Dot Day 2015


Happy International Dot Day!  We had a blast celebrating today in our classroom.  Read on to find out about all the different things we did to celebrate.

I had sent home a note asking the children to come dressed in dots and they did not disappoint.  This group of girls were covered in dots.  How cute is this little sweeties hair?   Her mom used M&M barrettes and used cupcake liners to make dots around her buns.  It was just too cute.  One of my little boys came with orange dots all over his face.  It was great to see them get into the spirit of the day.

We started our day listening to Peter Reynolds The Dot on the Smartboard.  I have shared the link on my Facebook page but you can also find it here for future reference.  This is a great animated version.  
We spent a bit of time afterwards talking about the message in the story which I think is to persevere and don't give up.  This is a great lesson for first graders who are prone to the "I can'ts".  We discussed how Vashti kept trying and discovered that she really was a good artist.  We talked about how that works for learning to do anything in the classroom too.  I will continue to revisit this valuable lesson over and over again.  

Next, we listened to the Dot Song.  You can find it {HERE} or {HERE} with actions.  It is a catchy little song that the kids enjoyed singing.  

Next up it was time for dot fun.  Our first activity was a dot scavenger hunt.  Everyone looked for dots and then I took pictures of the dots they spotted.  They had not problems finding them in our classroom.  Here is a collage of a few of the dots we found.  In the past I have had the students draw the objects but I decided on the pictures this year.  

After a short break for recess we were ready for some dot art!  I set up 5 stations with items the students could use to make a dot art piece.  I did provide some direction but left it somewhat open ended as well.  These were the stations:

1.  Trace a circle - Students traced and coloured circles to create a dot picture.  

2. Dot pictures - using circle counters (bingo chips and two sided counters) make a picture on a piece of paper. They were able to draw a background or add detail and then I would take a picture of their creation.  This one was the most difficult.  None of my students were able to really make anything here.  

3.  Kadinsky circles - I precut with my circle punches 3 different sizes of circles and showed them some Kadinsky circles.  Many replicated his work while others made totally different and beautiful dot art with these circles. 

4. Paint a dot We used little plastic shot glasses from the dollar store and water bottle lids glued on to corks to make circles on our paper.  The children could create any design they could imagine.

5. Marker dots -   Draw a dot with markers 

At the same time I worked with a few at a time to make a page for our 10 Black Dots book.  I never took any pictures of the pages but will do so tomorrow and update the blog.  

Here are a few of the masterpieces they created.  

We also celebrated Dot Day in Math.  Part of that time was the 10 Black Dots book page and the other was graphing with Smarties.  

At the end of the day we went outside and played with bubbles since they are round and look like a dot too.  The kids enjoyed blowing bubbles to end the day.  Dot Day was a huge success.  Here is a look at our Bulletin Board to celebrate and showcase our Art.  

Did you celebrate Dot Day?  I would love to hear about your day.  Link up your blog below and include the image at the start of my blog in your post and link back to this post so that others can read all about your Dot Day.  

Thanks for stopping by! 


Classroom Reveal!

I'm {ALMOST} done classroom reveal.

I am so glad you stopped by to check out my Grade 1 classroom.  I am happy to be joining Angie @ Lucky Little Learners and Ashley @ Schroeder Shenanigans in Second for a Classroom Reveal Link up.  

I teach Grade One in Ontario, Canada and we start back much later than many of our American neighbors.  Our first day is not until September 8th.  When I joined the link up back in July it seemed like a great opportunity (and it is) until I realized that my room is rarely ready the Tuesday before I start back.  Hence the {ALMOST} ready classroom reveal.  

This is my bulletin board in the hallway that will greet my students.  I am excited to be sitting at 17 students and hope that the numbers stick as we continue through this week of more possible registrations.  

I took some pretty strategic pictures because there is still a lot of chaos in my classroom.  I am the type of person who makes a big mess and jumps from job to job during my week of set up.  It is a bit stressful!  Today I was focused on the walls of my room and doing some more decor type things. These are the things I LOVE to work on.  So without anymore explanation here are some pics of my space.

