Tuesday, November 13, 2012

C.C.the Cow

I am loving The Critter Cafe! This unit was created by my bloggy friend, Ms. Marciniak, @ First Grade Critter Cafe'.

Using my birthday money, I was able to purchase several beanie babies to teach a couple of "Cafe" strategies. I was super nervous starting this. I used come Cafe information and techniques last year. But it never really clicked for me.

Yesterday it clicked.

We (who am I kidding, it was all me) finished reading out loud The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary last week. Oh, we enjoyed it. I always think it is a good thing to watch the movie after you read the book, so that is what we did.

We watched the movie yesterday. Then, in order to make the activity educational, I prepared a compare and contrast lesson (enter C.C. the Cow).

C.C. helped us to know how to compare and contrast. Wow, the kids were good at this. I think they do this a lot, but do not always have the vocabulary to let us teachers know that they know how. Now, we are all on the same page.

This is the poster that we created.

(Yellow and Blue make Green)

It helped a lot if the student held C.C. while giving me a similarity or difference.

When we were finished, I hung the poster in the hallway, so that our schoolmates could marvel at how smart these first graders are. It did get attention.

Here are some of the kids explaining the poster to our principal.

They have such a great handle on this comprehension skill!

Waaaaaay back in September I read The Three Billy Goats Fluff. It was fine. But they did not know the original version. About a week ago I found a big book of the original Three Billy Goats Gruff. And I read it today.

Perfect way to practice compare and contrast again. And again, it really helped to be able to hold C.C. the Cow.

Later in the afternoon (while I was progress monitoring), the kids had a word sort to complete. Wow, they worked quickly and carefully. Because I told them they could practice more comparing and contrasting when they were finished.

LOL! "Kids, do this work fast, and then practice this comprehension skill! It is fun!" Just shaking my head.

I was half-way done with progress monitoring, looked up between kids and what did I see?

A group of 4 students sitting in a circle in the middle of the room. Whispering. Comparing and contrasting the two Billy Goat books. Pride was spilling out of my eyes!

Cannot wait to teach another skill with a beanie baby. It is the perfect way to take an abstract idea or skill and make it concrete. And that is just what we all need.

Hey, if you are interested in learning more...go visit my friend Julie, at The First Grade Critter Cafe, and tell her that Alyce sent you.
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1 comment:

  1. Alyce,
    This is my MOST favorite post of all time! Imagine me, jumping up and down, smiling ear-to-ear right now! I am seeing and reading for the very first time, how the Critter Cafe has expanded and made it's way to Kansas! A-MAZING! I have goose-bumps and I am so delighted that you are taking this fantastic journey with me this year! I appreciate your support and can't wait to see what you have in store next time!
    LOVE, LOVE! LOVE my friend!

    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe


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