Sunday, June 10, 2012

To Loop or Not to Loop...

Well here it is on Sunday morning and I just opened my school email to find the answer to the question that I have been anxiously I going to loop with my class to second grade.  The answer was no.  I was very late in expressing to my principal that I would like to do this, mainly because I LOVE first grade, and my team.  Since discovering teaching blogs a few months back I have also spent an incredible amount of time purchasing units off of Teachers Pay Teachers, and making my own, so I am well stocked and organized to begin next year in first.  Mostly though, I love my team.  In eight years of teaching I have never worked with a group so amazing, and we truly make each other better teachers everyday.  So, the only thing that I am truly sad about is my incredible kiddos.  This class was very special, a true team in every sense of the word, and I am so very sad that I will not be able to spend another year watching them grow.  Especially my new speakers who came in without a word of English and are leaving meeting benchmarks that I never thought they would achieve in such a short time.  So, it was a bittersweet email.  Now, I can continue packing my room away in the most organized fashion possible so that all of the time and effort that I spent this year will be at my fingertips when I need it next year.  Fingers crossed that part of the magic was my Responsive Classroom background and ability to build relationships with my kids.  If that is the case, maybe next years group will be even better. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Three Little Pigs

This week began tales of three pigs and B.B. Wolf .  Being a short week with the Memorial Day holiday, and having been ahead already on Science and Social Studies, I stole some of that time and did two blocks each day for fairy tales.  We began with James Marshall's version of the story, and as usual our story element four square.  In the afternoon I read Steven Kellogg's version, and had the students complete their own four square.  I used it as a comprehension grade, and at this point in the year I am thankful for any graded pieces I can find! 

For Wednesday we began our writing piece, "What would you use to build your house if you were the pig?".  I started by reading The Three Little Pigs (An Architectural Tale).  We added to our element chart, and then we brainstormed different materials that would be smart to use to build a house, and some that might not make the best choices.  The kids then went on to write about what they would use to build and why.  They then created their own illustration of their house to go along with the writing.  Here is the prompt page that I created.
Here is what it looked like with our houses all assembled. 
Next, we read my favorite version by Jon Scieszka "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs".  We then voted on who thought the Wolf was guilty or innocent (overwhelmingly guilty!) and then became newspaper reporters as we completed an activity from a cute packet from Amanda Terhune of  You can purchase the packet here.  Fairy Tale Unit.
We filled in the who, what, when ,where, why and how boxes with the information we wanted to be part of our article.  The kids had some very creative ideas of where they thought we should say the crime was committed, but they really enjoyed it.  Here is the end result.  (We also did the WANTED poster for the pig bad wolf from her unit)
Friday was our final day on this great Tale, and we spent it reading The Three Little Tamales AND the Three Little Javelinas.  My ESOl kiddos loved these, and my class immediately connected the Tamales to The Runaway Tortilla which we read this winter with our Gingerbread Man unit (yeah!).  We ended the unit writing a letter to the Wolf from the one of the pigs and creating our own pigs to go along with it.  
It was a great week, and we had lots of fun with the Three Little Pigs.  Next week it is on to Goldilocks, and our last fairy tale before school ends.  :(