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Getting Ready For A Week Of Texas And Tall Tale Fun!
16 Mar, 2014. 8 Comments. A Day In First Grade, First Grade, First Grade Language, Uncategorized. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week was our Spring Break. I started the week crazy sick. After school on Friday I went straight to the doctor and found out that I had strep throat. However, after two days stuck in bed, the rest of the week was very productive! I tentatively mapped out the rest of my school year and thought it might be helpful for some of you! Here is what I have planned.
The first column contains my weekly themes. 
Then, each page has a subject focus. For each day of the week, I write down the BIG ideas that I need to teach each day. The bottom highlighted part are concepts that I focus on during small groups. Of course I teach more than just this, but this helps give me a road map as to what I need to teach and review. 
 These next two slides highlight my daily extensions. I fit these in at the end of the day to tie everything that we are learning together. Some days we have a craft, other days a science investigation, and other times a math extension. These hands-on activities really help make the units come to life and typically do not take longer than 25-30 minutes. 
To make these units come to life, I integrate all of our subject areas into our theme. 
This week, we are learning all about Texas! {I teach tall tales at the same time.} Since most of Pecos Bill’s story takes place in Texas, it is a perfect tie in. 
To integrate our theme in our learning, here are some things that we will be doing! In Language Arts, we are focusing on: antonyms, suffixes, writing “how to” pieces, and reviewing punctuation.
On Monday, my students will walk in to see our new writing center.  Hanging on our writing string, there are “How To” prompts. They correlate with some of the tall tale stories that we will read this week! 
 My students will write how to ride a catfish, just like Slue-Foot Sue, how to wrestle a bear, like Mike Fink, and other fun prompts! 
 Also in the writing center, along with some fun Texas props, are one of our favorite activities. I print out pictures that will build schema for my students and then have them write stories using the picture as an inspiration! They love, love, love this. I laminate these pictures with sturdy laminate and then my students write on the pages with dry erase markers. You can see more of these pages in the first picture in this post. 
 To practice antonyms, on Monday we will play a whole group game. In a galvanized bucket filled with food for chicks (crushed up dried corn), I hid a bunch of cards. 
 My students will take turns pulling out a card, reading it, and then writing the antonym on the lines using a dry erase marker. After we play this game whole group, it will be a center!
This week my centers are task cards. There are 8 tasks that my students will need to complete this week. As you can see, task one is using our Texas/tall tale vocabulary cards. 
 Again, these cards all have “real life pictures” to really help my students visualize what it might have looked like in the “wild wild west.” {I use these in my guided reading groups as well as in centers.}
To practice suffixes, my students will put word puzzles together.
 After they match the pictures, there is a recording page that has them write down their words, underline the root word, and then use a few of the words in sentences.
To practice punctuation, my students will read these “tall tale-themed” sentences and sort them carefully. 
While my students are completing these centers, I will be meeting with my guided reading groups. I’m so excited for this week.
I wrote “tall tale” magazines for my students to use during guided reading. There are three magazines that I wrote: Pecos Bill, Mike Fink, and John Henry.  I printed them on card stock and then put them in page protectors. 
The texts tell the tales of these legendary men, and the pictures make everything come to life. 
Here’s a close up! 
I just know my students are going to LOVE these magazines! 
Another addition to my classroom this week is a mini-garden! All of these plants grow well or are native to Texas. My students will take turns watering and measuring these plants. In my “Science for All Seasons: Spring Edition” pack there is also a book that will have them record how tall and wide their plant is each day. 
 Each afternoon we will learn about Texas symbols as well. We will add facts to this bulletin board. We also will create a “My Texas” book. Each afternoon we will complete a project that will go inside their book. 
Thursday will be a SUPER fun day. On Thursday all of my students are coming to school dressed up in “Texas get up” and will learn how to use the lasso in the picture above. We also will cook Texas chili in class, and enjoy a bowl with cornbread after our lasso lesson. 
I’m super excited for this week! If you would like any of these Tall Tale resources, they are available in my TpT store! If you already own my unit, please re-download it! You’ll get all the additions for free!! :
Click on the cover to get taken to my store! 
If you are interested, here are my lesson plans for this week as well:

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8 Comments
  1. This is absolutely amazing!! The magazines you made are stunning! I wish that I was a Texas teacher :) My brother lives in Austin and my boyfriend was born & raised in Austin, so I just love Texas!

  2. This post was full of eye candy, terrific content, and you have the luckiest kids on earth!

  3. This looks so fun!! I bet your kids are going to love it!

    Megan
    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade

    Mrs. Wheeler’s TPT

  4. This looks like an absolute blast! Thanks for sharing! Your posts and products are so helpful in my first year!

    Brittany Brune
    Niftyinfirstgrade.blogspot.com

  5. What a fabulous post! Very inspirational, time for me to spend some time planning!! Your kids are super lucky, have a great week.
    Alyce

  6. Kristen, I am in awe of your classroom and your materials. I teach at a small, Christian school as well, and our two big draws to our school are the Christ-centered education and the integrated curriculum. I’m still trying to get a good grip on the integrated curriculum, but your posts always inspire me and give me FANTASTIC ideas. THANK YOU!

  7. Wow, wow, WOW! You have outdone yourself once again and I am in love! You make me wish I lived in Texas!

  8. I and my students are loving this unit! I noticed that you mentioned in your Guided Reading plans that you were using a mini reader of Pecos Bill for your low readers. Is this something that is available on your TPT store?

8 Comments

  • This is absolutely amazing!! The magazines you made are stunning! I wish that I was a Texas teacher :) My brother lives in Austin and my boyfriend was born & raised in Austin, so I just love Texas!

  • This post was full of eye candy, terrific content, and you have the luckiest kids on earth!

  • This looks so fun!! I bet your kids are going to love it!

    Megan
    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade

    Mrs. Wheeler’s TPT

  • This looks like an absolute blast! Thanks for sharing! Your posts and products are so helpful in my first year!

    Brittany Brune
    Niftyinfirstgrade.blogspot.com

  • What a fabulous post! Very inspirational, time for me to spend some time planning!! Your kids are super lucky, have a great week.
    Alyce

  • Kristen, I am in awe of your classroom and your materials. I teach at a small, Christian school as well, and our two big draws to our school are the Christ-centered education and the integrated curriculum. I’m still trying to get a good grip on the integrated curriculum, but your posts always inspire me and give me FANTASTIC ideas. THANK YOU!

  • Wow, wow, WOW! You have outdone yourself once again and I am in love! You make me wish I lived in Texas!

  • I and my students are loving this unit! I noticed that you mentioned in your Guided Reading plans that you were using a mini reader of Pecos Bill for your low readers. Is this something that is available on your TPT store?

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