Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cuttin' up in Class!

Three quick and easy ideas for centers/small group activities!

1. ABC Order

All you need is an old magazine.  Students can cut out letters, or you can precut yourself.  I had my students work together to put the letters in alphabetical order.  You could step it up later in the year and have them make words and put in alphabetical order.  The kids LOVED it!  (And I loved that it was super EASY!)

2. Contractions

I used colored index cards for this activity, but you could use anything.  I started with two separate cards like "did" and "not" and led the kids in cutting out the "o" and adding the apostrophe.  They did a great job!  I used this in a small group setting. 

3. Fiction vs. Non-Fiction

I saw this great activity on Pinterest.  I saved old Scholastic Book Orders and the kids cut out and sort fiction and non-fiction books. I used this as a center.  The kids love looking through the catalogs, and I love the fact that it took almost no prep work! :)
 I hope some one can use these easy ideas!

Graphing Good TIme!

I'm so behind on blogging!  I have taken some snap shots here and there throughout October, so I don't forget all the fun we had!  A week or so before Halloween, we studied graphing in math.  The kids LOVED working with graphs!  

We started with pictographs.  Here is our birthday pictograph we created.  Each kid decorated a cupcake with their name and placed it on the correct month.  We discuss which month had the most least, equal, etc.

We also did a popcorn pictograph, which was everyone's favorite!  We taste tested butter, caramel, and cheesy popcorn.  Each student colored their popcorn the color of their top pick.  So fun and tasty! 

For our tally graph, we voted on our favorite milk flavor and created tally marks with straws.

 We wrapped up the graphing activities with a bar graph about our favorite season.  Our story for the week was Seasons from our basal series.  
Hope you can use these fun and simple ideas in your room!  I would love to hear of more fun graphing ideas!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Down on the Farm

We have been super busy in first grade! I can't believe the first nine weeks will be over in two days!! Holy Cow! Speaking of cows... two weeks ago we wrapped up our farm unit. (I am behind on blogging...) We had so much fun learning about life on the farm and talking about different farm animals. 

 In language we were studying nouns. For our small language group, the kids had a noun hatch activity. I hoarded Easter eggs last spring because I knew I could find a way to use them. This was a success! If you would like the Noun Hatch FREEBIE click here

Each day we reviewed a different short vowel. I made large posters using KPM Doodles farm animals to help brainstorm short vowel words. Here is our duck. 

For spelling practice we made fall trees.

We also did some rainbow writing!

We also spent time talking a writing about a different farm animal each day, creating a farm book. We did some cute farm animal crafts from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits.

We used the farm spinner addition activity from Rowdy in Room 300 for a math center.

To go along with our study of conjunction "and", I created a quick mini lesson.  

For our writing center we made "Down on the Farm" books.  Here are some samples. :)

If you would like to use this farm book in your classroom click visit my TPT or TN shop!

Here is a culmination of our class effort for farm week!

(I had to play with the panorama option with the new iPhone update!)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Terrific Thursday!

I hope everyone is having a great week! I just wanted to write a quick post about how much I LOVE Scholastic! As a young teacher my classroom library is, well, the pits! I am only in my fourth year of teaching and only second year in first grade, and I DESPERATELY need a classroom library. Last year around Christmas time I started using Scholastic Book Clubs to help build my classroom library, and my kids were always so excited when that red box showed up! (Me too1) By the end of the school year this is what I had accumulated for our classroom library through both Scholastic Book Clubs and other shopping adventures.

So last week I sent home the first Scholastic book order for the year. It totaled at around $70.00, and I am so excited to share that with bonus points and extra Scholastic offers I was able to order 23 new books for our classroom library!!!! WOW!!! It felt like Christmas today when this red box arrived!

Needless to say today was a terrific Thursday! Not only is Scholastic a great company that supports teachers and classrooms, but it also offers books at GREAT PRICES for parents. It is so important for teachers and parents to work together to encourage a love for reading at such a young age that will hopefully stick with the kids for years to come!

If you are a teacher and would like to sign up for Scholastic Books Clubs click here.

If you are a parent and would like to search for your child's teacher to order books online click here.

