Friday Flashback: Super Edition

It's Friday!! {Happy Dance}  Since I didn't share last week, this might be a little overload....apologies ahead of time!

First, the WINNER of the Tall Tales Craftivities Unit from my Flash Giveaway is....Cathy VerSteeg!!

You'll have this headed your way shortly - Enjoy!!

Since we're talking Tall Tales, let's start the Flashback with Reading.

Last week, we wrapped up our Fables Unit with our puppet shows.  This is always a great way to work on fluency and expression.  The kiddos did a GREAT job!  I don't really love teaching fables....probably my least favorite genre if I have to admit it.  But the addition of these fable scripts and puppets did add a little spark to our unit.
 I found them at The Creativity Institute.  The puppets are a remarkable quality and the scripts include Aesop's fables and original fables, which I love!

After wrapping up fables, we started Tall Tales....which I adore!!  Here are pics of our most recent craftivities...
Last weekend something very rare happened around here.  We actually had S*N*O*W!  And, by snow, I don't mean the frozen, yucky, thin layer of ice that shuts everything down...I mean soft, fluffy, huge, beautiful flakes that covered the yards and left the roads clear!

That NEVER happens around here!  The kids made snowmen and had a fun time, then it was all gone as it reached 60 degrees the next day.  My kind of snow!  :)

What does this have to do with math, you ask?  We had a MATH SNOWBALL FIGHT the day we returned to school.  Many of my kids said they were out of town for the long weekend and they completely missed the snow!  So, we brought it to our classroom.

I mean, LOOK at those faces....they loved it!  We were working on two-digit addition, so each child wrote a two-digit number in large, neat writing on a piece of white paper.  Then they crumpled it up to form a snowball.  I had half the class stand on one side of the room and half on the other side.  On my signal, we {yes, I participated} threw our snowballs!  Then, everyone picked one up and headed back to their seats.  They each had a partner at their teams so they opened up their snowballs and added them together (independently).  If their answers matched, they went to stand back in the throwing positions.  If not, the talked about it and figured out where the problem was.  Then, we repeated it....over and over again.

They could have done math ALL. DAY. LONG.

Word Study:
We worked on contractions this week.  We did all of our usual word study activities....I Have - Who Has?, Hop and Write, etc.  but we also made these.

And, of course we had to conduct a little surgery....

They always get so stinkin' excited about being "doctors."  Later in the day, we had indoor recess {rain, rain go away!} and look what I caught....
These sweet girls had pulled out their doctor masks and gloves and were using unifix cubes to give their patient a shot!  Love them!

We started our "How-To" writing unit yesterday.  I always start this unit by having them write directions for "How To Slide Down a Slide" - something they ALL know how to do.  I don't give them any instructions, other than the topic.

This is what I got....
SERIOUSLY????!!  Wait....this is going to work beautifully with my master plan!  You see, after they do this little task for me, I introduce them to my friend, Al the Alien.  Al hangs out with us during this ENTIRE UNIT.  Since he's visiting from another planet, he doesn't understand anything and only does exactly what he reads. 

So....we headed out to the playground and I Al {okay, me with an Alien hat I found in the Target dollar spot last year}, put their writing to the test!  He tried to slide down the slide by following the directions on EVERY.SINGLE.PAGE and failed! 

Geez!  Writing "how-to" is much more difficult than they imagined!  We headed back in and talked about why he couldn't complete the task.  

We posted some "transitional word signs" that will help us throughout the unit.
They got "Al the Alien" clips to clip to their papers during this unit to remind them of the important things we discussed.
Then, they applied what we learned and took another shot at writing directions so that Al could make it down that slide!

Yes, those are the writings from the SAME two students from above.  Soooooo much better and GREAT for our first assignment during this unit.  We have lots more practice coming our way before our culminating "Teach-It Day" where the students get to be the teachers for the day and teach their classmates how to make or do something!


  1. UM...where to start?!?! This post was FULL of great ideas! I LOVE the how to slide down a slide, the Tall Tales unit, the puppets, the AL the Aliens, the contraction surgery...I think you get it! :) Fun ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  2. My class also loved having snowball throwing in the class - they did not even notice all the learning that was taking place. I love that you tried out their directions. I also love your transition words - I never thought to colour code them like a stoplight. Glad you are back!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  3. This was a great post! You should be proud of that great writing they ended with! Yippee!!
    ideas by jivey

  4. Yay!!! I was scrolling through my blog roll and... wow, there was my name... as a winner! I can't wait to try out the adorable tall tale craftivities!

    Thanks for your generosity! :)
    Cathy VerSteeg

  5. I can't wait to have a snowball fight in my classroom!

  6. First off, glad to have you back. I wondered what was going on last week when you didn't post. :) I remember when you wrote about Al the Alien before and I loved that idea the first time I heard about it and I still love it now. I also posted about the how-to writings we are doing right now. ( We did how to make hot chocolate after our class party where we had made hot chocolate.) BUT, the real reason I wanted to comment is to tell you I am OBSESSED with the snowball throwing idea. We WILL be doing that this week. GENIUS!
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  7. So many great ideas! I love the snowball math. Isn't it amazing how little it takes to get them excited? Still learning the same concepts, but in a much more exciting way! :)

    All the Dots


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