Five for Friday

Hello again! Today I am linking up with tons of great teacher bloggers for Five for Friday. I may be a day late, but hey, no judgements right? We just finished up week 5 and you know what that means- back to school germs are full swing. It amazes me every year how many gallons of hand sanitizer and cases of tissues we seem to go through in just a few short weeks. Now that my turn with with germs is done, I can finally see straight long enough to share about our week :)

 We began Monday with our school's annual Pinwheels for Peace event. Every student in the school creates and decorates a pinwheel in art class. The music teacher also teaches everyone a song about peace. Our entire school community gathered in a circle to watch the pinwheels and sing for peace. Something about all of the children dreaming about a peaceful world always brings a tear to my eye. It's such a powerful event and one I look forward to each year. 
Last week I got a little "Pinspired" and made a bunch of anchor charts for writing. Now like I tell my students, I went to teacher school, not art school, so they're not perfect. But, I do think they got the job done. I love using anchor charts with my students as a tool to help them recall important information. I usually end up creating basic charts with my students during my lessons, but occasionally I like to fancy them up a bit. Other times I start the basic frame (cute part) before the lesson and create the remaining part with my students. They love having ownership over the work hung in our room and tend to see more value in it compared to something like a store-bought poster simply hung on the wall.
After using Pinterest as inspiration for my writing anchor charts, I decided to try my hand at creating my own. This week in science we continued our unit on Force and Motion. Our focus was on the difference between push and pull.

We spent the week talking about real life examples while searching our classroom and playground. I introduced the concept of a hard and soft push/pull by having students pass a balloon, koosh ball, and kickball. They could see the amount of force needed to keep the ball off the ground differed.We also used an example of the amount of force it would take to push a baby on a swing compared to an adult. Their favorite example was when we pretended to be super heroes stopping the world from a meteor- they pretended to use a huge amount of force to push it away.
 The unit 1 theme for our literacy standards focuses on ABC books. We spent the last few weeks reading dozens of them. Who knew there were so many! My students are really enjoying the different books. The unit works well for reinforcing beginning letter sounds and brainstorming words for each page. I am also tying it into our writing standards by focusing on the concept of topic and details. This week we are using the ABC books as inspiration for our own class book. Students chose to create a class ABC book about animals. After brainstorming a list of animals for each letter, students each began creating their own page. I will add pictures next week once we get past the rough draft stage. They are also using informational texts to research additional details about their animal.
Although I have enjoyed reading many of these books, I have to say one of my favorites is ABC of Jobs by Roger Priddy. Each page shares a different job description, the clothing required, and a fun fact. My students loved learning about the different career options and it tied in perfectly with preparing students to be college and career ready.

 I don't know about your class but my kiddos seem to go through pencils at an unbelievable speed. Keeping pencils sharpened seems to take up more time than it should each day. I set up a system where students put their broken pencils into a cup and take out a sharpened one. Now that I had a system in place it was time to find the perfect pencil sharpener. I heard about "the best classroom pencil sharpener" from Classroom Friendly Supplies. I placed an order for the cool blue one and it came in this week. I absolutely love how sharp it makes each pencil. The fabulous reviews are true and it was well worth the money.

I am happy to officially welcome fall. In honor of the cool(er) weather, I created a new word problem set. My focus was on addition and subtraction word problems with numbers up to 10. What I love about this product is the ability to use a QR Code reader to self check work. My students are loving the integration of technology! I am having to read the problems out loud for now (lots of non-readers) but they still enjoy it.
 Thank you for following the randomness of my week. I hope you have a great Saturday!

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