Saturday, May 18, 2013

Comparing stories, Geometry, Maps and More

Good morning everyone! I'm finally starting to do the countdown. I don't know how many days are left, but I'm counting weeks. We have only four weeks left! I know some of you are already done or have only days left. It's crunch time now! 

Here are a few things we did this week. 

We read several versions of Jack and the Beanstalk. First, we read the original and they sequenced the story with a Read and Sequence sheet from my Fairy Tale unit. 

Then we read Jenny and the Cornstalk

This book is the perfect book to do a Venn diagram. As I read, they would raise their hands if they found a similarity or a different. I wrote it on sentence strips (if I had more time, I would've had them write it). Then we placed it on our  invisible Venn diagram. 
After reading, we made sure our sentence strips were in order. We sequenced both stories using the sentence strips. This made it easier to do our writing assignment which came next. I don't have a picture of it though. :( For shared writing, we used our class venn diagram to write about how these two stories were alike and different. I really wish I took a picture! I'll update this post after I get a pic.  I color coordinated it so the opening and closing sentences were one color, the similarities another color and the differences in yet another color. For this one, we retold the story together, putting similarities and differences as we went. The colors helped to see the structure of our paper. I love shared writing! It's such a nice way to teach those difficult writing skills. 

Kids did their own venn diagrams on their own too.

We also read Giants Have Feelings Too. I love this book because it shows the giant's perspective. 

Then we completed this worksheet:

I love this because it really makes them think about both "sides".

Here are two other books we read that are also really fun:

and for one of my guided reading reading groups, we read these from

In writing workshop, we tried to do our own comparative writing. It is tough for them to do that on their own! Last week we had read two versions of Three Little Pigs and used sticky notes to write down similarities and differences. I took my sticky notes and organized them like this to show sequence. The similarities have just one sticky and the differences have two to show the two stories. For example, the two stories were the same until after the wolf blew down the houses. Then in one story, he ate the first two pigs but in the other, the pigs ran away to the 3rd brother's house.

It was way too hard for most to write a comparison like this (sequencing the story and comparing together), so  we used this format: Opening sentence. Name two similarities, two differences then closing. 

After taking this picture, I drew two lines at the bottom in that  same blue color for the closing. This was much easier!

 For Social Studies, we did map skills. One of the activities we did was make our own maps. I should've taken a picture when they were done!
This comes from Michelle's unit:
THere are so many cute activities in this unit!

In math, we are deep into geometry. We did a lot of activities  from Jen's fabulous unit:

They loved the geoboards! There are also tons of cute flashcards in here that I love!
I also used a ton of stuff from this fabulous unit:

I love this shape flip book and my students were SO excited about the Star Wars theme. 

Last but not least, I've been working on Kindergarten centers. It's late for this year, but maybe you could use it next year. Here's a peak at the menu. If you are a kinder teacher and would like to take a peak at it to give me some input before I post it, I would LOVE that! 


  1. I just want to say, I finally picked up all your first grade versions of your literacy menu and I plan on printing and laminating them all this summer! :) They are amazing and you did such an awesome job!


  2. I love all your book choices Sarah! I'm pinning those. Thanks!

  3. Hi there! I am counting down the days too (I only have 8 more days!!!). Awesome use of Venn Diagrams. My 4th graders would love comparing various versions of Jack and the Beanstalk! That's awesome!
    Justin Knight- Writing Pad Dad
    Writing Pad Dad Blog

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  5. Omgosh - I am LOVING those jack in the beanstalk books! and I'm glad you liked my geometry pack! My kids love the geoboards activities too! Thanks for the shout out ;-)