Compare & Contrast: Good Night Goon & Good Night iPad

Last week I mentioned that I'd be comparing and contrasting the books Good Night Goon and Good Night iPad with my 1st graders and I had to write a quick post today because my little friends loved it! This was a perfect "the day before Halloween" activity, but could easily be done anytime. 

I used my Compare & Contrast poster to model again what it means to compare and contrast.  Then I told my little friends to pay close attention to the stories for similarities and differences and read them both the stories right in a row.  Before completing the Compare & Contrast graphic organizer, we talked about the two stories.  They did such a good job retelling the stories to me and they all quickly came up with similarities and differences.  I had them complete the "same" category first because I think it's easier for them to establish similarities with books like these that obviously go together. 

I use traditional looking venn diagrams in my classroom too, but I generally switch back and forth between the traditional venn diagram and this version because sometimes I find it easier for my students to write in the format above/below.  They still get the same overall concept of comparing and contrasting just in a slightly different format.  I always like to add a little variety to what we do on a regular basis! (You can check out more about this pack here.)

I was super impressed with one of my little 1st grade friends who came up with a similarity of 'they both rhyme.' This was huge to me because that meant he was really paying attention to the patterns of the text- Woohoo! :)

After we were done with the graphic organizers, I took a vote to see which book they liked better and it was pretty much an even split, which surprised me. I thought for sure they'd like all the tech gadgets being mentioned more, but I'm thinking since Halloween is tomorrow Good Night Goon got them even more excited for trick or treating! :) Oh and not one student mentioned that these books are just like Good Night I'm thinking I need to pull that one out too and see if anyone makes the connection seeing that is the original!

Have a great day!


A, E, I, O, U- All about Vowels!

This has been a very busy week which has made it move fast, but I sure am ready for the weekend! Here's what we've been up to this week:

1. We had conferences last night till 7:30 and I don't know about the rest of you but Amanda and I get very slap-happy on these evenings and just really want to sit around and giggle.  Does that happen to anybody else on those long days??

2. I decided to spend a whole lot of my time early on this year reviewing vowel sounds- short and long.   I usually spend a good portion of the beginning of the year just working on short vowel sounds with my 1st graders, but I'm trying to push my little friends along a little quicker this year and as a result have been going over silent e long vowels a whole lot already! Thankfully so far I feel like my little friends have definitely mastered short vowel sounds (almost all of them) and some of them are even getting the long vowels with silent e- woohoo!

Common Core Alignment: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3b Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3c Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.

3. One way I've been reviewing vowels frequently in my room is with my Vowels Bundle Pack.  This is a mega pack that has helped me out so much this year! It includes posters, mini posters, centers, printables, assessment, etc! I try to always make sure that not only are we practicing words alone but also in sentences and text so my centers include a combination of all these things.

Mini Posters for Guided Reading Groups
Short Vowel Picture and Word Match
Long Vowel with Silent e Picture and Word Match
Short or Long Vowel Sort
Short Vowel Picture & Sentence Match
Long Vowel Picture & Sentence Match
Sorting by Sound: Short & Long Vowels
Printable: Picture & Sentence Match
Read and Find It: Short & Long Vowels
This pack also includes centers for r-controlled vowels & two vowels walking, but my little friends aren't quite ready for that yet...soon enough though, I hope! You can check out these activities and more in the pack here!

4. Also included in my Vowels Bundle Pack, is a Quick Assessment for short vowels, long vowels with silent e, r-controlled vowels and two vowels walking. To assess my little friends, I have them click through a Keynote (Mac version of Powerpoint) with a short vowel/long vowel word on each page. They read the word and I record what they said on my own computer. I have a file for each of my students and then I just put the date of the assessment and list their total. I also write any notes about how they approached sounding out the words- what they seem to be missing, etc.

In the pack, I have a student version that you can use to assess each student.  (I use my Keynote version since we are so lucky to have our 1:1 macbooks/iPads.)  
I use this as a pre-test to see who already knows the vowel sounds and then frequently throughout our practicing of the vowels to make sure all my friends are making progress and to determine which vowels they are struggling with still.  It's been nice to have a quick and simple way to assess my little friends regularly! 

5.  I posted last year about how I constantly repeat myself to my students saying, "What's at the end of the word? What does silent e do?" In order for me to not repeat myself maybe quite as often as I used to, I now just point to this poster and my little friends now know what I'm about to say and say it for me instead!  You can download this freebie here!

Going to go check out other posts who linked up with TBA and DoodleBugs Teaching

 Freebie Fridays

Have a great weekend!


Favorite Halloween Read Alouds and Activities

As I've said before, I love that each month can be new and exciting to our little friends because of a new Holiday/seasonal theme.  Today I wanted to share some of my favorite books to read as Halloween gets closer and some fun activities that go along with the books.  I'm linking up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper because these are some new activities I tried this year with books that I've been using for several years! 

I think I got most of these books in a Scholastic book order at some point and have used them every year since.  This year I decided to make these read alouds even more meaningful by adding new reading response activities to go with the stories.

