Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chicks, Balloons, and Superheroes

They are so adorable and NOISY! We love our little chicks. Right now we have 11 chicks in our brooding box. My students love taking turns observing them. Tomorrow we get to hold them. 

My students are so sweet. On Monday, my room mother brought in balloons, flowers, and a poster that my entire class signed. It really brightened my week. Thank you! 

These flowers are covered in GLITTER! How cool is that!? "Never let them dull your sparkle." I love that saying! 

Here are a few of our superhero writing pages. The students created a word web and then wrote about all of the things their super mothers, grandmothers, stepmom, and aunts could accomplish. 

 I love this one. Her super mom puts bandads on her booboos. How sweet! I hope they love reading them as much as I did.

We have 9 days of learning left! We are going to make them ridiculously amazing! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hanging with my Peeps

I get to school early, usually I pull in around 6 or 6:15. I can't help it. I have always been an early bird and while I don't want the worm I was greeted by a few other early birds. Look at what I saw at 6:30am! 

Around lunch time our first chick hatched! You can imagine the excitement of 26 tiny first graders and one large teacher. 

We worked on magic squares and problem solving strategies but mostly we observed, recorded, and researched facts about our new friends. Right around 2:00, we had three new chicks. 

After school I brought my little chick back. He LOVED the chicks and wondered where they will live. Sorry buddy, not at our house. They are headed to an organic farm where they will live out their days in peace and happiness...unless they are a rooster. 

         I love hanging with my peeps. :) I can't wait to meet our new friends tomorrow!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Egg"citing First Grade Fun

We only have 23 days left of school. So many things need to get done before the end of the year. *sigh* Does anyone else feel super stressed? We have NWEA, AIMSweb, writing prompts, and benchmark assessments to administer. The students are feeling the summer creep closer. So in an attempt to keep the students focused and have a little fun, we began our egg observations.

We have 22 eggs that we are incubating and candling. The students are making observations, recording our findings, and doing research on the various breeds. 

We also have been working on geometry. The students are using shapes to create a symmetrical design. Each piece is assigned a value and the students have to check and see how much their design is worth. 

 I found this activity at Two Can Do It. Click HERE for the printables. They have so many creative ideas! I visit often!

We also had a breakfast for our volunteers. I couldn't have made it without the help of the fabulous moms and dads who donated their time this year! I pinned and printed this tag for the gifts for my volunteers this year. I certainly appreciate all of the EXTRA help!
 You can find my pin on my I Will Try This Board.

23 days left and some big changes are in store! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Word Work *Freebies*

I love using the Daily Five. My students unpack, sharpen pencils, and after announcements start Daily Five time. Students work on reading, writing, and word work. I like to switch out the games in the word work station every few weeks. I always introduce the new games first and then put them on the word work shelf. They are still enjoying their St. Patrick's contraction games, but I am ready for a switch.

Since I was already on a roll creating items for my TPT store I thought I would post my freebies here!

I created a synonym and antonym matching games with recording sheets. Click the picture to download the synonym activity.

Egg-citing Math: Problem-Solving Task Cards

The cold came back to get my poor little guy. He took an extra-long nap and is resting here in my lap while he watches World Girl. {SUPER excited he is over the Barney phase!} 

In my "downtime" I created a set of problem-solving task cards. These activities are "egg-cellent"! Haha! I love egg yolks....I mean jokes!

I am really rather productive when I have everything else finished! Now if only my poor little man would get to feeling better!  

Click here to check them out. Be sure to download the free preview.

Happy Hunting!  

I've been scammed!

My toddler barely slept last night. I was up with him three times. He was sick this weekend but was on the road to recovery or so I thought. I went ahead and took a family illness day. I made plans at 4:30 this morning and even managed to slap some make-up on and appear presentable at 8 so I could be there for class pictures. I ran home to be with my little man before my hubs had to get to his teaching job.

