Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sneaky Spy Detective Y

Meet Sneaky Spy Detective Y
Last week, we learned about words that end with the letter Y but make the long E sound. Below is the script I used for my lesson.

This is Sneaky Spy Detective Y. He is found in words like baby, sorry, happy, and tricky. These words end in y but make the long e sound. The long e sound is e. Everyone say e. I am going to read a list of words and I want you to really listen for the long "E" sound at the end of the word. Happy, silly, snappy, sneaky, funny, and bunny. When you spell the word happy, does it end in the letter e? No. Happy is spelt: H-A-P-P-Y, it ends in y but sounds like our friend, long e. Who can raise their hand and give me another example of a word that ends with the letter y but has the long e sound?

Sneaky Spy Detective Y needs our help completing some sentences. Each of these sentences is missing a word that ends in y but sounds like e. Give me two thumbs up is you think we can help him complete all six sentences. I know we can help him out! (Turns on projector)

Thanks for helping Sneaky Spy Detective Y! You all did a great job!

I have a Jelly Jar and I want you to work with a partner to fill up your jar with as many words as you can that end in Y but have the long E sound.Words like baby, sorry, happy, tricky, and jelly. You will work at your desk and Mrs. R and I will pass out papers. Are there any questions? Please get a pencil and sit at your desk. 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hopes and Dreams

I always envisioned 25 being the year I would get married. By the age of 27, I would have my first child. Yeah, well I just turned 25 two weeks ago and I am nowhere near that point in my life. This was a sad realization for me. I started thinking about all the hopes and dreams I had for myself by the time I was 25. I was disappointed to see that I barely achieved any of them. I'm still living at home. I'm still in school. I'm still single. I did buy a brand new car... not that Audi I was hoping for but it sure feels luxurious! 

Where I am at this point in my life isn't even close to where I planned and although that makes me incredibly sad, I believe it's exactly where God intended me to be. I know there is a saying out there like, "We plan and God laughs." I am really trying to trust God and His timing, but it is not always easy. He knows the desires of my heart and I take complete comfort in that (Psalm 37:4). So I'm not married, is that the end of the world? No. I have SO much to be thankful for. I do have goals for the next five years though. I have hopes and dreams. I will work hard to achieve them but they'll only happen if it's His will and on His timing. 

I lift my life up to you, Lord. Do with me what you may. Use this time of singleness to develop me into who you want me to be. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I taught a short lesson on Pronouns this week and below is the script I used to correspond with my lesson plan. 

A noun is a person, place, or thing and we are going to take a minute to write a list of nouns. Raise your hand if you know of a noun and think we should add it to our list. Wow, 1st graders, this is a fantastic list! You know a lot of nouns!

Today, we are going to learn about pronouns. This is Priscilla Pronoun and Pronouns are her favorite words. Pronouns take the place of a noun. (Turn on Projector) He, she, it, and they are pronouns. Here’s an example. (1st sentence) Kenny has a big house. The noun we are going to replace is Kenny. ____ has a big house. Looking at the pronouns above: he, she, it and they which pronoun would fit best in this sentence? Give me a thumbs up if you agree he is the best pronoun for this sentence. That’s right, he has a big house.

How about this sentence? The house is yellow. We are going to replace the house so, ____ is yellow. What pronoun completes this sentence best? That’s right, it is yellow.

Penny lives in a tent. We are going to replace the girl's name, Penny with a pronoun from above. (Student name), which pronoun would you use to complete the sentence: ____ lives in a tent. Good job, she lives in a tent.

This is our last example. The boy and the girl like their home. Who likes their home? Right, the boy and the girl. What pronoun could we use to take place of the boy and the girl? _____ like their home. (Student name) which pronoun would you use to complete the sentence? Give me a thumbs up if you agree with (Student name). Me too! They like their home.  

(While putting poem under document camera say) Raise your hand if you can tell me one of the pronouns we learned about today. This is a poem called, Me, You and Them. I am going to read it and I want you to be on the lookout for the 4 pronouns we learned today: he, she, it, and they. (I read the poem) We are going to read the poem one more time, but this time, I want us to do a repeat read. I will read a line and you’ll repeat me. Let’s try it. Me you and Them. (Point to students to repeat) Good, let’s keep going.

