Sunday, January 21, 2018

Snowflakes And The Start Of Story Workshop

When we came back from Winter Break, we actually had some snow on the ground!  Here in Ohio, you never know if another opportunity to explore snow will come around so we grabbed onto it! I set out some invitations for the kids to look closer at snowflakes and see what they noticed!  We read a biography about Snowflake Bentley who spent his life figuring out how to photograph snowflakes so he could share their beauty with the world! I showed them his life's work and they were amazed!  The book he made as his gift to the world! It is the open book you see below!

The story inspired many to visit and create their own beautiful snowflakes using white oil pastel on black paper. Look at the attention to detail in their pictures!

I also put out some loose parts so that they could create some beautiful transient art snowflakes!

Again, their attention to detail amazed me!

I had decided to revamp how I do Writer's Workshop.  I had seen some videos from Opal School in the Portland Children's Museum that really inspired me to start something called Story Workshop. If you search YouTube for Opal School Story Workshop they will come up.  It integrates the arts with Writer's Workshop so that our stories are not limited to pencil, crayons and paper.  My first step was to get them to see the stories in their play.  I wanted them to see that stories are all around us and experiences can tap into a memory or idea that turns into a story!  I set up a few winter themed areas to maybe spark some memories and ideas for stories.  The first one is something we call "Small World Play."  Here the kids get to practice the language standards and orally telling stories as they play with the open ended materials.

I set up another area for story inspiration in the clay area.

I imagined stories about building snowmen or having snowball fights.  I love when they surprise me! Instead of making a three dimensional sculpture this friend stuck the clay to the walls and created a story of a bunch of friends standing in the snow, looking up and watching the clouds go by!

I was letting the kids discover that there are stories within us, all around us and even in the materials in our classroom.  Our next step is for them to use the arts to tell their stories and then publish them.  They can show their story by creating costumes and putting on a play, or through dance, music and song, or by using artists materials such as paint, clay, pastels, markers, colored pencils, charcoal and wire, or by using loose parts and materials for small world play, or by playing out their story in the dramatic play area.  They can show their stories to small groups or our whole class.  After, we will have a writing portion where they can record or publish the stories they created or are working on.  I am very excited about this but also know that this will be a learning process for all of us as our Story Workshop develops.  I will keep you updated on how it is going!

I set out some new math stations. Our focus is on the teen numbers (both i.d. and that the teens are a group of tens and some ones), 3D shapes, and addition.

Below they are exploring the attributes of 3D shapes by seeing if they roll or slide.

Here they can go on a shape hunt around the room. The beautiful three dimensional pictures below came from the amazing Kristen Smith from A Day In First Grade.  Teachers, check out her TPT store for all kinds of amazing resources!

Teen Bingo and a teen board game will help reinforce identifying teen numbers.

The game below was also inspired by Kristen Smith.  This kids take turns using the catapult to toss a puff ball into the cups.  They turn the cup over to see what the teen is.  They then take a ten stick and however many ones they need from the Cuisenaire Rods to show the teen number.  This is how they keep score.  Whenever they get ten ones, they can trade them in for a ten stick. Whoever has the highest score wins. If they get ten groups of ten, they can also trade them in for a one hundred square and win.  This one game practices teen i.d, making teens with a ten and some ones, decomposing numbers, and addition!

I made these addition tubes with beads and baby soda-bottles. This will also help them with decomposing numbers. They look at the beads and write down the addition sentence they see!

In literacy we are looking at c-v-c words (consonant-vowel-consonant) and breaking them apart into their separate sounds and putting them back together (, and breaking them into their onset and rime ( I brought out these letters they can wear and friends are going around the room seeing if others can read their word.  I have seen them using both c-v-c words and sight words.

We recently read a book called The Night Tree! Next time, I will show you what this book inspired us to do!