It’s been a great first week! 🙂 We have had oodles of Pirate-y fun! The children are absolutely wonderful and I am thrilled to be working with such a great group! 🙂
Here are our pirate glyphs! They made them almost entirely by themselves! 🙂 I think they came out pretty cute! 🙂
For the first week, we worked on lots of habits and procedures. I used a combination of Deanna Jump’s Pirate Math and Literacy Fun Unit for my actual content…along with some other activities from random places online as well. Probably my favorite part of the week were the lessons I did on character building.
Erica Bohrer–one of my TPT faves– suggests using ‘Words Are Not For Hurting’ to create a class book.
The students really liked talking about all of the good things that words were used for. Since it was the first week, I thought I’d scaffold the learning by scribing the students’ thoughts. Surprisingly enough, many of them wanted to write their own words and use inventive spelling. I was pretty pleased with our first book!
Along these same lines…I decided to create a short three day lesson on a book I’ve read to my students almost every year. Yelly Kelly is a book about a boy named Kelly who yells about everything…no matter how big or how small. It’s a modern take on the boy who cried wolf. It’s a great story for little ones because it really helps students to see that everything can not always be about them. In my class, I read the book interactively with ‘Tumblebooks’. Now, if you don’t know about Tumblebooks, lots of libraries have them for free. You just have to search for ‘free tumble books’ and you’ll find them. Most of the books have an interactive comprehension game and quiz. Paying subscribers can even get formal lesson plans to go with the books.
Click on the cover of the book to check it out on Tumblebooks!
My lesson for Yelly Kelly looked something like this:
Day 1: Read the story for fun. Read it again and stop to ask comprehension questions.
For example: Where in the text does it say why Kelly yelled all the time?
Why does Father tell the family that they are not to answer Kelly when he yells? What clues in the text helped you to think of this answer?
Create an anchor chart that has the moral/theme of the story. ‘Maybe noise isn’t very important if it happens all the time.’ Discuss with the students where they can find the moral or lesson in the text.
Day 2: Read the story again. Ask higher order questions about specific sections of the book that relate to the problem and solution. Point out parts of the text that prove student answers. Ask them to use the text…or the illustrations to support their reasoning.
Day 3: Complete a graphic organizer that helps the students tie their learning together. Write down their thoughts on what they learned from the story on the anchor chart you created on the first day. Have them discuss their thoughts with a partner.
It was a fun character building lesson. I will post a few pictures of the students working through this as soon as I can. 🙂
I have the lessons from Yelly Kelly along with a few others in this pack that I posted on TPT! 🙂 You can find it HERE.
This week we had what our first grade team calls Curriculum Night. We had all the parents meet in the cafeteria for the first ten minutes so that our principal could take care of some housekeeping issues, and then they came to our classrooms to visit with us and learn more about our policies and procedures for the classroom.
I think my parents are pretty stoked about my pirate theme. There were a few times that I even had them laughing. My first grade parents are just the cutest! They took copious notes and asked great questions! With that kind of diligence…I am sure we are off to a great start to the school year! 🙂
I got with one of the girls on my team to compile some materials for the curriculum night packet for the parents. This is what we included…
1. End of the Year Awards list–Now, you’d think that wouldn’t be important at the first part of the year, but at our school, awards are a huge deal. Some of them are cumulative from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade. We set high goals for the kids and they really respond! 🙂
2.) Volunteer Information Sheet – This was just to get an idea of what parents were interested in doing with the children. It also gave us the name of folks willing to volunteer so that we could send their names to the office for pre-approval.
3.) Why 20 minutes of reading a day is important. – Here’s a great video that you can share with your parents! It really does the ‘math’ on why kids need to be reading 20 minutes per day!
4.) How to help your student with reading- Many parents want to know how to help their students with reading at home. The most natural thing to say when student struggles to read something is…sound it out.
Here are two free resources that you can download from TPT to use with students who are in primary or intermediate! 🙂 Enjoy! 🙂