Friday, November 20, 2015

A Week Full of Thanks!

Being turned into an elementary teacher, I've grown to have a fond affection for thematic teaching.  This week is the week before we get out for an entire week to celebrate our Fall Break over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Here's a peek into how we integrated Thanksgiving into our classrooms this week.

First of all, I planned our Word Study this week to help out my sweet teammate as she traveled out of state for a family matter.  So, I got to really let my crazy out and have some fun with using Thanksgiving themed activities to help us review our November sight words.

First, we played Look-Say-Cover-Write.....with a ~TWIST~! I found the closest thing I could to a 30-second Thanksgiving/Fall themed timer on YouTube, inserted it into a Google Slide so I could easily share it with my team, and projected it onto the board.  I wrote one of sight words on the board and had the learners LOOK at it.  Then, they had to SAY it.  After that, I COVERED it by erasing it off the board.  Finally, the learners had to WRITE the word.  But, here's the twist...I set the timer and told the little spellers they had to write the sight word as many times as they possibly could during the given 30 seconds.  They absolutely ate this up!  They loved the challenge and loved seeing which words they could write the most of.

By the way...did you notice what we're writing with?  Monday, we made our very own quills using new pencils and a feather.  You would've thought we had transported back in time and got ourselves some genuine quills!  :)  We also got a piece of manilla paper, cut it into a animal skin shape, crumpled it up, then smoothed it out.  We did this to mimic writing on deer skins the way some Indian tribes wrote.

On Wednesday, my craziness REALLY showed up!  While searching on Pinterest for ideas on ways to practice our sight words while paying homage Native Americans, I came across these beautiful pictures of Talking Sticks all over Pinterest.  I fell in love with them and they became my inspiration.

My sweet husband and I gathered sticks for our team around our land.  My sweet kids and I painted them in true Talking Stick style.  Then, at school, each learner was assigned a sight word from our November list.  They had to illustrate and write their word on a leaf.  Then, we hung them from our Talking Stick and proudly suspended it from our ceiling for the perfect Thanksgiving decoration!

Our grade level rotated through each teacher this week and each teacher had a different Thanksgiving activity to complete.  In Mrs. Hill's class, we wove paper place mats, Pilgrim style.  In Mrs. Serio's class, we produced the super cute Thanksgiving play posted earlier this week.  Mrs. Gentzler helped us draw and paint some very artsy Native America art.  Mrs. Crow got her teepee making skills on and helped us make our own!  Ms. Mullenix helped us create our own cutest little paper strip pumpkins.

In my rotation, we created Grateful Stones.  We took a stone, cleaned it up, cut a heart out of tissue paper, and Modge Podged it onto our stone.  Now every time we look at our stones, we know to find something to be grateful for.  They turned out really well!

Finally, one of my sweet learners is rocking PicCollage!  She captured our day perfectly:  two sweet friends ready to celebrate, the teacher projecting our Thanksgiving Math Minds prompts, and more friends working to recognize their sight words with a mystery picture.  Great job snapping shots of our morning, Ally! ;)

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