Five for Friday (On Saturday): TONS of Pictures From Our Week!

Better late than never, right?  I had a meeting after school yesterday and by the time I got home I was exhausted.  I spent my Friday night working on a new product, hanging out on the couch with Weston, and watching House Hunters. So, I am finally sitting down to write my Five for Friday post for you! Click the button below to link up your Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching.  Here are some of the things we did this week in first grade! 🙂

We worked on questioning this week as our focus strategy.
I used the book Antarctica by Helen Cowcher. The illustrations are beautiful and the narrative format really lends itself to some fabulous questions by the kids. 
We started by learning our I Can statement for questioning and writing questions on sticky notes before and during our read aloud. (We read a few pages every day.)
We completed an I Wonder/I Learned chart while we read.  The students shared their questions with their carpet partners and then recorded them on their T charts.  We would try to first use our prior knowledge to answer the questions and then read to find out.
We also talked about lingering questions. The Antarctica book lends itself perfectly to this strategy because the readers do not find out if the helicopter or the ship will destroy the penguins’ land or live peacefully with them.  

In our small groups, we practiced asking questions before we read.  I left the kids with a question before they read the book on their own and we practiced “reading with a purpose.” The students had to whisper read the book on their own and record the answer to our question on a sticky note when they discovered it. 
Our “read for purpose” mission in this book was: Read to find out how Tim and Tom lose their teeth.  Reading for purpose motivates your students to read and find out the answer, while still saving the mystery of the story for them.  Common Core no longer wants us to do picture walks to the very end of the story, or give such a detailed book introduction that the child has no purpose for reading the story on his own. 

We worked on narrative writing this week.  I broke it up into beginning, middle, and end.  Each day, we discussed what details would be included in a a good beginning, middle, and end. I then modeled my own section of my narrative for them each day.  After they participated in my modeled writing, they worked on their own personal narratives.

This little boy is still a bit confused on whether he is writing his narrative in the first person or the third person, but all the details of his beginning are shining through! He has a setting, a character name, and has included some detail about how he feels and what was happening at the beginning of his story.

We completed a performance based math task on Friday.  I try to do these once a week but it usually ends up being every other week! This week’s performance based task comes from a great website that you can find by clicking HERE
I put the task up on the Smart Board and read the problem to the children.  I do not tell them anything about how to solve the problem.  I give them a good amount of time to work it out on their own.  My rules are simple: You have to try SOMETHING and have SOMETHING down on your paper (or whiteboard).  My goal is to ignite their own critical thinking skills and get them really thinking about math and all of the ways to solve a problem. 
We then share some of the ways we solved the problem and the various answers from different students.  This little boy used pictures to list all of the different food combinations the cat could have eaten.  

Finally, we work the problem out as a class and I model the problem solving strategy to the students.  We usually hear a lot of “ohhhh!!!!” or “I get it now!!!!” from the class. Using performance based math tasks have really helped my students expand their thinking and has encouraged the discussion of math concepts. 

We also learned some new apps on our tablet and practiced making groups of 10 to add in math.  We used our highlighters to find all of the combinations of 10 within various addition problems.  The practice page in this picture comes from Lisa Mattes’ Common Core Crunch pack. It’s a great pack for Common Core practice!
Don’t forget that you can follow me on Instagram to see lots of learning pictures that don’t always make it onto my blog. Look me up on Instagram @missdecarbo 
 Thanks for taking a tour of our busy week! 🙂 Stop by later this weekend and download my lesson plans for next week! I’ll be sharing my visual lesson plans for the first time ever! 🙂

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  1. Christina!
    Love your reflections on the modifications regarding new Reading CCSS and not relying on the traditional story-long picture walks and too much discussion before the kids have the chance to read it themselves. I agree! I love to give my kiddos every opportunity to discover new things about what they are reading! Keeps the stamina and engagement much higher!
    When you do the math task on the Smart Board, do you read it to the class first, or do they have to read it independently first? Sounds like a great skill-building exercise to practice for these SLO tests!
    Have a great weekend sweet friend!
    First Grade Critter Cafe

    1. Thanks for visiting Julie!! I do read the problem to them but that's all I do until it's time to work it out together. 🙂 Hope you have a good weekend too friend!! 🙂

  2. This post is chock full of fab and to have been shouted out is such a treat, Christina!!!!! LOVE the pics and how you went from whole group to small group…"linguring" just keeps making me smile!!! Too adorable!!!

    Thanks SO much!!!
    Hugs – Lisa
    Growing Firsties

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