This is my Guide Reading/small group teaching area.  There is a horseshoe table in front of this space but it was rather cluttered with stuff so I moved it out of the way! I love having everything I need right at hand - things like my reading phones and reading lights.  The Reading Decoding strategies posters were updated this year and I am still on the hunt for an eagle to add to the collection of our decoding buddies.  They sit at the table with us when we are learning about/practicing one of the strategies.  I also have these posters as decoding wands that kids can use as well.  I have to print them out yet!  If you are interested in them just click on the picture to head to the product.  
My kids love using these reading lights {AKA finger lights from the Dollar Store} while reading to track the print.  They are incredibly motivating!  

This is my coat area and entry.  I am actually showing you last year's photo as I didn't have my tree ready yet with my new names.  

I am blessed to be in a former Kindergarten space so I have my own washroom and a huge coat area. I love that we no longer need to make trips as a class to the washroom.  That was not an enjoyable part of my day!  

This storage area is in the main part of my classroom and is a bit of a catch all for organizing things. It's not the nicest set up but I am keeping it a little bit real and showing this too.  I keep all my paper here and, as you can see, I do need to replenish the construction paper and card stock/colored paper on the top shelf.  This is also the new home for my reading mats that the kids use for daily Read to Self.  On the second bookcase I store all of my personal books.  I have them organized by theme.  I took the time to do this when I moved into this classroom.  It has been a blessing.  My next job is to make a list of all books in each bin so I know what I own. #ihaveabookobsession.  I also have an extra crayons drawer organizer and a larger draw organizer for scrap paper.  Both need updated labels.  The rolling cart holds lots of needed supplies like markers, scissors etc.  

This is my carpet area and the hub of our classroom.  The shelf with the baskets holds our math/literacy centers and the bottom shelf holds student's individual book boxes for Read to Self. Our class mascot Ellie is hanging out on my stool.  As you can see there are no books on the shelf yet - again {ALMOST} ready.

This is my Math word wall and subject focus area.  Right now I have put up my backdrop for our first day pictures and set the frame there.  I want to create a new sign to go on the frame.  I have so many things to get done yet.  I love my new number posters above the bulletin board.  They have a rainbow border but it is hard to see in the picture.  I love that it is going to make teaching skip counting by 10's easier.  Having the 10 frame representation will be helpful too. Click on the picture to find it in my store.

This is my library.  The top shelf is sorted by theme and genre.  I am in need of a few new labels there.  The bottom shelves houses my leveled library.  I am grateful to have a well stocked library. Beside the shelf is our collection of reading buddies which are stored in my stools.  I use these seats daily for my "stool stars" who are 2 students I randomly choose each day to have a special seating spot.  

One of the things I like to use in my room is bucket filling. I do it slightly differently because first graders aren't able to write a lot when they start the year but I still want them to be able to acknowledge each other though.  My bucket notes are set up so the students just have to write their name on a note and then put it in their friend's pocket.  As the year progresses I have notes that have a space for a bit more writing.  The kids love filling and having their buckets filled!  

This is one of my favorite parts of my classroom.  I love the word wall.  I am a firm believer in using it every single day.  I also use a Word Jail - something else I firmly believe in.  You can read more about the Word Jail {HERE} and {HERE}.  If you are interested in checking out the the Word Jail product click on the picture.  My new alphabet posters are above.  The pictures on the alphabet posters match the pictures on the word wall headers so there is no confusion for the kids. They both also match the name tags I use too.  You might have noticed some colored circles under certain letters on the word wall.  My vowels are red and have a bright yellow circle behind them to help students located them quickly.  I have placed a purple circle behind the digraphs to make those sounds easier to find too.  

I hope you have enjoyed touring my classroom as it is right now.  By Friday it will be fully ready for students.  If I get a chance I may edit the blog post to add a few more pictures.  

I am also going to link this post up with the team at Bloghoppin for Teacher Week and there Wednesday Classroom Tour.  

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