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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Flashback...Spiders and Bats

Hi friends! It's a beautiful day here, so I am having a flashback post today! 
And did you hear the news? TPT has reached 100,000 Facebook fans and is throwing a flash sale. To join in on the celebration, I have put my whole store on sale for an additional 20% off! Clear those wishlists while you can, the sale ends Monday night at midnight. 

Spiders, spiders, and more spiders! While I love teaching about spiders, I am burnout on them this year.  One week of plans turned into two weeks since my kids were loving learning all about spiders!
We started out with a reading of The Spider and The Fly by . My kids always love this book. We created a story map together. 
Then I led into informational text about spiders. We began with our wonderings. Each student was sent off to record 2 things they wondered about spiders. We charted our wonderings.
At the end of the two weeks, the students wrote what they learned. We added this to our anchor chart.
This was our first attempt at wondering and learning. It really gave me a glimpse of where my students' thinking was and where we need some guiding. 

We read a bunch of books on spiders and viewed some videos. They just could not get enough! 
I had to bring the spiders into math. Since we had been working on part-part-whole (and I failed to find enough plastic spiders to use as manipulatives), I had the students cut and color this cute little spider to use. The first two days, the students used them with mats.
On the third day, they had to create their own addition sentences using dice and the spiders. 

I also introduced graphing with the spider theme.
We compared narrative text and informational text. I was really surprised at the comparisons my students were able to make, all on their own!
As always, we had to complete a Can-Have-Are organizer. 
 I love that while the students were able to use the group chart for information, several kids wrote about things they learned that really stuck with them. Of course, I don't have a picture of those ones! 
The students took all of their learning and compiled it into a written piece. 

It has definitely been a webbed out theme on spiders! You can grab some freebies I created last year here. Or you can check out the revised unit here

Now we are Going Batty!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Main Idea

Last week, we spent a lot of time on Main Idea. My class needed some practice with sorting and classifying before I could begin to introduce the main idea.

So I began by placing several objects in a bag. I took the items out one by one and asked my students to think about how the items went together. The first bag were tools for cleaning your teeth. Then we discussed how they went together and what their purpose was. I then introduced the term main topic. 
I had the students break into groups and gave them pictures of other items. Each group discussed and came up with a main topic. 
The next day, I reviewed the term main topic and introduced the main idea. (Pardon the yellow scribble on the bottom. I had a toddler coloring during a parent conference.)
I read a book about frogs to the class. We discussed that the book was about frogs (main topic). Then we talked about what the author wanted us to learn, the life cycle of the frog, (main idea). I modeled placing the information on the circle map. Students copied the main topic and main idea onto their circle maps.
The following day, I introduced details. I drew the details onto a circle map. The students drew 4 details from the book on the main idea circle map.
The students labeled or wrote sentences to explain their detail drawings. I used partners to have them explain the main topic, maid idea, and details. 
On Thursday, I placed one set of pictures in the pocket chart. Students brainstormed the main topic. Then they created a main idea. Students wrote their responses on a new circle map. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture!)
For my students who needed more assistance with main idea, they glued pictures of the details on the circle map.

The following week began with a review of main topic and main idea. I placed a main topic and main idea card in the pocket chart. The students discussed which was the main topic and main idea. (Details were added later in the week.)
Then I gave the students a main topic and a main idea. They had to discuss and decide which was which. I modeled for them how to complete the main idea web.
The students worked in groups to complete their webs. 

The students drew 4 details to match the main idea on the main idea web. 
The next day, the students labeled or wrote sentences to explain their detail drawings. I used partners to have them explain the main topic, maid idea, and details. 
For the final activity of the week, I modeled for students how to sort the main topic, main idea, and details into an organized manor. Students worked in pairs to sort and label their activity. 
You can find all sorts of main idea goodness in my newest packet

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