Monday, September 17, 2012

Social Studies Love

I am on a big science and social studies kick right now...big time. The first few weeks of school I have been focusing on social studies but science is not far behind. I'm so inspired by my friend Jenny who teaches a science lesson everyday to her class but I love social studies too much so I have to switch off from week to week. Just wanted to share two amazing lessons that I have recently taught that turned out amazing and that I feel my students really understood and "got it". For all of you NC readers this lesson goes with the Social Studies essential standard
1.E.1.2 Identify examples of goods and services in the home, school and community.
I began this lesson with a little vocabulary. First I wrote the word "goods" on a small white board and held it up for students to see. We read it together out loud and I had students turn and talk to an elbow buddy about what they thought the word meant. I let a few of them share what they thought it was and to explain their thinking but I never told them if they were right or wrong, I simply listened. Then I wrote the word "services" on my white board and had students turn and talk about what they thought this word meant and then share their thoughts agian never telling them if they were right or wrong.
After this little discussion I told students that I had small posters hanging up around the room with pictures on them. Their next job was to walk around the room with their sticky pads {they each have one in their pencil box} and put a sticky on each picture with either a "G" for goods or an "S" for services. Here are the pictures that I used {click on the picture to download from google docs}:
After students silently stickied each of the 6 posters we watched a brainpopjr video on goods and services. {If your school doesn't have an account you can sign up for a free trial or you can find a nonfiction book on goods and services that would work just as well.} Next I held up each poster and we checked our answers. If a student missed it I asked them how they know that this picture is either a good or a service. My formative assessment was a ticket out the door where students wrote an example of a good.
It rocked ya'll. I mean they reeeeaaaalllly got it. It was a great way to introduce vocabulary that was fun, interactive, and student led.
Next I will have students brainstorm in groups examples of goods and services in the home.....the school....and the community. I'm thinking of spreading this out and completing each place on a different day where students present their ideas in front of the class. For examples of goods and services in the school I'm thinking of giving each group a digital camera and having them take pictures for their examples. For goods and services in  the home they can find pictures in magazines and make a collage. For the community, I would love to have a farmer or someone in agriculture talk about the goods in our area and how his/her job is a service. Soo excited!
But before I could finish this series of lessons Constituition Day activities overshadowed today. I'm sure you have seen my posts about the unit I created. We played the game today and it was hysterical and perfect. They fell right in to my little plan. {Aren't first graders just so predictable?} It was the perfect hands on approach to get them to understand just what the country was like before the Constitution. Here is our anchor chart from today...too funny!

If you have my Constitution Day unit I would love to know how it went today!
Love to everyone!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Constitution Day

Did you remember that Constitution Day is next Monday? Did you know that we have to teach it by law?

I have great news! You don't have to plan for it. I created a little Constitution Day Pack over the summer because it ALWAYS slips up on me and poor little Constitution, I just never teach him right, especially to those little 6 and 7 year olds. Here is a little preview:

I am starting off my lesson by playing an original {hands on} game "Capture the Flag" with special directions...none! The students play the game with no directions...I'm telling them that there aren't any directions, it's just all about fun. Then after the chaos sets in as well as the bickering and frusturation we will stop and talk about how they felt and then I will give them the real directions (which are included in the pack) as well as other ideas and directions that go with teaching this lesson. It will be amazing to watch the difference before and after the rules of the game.
Included in this pack:
original game with directions and printables
graphic organizers
directions and materials for writing a class Constitution
a fun student led group activity
two Constitution math/math tub activities
adorable Constitution Day craftivity
three writing prompts
formative assessment
It's everything that you need to teach the Constitution {the right way}. Don't let him {the Constitution} down. By teaching this pack your students will understand and be able to relate to the basic ideas of the Constitution. Why it was created? What it is for? When do we use it? How long ago was it written? What does it mean to me? Click {here} and get started planning!!


Here is a picture of part of my bulletin board that I created from the materials in this pack. Wish I could take a head on picture of the whole thing but our halls are too narrow so this was the best I could get!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The First Week

I love Labor Day weekend. It's apple season in NC and the Apple Festival where I live is in full swing. Little man and I picked apples today at a beautiful orchard and plan on enjoying all the festivies of the festival tomorrow.
I just wanted to write a little post on some of my favorite activities from our first week of school.
Check out this adorable name flower one of my students made after we read Chrysanthemum. We counted the letters and vowels in our name to know how many petals and leaves to put on our flower. Cute right? I got the idea from Mrs. H over at Once Upon a First Grade Adventure. She has a Kevin Henkes back to school pack in her tpt store and it is amazing!
Here is another activity I did from her pack.
Its Wemberly Worried. The students wrote what Wemberly worried about and then things that they worry about. So stinkin cute!
In math we explored with manipulatives: pattern blocks, dominoes, connecting cubes, geoblocks and the computer while in small groups we practiced writing our numbers the correct way and we learned how to count objects accurately {by touching each object and moving it with our finger}. I just love this poem about how to write numbers!
In writing we wrote all of our letters, capital and lowercase, matched letters to letter sounds, and discussed the differences between sentences and nonsentences. This activity turned out awesome and the students LOVED it.
First we sorted premade sentences that I had written on sentence strips. We talked about what sentences need and then we practiced writing a sentence on a sticky note. {Keeping sticky notes in our pencil boxes work great for quick formative assessments like this}. We shared our sentences and then just for fun we practiced writing a nonsentence. They all giggled at the silly nonsentences!
Looking forward to another great week and sharing more fun ideas!
Love to all!