Beginning Weeks of January

So, we started back to school last week and it's been a whirlwind every since! ha!!

I've been pretty crazy busy (short week, awards, class pictures - that were running late) and so my pictures have been kind of scarce, but I've managed to get a few here and there....

Let me just start off with this picture...

lol. The power in our school went out for about an hour, if not more and we were brought back to the dark ages. lol. Not really. I have a big wall of windows and a door that opens to the outside, so we were pretty well lit. lol. But one of my lovelies had this flashlight in his backpack, so he helped to shed some light on the situation. haha.

OK - let's get back on track here. lol
The first few days we got back, we talked about our goals for the new year. 

We just wrote them on our "quick writes" paper.

And since we were going to have Monday off for Martin Luther King Day, we talked about how it's okay to be different. I really like to focus on accepting everyone, not just people of other colors.  Todd Parr's book is one of my favorites to talk about this.  

The book class book we wrote comes from Kelley's pack.  My class loves writing class books. Take a look at this post to see more ideas for class books.

Another favorite activity we did comes from Christina, HERE.  We read the book Snow Dream, and we focused on using clues... a lot of inferencing with this activity!

We also used the Snowmen Books to help us with our writing that week. After we read a few of the books, we brainstormed ideas on what they could do with their snowman. Then, we did the planning page and wrote it out as a paragraph. 

I really want them to start focusing on topic, details, and closing, so I had them use a crayon to underline their topic (green), details (highlighting the transition words in yellow), and closing (red). 

After they finished their writing and illustrating, they did the snowman craft to go along with it. It's a non-tracer craft. They are getting so good with those! 

That was the first week. 

Our 2nd week back, we moved on to Penguins... We reviewed prepositions (with my stellar chart anchor chart that I forgot to take a picture of), then they did their Penguin Adventure book

It's a freebie! :) 

Also - every theme we always start with making our folder for it. We make a header for the folder and then they do a directed drawing for the cover. I always love how different they turn out!

They really make it their own!

This week, of course, we focused on Tacky!

We did some summarizing. The kids said that they thought "Then" worked better, the way we were wording the summary, so we changed it on the form. Sure! Why not? Right?

They took the planning page and turned it into a paragraph writing.

We also compared Tacky to his friends and did a cute craft to go with it!

After reading a few of the books, we did a little character analyzing....

Next week, we'll still be doing penguins, but we're moving to nonfiction!

The kids will be doing their own research on PebbleGo and creating their own book!

I always love watching their first research book come together! 

Here's a preview of what's included in the Learning with Penguins unit.


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