Sunday, October 23, 2011

BEWARE....of a really L.O.N.G. post!

Has it really been over 10 days since I have posted?  WOW!  All I can say is we have been VERY busy and with Parent Teacher Conferences over and done with, I hope things SLOW down a bit.  I am happy to say that I had 100% participation and was able to visit with each and every one of my fabulous first grade parents!  To get caught up, I hope you don't mind that this may be a VERY long post... so read on if you DARE!

First, I would like to share our Zoo Animal Research projects we did after returning from our field trip from the St. Louis Zoo.  If you missed that post, read about it here.  We read a bunch of non-fiction books about animals we would like to research.  We were able to see many of these during our field trip.  After reading the books, we would make anchor charts (tree maps) about the facts we learned about these animals.  They are NOTHING fancy, but here are a few of our anchor charts.

After learning about all these animals, students picked their favorite and wrote down facts about their zoo animal on a graphic organizer that looks like this:

Click on the picture to download.

We were going to take this information and write it in a report format.  I wanted them to have that copy practice and forming complete sentences using our "tree map" style.  However, we just were too pressed on time and we wanted to display our projects during Parent Teacher conferences.  So we decided to keep our information on this piece of paper and create our animals out of construction paper.  The SKY was the limit and I was SO impressed with how these turned out.  I love that they are not cookie cutter and they are each unique and designed by first graders.  Here are a few closeups of their animals.

Here is how we displayed these in the hallway.  I also placed some pictures of our zoo trip around our reports for the parents to view while waiting.

In addition to writing our Zoo Reports, the students wrote some spooky stories last week that we were able to hang up on our OWL display wall in the classroom. 

And here is a close up of one of the stories.  I love how she incorporated "spooky owls" in her story at the end.  Do you think her teacher likes owls?

We also learned about compound words and created compound word bats to "fly" around our classroom.  Students learned to recognize two seperate words in a compound word.  We wrote compound words on the bellies of our bats and wrote the two words that make up the compound word on each wing.  Here is a picture:

Then we hung them from the ceiling on our name clips.  I posted about this on Frogs, Bees, and Under the Seas as a guest blogger during their Spooktober celebration. I also posted about a fun Halloween treat also...(edible eyeballs)!  The kids LOVED them.  So if you have time to swing by there, check it out! :)

Next week is Red Ribbon Week for us.  We had a door decorating contest, so we had to come up with an idea for our door.  I HONESTLY tried to stay away from owls, but when I came up with this saying, "OWL" pledge to be drug free... I just HAD to do owls.  They turned out super cute (I think).  Here is a picture of our door.

And here is a closeup of the bottom of the door.  I took a picture of the kids "pledging" to be drug free.  The winner gets a pizza party so we have our fingers crossed.  Although, there are so many great door creations, it will be tough.  I may just have to make that a separate post and share with you all of the red ribbon week door decorations. 

How do you celebrate Red Ribbon Week?  We have dress up days every day next week - starting with wearing RED on Monday.  Thanks for hanging in there if you made it to the end of this post!  Have a great weekend ~


  1. Is it silly of me to love long posts? I enjoyed reading to the end of your post - it was full of interesting stuff! Thanks for sharing! I LOVE your animal reports and construction paper animals! I plan on taking my firsties to the zoo in the Spring and I will be stealing this idea for sure!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  2. I love your door! Such a cute idea!

  3. Love the animal brace map. Very cute!


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