Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Short, but Long Week

With Monday being Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Tuesday a professional day, this was a short week for me. Despite being only three days, this week seemed longer then ever. It may have something to do with the fact that I have been getting up between 4:30 and 5 a.m. to workout with my friend. That could be the reason, but I'm not quite sure. :)

When we have a short week, I hesitate to teach something completely new because our curriculum is set up for a five day week. So, I looked over my standards and thought, "How can I make the most of my time these three short days?" I decided that for Language Arts we would focus on researching and writing a research report. My kiddos can never get enough writing practice!

Anytime we research I attempt to make it about a topic that will keep my students fully engaged. So, because I LOVE Polar Bears and my kids seem to like anything I like, we researched polar bears. We read an article I purchased from TPT and my sweet kiddos began taking notes. We discussed why having a few reliable sources is beneficial too. The kids started to notice the same facts throughout our reading and I was impressed.

We also used World Book Online for Kids and read one of the fabulous National Geographic Books for Kids on Polar Bears. I think the pictures are really what mesmerized them, but they continued commenting that they LOVED this.

Once our notes were complete, we wrote the first three paragraphs together. You may be
thinking,"That many paragraphs in first grade???" Well, I believe in pushing my students and setting my expectations high, and you better believe they meet and even exceed my expectations.

My kiddos wrote the last three paragraphs on their own, with my help and support of course. They turned out fantastic. I did find that we need to focus on starting a paragraph with a main idea and using supporting facts throughout the rest of the paragraph, but I love finding something we can improve on.

To celebrate finishing our Polar Bear Reports, we did a fabulous directed drawing of a polar bear from the fabulous Jennifer White over at First Grade Blue Skies. They turned out pretty dang cute, if I do say so myself. I did have a few brightly colored polar bears, but my kiddos told me they were magical polar bears. How can you say no to a magical polar bear?

The creative liberties they take anytime we do art, showcases their personalities perfectly! One student (picture near the top) said his polar bear was wet. They all decided my polar bear drawing looked sad because my polar bear was a cub who lost its Mama! These kiddos crack me up and help me remember why I do what I do!


  1. Love this! How fun and what a great way to practice those skills but have fun at the same time!! I love the art work too!! So cute!!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

  2. I feel you about the early workouts making your short week seem long. I'm a morning gym rat, too! What a great way to reinforce the skills during the short week! The polar bear drawings are cute!

    1. Thanks Melissa! The gym is crazy early in the morning, but getting my workout out of the way is fabulous. It also seems to make my day better. Have a great day! :)