Now it's time to go on a Pronoun Hunt! Who would like to come to the board and circle one of the four pronouns we talked about today? Terrific, it looks like we found all four pronouns plus some. Pronouns are nouns that take place of other nouns. He, she, it, and they are pronouns. Turn to the person next to you and whisper, "He, she, it, and they are pronouns." (Transition back to Laura)

Thank you, Step Into 2nd Grade for the Anchor Chart Inspiration!

Main Ideas and Details

I taught reading last week with a mini lesson on Main Ideas and Details. I write lesson plans and then I write a "script" so I have a better idea of what to say. Below is my script: 

We will open our reading textbooks in a few minutes, but for now, I want you to sit on your book. They story we are going to read today is called, At Home Around the World. This is a non-fiction text. Nonfiction is a type of writing that shares facts and information. Nonfiction is real and it is written to inform us. Nonfiction has photographs and text features like an index, glossary, and table of contents. 

At Home Around the World is written by Lucy Floyd. Our author wrote a little bit about herself and our story, which I would like to read to you. 

Stay sitting on your books. I am going to page through our story. I want you to start thinking what our story might be about. 

Raise your hand. What do you think the story will be about based on the title, key words, and pictures throughout the story?

These are all great ideas! Please open your textbooks to page 68. I am going to read but I want you to follow along. 

I have a few questions I would like us to discuss as a class:

1. What was one fact you learned from reading the story?
2. How do the words and pictures work together to give information?
3. Why is a tepee a good home for people who moved around a lot?
4. Why is it a good idea for people to build houses from things around them, such as clay or rocks?
5. Which house in the text would you like to live in? Why?

(Show Anchor Chart) Today, we are going to practice main idea and details. The main idea is what the text is all about. To find the main idea, we look at the title, pictures, and repeated words. 

As you can see on my paper, I drew a hamburger. The main idea is the whole hamburger. The details are the smaller parts like the lettuce, tomato, and meat. Details are the information that backs up or explains the main idea. Details tell us more. 

Take a minute or two to page through the text we just read. I want you to look at the title page, pictures, and repeated words. See if you can find the main idea. 

Raise your hand if you think you know what the main idea of our text might be? I agree, our main idea is Homes Around the World. 

Details tell us more. So, think about what we know about houses around the world. Take a minute to page through the text but this time, look for details. Tell me something specific about houses around the world. Think about the materials people have made houses from. Think about the different types of houses, theses are details we can put on our hamburger (Write 3 details). 

1st graders, you are going to make your own Main Ideas and Details Hamburger just like we did here.

Main Idea/Details Anchor Chart
 Student work was awesome but hard to read if they did it in pencil and so I only have 2 examples to share with you.

The lesson went incredibly well. My mentor teacher said she liked how I introduced the author first. She never thought of that. She loved my text to self connection. Our text was about homes around the world. I said I saw a pink house shaped like an egg when I was in South Carolina. The kids thought that was pretty cool. I talked about main ideas and details after reading the text. If I were to do the lesson over, I would do that before reading and go into more details after the read aloud. Oh well, there's always next time. My mentor teacher told me each time I teach my direction become more clear and more direct. My mentor teacher said I had an excellent explanation of main idea and she thought my poster and hamburger analogy was very helpful.

The lesson went great but I am totally kicking myself for not recording the second part of my lesson. We needed to split it up and when we came back from gym, my plan was to re-read the chart and explain the activity. That's not how it went. I spent at least twenty more minutes on the lesson. I had planned for none of that so it was activities off the top of my head and I was able to get each child to fully understand main ideas and details which is a hard topic for 1st graders. I had them use their thumbs to indicate their understanding. This lesson would have been great in my teaching portfolio but because I missed the application part on tape I don't think I can use it and that really bums me out. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Uses of Rocks (Sandpaper)

I taught Science for the first time last week. Below is the "script" I wrote to correspond with the lesson plan.
Does anyone know what is in this bag? That's right, it's sand! Is sand a rock? Yes, sand is a rock. We have been learning about the uses of rocks. Sand has an important use that we will get to look at today and that use is called sandpaper. Sandpaper is made from sand, paper, and glue.

On Monday, we had time to observe sand using a magnifying glass. When we gathered back together, we wrote our observations down. What happened to our hands?  They did get all dusty, I noticed that too. What colors were in the sand? You guys made some great observations. (I actually ended up having students close their eyes and visualize).

