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Report Writing

Learning About Bats

Informational Text, Reading, Report Writing, Thinking Maps
I can’t believe it’s been an entire month since I last posted. I keep wanting to blog about different things we’re doing in the classroom, but time has been flying by! So, I’m trying to get back on the blogging bandwagon now…
The last 2 days we’ve been researching and learning about bats.  We read two informational books about bats and also watched a Brainpop video on bats. 

Then, we used a tree map to keep track of our research information.  We used the format  Bats – can, have, and are…

After completing the tree maps, the kids started writing their All About Bats paper that I got from Anna Brantley’s Common Core – Writing All Year Long 2nd Grade. I love this packet and have used it for many different things!
Below is a kiddo who I am super proud of. This student doesn’t enjoy reading and writing and often turns in writing assignments with one or two sentences.  He filled up the first page (written beautifully and well) and is now on page 3. He was so excited to write about bats he wanted to keep going! I love it!

Thanks for stopping by to see what we’ve done with bats. I promise to try to be better about blogging regularly.

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Five for Friday…well Saturday

Holidays, Reading, Report Writing
I’ve seen this awesome Five for Friday linky party and been meaning to join it, but I can’t seem to get my act together on Fridays.  So, this week instead of Five for Friday….we’ll call it Five for Saturday.  I’ll try to be more on time next week :-).  Join in on the Linky Party fun with Doodle Bugs Five For Friday.

Best Homework Response Ever! We asked the kids to write about where they live and give details/facts.  This student wrote, ” I live in Las Vegas.  It is the city of sin.”  Too funny!

So, I’m in a portable at my school and the heating/AC doesn’t work at night and it turns on every morning when you walk in…or so I thought.  So, every morning it takes awhile/2 hours to warm up.  Only problem was Friday it just never warmed up.  Apparently the heater is broken and finally by 3:00 it was 66 degrees, but for most of the day we were hovering around 59.  No heat, in a portable, on a rainy day = no fun.  But, we made the best of it wearing our winter coats while we worked.

Back to the rainy day on Friday in my number 2.  Rainy day =  no recess = cold kids and restless kids.  So, for our indoor recess – we did a Thanksgiving Deskercise video.  I love these videos – great way to get the kids moving all while they’re learning facts at the same time.

The last 2 weeks we’ve been working our way through 1st Grade is WienerFUL’s Turkeys and Thanksgiving packet on TPT.  She has great ideas and lots of great resources for informational text reading and writing and additional Thanksgiving activities.  On Friday, we read the book The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving and filled out her Thanksgiving tree map and then wrote All About The First Thanksgiving. Check out her awesome packet here

 We also read the book Turkey Trouble this week.  It is about a turkey that doesn’t want to be eaten on Thanksgiving so he tries to disguise himself as different animals that won’t get eaten.  It’s a pretty cute story with a funny ending that my students loved.  After reading it, we then wrote about what we would disguise a turkey as so it wouldn’t be eaten.  Their responses were so cute! Some students chose animals – cat, dog, duck, etc and then the few I posted below chose the Hulk, Spiderman, and a ninja.  Great creative writing response to a fun book!

Thanks for checking out my Five for Friday/Saturday.  Be sure to link up here

Weather Books

Anchor Charts, Common Core, Informational Text, Report Writing, Thinking Maps

I’m a little/lot late in blogging about this, but I still had to share. In September, my 2nd graders and I did an informational text study on weather. We focused on clouds, sunlight, rain, and snow.  We read informational books (there are some great weather informational books written by Erin Edison), watched clips on Brainpop Jr., and shared background knowledge.  After learning about the type of weather, we created a circle map with facts we learned. Then, we turned the circle maps into an informational book about weather that we wrote together. Since we’ve been studying informational text and text features we also included a table of contents and headings into our books. Here’s a ton of pictures of our work.

Here are our circle maps that we created with the information we learned from the books and the Brainpop videos.

Here the students are working on their own circle maps of information using the information learned and the information we put on our class circle map.
Here are the finished products! They are turned out great and the kids loved how they were able to write their own book about weather that looked just like the ones we read in class.



White House – American Symbols Unit

Informational Text, Report Writing, Social Studies, Thinking Maps

So our first grade team took on a huge project and it went so well! American Symbols is one of our social studies standards and with the huge increase in informational text we decided to create a huge unit on it.  Each teacher took a symbol – White House, Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument, American Flag, and Bald Eagle. Then, we came up with a PowerPoint, books to use, stations etc.  My symbol was the White House – see my ideas below…

First, I started out by showing this fun video of a student interviewing President Obama. I started off by telling the kids that we had a mystery symbol today and they had to guess what it was.  They loved the suspense and love the video. The video was about 10 minutes long so I picked out the appropriate parts that I thought they would enjoy. 

Next, we watched a PowerPoint that I made on the White House. This PowerPoint focused on the main facts that I wanted my first graders to come away knowing.  After the PowerPoint, we started a whole group circle map putting up details from the PowerPoint.  Then, we read a nonfiction book about the White House and again added more facts. 

See our White House Class Circle Map….

After working our class circle map, the kids made their own that they added to throughout the day.  Then, it was time to move on to our White House Stations.
Station #1 – Informational Text
Students looked through a variety of White House books (different text levels) and added more facts to their circle maps. 
Station #2 – Writing Activity
Students write a story about what life would be like if they lived in the White House.
Station #3 – Word Search
Students highlight the presidential words.

Station #4 – World Book Kids Article
Students read a White House article printed from World Book Kids online and highlighted key facts.

Station #5 – White House Virtual Tour

The White House has a great website with a virtual tour of the White House. The kids can see a map of the White House and see pictures and information on the various rooms. This is a kid favorite station!

After completing their circle maps, on day #2, the kids wrote a report on the White House using their circle map information. 
Once we were all complete with our report on each symbol, students picked their favorite symbol to do a technology project on using the program “Frames.” Our wonderful district Ed Tech is helping us out with this. 
So, overall, this symbols project incorporates – reading standards, writing standards, social studies standards, listening and speaking standards, and technology standards.  Love it!
Below are some student circle maps…