I was so happy when I saw that The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds had been translated in French which meant that I could use it in my classroom. I love the story about a little boy who enjoys words so much that he collects them. Eventually he makes sentences with his collection; and when his collection gets too big, he shares the words with everyone.
This week I read the story to my grade 1 and 2 students and afterwards I opened a centre at which they browsed through some books and found words to record in a notebook. My plan is that at the end of every week, my students will take the notebook home in order to practice reading and writing the words they have collected.
The children love the activity – especially as they are able to write using colorful gel pens. This is one task that they will all complete with joy!
This week I am grateful for authors and illustrators who create stories that inspire my lessons and centre tasks. It always makes me smile to see the children enjoying both the stories and the activities.
My teaching on adjectives using the book Je Veux Un Monstre! by Elise Gravel did not stop with colouring monsters. (If you missed my post on colouring in monsters, you can click here) The next step in the learning goal was for the students to draw their own monsters. I loved the drawings they came up with – they were so creative. After completing their drawings, and colouring them in, I was happy to see the children using the adjective anchor chart I had up on the wall as well as the key rings with vocabulary cards attached to write down the adjectives they would use to describe their monster.
After noting down adjectives, the next step in the task was to write sentences to describe the drawn monster. After correction, students created their neat copy. These I put up on the wall outside the classroom for everyone to read.
We have stopped working on descriptive writing for a while as we finish our inquiry on structures. When I re-introduce the need to use adjectives, we will be describing objects and living things that can be found in the world.
The age group that I teach love colouring and always welcome an opportunity to use bright colours. For a recent activity on writing, I asked them to colour and describe a monster. Using the co-created poster of adjectives, they wrote down adjectives of their choice to describe their monsters. .
Not only do I enjoy seeing their colourful monsters, but I love that the children have managed to describe their monsters using the classroom resources in the language that they are learning.
Good morning to you and welcome. A cup of something warm would be appreciated as it is still a little chilly outside. Afternoons are warming up and some brave people – and many children – are going outside in their short sleeves.
The past week has been busy and yet fulfilling. I am getting everything ready so that I can put a final mark next to the work my students have done during the second half of the year. I have read with most of them, given them their final writing “test’, and organised all their work. In the upcoming week I shall listen to them speak with a view of giving them a mark, and complete the final Science activity for the report card. I am hoping by the end of next week to have all of the marks recorded so that on Friday (the PA day set aside for reporting), I can complete my report cards. If everything is in place and I focus, I know that I can do it!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I tried a new activity with my students during the past week and it worked very well. For our inquiry on animals, I took out non-fiction books on a range of creatures from our school library. I asked the children to choose a book to do research on an animal of their choice. With the help of sentence starters, they took down notes to record the information they had found. With this information, they wrote a paragraph which I then corrected.
The fun part of the activity was when the children worked on their neat copy. They typed their paragraph into an app using the iPad. I had previously taught them how to use Piccollage and many of them were able to work independently.
They chose their background, font, and searched on the Web for appropriate pictures. I enjoyed reading their final copies as much as they enjoyed making them.
Next week, we will move onto the life cycles of animals. Once again, children will be researching their animal as well as using the iPad. But that story will be told next week.
Today the sun is shining and the skies are a beautiful pale blue. I am going out now to buy some groceries, pop into the library, and then go to my Zumba class. I look forward to the rest of my day (which will include some time relaxing and reading). May you have a wonderful day too.
Correcting my students’ work is not always easy. Often I find myself sounding out their words and reading what they have written aloud. There are times when I am unable to figure out what they have written and call the person to come and read for me. I need no help, though, in ‘reading’ their illustrations.
Yesterday I was correcting some work and I could not help but smile at some of the detailed illustrations that I saw. It is easy to understand why some children are so proud of their drawings.
I am currently doing an inquiry on structures with my class. One of the first activities was for the children to choose a structure from around the world, look for the shapes within it, and then draw what they saw. One of the choices was, of course, the Eiffel Tower.
Four children chose to replicate this well-known structure – one of whom had learned that his ancestors were from France during the Inquiry “Tout sur Moi” (All About Myself).
The drawings have been posted on the bulletin board outside my classroom and are being admired by many passers-by.
During the Inquiry on themselves, my students discovered where their ancestors came from. They explored their ancestral countries by using the Google App, looked through the atlas to see the shape of the country, and touched the country and its neighbours on an old-fashioned globe.
With each child I tracked the countries of their ancestors on a world map. When looking at the map afterwards, we noticed that we were a group of people who had history from all over the world.
The next step in the inquiry was for the children to find out more about one of their ancestral counrties. This they did by interviewing one of their family members. Their results were presented to me last week on poster boards and in an oral presentation.
What I noted, as I was reading the work, that many families had come to Canada for the same reason:
Many families left their countries of birth in the hopes of finding a better life for their families. One hopes that their optimism bore fruit.
The 6 and 7 year olds in my class use the alphabet in expected ways when writing. I am teaching them how to plan their writing and they are writing their ideas down in a graphic organiser.
When they write down their ideas, I encourage them to sound out the words so that they can spell them. Spelling, expression, grammer and punctuation will be corrected when they have written their rough copy.
A couple of weeks ago I read “Qui suis-je?” (Who am I?) to my class – a story that is written as a riddle. Clues are given about the sea animal and keep the children guessing until the last page. We enjoyed the Read Aloud and afterwards I asked the children to write their own riddle. Today I would like to share some of my favourites with you:
Before putting the riddles up on the bulletin board, the class and I sat in a circle while each child had a turn to read their riddle. We had fun guessing the answer.