Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Wrapping up December

Holiday hecticness got me like whoa in December, so another two-fer update!

Kindergarten continued the gingerbread theme. I was truly amazed at how many versions of this story exist! We read Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Boy and used a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the 3 versions of the story that we read. They really loved these stories. I'll definitely stick with this as a theme next year, but maybe come up with some more creative extension activities.

My vision for 1st grade was to have them use their newly honed nonfiction skills to help me create a fact wall about winter. We read Secret Life of a Snowflake and Snowflake Bentley aloud and I pulled all the winter nonfiction books we had in the library. I found some cute outlines of snowflakes and snowmen, and hoped they would use the winter books to write a fact and decorate their shape. Most of them just wanted to I went with it. Finished product below.

"Snow is..." Window Decor
2nd grade finished up genres with a rousing game of Genre Jeopardy! which went well - not sure what it is about this game, but it is typically a crowd pleaser. More importantly, they all showed that they have been paying attention over the last few weeks and nailed the questions! The last week before break, I reprised my "fill-in-the-blank" story activity from October. It was actually kind of difficult to find interesting one-page stories, so I adapted Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells, and Jingle Bell Rock instead. No complaints from these guys.

3rd grade finished up our folktale research chart and read one of my favorite legends, Greyling by Jane Yolen. The week before break, we read a multi-traditional story, Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco and also did the fill-in-the-blank song activities.

4th grade did a final Author's Purpose activity - using the newspaper to find examples of Persuasive, Informative and Entertaining writing. Overall, I liked this activity but only one of the 6 groups really pulled their poster together like I had envisioned. How I organized the groups and introduce the activity will definitely change for next year - but I love that I have an example to share - I think that will help a lot. The week before vacation we read The Marvelous Thing that Came from a Spring and did some research into other accidental inventions. This was a great book that the kids really liked, but the activity fell a little flat. 

Author's Purpose Newspaper Activity
5th grade focused on research and citations. In preparation for their upcoming Explorer unit in Social Studies, we reviewed what belongs in a citation for both a book and a website, and they continued their research for their Passion Projects. It has been interesting to figure out what they know from previous years - I started off asking for information about Citations and they looked at me with complete blank stares. Once I said Bibliography, I got flickers of recognition! 

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