Monday, 26 March 2012

Synonym Chefs!

Today was a fabulous day in Grade 1! I have so much to share, but first I want to show you some of the fun stuff we have been doing in the class over the last month or so.

We have been working on becoming expert word family readers and writers. The kids have been bombarded with so many word family exercises recently. It's time to take a break.... Here's a cute one though - word family flowers. A super cute idea that I found on Pinterest.

For the past two weeks it has been crazy hot and so I thought getting a Springy garden out in the hallway would be in order. I also wanted the kids to show off their amazing word family talents and artistic abilities.  (Too bad the weather didn't last and we are back to - 14 degree temps this week. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.)
Word Family Flowers

Word Family Flowers from a distance

My sample copy - up close!
 I also have been in the re-designing mode. I have had my word wall on a large chalkboard for the past few years. It worked - but was ugly. I decided to forgo the magnetic words on the chalkboard and instead try colour coded words on a nice blue bulletin board. Well, I am happy with the outcome, and the kids are using it a lot more! That's the whole point, right?
Word Wall
 Okay, so as for today.... We made "synonym buns". A great idea I stole from Wow, that girl is incredible! Anyway, I basically stole her whole concept and we did it today. It was awesome. We read a great book on synonyms called Pitch and Throw, Grasp and Know, and then had a brainstorming session. I told them that we were going to be synonym chefs. I made them each a chef hat, with the assistance of my EA, coop student and student teacher. Thank goodness I have help this year!

 It took the kids a while to get into the "synonym" mode. At first, I asked if anyone could give me a synonym for the word "big", the answers I got were "pig, jig, rig".... Too much word family work? :) Anyway, I had them do some independent brainstorming using the cute worksheet I downloaded from the website above.

Students completed this independently and then used this information to complete their synonym buns.

Terrible expression Mrs. Campbell! Check out the chef hats! Super cute!

Synonym buns created from worksheet!
 After we completed our synonym buns, we made cinnamon buns. YUM! The kids were super excited to share one with our Vice Principal. Here we are taking a field trip to her office, presenting her with a yummy cinnamon bun! She was VERY impressed!

Check out the cute hats!
After completing our work in language today, I decided that the students definitely needed some extra practice with synonyms to solidify their learning. Over the weekend, I found a sweet idea on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect as a follow-up. So, I called our friends at McDonald's and they donated 30 french fry holders to my class so I could create this interactive learning centre. Thank you McDonald's! After school today, I raced to have this ready for tomorrow. I can't wait for the kids to see it!

How does it work? Students will choose a french fry from the container at the bottom right hand corner. They will read the word and decide which holder it belongs. How will they know? They will be prompted to place it into a holder that is a synonym for that word. Super fun!

french fry word: angry
french fry holder it should be placed in: mad

Check out the cute anchor chart and our yummy synonym buns!
Finally, I wanted to share with you our Bucket Filler wall. Our focus this year is to be bucket fillers, not bucket dippers. We read several books related to this concept, but the one I really focused on is called "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" Students write on little slips that say, "I want to fill __________'s bucket by saying ____________". Students often write little things like, "I like your hair or shirt or dress". It's a really nice way of warming someone's heart. I thought it might get old quickly, but this has been up for a couple months and the pockets are filled almost every day! Yay!

Thanks for reading. I really enjoy sharing all this with you.


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