Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Celebrating Ruby Bridges with a little giveaway!

Yesterday we observed Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday and classrooms are buzzing this week with "I Have A Dream" sentiments.  I absolutely love having conversations with my little first graders about diversity and how we can change the world...one small step at a time.

I most definitely want to keep the momentum going this month with a strong focus on fairness, equality, and courage so I created a new unit on another heartfelt hero that our kids can definitely appreciate!

I grew up with Ruby Bridges as my role model.
I still get butterflies when I hear her name mentioned in conversations.  Meeting her in person is on my bucket list.
I want to give my first graders a better understanding of Ruby and her historical significance and this little unit is definitely going to help me do that.

Before we read about Ruby, we will ask a few questions-
We will also brainstorm and infer-
Then we will follow our daily close reading routine throughout the remainder of the week-

Sample Vocabulary Poster from the unit: 
Ruby had a nickname: "Ruby the Brave!"
I plan on having the kids use that topic to write about their new learning.
I also want to use our inferring lesson on "building bridges" to springboard another writing session.  I thought this image was awesome to spotlight our message on diversity! 
Let's have a giveaway!

Who is your hero?

Leave your comment & email below and 
I will pick a few winners later this week!

 Can't wait?  Click on the image above to purchase my unit from my TPT store.

Here's to teachers ALWAYS making a difference!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Inferring: the First Grade Way! And a Post-Peek at My Week for Dec. 15

Happy New Year Friends!
Two days into back-to-school mode and already a two hour delay due to Snow.  Brrrrrrr.  On top of that, I completely forgot to upload these pics from before Christmas break and I absolutely must share them with you!  So.... let's begin with a reading strategy that took us to all kinds of fabulous fun that week before break!
We are DIGGING DEEP and becoming experts on inferring!  Iggy, our INFERRING Iguana went out and bought two special inferring gifts for us to try!
This first unit-
Winter Inferences - Christmas Reading Packet 
 was absolutely awesome!
 We used a TON of task cards from the unit and performed a MUSEUM WALK to make inferences about the photos at each station.   Partners paired up and shared their inferences with each other.

The next day, we had this special delivery from our Olaf, our Elf.
Inference Activity: The ELF Files - Christmas
 We used our focus wall to anchor the task cards and fact sheets about each character.

Then, we took out our Elf Reports and tried to make some good inferences on which list belonged to each elf.

The kids were going back and forth, checking their understanding,
and making changes to their inferences as new information was provided.  We had a blast and I think the this lesson was hit!
and a snowball fight with our Critters from the Reading Cafe!
Look what OLAF brought us to read!!!
And for behavior-

On the last day before break, I continued one of my teaching traditions and read "The Night Before Christmas" to the kids.
Then we wrote in our journals what we would do if Santa got stuck in our chimney!  What a HOOT!!!

Our  swirl-painted ornaments were a HUGE success!
The kids and I really had a blast making these and this is another tradition I plan to for years to come!

If you didn't see this freebie before, you can grab it here, or click on the image below.  We make these cards for our parents, family, friends, and teaching staff.


We also continued our tradition of Reindeer GIFT BAGS to take home all the presents we made!  

I also have a sweet tradition of drafting a Christmas letter to the kids.
I put together quite an ensemble of presents for the students this year.  Everyone was getting Junie B. Jones (our favorite!)
A second book choice between Spider-Man, Captain America,
Minecraft, OR Frozen!
Then each student received a snowman sticker sheet,
And a HUGE poster of Frozen....
Or, Ninja Turtles!
My silly way of wrapping the gifts is easy actually!
I tell the kids I left the wrapping paper out over night and our ELF got a hold of everything and wrapped the gifts himself. 
This is what it looked like-
That's right!  He wrapped across the entire counter!
WINK! Wink!  On purpose of course, so that we could unwrap it fast and get our assembly line going to grab those great gifts!
The KIDS were in heaven, which made me so happy!
Then, this lucky teacher got some FABULOUS gifts herself!
A brand-new piece of wall art-
TONS of HBC products which I use all the time-
Warm fuzzies to stay warm,
TPT gift certificates!!!!!
What teacher doesn't LOVE Scented Markers and Sharpies!!!
On top of that, a new Bissell sweeper for our classroom!
This awesome book-
and enough chocolate to last me until next Christmas!
We ended our very special day with a trip on the Polar Express!
Look at these happy faces!
Hope you enjoyed this December FLASHBACK!
May you have a very blessed NEW YEAR!

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