Thursday, April 28, 2011

Writing Secrets...

Have you ever read this book?

I ran across this book when I was choosing books for our class from the bookmobile.  I instantly fell in LOVE with this book and had to own a copy.  First, it kids think they are going to learn secrets about cats... something they have NEVER heard before.  However, the cats in the book want to make SURE the people reading the book are cats and not human.  So they put you through a test consisting of meowing, purring and finally napping which ends the book without revealing any secrets.  I thought... INSTANT writing stem.  So I found the cutest shape book from scholastic that has a cat holding a sign.  I couldn't BELIEVE how quiet the kids were... writing and writing about cat secrets.  

Here are a few examples of my kids work:

I love the secret rescue cars!

I just about FELL OUT when I read that the cats go the the "club" and dance with the girl cats.  Check out the disco ball and boom box.  TOO CUTE!

This is one writing project the kids really got into and used their creativity.  I hope it might spark some fun creative writing in your class too. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011


I want to share with you one of my FAVORITE things in First Grade.  After January, our first grade class begins a Super Scientist Experiment each week.  First, I MUST say this is NOT my original idea.  One of my teacher buddies has done this with her first graders for a couple of years.  I believe she got the idea from Mrs. Meacham's site

Here is what we do... a student is chosen to be the Super Scientist and is sent home with a Science Experiment book, a Super Scientist Journal that includes a Lab Report and Pictures of past experiments and a letter to the parents explaining the procedure.  Here is the book I send home with my students:

Students usually choose an experiment to do from this book, however they do not have to.  They may come up with an experiment on their own if they choose.  This book has AWESOME color photos and ranges from very simple to more difficult science experiments.  It also uses items that you can usually find around the house.  

Once students have chosen their experiment they must fill out a LAB REPORT.  I have included a picture of one below.
CLICK HERE to get yours!
Then students prepare all of their materials for the big day and bring them to school on their scheduled day to share their experiment.  Students can't wait to wear the lab coat and safety goggles.  I have to document everything and arrange the pictures in a word document.  I then print two copies.  One for our Super Scientist Journal and one for the student. 

So that other first graders get a chance to see a variety of experiments, our first grade classes SKYPE with each other.  Since we have document cameras that can be used as web cams, we create free accounts and can see into each others classroom via our projectors and smartboards.  Students can then ask questions about the experiment and the Super Scientist is actually being interviewed by the other students.  It is amazing at the answers these first graders give.  It shows just how much they understand!

The students then complete a JOURNAL PAGE about the experiment and it is compiled into a book for the Super Scientist of the week along with their pictures.  Here is the journal page:
 CLICK HERE for the journal page!

I would like to share the lab picture page I create of a student after their experiment.  Here is what the page looks like without the smiley faces ~ privacy.

 Notice the microphone in the last picture on the table.  This allows the student to talk to the other class that is watching via SKYPE.  I am also sharing the Super Scientist Journal Cover (that contains all the lab reports and pictures for our class), and the Parent Letter that is sent home with the Science Book and Journal.

CLICK HERE for a copy!

Here is the Parent Letter.... Addressed to the next Super Scientist!
CLICK HERE for your copy!

I will try to post some pictures of the actual journal I send home with the students and some of the completed lab reports.  I would love to hear about your favorite things in first grade or if you do anything similar for science! 

Spin a Word Wall Word

I happened to find these super cool word wall spinners at the Dollar Tree this weekend.  I think they would be great to use in word work this week... especially since our word wall is complete and my firsties SHOULD know what a noun and a verb are.  Take a look at these:

So when I got home I decided to create an accountability sheet to record the words they choose from our Word Wall.  I used clipart similar to the objects on the spinner to keep the kiddos on track. There are two pages that I will copy front to back.  Since there are two different spinners, I created two different recording sheets.
Here is the first one:
CLICK HERE to download!

Here is the second one:

CLICK HERE to download!

Has anyone else used these word wall spinners in their classroom?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I can't believe I finally made it from being a "bloggER", to a "blogEE".  I'm trying to learn how to manipulate things in blogger and keep playing around with my page.  If only I could figure out how to change my header's font.  :(  After being a blogger addict all year, I finally decided to create my own.  HELLO!
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