Linking up for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!
It's been a busy week...
1. Mothers' Day Masterpieces!
Courtney had the fabulous idea of having students create water color paintings in the spirit of Vincent Van Gogh! They are truly masterpieces that will undoubtedly be appreciated by all of the moms...
Students started by learning about the artist using a PowerPoint presentation created for kids. Students also created acrostic poems that were attached to the back side of their artwork and laminated to stand the test of time. Download her acrostic poem template (border art by Krista Wallden). The coordinating water colored paper on the back-side made for a beautiful finished product.
After viewing Courtney's students' masterpieces, as they were drying in the hallway, we were inspired to create watercolor masterpieces as well.
We also learned about Vincent Van Gogh, his life and style. Then students did still-life drawings of a vase of sunflowers, traced their lines with Sharpie, and water colored using colors similar to Van Gogh.
The kids also created a poem for mom that was attached to the back side of their artwork. Click here for the poem example, template, and final draft writing paper.
2. Measurement Line Plot
If you have not already discovered the resources posted on the Georgia Department of Education's website, head over to take a look. They have posted a series of tasks (aligned with common core standards) for each grade level K-5. I wanted to have students explore making a line plot for the first time, so I downloaded the task, Measurement Line Plot. Click here to download the task. To view and download the tasks specific to your grade level, go to Georgia Department of Education's website. There is a wealth of resources waiting for you!
For this task, students chose 10 items in the room to measure (less than the length of a ruler) and then they charted their lengths to the nearest inch and centimeter. A data collection chart is not provided with the lesson, so you may download the one we used, Measurement Line Plot: Collecting Measurement Data.
Then students used the inch measurement data collected to construct a line plot. I provided the line with equally spaced numbers after students told me what numbers should be represented on the line. This was their first experience with a line plot, so I created a line with equally spaced numbers to provide an accurate model for future reference when they construct their own from scratch. Download it here. Students then plotted their data on the line.
Finally, we compared and contrasted the line plot to a bar graph and a pictograph (tools that we have previously explored and created).
This activity created thoughtful discussion, and students always have fun putting their measurement skills in action.
3. Inferences: "Reading Between the Lines"
I saw a wonderful post some time ago on First Grade Wow in which she shared how she taught her students what it means to infer. I loved how she likened inferring to "reading between the lines". Click here to read the post that inspired our exploration.
First, we created an anchor chart for inferences. I asked students what they noticed about the boy's glasses, and they immediately said they knew just what kind of glasses he was wearing. On that note, I gave each student a pair of slatted shades to wear (purchased fro Oriental Trading). We talked about how the slatted shades made it a bit difficult to see everything. They noticed how they had to hold their heads just so to get a good view through the glasses. We compared this to reading and how we sometimes have to use clues and what we already know to help us "see" (understand) what we are reading.
We also focused on inferences during guided reading this week. We began by using task cards created by Teaching with a Mountain View. One set of cards has scaffolding questions, and the other set simply asks what can be inferred and asks students to support their inferences. The short passages on the task cards were perfect for practicing making inferences. Then we applied our inference skills when reading picture books. The texts were selected to provide a healthy challenge and are pictured here...
Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen provided the most challenge for the highest group of students, as students lacked some background knowledge/experiences, and they had to rely largely on text clues to help them infer what it means to have "tight times".
The ultimate goal was for students to be able to support the inferences they made. We are off and running! :0)
4. Interview with a Friend
Students began an exciting writing activity this week called Interview with a Friend. I purchased the packet from Teaching with Love and Laughter that includes oodles of interview questions and various writing templates. I created a list of questions for students to choose from and used the writing templates included in the above linked product. Students selected 6 to 8 questions to ask a friend. Click here for a copy.
Then students interviewed each other and recorded their friend's responses. They are in the process of writing an article about their friend. More to come in a future post...
Last, but not least, Teacher Appreciation Week!
We have such a supportive group of parents at our school who make us feel so appreciated throughout the year, yet this week they treated us extra-special like queens and kings. Not to mention, all of the wonderful thank yous and kind words we receive from our wonderful students, were heartfelt and touching. We feel truly blessed to serve the kids and families in our community! Many thanks!
Stop over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to read about some great happenings from bloggers this week--Five for Friday!