Sunday, February 24, 2013

Friday Fun

This week felt very long and the kids (and I) were exhausted by the end of it. Here are just some of the things we did...

A big part of our week was made up of dance lessons with Footsteps Dance Company culminating in a family picnic on Thursday night when all classes performed. It's a tradition at my school and has proven a fun way to start the year and build a sense of community.

Adjective Mobiles
This week our literacy lessons had a focus on noun phrases:
Understand that nouns represent people, places and things...and that noun groups/phrases can be expanded using articles and adjectives. ACELA1468.
We brainstormed a large list of adjectives and then students wrote these on coloured card. The cards were joined with strips of paper that students had folded zig-zag. these were then hung above students desks as a reference to colour their writing.

Overnight Take Home Book
The concept of noun phrases was introduced to students. We then used this to help us with writing the first two "Who Am I?" clues for our latest overnight take home book. Students were given the prompts:
I am... a cheerful lady.
I have... long, straight, blonde hair.
I like... Lego, riding my bike and sometimes running.
I am good at... doing things on the computer.
Under a flap they completed I am... and drew a picture of themselves.
As this book has flaps we bound it and sent it home rather than using a plastic sleeve folder.

Window by Jeannie Baker
We 'read' this book, looking closely at the details in the pictures and considering how the view through the window changed from one page to the next. We led students to think through the similarities and differences between this book and Uno's Garden by Graeme Base. Both books tell the story of the impact of humans on their environment, and illustrate a beautiful setting, turned bad and then a return to beauty.
Later in the afternoon we returned to the book and provided students with a photocopy of one of the pages from the text. They worked in cooperative pairs to label items from the picture with noun phrases eg. 'Woolly jumper' and then colored the page to be displayed.
This lesson reinforced the idea that images add to the meaning of the text (ACELA1469) and can be used to add detail to characterization, setting and storyline. It also provided an opportunity for students to discuss different texts on a similar topic, identifying similarities and differences between the texts (ACELY1665)

Letter Buddies
This term our writing focus is on letter writing. We began the year with a 'letter to the teacher' and this week started writing to peers. Back in high school, my bestie and I had a letter writing book, and despite the fact that we spent most of the day together and called each other at night, we still felt the need to write letters to each other! Flowing on from this experience, I thought that we could replicate this idea whereby students buddy up with a student from the other class and write letters to each other in a letter writing book. Students loved this idea and enthusiastically wrote to one another, sharing information about themselves and asking questions of the other.

Never Give Up Attitude
One of our values lessons this week was focused on having a never give up attitude. We read the story of Floppy Cat and discussed some of the things that we find challenging. We then set some goals and made some plans for how to achieve these goals. Prue, the teacher I am teaming with this year, designed a fishbone diagram worksheet for students to record their ideas. I am storing these goals in a wall display for students to revisit during the year. In this display the goals are accessible, but still private.

So all said, it was a great week but I'm glad to have the weekend now to recharge the batteries.

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