Sunday, September 25, 2011

Apple Activity Freebies

As I planned out the week, I decided to make a few apple activities to go along with what we will be learning.  I purchased Mrs. Magee's Johnny Appleseed Unit and can't wait to  do all the activities with my first graders.  If you haven't checked it out you should.   This week we will be making applesauce, taste testing a variety of apples, try apple juice, make our own little apple pies, and try apple cider.  We will then graph our results about which apple item is our favorite (which is included in her unit).  I will be taking lots of pictures this week since it is Spirit Week. We have lots of dress up days to add to the excitement!
Here are the apple activities I created. They are nothing fabulous, but thought I would share.  Just click on the picture to download.

I decided to create a rhyming word coloring page to go along with our -ump word family this week.  I also made a word activity page based on our last few word families.  Students have to read the word and figure out if the word is a real or non-sense word.  I made two versions to differentiate for students who are ready to read blends and digraphs.  I also whipped up another word activity to see how many words students can make using the letters in the word apples.  I love the book by Dr. Seuss - Ten Apples on Top.  So I thought why not Ten Worms on Top?  I thought my students could show different ways to make ten by drawing and recording their problems.  I found a great resource at that allows students to use ten frames to help organize ways to make ten. I will have them use this first before they make their worms.

I absolutely love the fall weather and hope it stays this way for a while.  I'm looking forward to all the apple activities and I hope you all have a fabulous and fun week!  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Are you Versatile?

As I have again gone a whole week without posting... excuses, excuses - I was thrilled to see I was awarded a Versatile Blogger Award from Kristin over at A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  THANK YOU Kristin! 

I have all these ideas running around in my head and have all these great intentions and then somehow I get sidetracked with family, college homework or just being plain T-I-R-E-D!  So I decided it's time to sit down tonight and thank everyone who reads my blog and takes away something useful.  The rules that go along with receiving this award is (of course) thanking the person who awarded you with it and link back to them; Share 7 things about yourself; and award 15 blogs you think deserve this award.  So - here goes:

1.  I LOVE to sing, play the piano, was a band nerd and destress just by sitting down at the piano and losing myself in song.  I think I passed this on to my first child who started out playing the trumpet and has since self taught himself to play the guitar, drums, and keyboard.

2. Let's just say we play some SERIOUS rock band on the XBOX at our house!

3. My new found LOVE is Zumba.  I can't get ENOUGH of it!

4. I have 2 dogs, one that is Gigantic (120 lbs.) and a tiny black toy poodle.  They are the funniest things and the kids in my classroom can't wait to hear the newest story about Jack and Buster. They are best of buds and I have seriously thought about writing a kid's book about them.

5.  I have one sister (who is younger) and just had her first baby.  I love being an Aunt but hate that she lives so FAR away.

6.  I hate to admit it ~ but I am a Twilight Fan.  I have read the books at least 3 times each and can't wait until the next movie hits the box office. 

7.  Before I became a teacher, I worked for the telephone company.  I was one of those technicians who drove a truck, climbed the pole to fix the phone lines and showed up at your door to install your new phone jack. This is where I met my husband and after we got married I decided to quit my job, follow my dream and become a teacher.  I haven't regretted it for a second and am now working on my Master's Degree.

So now for the bloggers I'd like to pass this award onto:

Precious Perks
Ashleigh's Education Journey
Ebhart's Explorers
Kreative in Kinder
Clutter Free Classroom
Frogs, Bees and Under the Seas
Castles and Crayons
Mrs. Bumgardner's Class Blog
Lory's Page
The Creative Apple
How About Them Apples
Apple Basket Teacher
Camp Kindergarten
Curls and a Smile
Oh Boy 4th Grade

Wow ~ and the list could go on and on!  Thanks again Kristin...Happy Fall Ya'll!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Short Vowel Review - Freebie

