Reading ABC Books and creating our own have always been an enjoyable learning experience for me and my students. I have given you ideas about some in my previous blogs, but I wanted to share a few more with you today. Maybe you will make a few with your students before the year is over, or use some of these ideas when you start a new year in August or September. Each year I choose a few class books to save for myself, and the rest I give away to students. The ones I have chosen to keep I will treasure forever.
In keeping with the theme of love for the month of February, I would like to share with you an activity I completed with my students using the book A Book of Hugs by Dave Ross.
In addition to teaching about the wonderful life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I like to extend the celebration of his birthday into several lessons on peace; peace within our selves, peace with others and peace between nations.
With the incredibly exciting Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama coming up on January 20th, I thought I would share with you some links of lessons and resources. I hope you find time to teach about this historic event so your students are able to feel that they have been a part of our country’s democratic process. I know my own first graders are fascinated with President Elect Obama and pictures of him are hung all over our classroom. We have one particular solemn looking photo that is hung on the Good Citizen Board because the kids like to think he is looking down on us making sure we are all doing a good job in our work. They are such cute little sweeties, I really love working with 1st graders!
The holidays always inspire me to create fun and exciting learning activities and Thanksgiving is no exception. I love taking a real life event from my student’s lives to extend learning through language arts, math, science and creative expression activities. It makes for a more fulfilling holiday experience for me as well as for my students.
One of the best things about teaching in the lower grades is that we get to learn about and celebrate so many different holidays. Although though I do complete creative art activities and play fun holiday games with my students, I spend much of our learning time focusing on language arts activities that use holiday words and ideas. Here are some of quick Halloween activities for you to use in your own classroom.
One of my favorite comprehension strategies that I use in my classroom is “Think-Pair-Share ”. It is a simple, yet incredibly effective comprehension strategy that can be used with almost any book and takes no preparation time. I have borrowed a wonderful explanation of this strategy from Reading Quest.org, a website designed for teachers who wish too more effectively engage their students with the content in their classes. If you have never tried this in your own classroom, I highly encourage you to do so and post a comment below about the results. I bet you will be surprised at how quickly your students pick up on how to use this strategy and how much more of a lively discussion ALL of your students will be having about the question at hand.
One of the first homework assignments I ask my students to complete with their parents is a Baby Name Page. This The Baby Name Page assignment is explained in my article “Homework: Why It is Important”. One of the follow-up activities to complement this assignment corresponds with the incredibly cute book When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth by Jamie Lee Curtis.