Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Week in Review
Well, it's been a little while since I posted last. Lot's of important things are happening, but most importantly...there are only 9 weeks left of school! For some people this is great news, but it actually makes me panic to think that there is so little time left. There are so many things I want to teach my kiddos before they move on to the next grade. Eeek! 

In other news, I was lucky enough to have a Donors Choose project funded, which enabled me to purchase 16 amazing activities from Teachers Pay Teachers! I love it! Now I just have to print, cut and laminate. I can’t wait to use all these super adorable activities with my kids. But first…this could take a while…

This week was our first full week back at school since Spring Break, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sometimes the kids come back ready and rearing to learn, and sometimes they don’t. My kids were rock stars! Even with their schedules thrown off, and some crazy schedule changes, they handled it perfectly.

First, we started reviewing money. The kids last assessment showed they still weren’t 100% on their coins and counting money. To try and make some real world connections, the first thing we did was talk about what money is used for, and why it was important. Then, we talked about why they needed to be able to count it, and what they would buy if they had all the money in the world.

So cute! He would buy a water park for $100,000. Love it :)
Then, we completed these “All About Money” activities and put them in their interactive notebooks. I actually did this activity with my 1st and 2nd graders.  After identifying the coins, we completed the next interactive notebook activity, “Making 10 cents.” The kids liked this activity, and so did I. It become apparent that even though they were able to count money for the test, applying that some skill in a real world capacity was really difficult for them. We are going to continue to practice that skill for the next 2-3 weeks.

Of course, I had to try and work in some of the super cute activities that I ordered form Teachers Pay Teachers….and dinosaurs. Because EVERYONE loves dinosaurs!

My first graders were working on Compare and Contrast, so I decided to make some leveled Venn Diagrams for my kids. Every time we work on a Venn Diagram or any graphic organizer, the kids always need lines to write on. It seems to really irritate them that there are not any lines, and their words are not straight. So, I went ahead an made sure I created Venn Diagrams with lines! To help level the Venn Diagrams I created some with lines and titles, and some without. Then I colored pictures after printing to help the kids really notice the details when comparing and contrasting. The last step to help some students who have difficult time recalling vocabulary words, was I created word cards for the kids. This allowed some of the students working at a higher level to work without the cards, and those working at a lower level to use the cards to help them compare and contrast more independently. Surprisingly, the kids LOVED it! 
This graphic organizer had color, lines, and titles. You can grab a free copy here!
The kids looked at the pictures and then told each other the word they were comparing and contrasting out loud, and then worked together the find the correct word card, and put it in the correct part of the graphic organizer. For a lower reading level, the kids could work together to read the cards and then write or glue the words in the organizer.
I loved seeing them having fun, and being independent! 

Stay tuned for some more super cute dinosaur activities…