We received so many donations for our 'Animal Food Drive'! As part of Science / Social Studies, we've done some Drama, read some books and had great discussions about the needs of living things - not just us humans, but our pets too. Think about it: if a family has to visit a food bank for themselves over the winter holidays, what happens if they have a pet? The animals in our local community need food and care too, so we collected dog & cat food, along with beds, leashes and toys. Thanks Roxie for your idea and thanks everyone for your donations!
As an integrated Drama, Social Studies & Oral Language activity, we watched A Home for Pearl the Squirrel on Tumblebooks and discussed the different animal habitats as well as their different eating habits. This lead into numerous activities about showing empathy, kindness and caring for animals. (*tied in well with our Pet Food Drive!)
James and the Giant Peach was our chapter book read aloud this month and we barelled through it, just in time to see the performance at Young People's Theater! I will admit, I had as much if not more fun than the students reading this book. It was a great way to spend time during the busy month of December - we'd grab all our pillows, stuffies and get comfy on the carpet, laying down and just relaxing as we read, such a great way to spend an afternoon! After seeing the play, we did some independent and shared writing; students answered the question "Who was your favourite character?" and offered three supporting details for their big idea, then together we wrote about what was the same and different from the book and the play using a Venn Diagram.
We watched a Reading Rainbow video all about Snowy Day: Stories and Poems,a collection of stories and poems with snow as a common theme. Winter Morning - This featured poem, "Winter Morning" by Ogden Nash is read by Lena Horne. Dog Sled Racing - LeVar introduces us to Susan Bucher who lives in the wilderness of Alaska and trains sled dogs to mush (race) in the Iditarod from Anchorage to Nome Alaska. Snow - This featured poem by Karla Kuskin is read while we watch children playing in the snow. Stopping By Woods - The famous poem, "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost is read while we watch a man with horse-drawn sleigh.
Our Snowflakes look absolutely stunning! Thank you so much to the parents that have volunteered for the Publishing of our stories. We started off by Tweeting to numerous #kidlit authors "we are working on descriptive writing, what words might you use to describe snow? #GivingTuesday" and we heard back from so many: Todd Parr (The I Love You Book), Adam Lehrapt (Warning! Do NOT Open This Book), Peter Reynolds (The Dot), Mark Pett (The Boy and the Airplane) and John Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man) took the time to write us a winter poem!
We used their 'Willy Words' to write rough drafts with at least 3 'Donna Details' sentences. In essence, the kids have written paragraphs about 'snow', whether it be skating in High Park, playing a hockey game or having a snowball fight, they've all tried to write a big idea with three supporting, detailed sentences, finished off with a 'feeling' sentence to wrap it all up. This was a multi-step project, with lots of mini lessons, but they stuck with it and pushed through to create some great published pieces. I'll put an all-call out in early January as I'll need some help displaying them in the front foyer for all to see!
*If you aren't able to make it in to class to volunteer, shoot me an email and I can get you involved at home too! (Some paperwork, making posters, cutting our laminated items etc.)
Our patterning centres this month were a hit! NINE different spaces to visit to create, extend, copy and name repeating, growing and shrinking patterns! We used: Calculators, Lego, Snap Cubes, Cube-a-links, Pattern Blocks, Corks, Ring-a-ma-jigs, Stamps and read Pattern Books too!
Some of the mini lessons we did:
Grade 1s: imagine (we had images) one fish bowl with two fish in it, then two fish bowls with two fish in each, if this pattern kept going, how many fish would you have in the 11th bowl? (Hint: skip count by 2s, eleven times! Draw an image of the 11 bowls with 2 fish in each, then tag each fish and count by 1s!)
Grade 2s: use a calculator or a hundreds chart to count on by 10s from 444 (454, 464) then count back by 10s (434, 424); count on by 100s from 331 (431, 531) then count back by 100s (231, 131).
To find number patterns on a Hundreds Chart try this interactive board (use the 1 - 100)
(We did an activity like this at school using our 100s charts; cover thirteen sixes. Start at 1 and count to 6, cover that dot, then from the 6, count on again 6 times 1(7), 2(8), 3(9), 4(10), 5(11), 6(12) - cover the 12! Count on by 6 eleven more times - which numbers did you cover in your growing by six pattern?
To skip count by twos, try this 'create a mystery picture' game
To practice place value and skip counting (number patterns) try playing this Place Value Hockey Game (select level 1)!
See below for the similaritoes in both the curriculums.
By the end of this unit, grade 1 students should be able to:
- identify, describe, and extend geometric repeating patterns with one attribute (e.g., colour, size, shape, thickness, orientation);
– identify and extend numeric repeating patterns (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, …);
– describe numeric repeating patterns in a hundreds chart;
– identify a rule for a repeating pattern (e.g., “We’re lining up boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl.”);
– create a repeating pattern involving one attribute (e.g., colour, size, shape, sound)
– represent a repeating pattern in various ways (e.g., pictures, actions, colours, sounds, numbers, letters)
By the end of this unit, grade 2 students should be able to:
– identify and describe growing patterns and shrinking patterns generated by the repeated addition or subtraction of 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 25’s
on a number line and on a hundreds chart (e.g., the numbers 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 are in a straight line on a hundreds chart);
– identify, describe, and create growing patterns and shrinking patterns involving addition and subtraction, with and without the use of calculators
(e.g., 3 + 1 = 4, 3 + 2 = 5, 3 + 3 = 6, …); *THEY LOVED USING THE CALCULATORS!
– identify repeating, growing, and shrinking patterns found in real-life contexts (e.g., a geometric pattern on wallpaper);
– represent a growing or shrinking pattern in various ways (e.g., using pictures, actions, colours, sounds, numbers, letters, number lines, bar graphs) .);
– create growing or shrinking patterns
– create a repeating pattern by combining two attributes (e.g., colour and shape; colour and size)
– demonstrate an understanding that a pattern results from repeating an operation (e.g., addition, subtraction) or making a repeated change to
an attribute (e.g., colour, orientation).
Mindfulness - earlier this month Ms. Iggers from Annette visited each class at both ASPS and HPAS to lead us in a 20 minute mindfulness session. Take a look at this Globe & Mail article for more on TDSB's Mindfulness practice, as well as a description of a "typical mindfulness session" - that's what we did! We try and pause every once in a while now, slow down and be aware of ourselves and our surroundings.
In our Room 108 Classroom Community, we foster an engaging, respectful and caring environment. I aim to balance a consistent program with flexible responsiveness to students' individual needs.