Friday, December 26, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things. . . and a freebie

Let's get started with the freebie! Winter fun, winter freebie!

There have been so many great things going on in our classroom.

There was one year I became so obsessed with penguins in the classroom that I had to make my way to Sea World San Diego just to sit in the Penguin Encounter area and stare at all of the penguins I. . .my students. . .had learned about. This year, however, my obsession wasn't as strong. We had gingerbread going on at the same time and I can't obsess over both.

So to get things started, I introduced my students to the research report. In the past, I've had students write their own reports, but this year I read the Common Core standard very, very carefully--students will participate in SHARED research and writing projects. Great! We were going to do this together and we had so much fun!

Students used iPads to research penguin facts.

Research reports complete and hung on the writing wall.

Using Crayola Model Magic to make penguins.

Painting our penguins. They turned out great!
This year I wrote a grant through Donors Choose to receive art supplies. My grant was funded and we have been having a blast! As you can see in the pictures above, there isn't a ridiculous amount of wasted paint around the penguins. Well, that's been part of the art lessons--how to use the art supplies. We received watercolors, temperas, clay, oil pastels, chalk, colored pencils, markers, and 8-Note bells for music.

I know, this may not sound like a "favorite thing," but it so is! My students can whip out a paragraph as fast as they can tattle on a kid for crowding in line. But not just any paragraph. A paragraph with a topic sentence, details, temporal words, and a conclusion. They are doing so well, I had to think up something to add a little incentive for awesome writing. And that's when the Pirate Award was born. The award actually changes. It can be the Snowman Award, the Gingerbread Award, really the award is based on whatever topic we're writing on. Since the kids have been writing on about 2 topics a week, I had to spice it up. The awards are based on the ideas and creativity put into the writing. As long as I know what it says, I'm excited to read it.

Needless to say, my favorite things are just that because of the enjoyment my students get out of them.

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  1. Love your winter freebie! I teach Kindergarten, and the snowman winter writing will definitely be a part of our shared writing! Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad I could help.

  2. Love your penguins! It looks like the students had a blast making them.

    Smiling and Shining in Second Grade

    1. Thanks! I was surprised by how well they turned out.


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