The first week back after Winter break is always a hard one… the kids are not *quite* back in the routine of school, and let’s face it… neither is the teacher!
We started the week off with a complete review of all our classroom expectations and procedures. Before break we were getting a little lax on our classroom policies. Even the teacher! The start of a new year is a perfect time to refresh and update!
To review, I pulled our classroom expectations posters to the front of the room. We went through each expectation and discussed what it is and what it is not. We also had a few friends “act out” some of our do’s and don’ts.
(Like these classroom expectation signs? Find them here!)
No Ninja moves…
See where I’m coming from? We REALLY needed this review!
To keep the safety chat going, we also read the book, “Officer Buckle and Gloria”.
Don’t you just love this dynamic duo?
Part of our close reading of this book was also look at character responses to events and challenges in the story.
So, after reading the story, students wrote a short response in their Reading Response Journals on how Officer Buckle changed through out the story.
If you’re not familiar with Reading Response Journals, you can check out more posts about them here. I love these spirals! They are very flexible as to what we include.
This was a quick spot check for me. As students finished, I walked around and discussed their answers. A check plus meant they demonstrated understanding. Super quick and easy way to spot check our comprehension.
One of the biggest themes in “Officer Buckle and Gloria” are those funny safety tips, so we used the story as a launching point for an opinion writing piece on what we thought was the most important safety tip.
To complete this activity, we first brainstormed safety tips from the story, as well as rules in our classroom. Then, students choose one rule to write about.
I guided students through supporting their position by using details. We kept our thoughts organized using this brainstorm sheet.
The next day, we used our brainstorm to create a rough draft of our opinion piece. Our main focus was to have a clearly stated opinion, three details to support our opinion, and a concluding statement.
Once students finished their rough drafts, they found a buddy to edit their writing.
Did I mention how much I LOVE buddy editing? It’s like a nice comb through before you get to the knots. Using a buddy to edit our writings allows me to focus on word choice and support as students meet to edit. All the simple stuff like capitals and ending punctuation are usually taken care of. Thank you!
If you’d like to know more about how I run writing in our classroom, you can check out this post.
Once we were all edited up it was time to publish! Students rewrote their final drafts on fun publishing paper.
To complete their project my second illustrated their “Most Important Safety Tip” on a star shaped paper, just like Claire!
Multiple meaning words was also a focus for us! To review, I pulled out this fun center from my “Snow Days” pack.
Before playing, we review that some words have more than one meaning. Then we brainstormed a quick list of words. After discussing their meanings we were ready to play!
To play this center as a whole group game, I had students sit on the rim of my carpet. Then, I passes out an iceberg sentence piece to one side of the carpet. The other side got a penguin word card.
We took turns reading the iceberg sentences. Students matched the penguin word to the correct sentence, then placed the pair in the middle.
Later in the week, I worked this into our reading centers. It made for much easier playing as students were already familiar with most of the words.
For my third graders last year, I cut the iceberg sentences apart. This made the activity much more challenging. For centers, I pulled that version out for my higher achieving group.
Now it is time for me to head to B.E.D. This teacher is tired!