That being said I was just hit with a bean bag. Someone is up and running around the house while I type. During his first little nap I was able to get a few things finished. Then I started thinking ahead to next year. I know...I know....we still have 40 days left in this school year. But I can't help it. This warm, beautiful weather has me thinking about summer and all of the things I need to do to get ready for next year. Then I start thinking about the changes I want to make. Then I start freaking out because school is going to start in August! That's when I grabbed an iced coffee and start doing what I can while telling myself to calm down.

So while my little man plays with his cars I put together a few things for my new THEME next year...SUPERHEROES!

My NEW Daily Five Posters

My NEW EEKK Poster

Next year I want to do a better job of setting classroom norms with my students. I will still keep my 5 rules but I want to try setting the norms with my class. I did some research and for those of you who are unfamiliar with norms (as I was) they can be defined as accustomed ways of perceiving, believing, evaluation, and acting in an environment.

I am working on a set of posters for the norms. But I think it is time to go and play cars with my little man!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Me On the Map

Our firsties recently read the book Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney. They always love this story. Last year, I had a really hard time conveying the concept of living on our planet, hemisphere, continent, country, state, and town all at the same time. I always got the "that just blew my mind" look. 

This year we took it slow. We used concentric circles and started with the largest circle and began talking about our planet. 

The next day we reviewed the details about our planet and added a slightly smaller circle and discussed our continent. We also sang our continent song. LOVE it! 
 We then cut out a smaller circle and drew our country. {For some it was easier than others!}
Then a smaller circle for our state. 

Our town was the next circle followed by a circle for ourselves! 
I love first grade self portraits. 

  Using clothes pins to keep their art together for the week was a life saver. I always try to collect then sort everyday but with a project with this many pieces I needed another idea. So I wrote their names with Sharpie on the clothespin and then had them clip everything together for "safe" keeping all week.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I didn't always like Dr. Seuss stories. I like article adjectives and real words so Seuss stories were not always appealing to me. It wasn't until I was ready to graduate and I was given Oh! The Places You'll Go that I saw the magic of Seuss. Reading his biography has also opened my eyes to how his stories were really ground breaking in the Dick and Jane world of early reading. Enough of the psychobabble, here are some fun Seusstastic activities that my firsties were working on this week! 

 I was inspired by Mel D. over at Seusstastic Classroom Inspiration. She has the cutest examples and printables. Click HERE to head over to her site. I didn't have the time to paint their hands red for the body. Instead I had them draw a body and a picture that matches the destruction that Thing 1 or 2 would wreck on their house.

So cute! 

They had such creative ideas. This writer had Thing 2 throwing out her clothes! 

Tomorrow we are going to have a birthday party for Dr. Seuss complete with guest readers, birthday donuts, and Seuss hats! {We may even have a surprise visit from the cat himself!}

Happy Reading to All! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine Aftermath

This is not a timely post. I really wanted to post the day before Valentine's Day but I was too busy making  my Valentine cards. Then I was going to post the day after but needed a nap after our party! 26 sugared-up firsties really know how to have fun at ear-piercing volumes. We sure did have fun. 

Here are the Valentines I made for my students. I found the idea on Pinterest and the templates and tags at Blond-Girl Designs. Click here for the templates. I love spending time on their site. They are amazing!

I found this idea for cereal box card holders here at Plaid online. I had a wonderful volunteer help the students wrap them and then help glitter them! Of course some had more glitter than others! 

 The day of the party we played some really cute games. We played a relay race where the students had to unwrap chocolate while wearing mittens. They loved this game!

 We, of course, passed out cards and candy! 

We also made some spectacular party shades! What is a party without party glasses? 

From the looks of the Valentine cards, parents have also fully embraced Pinterest! 
Here are some really cute ideas. 

My reading student gave this to me. His mother saw one in the local grocery store and made it herself. 

This was a flower pot cupcake, complete with green grass icing. What a fun day! 

My husband surprised me by putting roses on my desk after I left on Monday. When I went to work {at 6:30am} they were there waiting for me. What a sweet surprise! 

Have a wonderful Presidents' Day weekend! I'm enjoying my Pączki and coffee. Happy Almost Lent!