Creepy Crawly Spiders... and FREEBIES

I actually despise spiders, well any insects to be honest, but I cant negelect my students of all the spider fun that is out there.  My students are always so engaged when learning about nonfiction topics.  Below are just some of the fun spiders activities we did this past week.  

We read a ton of spider books. 
We also did a close read of Little Miss Muffet.
The Little Miss Muffet close reading activities are part of our Close Reading with Nursery Rhymes unit. Click the picture below to check it out.
During our close reading we highlighted rhyming words.  
Defined new vocabulary words.

and answered comprehension questions..

We also visualized Little Miss Muffet and wrote the word that suggested her 
Common Core Standard RL.1.4.. (Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.) We visualized Little Miss Muffet and wrote the word that suggested her feelings. 
(This Freebie is at then end of the post)

We also read Little Miss Spider and discussed her character traits.. (freebie at end of post)
We also made these paintings of spiders and wrote some interesting facts about spiders.

You can get ALL the materials above, yes, even our Little Miss Muffet Close Reading Activity, by clicking the link below. =)

To BUY the complete close reading unit click HERE.

Pumpkins Galore!

With Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner…what's better than a unit on PUMPKINS!  Our class began this percolating pumpkin extravaganza by discussing their they preexisting schema.  We cut out little pumpkin seeds to put down our thoughts and added them to the little pumpkin.  I left cut-outs of seeds on the board for students to fill out as they begin to learn new things about pumpkins.  This anchor chart was taken from The First Grade Parade and it is just wonderful!

To build some background knowledge about pumpkins…we started with a close reading activity based on the story From Seed to Pumpkin.  This close reading activity took us three days and brought the students through an in-depth investigation with vocabulary, comprehension questions, finding and citing evidence, and sooooooo much more.  

Students focused on finding text evidence before writing down an answer to their comprehension questions.  We use post-it notes with the word "CLUE" to indicate where we found the answer within the text.  Students are also learning to restate their question as they answer it.  After the three day close read, students were able to find evidence, restate the question and use context clues to predict the meaning of difficult vocabulary words.

Our From Seed to Pumpkin unit can be found at our teacherspayteachers website!

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

There is nothing better than working with a group of teachers who collectively work to create the best environment possible for their students.  One of the reasons I love going to work, is because I have a team of teachers who ROCK! We plan together, create together, thrive together and I dedicate this video to the them! (since we will all be minions for Halloween!)

In the spirit of collaboration, for the 1st unit of study "Me, My Community, My World" we decided to end the unit with a continent study.  Each teacher took a continent and create lessons, activities and crafts for the students.  We had a rotating schedule for 7 days where each class would rotate from 1st grade teacher to 1st grade teacher.  Each day students would grab their "passport" and take a 45 minute journey to another continent.  Teachers decorated their classrooms, and had hands on activities for the incoming students to participate in.  From the moment the students walked down the 1st grade wing, they were transported across the world from continent to continent.

Each day student would get into the jeeps and we would take an adventure through the australian outback!

Each morning, for 7 days, students would grab their passports and travel the hallway to a different continent.

We also used this amazing resource for our Continent Study by Molly Lynch:

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