I feel like I've been out of the loop for days.  What a whirlwind of a week!  I wanted to share these freebies last week so I am a little behind.  Hope you can find these useful.  We have been studying short vowels for the last 4 weeks of school so I made this word work activity as a review.  It can also be made into a book which I'm having my kids keep in their writing folders to use during Writer's Workshop.  And of course I left my camera at school, so no pics today - but hopefully I can post some this week.  Here is the short vowel activity:


We also read and illustrated these short vowel poems.  I did not write these, but found them online and re-typed them to put into our poetry journals.  Here are the poems:

Next week is our Book Fair, Family Reading Night and Grandparent's Day celebration.  I should have lots to post about.  Hope your week is fabulous!

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12th - Do you have this book?

Today we read September 12th.  As we sat down to read this book, we checked and double checked our calendar to see that our book's title was the same as today's date.  Before we read this book we talked about what yesterday was (September 11th) and I let students talk about what they knew, saw on T.V. and what their parents had told them.
After our discussion, we read this book that was written by other first graders in Kennett, Missouri.  My students LOVED that this book was written and illustrated by first graders AND first graders that are in the same state as us.  At the end of the book it shows pictures of all the first graders that wrote this book.  I had to read all of their names per the request of my kiddos.  We also talked about how that these first graders that wrote this book are now Juniors in high school.  Our discussion was so precious.  We talked about heroes and what it meant to be a hero.  Even after talking about all the horrible things that happened on September 11th, this book really ended our discussion on a positive note.  I loved seeing the wonder, sincerity and innocence in the eyes of my students.  Did you discuss the tragedy of 9-11 with your little ones?   If so, I would love to hear about it. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Classroom Management Tool - Dollar Tree Find

So I am loving these little cones I bought at the Dollar Tree this summer.  I am using them as a classroom management tool and it has been working great so far.  I have my desks arranged in pods so that it creates four tables in my classroom.  Each table has an orange cone like this:

The students who have a cone on their desk are my table captains.  A table captain collects papers, passes out papers, organizes manipulatives, passes out/collects manipulatives, and helps out others at their table that day.  Each day the cone is moved to the next desk and continues around the table to allow each student a turn.  We talked about expectations regarding having these cones on our desk.  If a student is playing with the cone at any time during the day, they lose their turn being the table captain and the cone is automatically moved to the next person.  I have had to do this once and no one has bothered them since.  It makes it so easy to have the table captains collect papers or items from their desk and turn them in or put them away.  This means only 4 students moving around the room and the job is completed fairly quickly. 

I do not have classroom jobs in my classroom.  I use my table captains and my "Camper of the Week" to complete all classroom tasks.  The "Camper of the Week" actually gets to have a blue cone on their desk for the week.

The same rule applies:  If a student is playing with the cone, it is taken away for the day and they can try again the next day.  This cone is like a little trophy for the "Camper of the Week" that makes them feel special and also reminds me who my assistant is for the week.  They make trips to the office, is our class librarian and line leader.  These little cones worked out perfectly and help me manage my classroom jobs easily.  Anyone else snag these from Dollar Tree?  And if so, what do YOU use them for?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Check out our Folder Holders!

Good Morning!  Just wanted to share with everyone our cool little folder holders we have been using.  This idea was courtesy of Jaime from What's the Buzz in 1st?  She shared this idea this summer and when I saw them I couldn't WAIT to make me some.  Well, I did and we have been using them (and loving them) so far.  This is what ours look like:

My kiddos keep their folder holders in their book boxes and at the start of each week, we add our words to them on index cards.  Here is what they look like as you open them.

Jaime suggested using velcro dots to help them stay closed - so I added those too.  Here is a picture:

And peeking out of one of the pockets is a student's word cards.  So far we have had 10 words.  Here is a picture of one of my kiddos words from their nifty word holder.

I have to tell you WHY I love these so much.  Not only do the kids get practice writing their words, AND a place to store them.  But we can use these cards for so much more than sight word practice.  In small groups we can:
find a word with (5) letters.
find a word that starts with..., ends with.
find a word that rhymes with.....
find a word that has the /i/, /o/, etc. sound.
find a word that is a noun, verb, adjective.
sort your words into short, long vowel sounds.

