Welcome Back Wednesday: It's "Southern" Week

Welcome back to Where the First Graders Are! I started this blog last summer after my second year of teaching. This last September, I was given the task of lesson plan writer for our grade level. Essentially, I am now responsible for writing lesson plans for all first grade teachers to follow that encompass all (yes ALL) Math and ELAR TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and most Social Studies, Science and Technology TEKS. To be honest, it was incredibly overwhelming at first. However, it was really a blessing in disguise. I am now 100% confident that my students will leave my classroom with a solid foundation of the "knowledge and skills" they will need to be successful in second grade. That's the good news. The great news is that I have learned so many new things in the last six months that I am incredibly anxious to share with all of you! But let's take it one post at a time, shall we?

What I'm Teaching This Week

Our school adopted the Scott Foresman Reading Street reading series. This week, our story is A Southern Ranch. The story guides students through the day in the life of a ranch hand. To coincide with our "southern" story, I planned several other "southern" activities. What kind of Texas girl would I be if I didn't embrace every chance possible to talk about our great state?

Teaching about Texas with Tumbleweed Tom 

To satisfy a portion of the ELAR "research and comprehension" TEKS, we read Tumbleweed Tom on the Texas Trail by Jackie Mims Hopkins.

On each page, students identified facts and opinions. Students also recorded facts about Texas on a blank piece of paper from their "Free Write" Journal. Allowing students to record their "research" on a blank piece of paper allowed them to organize their thoughts in their own way. We've spent a great deal of time discussing ways to organize information this year. It is very important to me that students find a method that works best for them. 

After we finished reading, students then wrote a "reflection" story. Their writing could focus around one new fact they learned from the story or they could write about one of the cities on the "Texas Trail" that they had visited before. 

Tall Tales and Wanted Posters

Every Friday, our class has "FUN FRIDAY". Essentially, Fun Friday includes reading stations, math stations and one craft/writing project. This week our class will be making "Wanted Posters" as our craft/writing proejct. We spent a good bit of time brainstorming ideas for our wanted posters on Tuesday. 

To begin our brainstorming session of "tall tales", we watched the story of Pecos Bill retold by Roy Rogers. It can be found on YouTube for Schools here

After hearing the tale of Pecos Bill, my students' imaginations were running wild! I got them started on this writing web as soon as possible! I helped each student think of an alliterative adjective to create their "cowboy" name. Here are some good ones we came up with: Kissin' Kate, Greedy Garret, Cow-Catchin' Cory.

On Friday, I will have my students copy their writing onto this final draft. There are two options for the picture portion of the Wanted Poster. The really fun option is to dress your students up in cowboy hats and bandanas. Then you can take their picture and print it with the sepia filter to give it that "old-timey" look. If you are running short on time or resources, you can have your students draw a picture of themselves as a cowboy or cowgirl instead. Here is what the final drafts look like. I printed mine on tan/brown paper. 
You can get both documents in this week's FREEBIE found here

If you are looking for more Texas fun, check out my US and Texas Pledge Cut and Paste found here

Coming Up This Week

IT'S SALE TIME!! Please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for a 20% off EVERYTHING sale happening now through Friday, April 4th.

Look for an Ezra Jack Keats Author Study coming soon!

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