Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I will NEVER put up a Christmas Tree again!

I will never, I mean NEVER set up my class tree again!  From now on my students will set up the tree!

At one of my Guided Math stations, students had to set up our Christmas tree. I scattered the branches around the pole and went to work with my groups at the guided math table.  As I worked with my groups, I kept an eye on  the tree building station. It was hard not to give suggestions. It was SO cool to see students successes and failures.  It was AWESOME to see the students that emerged as leaders.  (Not the students I would have thought!) 

For the entire math block, groups rotated in and out of this station, but the tree was never put together correctly. 

When math time was over, we gathered around the tree to discuss what kept us for correctly assembling the tree.  Here is what my students came up with...

1. We were not communicating

2. Everyone was doing their own thing

3. We didn't have a plan

I was impressed. 

So, we took apart what we had done and started over using the strategies that we just brainstormed.  We talked. We developed a plan.  We worked together and not on our own.  In 30 minutes, we did what we couldn't accomplish during our hour math block. 

This lesson was SO worth it! Not just for math and problem solving, but for building team work!  When we were done building the tree, we sat around our accomplishment and shared what we learned and how we can apply it to ANY group work situation. 

Click on the link below to see my class blog post with pictures!

Mrs. Wanke's Wonderful Whales: Building the Tree: On Wednesday, Mrs. Wanke put all the parts of the tree on the floor and we had to work together as a team to correctly build the tree. ...

Sunday, February 26, 2017

3 Cheers for Dr. Seuss

I love Read Across America week honoring Dr. Seuss.  This year I decided to transform the entrance of my room for the week.  What do you think?

I think my students will love walking through the Truffula forest before entering our room! Super excited for the week.  Check back soon to see what fun we are going to have!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

3-2-1 Blast Off

Have you ever wanted to take a field trip into space with your class?  Of course you have!
Last week we were able to travel to all the planets in our solar system.  
We learned a little bit about each planet while we were there.  

 I hung 11 cards around the school. One for each planet, and introduction to the solar system, and one for returning to Earth.

Students used iPads to scan QR codes on each card. The code took students to various videos and songs to learn about our solar system.  

As they learned, they had to record their findings in their Astronaut Log Book.  (I included the QR codes in the log book so families can travel to space too!)

You can take your class on a field trip to space too!  Just click the picture below to blast on over to my store

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The phases of the Moon

This week we have been reading the book The Moon Seems to Change by Franklyn Branley.  Our first grade team at our school uses the Guiding Readers 2nd Edition sets provided by Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills.

This book taught us about the phases of the moon.  This book did not discuss the gibbous moon, which I feel is an important one to teach my students...so I did.  

I shared with them the 8 phases of the moon.

Instead of doing the worksheet that went with the book, I chose to do one of my favorite lessons with my students...Oreo Moon Phases!  This was a super fun and yummy way to learn about the moon phases.

I sent home with my students a Moon Watchers work sheet as optional homework.  This will give us a some real world experience.  Of course I encouraged participation with a prize to anyone that returns their Moon Watchers sheet.   Hey, what can I say...ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

Friday, February 3, 2017

100th Day of School

 This year I finally jumped on the "dress like you are 100 years old" bandwagon.  Let me tell you, this was my favorite 100th day EVER!  I have not had this much fun in a long time.

I had so much fun dressing up. I am even planning how I can improve my costume for next year. 

Check out some of my cute oldies!






Of course I could not resist using the app Oldify to make all my students look really really old...including myself. 

We played all kinds of 100th day games!  

Here are my students at the 100th day physical activity station.  Students had to do 100 hula hoops, jumping rope, bounding a ball, sit ups, etc. 

Playing race to 100.

Building a 100 domino train...then knocking it all down!

100 creatures/designs

Here they are creating their spinner.  After creating their spinner, they had to spin it 100 times and keep tallies of what the spinner landed on the most. 

Of course we couldn't go without writing 100 words...after our whole class read 100 books.