Writing Captions

Writing Captions with Kat and  SquirrelThere are 3 lessons which employ a gradual release of responsibility approach to writing captions for photos.

Included are photos with captions for a large group lesson, photos to use to model the lesson, photos for partner work, and photos for an individual contribution to a whole-class game.

This was designed to be used in a first-grade classroom, but it could easily be used for older groups.

Story to go with the lessons:
Kat and Squirrel have been asked to fill in at the Pigeon Post
Newspaper. Their new boss, Pigeon, wants them to write captions
for the photos. They do not know how to write captions!
Can you help?

Goals of the lessons:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.5
With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.6
With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce an publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.7
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of “how-to” books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.8
With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

 

Kat and Squirrel - Get the Lesson!

 


Did you come up with a fun caption from the “Writing Captions” lesson? If so, write the number and your caption in the comments below. We can’t wait to read them!

Kat and Squirrel on the Farm

Life Science and Engineering Design Unit for First Grade NGSS

Kat and Squirrel on the Farm - Life Science UnitThis is an interactive story with pauses after each ‘chapter’ to allow students and teachers time to research topics (video link included!), record observations (guided viewing sheet included!), discuss thoughts supported by evidence (animal parent and offspring cards included!), and design a solution to a problem (animal adaptation cards and engineering design form included!).

All lessons are introduced by a continuing story about Kat and Squirrel’s goofy adventures while on a farm. The lessons are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards for first grade. And the lessons have been created by an experienced first-grade teacher.

The timing will depend upon how long and how often you have science class, but would most likely take 2-3 weeks. This could also be integrated into the reading/language arts curriculum very easily with a few creative teacher additions.

Goals of the Lesson

1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

1-LS1-2. Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.

1-LS3-1. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.

K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem. Optional: If you have your students build their “solutions,” it would be a great time to complete this standard:

K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

Optional: If you have your students build their “solutions,” it would be a great time to complete this standard: K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

 

Kat and Squirrel - Get the Lesson!

Pair It! Parrot! Colors and Shapes

Goals of the lesson

Pair It Parrot Shapes and Colors - Kat and SquirrelCorrectly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.

Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size)
PairItParrot_Colors-and-Shape_KatandSquirrel-c2014

Shapes included:

triangle
trapezoid
rhombus
oval
circle
square
rectangle

Get the Game from Kat and Squirrel

Colorful Zebra Classroom Theme Art (Part 2)

Zebra-part2-art

Materials Included:

This beautiful product contains original colorful zebra artwork to give you more of what you’ll need to set up your zebra-themed classroom.

11 pages of color-word posters that you can use to set up your
color-word word wall.
11 numeral posters (#s 0-10) which each include the numeral, written word, and a visual representation of the number.
26 letters-of-the-alphabet posters with vowels in a different color.
12 months-of-the-year headers with beautifully patterned backgrounds to fit pocket-chart calendars.
7 days-of-the-week headers to fit pocket-chart calendars.
31 numbers to fit pocket-chart calendars.
21 “special class” cards to go behind the days-of-the-week cards or the number cards.
75 “special days” cards to go behind the number cards.
Zebra_Theme-Part2-KatandSquirrel-c2014

Kat and Squirrel - Get the Artwork Now
Be sure to check out the first Colorful Zebra Classroom Theme. All artwork in this product will match the first product: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Colorful-Zebra-Classroom-Theme-Art-1522019

 

Counting Snowballs for Math Intervention K-2

Goals of the Lesson:

Snowball Count - Kat and SquirrelCCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.3
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4.a
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4.b
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4.c
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.5
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1

Includes 20 printable cards with a set of snowballs to count and answers to choose from. You can use these as a counting activity in a number of creative ways.

Also included is a “back of card” to be printed on the reverse side of the snowballs, and a recording sheet.

2 Bonuses!
A Snowball Color Sheet
A Snowball Number Line

Kat and Squirrel - Get the Lesson!

Pumpkin Counting On – Math Intervention

Goals of the lesson:

Counting On with Pumpkins - Kat and SquirrelCCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.1
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.2
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4
CCSS.Math.Content.K.NBT.A.1
CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.6
CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.B.2

Counting on and over a decade number has never been more fun.
Included are a variety of ways to practice counting on, self-checking pages, and a bonus – 120 chart!

Directions
Use sheet with blank third column for students to count on and fill in.
Use sheet with all columns filled in as an answer key or fold answers back for self checking.
Use sheet with blank middle column for kids to place stickers, stamps or draw “how many more” are needed to reach the total.

Pumpkin Counting On Lesson - Kat and SquirrelKat and Squirrel - Get the Lesson!

