After the gifts have been opened, the turkey has been enjoyed, the dishes are cleared and you're thinking, "What can we do before dessert?" Well, I'll tell you what you can do! You can listen to the Christmas News Report from the kids in Room 208! I'm sure you'll agree they did a fantastic job! Here's Part 1:
And be sure to check out your Elf-Name on the chart below! For the entire month of December, we've had fun with these really odd gifts I found online. I give the kids clues and they buzz with their neighbours about what the mystery gift might be. It's all part of Morning Message and I decided to record it today to share with you. I'd also like to publicly apologize to Becker for forgetting his name. I think I have Christmas fever. I also tried to open my classroom this morning with my house key.
A reminder to the boys and girls that tonight's Practice Page must include a very detailed caption. Your caption needs to identify the who, what, where, when and why of the illustration. Don't worry about the "how". I know we had talked about that in class, but let's leave it out for now.
It's such a busy time of year isn't it? I find 8:00 pm rolls around and I remember...oh ya, I forgot to blog! Can someone please share their secrets for how they manage to get it all done? Even in the classroom, we have so much on the go right now that if I don't write it down, it's not happening!
Here's our plan for this week in Room 208:
we're finishing up our Mrs. Claus procedural writing
we're starting a new file folder activity in Math (it's all about attributes)
we're going to record our News Report
we're finishing up our Christmas craft
we have our party on Thursday
we'll have a Practice Page on Tuesday, but not Thursday
the POTW test will be on Thursday this week
we're going to start (and it's okay if we don't finish it before the break) an adorable polar bear directed drawing
we're going to read as many Christmas stories as we can
we'll enjoy DEAR time by the "fireside" (thank you youtube)
Whew! That's quite a list! And since it's not a wedding that we're planning here, it's okay if this doesn't all get done in time for Friday's dismissal. My focus is on getting those special crafts wrapped and home to you, but other than that, it's a-okay if we still have Christmas work to finish when we return in January. At least, that's what I keep telling myself (wink).
Maybe it was the venti-Starbucks this morning, I don't know, but when I got to school this morning, I was ready.to.go. My brother likes to tease me that I get up so early in the morning, I break bones and they have enough time to heal before most (normal) people wake up. It's this running joke that won't go away, and it's really funny when he says it because he sounds like some kind of old-school southern preacher when he gets to the "heal" part. By the time I got to school this morning, I had ran 5k, baked buns (I giggle whenever I say this word), done my groceries at Walmart and sewn a button on Mr. M's shirt. Why can't every morning be this productive! Oh,and for some reason, a trip to Starbucks for the XL coffee seemed like a good idea. By 8:30, I was all "Look out kids, you don't know what you're in for!" We covered three days worth of material today, I'm sure. In fact, we had so much to do, I set the timer on my laptop/Smartboard and made a giant to-do list. The kids thought it was hysterical because I was all, "There's no time for two syllable words!" and "Can you eat your snack while doing Math and painting your craft? Can you? Can you?"
The funny thing is, we got it all done. Well, just about, but that's okay, we got the big stuff done and saved the funnest item until tomorrow.
I really wanted to blog tonight about our procedural writing activity (What does Mrs. Claus do on Christmas Eve?) but today was just so funny that I wanted to let you in on it. Come back tomorrow for all the news about this awesome writing activity we're doing. It's really great! It's now 7:30-ish and this girl is ready for bed! That coffee wore off a loooong time ago and since we were all so productive today, I think I'll hit the sack early. Who knows what the kids are in for tomorrow! LOL! We also had this fun moment where we finished memorizing our counting by 7s song!
One more thing! We're having a Spirit Day on Friday and the kids and staff are invited to wear red and green or any other Christmas duds they have! I'd love for my entire class to participate in this!
We started our Christmas craft today! Thank you so much to my colleague and friend, Miss Penwarden for sharing this adorable craft with us!
Each child will create a canvas of snowmen to reflect their family members.
While some children were painting, others were busy working with Christmas stencils on the carpet and enjoying the crackling "fire". It was such a cozy and fun afternoon...and it was unbeeee-lievably silent!
For the next three or so weeks, the boys and girls will receive a non-fiction article of the week to read at night. This week's article is all about our Friday lunch show, Full House. Our test on Friday will be all about the article and how the features of the text help readers to find information. The test will look a little different than what students have become used to. The focus is less on word study and more on content and the text format. In addition to learning new information and exploring a different type of text, the non-fiction texts will assist the students in developing their reading fluency. Our goal is to read aloud so that our reading sounds like natural speech. Another goal of this focus on non-fiction reading is for students to make text-to-world connections to age-appropriate materials. When we focus on teaching children how to read non-fiction or informational texts, we help them develop life-long skills. These are skills that help them not only understand the information being presented, but how to use text features to help find exactly what their looking for. Over the coming weeks, we'll revisit our talks about the text features of non-fiction writing:
The kids are outside for lunch as we speak and my coffee from this morning is stone cold. Someone needs to talk to Tim's about a mobile coffee stop. I'm loving this new notebook I picked up over the weekend at Homesense. It's pretty and sparkly and kinda looks like it came from Tiffany's and it's making me feel oh so productive. I love a good list and even more, I love checking things off my list.
This morning and then again after lunch, we're going to "make things happen" in Social Studies. We're talking about the Hudson Bay Lowlands and we're going to do some investigative work with our elbow partners. Students will receive an article with some questions that are fairly tight in terms of their responses. As we progress through our Social Studies work this year, the questions will become more open-ended and students will do more of their own investigations.
Right now, our focus is on how to find answers and that needs to be directly taught. How do we use non-fiction text features and search engines to assist us: that's the focus right now.
We've been talking a lot about collaboration and self-regulation lately, so I thought I would have my students do a little self-assessing at the end of all this. Nowadays, more so than ever, we must work with our colleagues and teammates to make it all happen, so exercises such as this one are really beneficial for my little learners.