Space! Week 1

Well, we've launched ourselves into space. I thought I'd post about some of the things we did last week because we really had fun. It's nice to see all my planning paying off. :) We began the week by reading the letter from NASA and my kids bought it hook, line, and sinker. They were even more shocked when I handed out their official Space Journals . Finally, the last straw was the NASA badges. I was right, a few of them did almost poop themselves. hehe! Actually, they love their badges so much it's become sort of a problem! I had to make a bunch of rules about when it is appropriate to wear them, how to put them away...etc. Sheesh, at least they're having fun though, right? We studied about astronauts, the sun, and the moon, diligently filling out our graphic organizers in our space journals. It's so nice to see some of kids writing independently. I love the end of 1st grade! Here a few other things we did this week...
We made astronauts with paper plate helmets! Eventually these guys will hold our Science Fiction Writing piece but for now I had the kids do a quick fact report on one of the things we studied: the sun, the moon, or astronauts. They needed to use the tree chart organizers from their Space Journals to write 3 complete sentences. (The Space Journals can be found on my TpT site and here is a freebie Fact Report worksheet)
Here is a close up of the astronaut and quickie report:
The teacher in the classroom next to us found the coolest thing! It's a photo drop of an astronaut! The kids took pictures with it and they turned out AMAZING!! I have to ask her where she got it again because I NEED one! I'll update when I find out. :)
I mean, seriously? Could that be any cooler? 
Of course, we had to do the old favorite, the astronaut snack! I swear, I think I remember doing this when I was little. I had my kids write out the steps before I allowed them to make it. I know, I'm SO mean aren't i? :) Here's another freebie Astronaut Snack worksheet.
I promise, this activity looks scary but it was relatively mess free. Just scare the bejeesus out of them about zipping those bags tight! :)
Last but not least, I had to share this book with y'all. I've mentioned that along with our Space Unit, which I teach during Reader's Workshop, we are also beginning work on a Science Fiction writing piece. It's the last narrative piece in our writing portfolio for the year. Our curriculum is shifting over to be aligned with the common core. Which I think is great but it's also RIGOROUS!! Don't you just love that new buzz word? When I saw the lesson plans on our online curriculum I nearly spit my soda out. It's rigorous alright. I developed some worksheets, a sample story, a kid friendly rubric, and some writing tools for our unit.  I'm in the process of teaching it and I've already updated the unit once. If you happen to purchase it and can find anyway it could be improved I'd love to hear your feedback. Click the preview picture to link to my Science Fiction Narrative Writing Unit:
Alright, longest post ever but I just have to end with a little Teacher Appreciation! Ya know, this job can be so thankless at times. I know all teachers can relate to that. I just have to give a quick shout out to my teachers in the inner city. There are days I wonder why I do it and then I remember that for some of my children, I am the kindest, most reliable, trustworthy, and fair individual they know. I remember that when everything becomes a power struggle it's because they are testing those boundaries and HOPING to find them. I remember that I've got colleagues and administrators that have my back...I mean TRULY have my back. I remember that at the end of the day my kids want to come home with ME. I do it for them. This isn't a job, it's a passion. I hope you all have a great week. I hope a student or a parent or a colleague takes the time to thank you for all that you do. Children are our future, cheesy as it may sound, it's the truth.
PS.I totally missed the boat on the appreciation sale. doh! Sorry about that. I'm going to go see if I can figure out how to throw my own sale right now! ha!


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