'Spooky Hour' is a fun book full of rhymes that I used today with my little friends.  We reviewed examples of rhymes before reading the book and then I told my friends that while I was reading today I wanted them to listen for rhyming words.  Normally, I have my students give me a thumbs up when they hear two words that rhyme, but today I had them say "Boo!" each time they heard rhyming words.  After they said "Boo!" we'd go over the two words that rhymed on that page.  Now this normally would be a little annoying, but since it's Halloween themed and only for this book, I was okay with it! (I also emphasized that it was ONLY for this story...hopefully I won't regret this next time we do a rhyming read aloud!) After reading the entire story, we made a list together on the board of all the different rhyming pairs they heard in the story. They also did their own rhyming sentences as a follow up where they found two words that rhymed and adding pictures to match. (For differentiation, some students made up their own words while others chose from cards.) I was also super excited because later on when we were working on our 'making words journal' together, and we had some rhyming words, one of my little friends said, "Hey- this is just like our spooky story!" I was so happy for the connection!

'Halloween Fun' is a quick read aloud that can be used for a variety of things- character details, story sequence, etc. I used it for practice with identifying details about characters.  I did a picture walk first and introduced them to the characters in the book. I then told them that while I was reading I wanted them to pay attention to what each character was wearing for his/her costume.  While reading the story we  stopped and added the costume next to each character's name. After reading, each little friend chose a character and drew a picture of that character on the iPads using Skitch. They then labeled the picture with the character's name and costume. Their creations turned out very cute!

This is a mummy. :)
Next week I'll be reading 'Good Night Goon' along with 'Good Night iPad' to my little friends and then we'll complete a venn diagram comparing & contrasting the two books! (You could also use the original Good Night Moon for this but since we are 1:1 technology at my school I figured I might as well use the iPad version!) :) The more I can get my little friends making connections among books, the better! 'It's Pumpkin Time' is a great book which explains how to grow a pumpkin. We'll be using it later this week to activate our prior knowledge about pumpkins! And 'Shake dem Halloween Bones' is just a great read aloud/song book!

Aren't Halloween read aloud books just so fun? :) Thanks Holly for hosting the great weekly linky!

Have a great day!


Halloween Math Centers with a Freebie!

It is hard to believe we are over halfway done with the month of October.  In October, things always start to pick up pace because our first graders are finally in routine.  October also means that the kids are counting down the days to one of their favorite holidays-Halloween!

I love the excitement I see in my little friends' faces when they see we are doing a center with pumpkins, bats or even spiders!  We continue to work on the concepts and skills that need to be taught or that need reinforcement but we bring a little extra "pizzaz" in by  captivating student interest in something they simply can't get enough of (Halloween!)

Here are a few of the common core standards I was hitting during centers this week:

CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.6 Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. 
CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.B.3 Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract.2Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1 Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

1. Counting, Counting and more Counting.
If I asked my students to count to 100, the majority of them are able to. However, if I start on a random number (i.e. 53) it is much more difficult for them to get to 100 (let alone 120.)  With common core, starting at 1 and counting to 120 isn't enough-we much continue to dig is not about memorizing numbers from 1-100 but instead knowing and understanding number patterns so you can count starting on any number (and in first grade go to 120.)

This center was fun for the kids as they got to search  for numbers and put them on the pocket chart.  I like this center because kids are not starting at one but instead figuring out where numbers go based on the numbers they already have in place.  It got my students thinking and communicating about numbers, number patterns, and number sequence.

Students got their number cards from 1-120 and were off!

It was interesting to see the different strategies used with partners to get to 120.  Some students first put their tens in place (i.e. 10, 20, 30... and went from there going both forwards and backwards.)  Others started at a ten and finished the line (i.e. found 56 and then went all the way to 60.) Then picked up a new number and continued in that way.  Many strategies were used (and discussed) to complete this task.  

2. 2 and 3 addend addition match
As I introduced this center, I made sure to let students know spiders are not typically allowed in the classroom but these spiders are ok because they were happy, smiling spiders (not creepy, crawling ALIVE ones!) Students are working on using the associative property to add more than one addend together.  In this center, students worked together to help the spiders find their webs (their sums.)

3. Boo!  Who? 
This is a fun project my students really enjoyed!  We first read a couple of books where the author's gave us "clues" to figure out different kinds of animals or things.  After gaining a better understanding of what a clue is students wrote their own clues...

We passed around these goofy glasses and each student took a picture with them on.
Then, students wrote clues about themselves to help others figure out who they were.

Finally, we created a bulletin board (I used my door) so students could guess who each child in our class is based upon their clues.

They had lots of fun doing it and LOVE checking and reading each other's clues.  They are still doing it each time they pass the door--there are times were I have to push them along because otherwise they would read the speech bubbles for entirely way too long!

4. Mystery Picture (Freebie)
We are working on reading, writing and representing numbers to 120.  Students used markers and colored to find their "mystery picture" amongst all of their numbers.  One of my students who was about halfway done (most of his paper was orange) he said, "Mrs. Zanchelli I know what it is...a ghost!"  I couldn't help but to laugh-it most certainly was not an orange ghost but instead a jack-o-lantern (he eventually figure it out!)   To grab your copy of this freebie click here of on the picture below.

5. Halloween Math Websites
Technology, technology, technology!  There are many fun, engaging, and challenging games for students to play that helps reinforce specific skills.  Students have been enjoying these games on the SmartBoard as well as on their laptops.

This website allows students to practice: addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.   
These number patterns are a challenge as they are not the typical number patterns kids ordinarily see and/or count by.
To see the Halloween activities above and many more activities all aligned to the common core standards please click here or on the picture below.  

Thank you to Doodle Bugs {First Grade Rocks!} and Teaching Blog Addict for hosting each week.  I am off to explore many more blogs and ideas through both of these linkies!


Happy Saturday!


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