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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Peek at a Short Week

Last week was the calm before the storm. It was a short week with our day off on Monday and our fun-filled field trip to the pumpkin patch on Friday. {Teacher fail of the century: I didn't manage to get a whole group picture! So sad!}

This week, however, will not be as smooth-sailing as last. Because not only do I have some pretty big assignments due for my grad classes, but we've also got parent-teacher conferences Thursday and Friday (cue panic-induced music).

Parent-teacher conferences can definitely be a stressful time. Luckily, I found a fantastic, editable freebie by Jodi Southard to help me organize my conferences, which I think will save me a lot of time in preparing for 25 different conferences! Last week, I had my kids fill out a simple self-evaluation. On the back side, there is space for me to comment on their strengths/areas of improvement, what we will work on while at school, and how parents can support at home.

Because of conferences, I did not have to do as much instructional planning this week. Here is what we have going on:

First quarter was all about small moments. Now that we are into second quarter, we need to say goodbye to narrative writing and hello to, well, something else. In order to wrap up narratives and give my students a good opportunity to show what they know, we will all be writing about our fabulous trip to the pumpkin patch last Friday. We will also be making these cute little pumpkin guys found on Kacey's blog to accompany our writing out in the hallway.

Second quarter is my favorite because I get to teach all about story elements and retelling! We will begin discussing characters and character traits. I found this fantastic post from Sarah about great fall-themed books to teach characters and picked up some free graphic organizers as well. The post came just in time and I am so excited to delve into characters this week!

We are so, so done with nouns and verbs. And we've become pretty good sentence-writers. Now it's time for some adjective fun! As I was going through my resources, I was so excited to find some adjective-related activities that fit perfectly in with the fall theme I've got going on. We will begin by describing a pumpkin and end the short week describing different candy corn "characters". Does it not tie in almost perfectly with my character trait lessons? (Big teacher-win).

Another thing I love to teach is fact families. They can be such a huge lightbulb moment for so many of my first graders! While we're not quite to fact families yet, we are getting ready for them by discussing related addition and subtraction facts. 

Finally, we will finish our pumpkin KWL chart we started prior to our field trip last week. We will label a pumpkin, discuss the pumpkin life cycle, create a pumpkin life cycle craft, and finish up with an interactive emergent reader that students will read with partners.

'Tis the season for conferences, so I'm sending positive thoughts to all who will be conferencing along with me these next couple of weeks! Oh, and don't forget to head on over to Deedee's blog to link up with everybody!

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