Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writing Mini-Lesson: Linking Words - Groundhog Themed

Groundhog's Day always seems to sneak up on me, so I decided to make my planned linking words activity Groundhog-themed.  Earlier this week, my students and I talked about some words that can join ideas, so I used them as the linking words for this activity and then connected the sentences to the story we're reading called Substitute Groundhog by Pat Miller.  Feel free to download this activity in SMARTnotebook from my SkyDrive or recreate your own version! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tooth Trouble

Today some of Mrs. Caldwell's Senior Kindergartens joined us on Skype to work together on this shared writing.  First, we read "But Then", a poem by Aileen Fisher.  Next, we thought of our ideas about losing a tooth.  Then we started writing our ideas in a poem.  There were rhyming words in But Then, so we tried using some rhyming too.  Our classes decided together to change some parts of the poem to make them rhyme and to make them sound better.  Here's what we came up with:

Monday, January 28, 2013

How much does it hold?

Our class is learning about measuring.  Last week, we predicted which of Mrs. Obach's cups would hold the most.  Watch our video to see what we found out!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Things to Do If You Are The Snow

Please read our poem! Our class wrote it together today after we read a poem called Things to Do If You are The Snow by Bobbi Katz.  We hope you like it! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jack and Jill

Here's some shared writing that I did with the Grade 1s.  We have been reading mixed up nursery rhymes and fairy tales to give us ideas for writing our own.  We picked the format of a play based on Hey Diddle, Diddle - a nursery rhyme play by Deb Lougheed.  We hope you like our play!

Jack & Jill
By Grade 1s and Mrs. Obach

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Evernote: assessment, e-portfolio, notebook, organizer & more!

Evernote is a tool I use in the classroom to efficiently keep things organized.  For my teacher followers, I have outlined some uses for Evernote in the classroom in this post.  For parent followers, you can also download Evernote and use my assessment files to see what skills your child needs to acquire and to practice with them or to create your own digital collection of your child's work.  Evernote can also easily be used outside of education- checklists, to do lists and gathering information are just a few ideas! 
One of my favorite ways to use Evernote in the classroom is to create a collection of work samples and assessments for each of my Grade 1 students.  I use the collections as e-portfolios during conferences and also refer to them when writing report cards.  Older students could create a collection of work samples, media, research information, sources and references independently and/or with teacher guidance. 

I have an Evernote notebook titled Mrs Obach which contains templates for assessments and activities that I use regularly (see the links below for my assessment checklists).  Then, at the start of each year, I create a new "stack" and make a "notebook" for each student. When I assess students, I simply select my template and then choose "copy" and make a copy in the student's notebook.  I can quickly check off the skills students have mastered, make notes etc.  For example, all of the high frequency sight words for grade 1 are in a template that I can use to easily check off the words each student can read.  If a student is working on review words from Kindergarten or has advanced to the word list for Grade 2, I have templates ready to differentiate the assessment. 

What I really like about Evernote is the fact that it is accessible on my computer, phone or online.  So, if I assess a student at school, I can go home and bring up that same assessment to review while writing report card comments (and I don't have to carry home a bunch of notebooks!)

 Sometimes, I may want to include a photo of a student's work in his or her file.  With the Evernote app on my smartphone, I can quickly upload the sample for the student to share during his or her conference. If we're working on an activity at my SMARTboard, I can quickly capture the screen which shows student work and save the image to his or her notebook.  

Collaboration is also easy using Evernote.  When working with Mrs. Caldwell (for more great ideas, meet her at )  I use shared notebooks which we can both access and edit.  Notebooks could also be shared with colleagues, parents or other students.  I have shared links to my assessment checklists below - just another way to collaborate and save some of my teacher friends some time!   :)

Download Evernote at:

Read more about Evernote at:

Shared Note for Literacy Place Grade 1 Review Words Checklist: Click Here

Shared Note for Literacy Place Grade 1 Sight Words Checklist: Click Here

Shared Note for Literacy Place Grade 2 Sight Words Checklist: Click Here

Shared Note for Grade 1 Counting Skills Checklist: Click Here

Shared Note for Number Words 0-20 Checklist: Click Here

Shared Note for Number Recognition 0-20 Checklist: Click Here

Shared Note for Number Recognition beyond 20 Checklist: Click Here

Math Game: Four's a Winner

We learned a new math game today in Grade 1 and everyone is bringing it home tonight to play!  Have fun :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Humpty Dumpty

We read the play Hey Diddle, Diddle by Deb Lougheed and we liked her idea, so we wrote our own nursery rhyme play.  Please leave a comment to tell us what you think! 

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again

Then the king came running out of the palace.

Yikes! It's a cracked egg!

Humpty Dumpty:
I'm laying on the ground, can't you help me?

King's men:
How did you fall off the wall?

Humpty Dumpty:
Somebody pushed me off and he looked like a bad egg.

The king's men took their horses back to the castle and took all of their equipment off. After everyone was gone, a fairy appeared.

I can fix you up Humpty!

The fairy made a wand appear and she said the magic words to put Humpty back together. Then she took out her cell phone to call a friend.

Princess Sophie, will you take care of Humpty Dumpty please? A bad egg pushed him off the wall and he landed and cracked. We thought he was good egg, but he is a bad egg. The police eggs took that bad egg to the egg jail, but now we need someone to stay with Humpty.

Oh my! I need to come help you! I'll be there soon! Bye.

The princess came so the fairy could leave. The princess took very good care of Humpty and he got better.

One day, the king came to check on Humpty Dumpty.

Wow, you're looking better! Would you like to come down and have some breakfast?

The End
That's All Folks

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Online Games!

We had fun today practising our addition facts with the Marble Pirate on ABC ya..  Check out this game and more at: