Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sweet Caroline!

My Sweet Baby C has made her appearance!  

Come on over to my Splash of Life Blog to read about her birth story!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bubble Wrap Lint Roller Painting Turkey - freebie!

The other day, I tried a new kind of painting....

Bubble Wrap Painting!

I tried it out...and it turned out SO cute!!

I took some bubble wrap and put it on a lint roller, then rolled it in some paint, and painted the feather paper.  Here is how a few different ones came out...

I cut out the feathers after the papers dried, and glued the turkey together.

I love how it came out!  I took it home and had my girls try it out.  Autumn loved painting with a lint roller - haha!

She cut out all the other pieces while the feathers were drying and glued it all together. Then I got the brilliant idea of having there be a "writing activity" to go with it. So I quickly made one and told her to draw what she's thankful for.  Her response?? "I'm thankful for being loved!"  

Melt. My. Heart.   I mean seriously. Isn't that what all kids really want? To be loved??  She really does have such amazing insight into what really matters in life sometimes.

And because I'm so thankful for you guys, I would love to share these with you!

If you want the templates for the turkey, click {HERE}

And for the writing templates, you can grab them {HERE}.

And THANK YOU for all your comments! I really do love them!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thank You Cards - Freebie!

Our writing lesson this week is to write "Thank You" cards to our donors for our Donors Choose projects. I need to get them finished and mailed off before I go on my leave! Eek!

They have turned out so cute!

I just copied the pages pack to front and an instant Thank You card, complete with writing lines!
We did a quick little lesson on the parts of a friendly letter and then put it to use!

I figured maybe you could use the letters since it's a good week to write thank you letters to veterans!

These are good for anytime of the year and for anything, really.  If you think you could use them, click the picture below.

Happy Monday, my friends!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fun with 2-D Shape Friends

Last week, one of our math concepts was learning about 2-D shapes.

I posted about how I taught in 2nd grade {HERE} last year.  We had some serious fun - using the iPad app, geoboards, making our shape books.  SO much fun!

This year, since I'm in 1st grade now, I took a little bit different approach. We don't need to go into quite as much detail as in 2nd grade, but we still had a lot of fun!  One of my favorite activities we do is to make the shape friends.  When I taught 2nd grade, I had them free-hand draw and cut the shapes (well, with a ruler), but with 1st grade, I printed up templates and made tracers for them. But everything else on the shapes they did themselves. I always love how they come out.

My personal favorite this year is this little "French Hexagon." lol... complete with a speech bubble saying "wee wee!"  We had just done our "Five Little Pumpkins" illustrations from my Pumpkin unit, and she needed to do the same for her shape. I love it!

You can grab the tracers and shape cards freebie {HERE}.

We also did some sorting activities - you can grab those freebies {HERE}.

We did some comparing and contrasting of shapes and some geoboard fun too.  Those activities can be found in my Geometry pack

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Spider Donuts

Each month, I like to do a recipe for one of our themes. I like to have the students write out the recipes and a review for the recipe and then take their picture for them to glue to the review. We make a "book" for each recipe.  You can see what I mean about a "book" for our recipes at the bottom of my Apple week post.

It all started when I used Denise's Tasty Tuesday in 2nd grade, but I had to kind of make up my own paper so that the format fit 1st grade a little better.  I still wanted to do it in 1st grade, just had to tweak it a little bit.

So this month's recipe is from our Spider Week. Check out that post {HERE} - there are some freebies for you to grab there too!

These were SUPER simple to make. All you need is:
-Mini Chocolate Donuts (enough for each kid...and maybe a few to snack on)
-a bag of Chinese Noodles (Chow Mein Noodles)

I was so impressed with some of my kids when they decided that their spider needed spinnerets and pedipalps! What?! Super proud teacher, right here!

Why do I love writing recipes???  Because it's a great step in a process and opinion writing piece! PLUS, it really does get them excited about more learning..and never wanting to miss school - you just never know when you'll miss a fun day, right!? ha!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ahh! Spiders! With freebies!

So I thought October would be less chaotic than September.  Well, I was definitely wrong! ha! I think October may be one of my most favorite months to teach. I wish there were 5 or 6 weeks in October with all that I like to do.  Fire Fighters and 5 Senses, Bats, Spiders, Pumpkins, Halloween - I just can't fit it all in! ahh!

This is what it looks like on my floor when I try to plan for October. lol.

And when I go home? It doesn't look much

With the demise of my computer's hard drive last week, I'm a little behind in blogging. I lost some pictures - boo! But I will say that MOST of my files and clip art were saved on my external hard-drive. whew!

