an opinion, I had the students turn and talk to their partners, giving their opinions on their favorite ice cream.
Because this was our first go at opinion writing, I modeled each step. I also planned the lesson over the course of the week. My students still need a lot of modeling and practice, in small steps. (I have many ELL students.)
I began with an opinion statement. After my modeling, the students went off to write.
 The next two days, we reviewed what an opinion was. Then we began to discuss reasons. Again, I used the turn and talk partners for the students to state their first opinion, after I modeled mine. Then they wrote their first reason. We repeated this process the next day for the next two reasons. 
This is the writing sheet used for their reasons. 
(I like it because it tastes good. I put sprinkles with the vanilla. I like it because it tastes super good.) I was thrilled with this student because the word order is coming more naturally for her now!
(I think it is good for me. I like it because it is wonderful. I like it because a freezing ice cream.)
I got this child in late November and she knew very little. She was still stringing letters. 

The final part was to restate the opinion. The conclusion part is very difficult for my students. They have not yet grasped why they need to restate what has already been said. (Please tell me I'm not the only teacher with this problem!) Again, many used my wording. 
 These are the final drafts the students made.
Can you read his above? (My favorite ice cream is vanilla with M & Ms. It gave me brain freeze. It was my favorite. The best ice cream is vanilla with M & Ms.) This student was also only stringing letters back in August. He has come such a long way! 
(My favorite ice cream is chocolate. I think it is good for me, for my mouth. I like it because the sugar is good. The very best ice cream is chocolate.) 
(I think mint ice cream is good. Yummy! I like it because it has a flavor. It gives me finger freeze. The very best ice cream is mint.) 
Here is the final bulletin board. 
 I was really pleased with their work, for their first try. 
You can check out the writing packet here
This week we are working on why someone should be your Valentine.
You can check this one out here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Manic Monday Telling Time

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
I am revisiting an old post today! =) 
A few weeks ago, we began our unit on time. 
I am leading into the unit reading A Second is a Hiccup by Hazel Hutchins. I love this cute and catchy rhyming story about the concepts of time.

We are going to be doing a bunch of activities from Step Into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons' It's About Time unit. I love her products, and more importantly, my kids do too! There are lots of lessons breaking down the concept of time.
Between her lessons and my mini-lessons, the math is covered!

I have been trying to be more thematic-like in my planning, so I am pulling in some reading and writing.
I'll be reading The Grouchy Lady Bug by Eric Carle.

I made this quick little planning map and writing paper to tie into the story. I thought it needed a cute ladybug to go with it! Click here!

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