Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sensory Table


I have had a large sensory table in my classroom since I moved to this school.  I've done nothing sensory related with it until now.  I must admit that it is a little daunting trying to think of what to do.  Fortunately, there are lots of wonderful resources out there, including this great blog.  I was inspired to give it a try in my classroom especially since I have several children who do need it. 


What I discovered is that I had all the materials in my classroom.  This activity cost me nothing!  As a teacher, you don't say that too often.  I had silk leaves I purchased from Target last year.  (Last year, I used them for making patterns and sorting). 


The small items, again, were finds from years past.  This is a finger puppet witch is from Party City and the sticky rats are from last year's Clearance section after Halloween. 

I added some directions to help my little ones know what to look for.  Honestly, I was hoping to get the word "find" taught in a fun way too.

Not bad, for my first sensory table.  Now, I have to start thinking for one to use in November.  I'll probably reuse much of the same things but perhaps add in some finger puppet turkeys and some small play food items.

It is amazing how I am still trying new things even after teaching over a decade!  I guess that's what I love about my job, there is always something new to learn!

Happy Learning and Teaching!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Our Owls


One thing about looping with your students is the opportunity to explore and learn about new things.  This month, we have been studying about nocturnal animals.  We began our unit with reading, Stellaluna.  We retold the story using a bat pattern.  We compared bats and birds similar to this from Mailbox.com.  Lastly, the students wrote facts about bats from our graphic organizer.  (I forgot to take pictures before returning the work.)

This week we have been studying about owls.  We read this wonderful owl book by Gail Gibbons.  The kids were fascinated by the names of the owls.  They loved the Elf Owl.  To help them understand the vocabulary word elf, I showed them a picture of a Keebler Elf

For art, the students created these wonderful looking owls using tear art. 
 Here are a few upclose.  I love the texture and detail that tear art creates. 


What I love about this project is that it meets the needs of all learners.  This picture below was created by one of my students who is mainstreamed into my classroom for part of the day. 

I think they look absolutely beautiful!  Tomorrow, we will finish this project with writing. 

Happy Learning and Teaching!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It Worked!

We had a lot of success today with using this in our classroom this morning.  All of the members of our classroom were engaged.  Even my severly autistic child was able to remember many of the sounds because of the visual support and kinesthetic movement.  One student asked for the sound card during writing time to help her with the long e sound. 

I hope you'll give it a try yourself!

Happy Learning and Teaching!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Terrific Gem

Each time I teach first grade, I struggle with how to make learning all the vowel pair sounds explicit.  For readers, it comes so naturally.  But for my kids who struggle, learning a vowel pair sound and its different spellings in one week is nowhere near enough time.  This summer, I purchased vowel pair cards from here.  This site is truly a gem.  Heidi has created a program where kids get moving and as a result, get learning. 

I decided to take her cards and create a Power Point.  (No, SmartBoard. )  So, beginning tomorrow, this will become part of our Morning Opening.  I hope that over time, all kids will be successful with learning the vowel pairs. 

Happy Teaching and Learning!