Saturday, July 26, 2014

Writing Informational Text with 1st & 2nd Graders

Reading and writing Informational Texts are an important part of the Common Core Standards.  To make these Informational Text Features more meaningful for my students, I created an Informational Text Features book that each child researches and writes.  My “I Can Write All About Science” is my favorite writing project that I do with my students each year.  I have done this project for many years with first and second graders.  This project is so versatile that you will be able to use it for any topic you’d like!  In the past, my classes have made books on sharks, whales, fish, and penguins, but any topic that interests your young scientists will work!   You can include some or all of the pages, picking and choosing which text features are appropriate for your students.

We start by learning about a text feature each day and I have the kids search through informational texts to find examples.  I read aloud about penguins (or whichever topic we were learning about) and the students use the new information for their writing project.  Depending on the needs of your students, you may need to spend 13 days per text feature.  This past year, my class had to go slower due to so many students being pulled out for Speech, LD, ESOL, and RTI.  Kids who finish early have the option to make additional pages with illustrations and captions.
 I put the definition on the document projector so that kids can copy it into their own books.  My students who are pulled out a lot during the day get a copy of the definition and they just cut them out and paste them into their books to save time.

When we finish the books, I have the kids make Eric Carle style painted papers to make the animal for the cover.  Before putting them on the covers, we use them in the hallway for a big bulletin board display.  Be sure to have the kids make some penguins small enough to fit on their cover, in addition to larger ones that they can take home.

Click the title page above or HERE to check it out at my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

What are your favorite writing activities for kids in the first or second grade?  I'd love to hear some new ideas!
Happy Teaching!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Snow Day in Oregon!

We finally get to enjoy a snow day in Forest Grove, Oregon!  Yay!  Our kids haven't had snow like this in a long time!  So, that means I have time to make more freebies and products for Teachers Pay Teachers!  Have you already "Liked" Teaching Fabulous Firsties (& Second Grade Smarties!) on Facebook?  If so, you can pick up an exclusive six page reproducible math pack that has addition with regrouping practice!  You can make copies or use them in centers using  C-Line's 9x7 Reusable Dry Erase Pockets from (see an earlier post about these by clicking HERE).   So hop on over to Facebook and "Like" my page so you can get extra freebies!  If you like what you see, it would be great if you wanted to share or pin about TFF! 

What are you working on in math right now?  Maybe I'll whip up some more freebies with your ideas!

Time for watching it snow and some cocoa!  Enjoy your weekend!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy New Year and a Freebie, Too!

Happy New Year, Everybody! I have a new freebie for you to celebrate selling 1,000 products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store! It is a 4-Square writing activity called, “So Sweet!”
I think it is good to have kids reflect on the nice things that people do for us and to be thankful for them. It is also a good opportunity to share how we’ve made someone’s day better (“bucket-filling!). I included different versions that you can choose from. Two are about something sweet the kids have done for someone else. Two others are about something sweet others have done for them. I also included a blank version for you to use with your own prompt. There are versions with transition words and without. I included symbols reminding students to indent and to write a feeling statement/wrap-up sentence on some sheets. A variety of versions of handwriting-lined papers are included for the final copy.  Here are a few of the pages!

I really enjoy using 4-Square writing organizers with my students! The organizers provide extra support for my reluctant writers. This is a quick and easy way for my students to plan and write a paragraph. On the first day, the kids fill out the 4-Square. The next day, students check each sentence for capitals and punctuation, tracing over the first letter of the sentence with a green colored pencil and tracing the ending punctuation with a red colored pencil. Later, we use our "spell checkers" (high-frequency word lists) to fix basic spelling errors. The kids work with a buddy to reread the writing for any revisions before writing the paragraph on the handwriting paper. My kids are always excited to share their writing in class.
I hope you enjoy this freebie! If you like what you see, please Like/Pin/Share! Thanks! Have a great week!
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