I hope you have a Fabulous Friday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

M&M Addition

We are back in full swing after Hurricane Isaac! This week has almost felt like the start of school again since we have missed 3 day since last Tuesday. I have to admit I am always happy to get in a routine. :)

In math we are learning addition strategies 0-5. Oh so fun! We started the week off learning how to add using Touch Math. The kids blew me away by how quickly they caught on! They impress me more and more each day! I saw this great idea on Pinterest to create a list of all the addition strategies as you teach each one. I think this is a great way to help the kids remember and review each way to add. Of course my chart paper is not as cute as the one on Pinterest, but I can't find extra time in my day to make it cute! (Maybe one day :) We will fill in the chart as we learn new addition strategies.

To introduce using pictures to add, we read M&M Counting by Barbara McGrath. We also used some paper M&M's with our pocket chart to practice.

After the lesson and picture practice, we decorated our M&M Addition sheets and glued down our M&M's. Today we did the math once the candy was good'n'stuck!

If you would like to download this free addition freebie click here.

For more tasty addition visit my TPT or TN store. Have a FABULOUS FRIDAY!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hurricane Isaac

So much for school! We spent 2 1/2 days at home last week due to Hurricane Isaac. Seven years ago we endured Katrina, which was the worst thing ever! After Katrina we went without water for 14 days and power for 7 days. Talk about hot and nasty! Needless to say, everyone around here went into PANIC mode last weekend preparing for another hurricane. We were so fortunate in our part of the state. Katrina brought strong winds and tornados, but Isaac mainly dumped a LOT of rain! And when I say a lot, what I really mean is I couldn't remember what the sun looked like! :)

Here are some clouds during a slight rain break.

Here is a close up of my hometown of Laurel, MS. We are the blue dot.

Roxy was LAZY all through the rain. Here she is resting at the back door while the rain pours.

Randy and I were stir crazy after 2 days at home. So we rode around town to look at more rain. We picked up a raincoat for Jack. :)

Our power only went out Wednesday night and praise the Lord the water never stopped flowing! We were very fortunate.

I am so thankful that Isaac was not another Katrina for us; however, there are many on the gulf coast who were not as fortunate. Praying for those down south!

Have a great LONG Labor Day weekend!
(Here is a view of my hurricane free sky!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Writing Center!

With a brand new year comes new ideas and improvements. This is my first year to be in the same grade level and classroom as the year before. I am SO EXCITED! I feel like for the first time in I can actually improve on what I did last year!

Last year I started incorporating centers into my daily ELA routine. One of my centers is a writing center. I knew it needed an overhaul this year, but once again I wasn't completely sure what I wanted to do. I knew the kids needed some privacy, so I bought some trifold boards and cut them in half. I found this great download from TPT (A Cupcake for the Teacher) to give the students important info to remember when writing. Our district is using Saxon Phonics this year, so my kids also have a great spelling dictionary with them at the writing center. LOVE IT!

On Friday we did a sentence scramble with our journals in the writing center. Here is a view of one of the writing boards.

I found this great find a Books-a-Million last weekend! I used the words to make a sentence scramble for each writing center. Inside the "I Can Write a" folder, I put a Ziploc bag with the sentence scramble, as well as the date for their journal. They had to unscramble the sentence, record the sentence in their journal, and illustrate it!

For now we are primarily writing in our journals, but as the year goes on we will create books. Each day the kids will file their work in the "author box" using our number system. At the end of the week there work from each day will be stapled together as a book! They love some filing!

I would love to hear your ideas!! I'm always looking for new things to try! :)


Everyone loves a good review game. My students love to play Poof! We use this game with various language skills throughout the year. I just introduced the game to my new group this week. We played in a small group and whole group (boys vs. girls).

I use an old Pringles can to make my Poof! game.

This particular Poof! is for sentence types. The students pull a strip from the can. They read the sentence and identify the sentence type. If they get the answer right they keep the strip. If the student pulls a Poof! strip, all their strips go back in the can.

To download the "Poof! Complete Sentences" click here.

Pictured below is a sample for Poof! Adjectives. We will get to this one later in the year! :)

For more Poof! games click here.