Today, we are going to observe sandpaper. Touch your nose if you remember what sandpaper is made from. (Student Name), what is sandpaper made from? Sand. That's right, sandpaper is made from sand, paper, and glue. Next, we are going to spend sometime observing sandpaper. Each of you is going to receive 3 pieces of sandpaper and one magnifying glass. I want you to look at all 3 pieces of sandpaper and make observations in your head. Special helper, I need you to pass out magnifying glasses and Mrs. R and I will pass out the sandpaper. Any questions?

You had 5 minutes to observe sandpaper using a magnifying glass, and I am eager to hear what my 1st grade geologists have found out. Raise your hand if you have an observation you would like to share with our class.

They were different sizes. The 3 pieces of sandpaper have different textures. Texture is the way something feels. Think about your pillow, blanket and favorite stuffed animal, those things feel soft. Is sandpaper soft? No, sandpaper is rough. The sandpaper with the largest pieces of sand is coarse sandpaper. Can you coarse? The middle-sized sand is on the medium sandpaper, and the smallest sand is on the fine sandpaper. (Tape sand paper to easel) The largest pieces of sand are on the coarse sandpaper. The middle-sized sand is on the medium sandpaper, and the smallest sand is on the fine sandpaper.

Why do you think people use, course, medium or fine sandpapers? You need to choose the size of sandpaper depending on the job you are trying to accomplish. For heavy sanding, you need coarse sandpaper. For removing imperfections or flaws, you need medium sandpaper.  For smoothing surfaces, you need fine sandpaper.

Now, let’s label the different grades of sandpaper. The sandpaper with the largest pieces of sand is called what again? Coarse. The middle-sized sand is on the medium sandpaper. The smallest sand is on the smallest sandpaper? You're right; the smallest sand is on the fine sandpaper.

This afternoon, you are going to make sandpaper rubbings. Each of you will receive a white sheet of paper. You will place the paper over the sandpaper and rub the side of the pencil to make your sandpaper rubbings. (Demonstrate) Watch, I take my white sheet of paper, put it over the sandpaper and rub the side of my pencil to make my sandpaper rubbings. You are going to make three sandpaper rubbings using coarse, medium, and fine sandpaper. When you have made all 3 raise your hand and Mrs. R or myself will give you labels to label your sandpaper rubbings like I did here. (Point to easel) Any questions?

Below I shared a few of the student's sand paper rubbings. I think they turned out pretty good!


Word Map: A word map is a graphic representation of a word’s meaning. A word map answers three questions:
-       - What is it?
-       - What is it like?
-       - What are some examples?
Word Bank: A word bank is a tool to help students collect and review words. A word bank is a box in which children keep/file new words they are learning. The words are usually written in isolation on one side of the card, and in a sentence on the back of the card (usually with a picture clue).
Word Wall: Many teachers use word walls to direct students’ attention to words of all kinds- high frequency words, important words in a content of study, or useful words for books they are reading. Academic word walls provide a variation on word walls for core subject area instruction (science, social studies, and mathematics).
Word Sorts: The purpose of doing word sorts is to get students to group, discuss, regroup and discover new meanings of important vocabulary and word parts (prefixes, suffixes) in the text you use.
-       - Closed sorts are teacher-directed activities in which students are told in advance the categories for sorting the new words.
-      -  Open sorts are student-directed activities in which they are free to group words from the word wall according to how they think they are related, providing their own labels for each group of words.
-     -   Speed sorts consists of open or closed sorts however this time, teachers can direct students to complete their sorts within a certain amount of time.
Hangman: Set up Hangman like normal by drawing “gallows” and spaces. Say something like, “I am thinking of a word on our academic word wall that has six letters and has something to do with an impact.” Students guess one letter at a time. As a correct letter is guessed, write the letter in the corresponding blank. For each incorrect guess, draw one part of a stick man.
Vocabulary Cluster: With the vocabulary cluster strategy, students are helped to read a passage, gather context clues, and then predict the meaning of a new word targeted for learning.
Password: Divide the class into two teams. One person from each team sits in a chair in front of the class. Those two people receive a card with a vocabulary word from the academic word wall. The first person gives a one – word clue to his team. If no one from the team can guess the word, the second person gives a clue to her team. This alternates back and forth until someone from one of the teams guesses the word, or until a specified number of clues has been given. 

 **Information is from the textbook, "Teaching Children to Read" by D. Ray Reutzel and Robert B. Cooter
**Images are not mine, they are from a Google image search.