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First with Franklin

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Space and Currently

Two weeks ago, we had a story in our Reading Street series that I hate very much dislike.  It's not that there is anything wrong with it, but I think it's boring and a little out there.  So,  the other first grade teacher in my building and I decided to come up with our own plan for the week.  We decided since The Lady in the Moon was about the moon, we would come up with something about the moon.  Well, our idea grew into teaching a mini-unit on space.  We still taught the skills from the book, but supplemented tons of other space ideas.  We did two days of center activities.  I planned 4 centers and so did she, then I taught my students at centers the first day, and hers the second day.  Clear as mud, right?  
The kiddos LOVED this unit and I am so glad we decided to change things up.  One of the centers we did was what I named Race Through Space.  It is a version of a dice game that we have done with students before, but with a space theme.  I have a couple of sets of big foam dice and students thought I was extra cool for letting them use them.  (It's the little things, right?)  You can see how they filled in the sheet in this picture.  

We played another center that I named Words from Earth or Mars?  We talk about nonsense words when we do our Michael Heggerty Phonemic Awareness and AIMSWeb testing, so I want students to be able to tell the different between real and made-up words.  I wrote out a bunch of our sight words and nonsense words on sentence strips and had students sort them in a pocket chart.  I made students choose a job- we had a Secretary from Mars (to record Mars words), a Secretary from Earth (to record Earth words), and two Word Hunters (they had to take turns pulling words from the bucket).  All the students had to reach an agreement before the word was added to pocket chart and the correct secretary had to add the word to his/her list before the next word was pulled.  I was amazed at how smoothly this center ran- the students did an awesome job sorting words and getting along.  I would offer you the recording sheet, but I can't seem to find where I saved it.  If you want it, just leave a comment or send me a message and I will get it to you when I find it.  

Everyone's favorite center during this rotation, was the Alien Make-Over.  We printed each students' picture out and then he/she cut out the face.  They glued it down and then went to town creating an alien version of themselves.  The students loved using glitter glue, goggly eyes, and stickers. (Who wouldn't???)  They turned out so stinking cute!  We also had each student fill out a star with an "I wish..." phrase on it.  We also let the students decorate the mural and then put it in the hallway.  

Does anyone else have any cool space ideas for next year? 
 I'm definitely taking the boring suggested story out of my rotation again next year.  

I'm also Linking Up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently.  

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  1. I love the alien make overs! I did the same thing with a former series we were using and supplemented my own big book about space. Here is a link on my blog with some space center activities that we did earlier this year.

    I hope you find something you can tweak and use for your first graders. =)

  2. I've always wanted to have the capability of becoming invisible! Somehow, I think it probably wouldn't be as much fun as I think.

    First Grade Delight

  3. Hi, I love the moon activity. The continuation of my story with my little guy. Today I decided to treat every good thing he did with a compliment. Wow, he was an exemplary student all day. None of the stuff from yesterday, I decided that because his other teacher actively disliked him, I would actively like him. I'll let you know how it goes. I hope things are going well.

    Tales from Second

    by the way, how do you do the currently thing?

  4. I hope it works for you! A great attitude can go a long way when dealing with challenges! =)

    For Currently, you can visit Farley's blog (it should be linked above) and get the blank picture. Then you save the picture on your computer and open it up in word or powerpoint, type your info into it and save it as a picture file (I did jpeg). Then you can post it on your blog. There is a better explanation here:

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I love the dice game!

    Thank you so much for sharing! =)

    Heather's Heart

  6. I am your newest follower! Head on over and check out my blog! Happy Saturday!