Counting Pumpkins for Math Intervention K-2

Goals of the lesson:

Pumpkin Count - KatandSquirrelCCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.3
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4.a
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4.b
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4.c
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.5
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1

Includes 20 printable cards with a set of pumpkins to count and answers to choose from. You can use these as a counting activity in a number of creative ways.

Also included is a “back of card” to be printed on the reverse side of the pumpkins, and a recording sheet.

2 Bonuses!
Pumpkin Count LessonA Pumpkin Color Sheet
A Pumpkin Number Line

Kat and Squirrel - Get the Lesson!

Colorful Zebra Classroom Theme Art

Colorful-Zebra-CompThis beautiful product contains what you’ll need to set up your zebra-themed classroom:

  • 17 pages of original artwork that you can cut out to use on bulletin
    boards or work stations
  • 9 table tents each in a different color to label desk groups, work
    stations, or centers
  • 9 “Happy Birthday” cards, each in a different color
  • 9 pages of stationary with beautifully patterned backgroundsColorful Zebra Classroom Theme Art - Kat and Squirrel
  • 18 pages of framed letterhead (9 colors in landscape and 9 colors
    in portrait) to print your own message in the middle for wall signs,
    anchor charts, or notes home
  • 9 pages of smaller framed letterhead in 9 colors to print your own
    message in the middle
  • 9 colors of intermediate desk plates to label students’ desks with
    their names or print on magnetic paper for a name sorting activity
  • 8 bookmarks with original artwork
  • 5 classroom posters: “Be Wildly Wonderful”, “We’re All Ears”,
    “What’s for Lunch?”, ” Where Do We Go After School?” and one
    with zebras waiting for your message.
  • 9 colors of primary desk plates to label students’ desks with their
    names or print on magnetic paper for a name sorting activity.Kat and Squirrel - Get the Artwork Now

Be sure to check out the second Colorful Zebra Classroom Theme. All artwork in this product will match the first product:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Colorful-Zebra-Classroom-Theme-Art-part-2-1606732

Pumpkin Picture Book Comprehension

Pumpkin Picture Book Comprehension Unit - KatandSquirrel.com

Create a pumpkin lap book with these pages to have some fun with comprehension this fall!

I’ve used this unit for the past 2 years and the students love – love – love it!  During our designated half-hour “intervention” time I am lucky enough to be in charge of the group of first graders who are reading above grade level.  I enjoy exposing them to new vocabulary words and comprehension skills.

Of course, what first-grade teacher doesn’t love a good seasonal project? We know that tapping into the students’ ever-evolving interests helps to keep them fully engaged.  And at this time of year the humble pumpkin stands on center stage!

Kat and Squirrel - Get the Lesson!

The following favorite pumpkin picture books can be used to engage your students while strengthening their comprehension skills: (Oh – and you can easily click the links embedded in the book titles for info. about where to purchase the books. – Don’t ya just love technology!)

Sequence

Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
From Seed to Pumpkin (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Wendy Pfeffer
The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson
Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell
Pumpkin Cat by Anne Mortimer
From Seed to Pumpkin (Welcome Books: How Things Grow) by Jan Kottke

Story Structure

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas
The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin by Margaret Wise Brown
The Stubborn Pumpkin (Hello Reader, Level 3) by Laura Geringer
Pumpkin Hill by Elizabeth Spurr

Fact and Opinion

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie (Picture the Seasons) (National Geographic Kids) by Jill Esbaum

The Very Best Pumpkin by Mark Kimball Moulton
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom Series) by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas
Pumpkin Day! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
I Like Pumpkins by Jerry Smath
The Pumpkin Fair by Eve Bunting

Compare and Contrast

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
Strega Nona’s Harvest by Tomie de Paola

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano
Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli
The Problem with Pumpkins: A Hip & Hop Story by Barney Saltzberg

Cause and Effect

The Halloween Performance by Felicia Bond
Pumpkin Fiesta by Caryn Yacowitz

Pumpkin Town! Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins by Katie McKy
The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
The Pumpkin Blanket by Deborah Turney Zagwyn
Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night by Anne Rockwell

StoryContest14Also included:

Guided Writing (Main Idea and Details)

Award-winning Kat and Squirrel story.

(This story was the winner of the AMPL Short Story Writing Contest!)

Bonuses:

“Favorite Pumpkin Story” bar graph

2 Color Sheets to use to decorate the folders

Goals of the lesson

RL.1.1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
RL.1.2. Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
RL.1.3. Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
RI.1.1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
RI.1.2. Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
RI.1.3. Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
RL.1.4. Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
RL.1.5. Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.
RI.1.4. Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
RI.1.5. Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.
RI.1.6. Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and inform

ation provided by the words in a text.
RL.1.7. Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
RL.1.9. Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
RI.1.7. Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

RL.1.10. With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1.
RI.1.10. With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.
RF.1.1. Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
RF.1.4. Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
W.1.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.