OH my goodness... the list could go on forever!  I just LOVE it.  Notice how this kiddo has an 8 on her cards?  Well, each of my students has a number.  After they write the word, they write their number, so if any of our cards get dropped on the floor... We know who the card belongs to!

I'm also thinking since the word holder has 2 pockets, later down the road I may have one pocket be words that I know well, and words I need to practice.  Hmmm.... don't know yet, but I just wanted to share how we are LOVIN' them.  Thanks so much to Jaime at What's the Buzz in 1st? for this AWESOME idea.  If you haven't made these already, then go find out and whip some out soon.  They are SUPER easy to make!
Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I've been nominated... THANK YOU!

Good morning and Happy Labor Day!  This morning I was so excited to see I've been nominated as a Top Ten Blog.  Thank you Grade ONEderful!

I am ecstatic to be part of such a wonderful teaching community and I am continually inspired, enlightened and grateful for teachers who share their fabulous ideas.  I love the connections I've made so far and enjoy the communication and feedback with teachers all over the country.  I love my job and blogging has allowed me to "shout out" about all the positive learning experiences that take place in our classroom.  Blogging also allows me to give recognition to all those teachers who inspire, create, share and love teaching too.

With that said, here is my top ten list:


Fun in First

Curls and a Smile

Sorry, I couldn't find your button?
One Extra Degree

There are SO many more I could nominate.  I tried to choose blogs that have not been nominated yet - but if you have been (which I don't doubt) thanks for all you do!  Actually, happy labor day to all the awesome teachers out there.  There is no other job like it! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Math Stations and Math Cards Freebie

Math stations are up and running and I want to share some pictures of how our first full week of stations went.  I introduced our pocket chart and our numbered tubs for our stations.

I wanted to put the kids pictures on their cards, but for now just wrote their names.  I made number cards to match all of our tubs.  I also have Meet the Teacher cards but will not use those until we are working efficiently in our stations. I will post these cards as a freebie if you are interested at the end of this post.  I was able to walk around and observe students working.  Here is a picture of our math tubs - labeled 1-10.

Here are a few of the stations we were working at this week.  The first few stations were making patterns with linking cubes.

Another station was rolling a die and coloring that amount of boxes on their recording sheets.  Partners were taking turns to see who would reach 100 first. 

I hate how are desks are old and mismatched...but even more they seem to twist and turn throughout the day.  I'm constantly squaring them up again.  Anyone know any tricks to keep your desks in pods?  See the orange cone on the desk in the background.  I use these as a classroom management tool. I will post about those later. 

Another station was using pattern blocks to create any shape.  Students had to record the shape they made and then count the number of shapes in their pattern.  At the end, they count the total number of shapes they used.  Take a look:

Another pair of students are playing a "Go Monkey" game, similar to go fish except they are matching number words to numbers and tally marks to ten frames.  Great practice and math talk happening at this station.

Another pair  of students used dominoes to record numbers and add them across.

And finally our number writing folders are a big hit.  Students must write their numbers from 1-100 and then they will get a new page to continue on to 200.  It will be stapled on top.  Students cannot move on if any numbers are written backwards or out of sequence.  I highlight these and they go back and fix them before moving on to the next sheet.  Last year I had a student make it to 1,000!  She was so excited.

At the beginning of this post I said I would share the number cards I use in my math station pocket chart.  Here they are! 

How are your math stations coming along? 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Editable Version - Behavior Chart Log

I have never uploaded a word document to google docs, so this will be my first try.  I hope it works but if it doesn't please let me know and I will email the word document to you.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed:

Click HERE to download the word document from google docs.  It will look a little different since I took the border off and converted all the font to Comic Sans so it would upload correctly.  You can cutesy it up the way you want. Enjoy!

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