More Verbs, Symmetry, and some Turtle Freebies!

Well, friends, I have to say that I am totally, 100% EXHAUSTED!  How is it that Spring Break has come and gone, yet I am more tired than before the break?!  I knew I would be jealous of those of you who haven't been on break yet!

Anyways, enough of my blabber.  I do have some ideas/activities to share with you.  We have been hard at work on verbs and symmetry this week.  I must say that verbs may be the death of me.  It seems like we do an activity and they all "get it" and then all of a sudden slow, air, and other words have become verbs... AHHHH!!!  But, we will keep movin' right along, and I'm just sure that little light bulb will come on at some point ;)

We started a Valuable Verbs chart that we will continue to add verbs to throughout this year.  This is what we call a "working document" in my class :)  We have been working on throwing away old verbs that we have used too much like "is, am, like, play" and much more!

We put sentences together and highlighted the verbs! You can get this activity for FREE here!

We have continued reading a Scholastic News Magazine each day to find verbs in the sentences.  Today, the magazine was about sea turtles, so I took that and ran with it!

We made a chart to list all of the valuable verbs we learned from the magazine, plus a few that we made up on our own!  The students then used these to write sentences about turtles.

As they were writing their sentences, they highlighted their verbs.  After they finished writing, they chose their 6 favorite verbs from their story to write on their turtle's shell.

You can grab the turtle templates HERE and the Writing Paper HERE!

It ended up being a really great activity that the kids got into.  They were fascinated that sea turtles can lay up to 100 eggs and can weigh up to 700 pounds!  

On a side note... I get a lot of questions about how I fit "craftivities" into my day, and I've tried to answer those on my blog before, but I took a quick picture today to give a visual.  If I can avoid the kids tracing patterns, then I most definitely do.  I try to make copies on the colored paper so that my kiddos just cut out the pieces that they need.  Otherwise, things take FOREVER.  I do sometimes use patterns, but not if I can avoid it!  I also don't have the time to cut out 20-40 of each piece that my students need, so this is just a HUGE timesaver for me!  I timed this activity today to see about how long things like this take... and it took about an hour total (reading the magazine articles while highlighting the verbs, making the turtle, writing the story, highlighting their verbs, coloring the pictures/borders).  My students did work in partners on this assignment, so that also helps trim some time down.  I had about 4 groups that had to finish during recess, which is pretty typical with my 2 classes!

Now on to Symmetry!

We made our Symme-"trees" today.  I gave each table group a piece of white butcher paper and some die-cut shapes.  They sorted the shapes into 2 groups:  Shapes with Symmetry and Shapes without Symmetry.  They drew their tree, glued their shapes (shapes with symmetry stayed on the tree while the shapes without symmetry fell to the ground!).  We had a little extra time so I let them add some detail into their backgrounds!

Yesterday, we started symmetry with this activity.  I gave each student a picture (cut in half) of a staff member at our school (lovely yearbook pictures from last year, ha!).  They tried to draw the missing half as symmetrical as possible!  Here's how those turned out:

Both of those activities/ideas are in my Shapin' Up Unit on TPT!

Wow... that was a long post for me!  Now I'm even more tired than before, ha!  Hope you all have a great rest of the week!


FirstGradeBlueSkies (Jennifer) said...

Love the turtle activities!
First Grade Blue SKies

Busy Bees said...

Love those turtle activities and those symmetrical staff pictures!

LYNDSEY said...

Oh my word! This whole post was ADORABLE. I love all of the verb activities, especially that you used the Scholastic News. I usually use them for text features, but what a great idea. Those little turtles are precious!

Also, the staff yearbook pictures are priceless. Too cute!

Oh, how I love you so!

Thanks for sharing this. TOO CUTE!

A Year of Many Firsts

Amber P. said...

The turtle is adorable and I love the symmetrical staff pictures! So cute!

Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

Natalie said...

We just started symmetry the pictures! Definitely going to have to do that...thanks!


Buggy In Kindergarten said...

I love the staff symmetry! That is too cute! Thanks for sharing a wonderful idea!

Angela said...

Wow, I totally love the symmetrical staff pictures, you really have some artists in your room!

The Daily Alphabet

Lauren said...

just found your site and i'm very excited! i'm a homeschooler and have been looking for some creative ideas for language arts...will be using lots of your stuff! thanks so much.

Elisabeth said...

LOVE the turtle activities! You are so creative!


Kristen said...

so creative! I adore your charts, I wish I could make mine look as eye-catching as yours! And the symmetrical staff is such a cool idea!

Sara at school said...

Amy, I always enjoy reading your blog and all the wonderful ideas you share. I will be adding writing next year as one of the things I teach. I know I will be using a lot of your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

Lovely Nina said...

I LOVE your blog. I just awarded you the "One Beautiful Blog" award. Stop by my blog to grab your award.
-Lovely Nina
Lovely Little Learners

Lesa's Blog said...

I swear I wish we taught together. You are so creative. Do you just pull these ideas out of the air or do you get them from a particular place. I love following a fellow Texas Teacher that is so talented.

Courtney said...

Hi Amy,

Like everybody else, I am amazed every day at your creativity. I sure wish that I could be a student in your class! :) AND your charts!! Seriously, how do you make them look SO NICE. While writing on the fly my charts get messier and messier haha. I love the idea of symmetry staff. SO CUTE and clever

Teaching in Paradise

Pam said...

This sea turtle activity is super! What a great idea! My daughter will be doing this in her class to go with her oviparous unit! Thank you for the freebies. Don't get many of them these days!

Ashley said...

Go check out my post about you :)

Reagan Tunstall said...

Thanks so much for your feedback on the house! The 4pm showing is done! No idea if they will leave feedback... :)
I love your stuff. I am about to use some of your shape unit this coming week.
I am also cracking up at your 5 o clock shadow on the self portrait symmetry.
HILARIOUS. You are gorgeous btw!!!

Deana said...

Great activities! I LOVE your blog, so much that I gave you an award! Head over and check it out!

Primary Punch

Cynthia said...

LOVE the turtle activities. It seems that in math, you are required to teach different things than we have to in Georgia. That will be part of the nice situation with moving to Common Core...we will all be doing the same stuff! :-)

As always, thanks for sharing!


Krystal said...

hello, I found your blog through Sunny Days and just wanted to say THANKS for this cute turtle activity... I am a little bit behind on my scholastic news, so I was THRILLED to see that this worked perfectly with one of the issues I haven't taught yet. I'm making my sample turtle right now so that I have it ready to share with my students as we do this activity this week. Thanks so much! You definitely have a new fan here :)

Laura Wanke said...

I am in love with the symmetrical staff. So cute. I am new to the blogging world. If you have time check our my blog.