Friday, October 20, 2017

Grade 1 Collaborative Storytelling

A post shared by Thomas Hammerlund (@thomashammerlund) on

Today was a good day.


We spent most of the morning collaborating on a story we helped make for Traveling Tales. The kids were really into making the story, and this time I was more comfortable since I remembered what had happened last time. This time I pushed the story along more instead of waiting too long for more ideas. Once I heard a good one we moved on to the next part.


I even remembered to add the annotations in Adobe Spark this time.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

How many students are camping today?


Today Grades 3, 4, and 5 were away on a camping trip. In our school that is the bulk of the student body, so this estimation activity was ripe for the taking.


This year I have been trying to have my students estimate more. Today I asked my students the question above: Estimate how many are camping today.

They, of course, didn't know what "estimate" meant, but they need to learn the correct vocabulary. So I used the word "about" to explain what I meant. I started by asking how many students were in each class. 

One boy knew how many students were in Grade 5, so I asked the class to instead "estimate" how many students were in the class. 

They still didn't make the connection, so I wrote 20 and 30 on the board and asked which number was closer to their estimate. After they chose 20, I circled it and we moved on to the Grade 4 class.

For Grade 4 I tried a different strategy. Instead of giving them a range, I started counting up from 0 by 5s. I then asked them which they thought was the closest number to the estimate of the Grade 4 class. 

Next, we had a vote for what they thought the G3 student population was. For this number, we had a vote. 28 won.

I then added up their estimation (72) and added up the actual numbers (62). 

Not bad for their first time.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Looking into Vowel Sounds


I wish I had prepared for this with anchor chart paper, or just simply paper. But, sometimes these little inquiries happen when you don't expect them ... and those are the best kind. It seems the best inquiries happen when the students are ready.

I just ordered poster paper, so I'll be prepared for next time.

And next time I would have them think of all the words they know with "oo". Then I would have them grab a book and look for 5 min to see what other words they could find. Then we would come back together and I would ask how they would sort them. I would imagine I would need to guide them to see the difference in sounds, but they would probably surprise me.