I'll get to our fire week and 5 senses, but let me focus on Spiders right now.

Quite honestly, I had SO much more I wanted to do with my kids with spiders, but last week was a 4 day week AND we had an early release day..that really knocked it down, time-wise, for me. And this week was supposed to be all about pumpkins, but because I needed to finish a few spider things, then we had to push pumpkins up a little. Sometimes I forget how much longer it really does take for 1st graders to do things...although I will say, most of my kids are able to keep up with me. lol

You can see what I've done in the past with Spiders {HERE}

Before we even started our unit, we did an activity from Deanna's Spider unit. I love this graphing activity. I do it every year - even with my 2nd graders.

After they finished their pie graph and analysis of the graph, we then did a class vote and bar graph. I always make sure to write about the data, since we inevitably have a graphing question on the district test. We really do a graph a week in my room...without even realizing we do! ha!

We then read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. The students wrote what they are busy doing, glued it onto a spider, and then we hung them up. I think it turned out so cute! I totally stole this idea from my neighbor teacher. I admit it. lol

Then we worked on fluency with our poem, My Little Spider. We Also practiced some grammar skills in the poem.

Another activity idea I got from Deanna was the camouflage idea. We had spider die-cuts in our volunteer room, so I found random scraps to make different color spiders. Then we wrote about camouflage, the definition, drew a picture, and wrote a sentence. I normally do this in our Vocabulary Journals, but I wanted to use the spider die-cut.

And can I tell you?? I was so super proud of some of my kids for using their Spelling Journals ALL. ON. THEIR. OWN to figure out how to spell words!

Another activity we did was learn about prepositions! We made our "My Spider's Walk" book, and they get a spider ring that gets to do what the book says.

You can download this fun little book for free - click on the picture!

I always like to "read" the Spider books on Bookflix. I love Bookflix because they have a fiction and non-fiction book paired up for everything.

We also did our tree map (from my Spiders Unit)

(See our room buddies?? They dress up for each month's festivities!) 

They wrote their own facts in their tree map and we glued it into our reader's notebook.

Then they used that to start writing their Spider Facts Writing!

Once they wrote out their writing and we went over it together, then they traced the words with a sharpie and erased the pencil marks. 

THEN, after that, they got to draw their webs. I taught them how to use a ruler to make a plus sign on the paper in the center (hahaha - that was fun) and then make an X through the center of the plus sign. THEN, draw the lines of the web. 

Ok. I must say. Sometimes it's so funny to watch them do things that I think are such simple things to do. I am constantly being hit with a new realm of reality with first grade. Sometimes I get pretty frustrated, I'm not going to lie. But other times, I just have to laugh and think "Duh, Jen! They need a little more help with this."

But the webs came out so cute!! After I "approve" their web, they get to trace that with the sharpie and color it too. And they drew spiders and traced them with sharpies.  They were SO excited to get to use sharpies. It was like the "mecca" for bribing them to finish their writing - haha!  Whatever works, right?

That writing paper isn't in my Spider pack, but you can download it {HERE} if you want it!

My guided reading book for that week (from Reading A-Z) was all about Spiders, for both books. I do have 4 groups, but only 2 sets of books. One group is only working on phonics and then my 2 lower/on grade level groups work in the C book and my highest level group (which is about 8 students  - so we meet on the floor as a big group) read out of the G book. But that's why I love Reading A-Z - all my groups can have the same theme, but at their level!

And here is my center menu for that week.  There are some blanks because those are not something that I have to share or show - it could just be something the kids know what to do on! haha

Words for the Week - October ELA centers 
Words for the Week - Rainbow Words
(Words for the week centers used to be called sight words and spelling words as separate centers, but I always had them do all the spelling AND sight words for the week in the center, so now I just call the center Words for the Week)
Listening Center - Aaaaargh! Spider! Book Review - October ELA centers 
Poetry - My Little Spider (scrambled poem)
Write the Room - Scrambled Spelling Words
Sentence Scramble - October ELA centers
Blends Versatiles
Label a Spider - October Label It!

We got a few more pumpkins in from our October Family Projects! I just love these. So stinkin' cute!

Oh, AND we started our math facts this week! After 2 days, I have kids that have already passed their quizzes and have moved on up in their facts...and they don't even know about the party yet - ha! If you want to see how I do these math fact quizzes, check out {THIS} post.

Need some book ideas for Spiders? Check out some of my favorites below.
What are some of your favorites?? Maybe I need to add a few more to my bookshelves - ha!

Whew! Hope you made it through all that!