Monday, January 31, 2011

LeapFrog DVD giveaway

First Grade Fun

Head on over to Ms. V's blog for a LeapFrog DVD giveaway. Hurry it ends on Friday the 4th!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Part two of our food chain week, we talked about predators and prey.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gluing- A sticky subject

Gluing~ I love the idea of glue sticks, but sometimes they drive me nuts!  I can't get the lids off, the kids can't get the lids off, then we loose a lid grrrr  lol

Whenever we use a glue stick, we glue right on the paper, even if whatever we are gluing is smaller. Problem is, when we close whatever we are working on, the pages get stuck together. :(

I teach my students to keep the glue stick on the table and run the paper over the top. Here is how we do it:
Thanks for being my model A!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I don't usually get things like this for school at full price, but I have some cupcake activities coming up and I am pretty sure these won't last until they go on sale- and if they do, I will pick up some more!  lol
I found this at Wal~Mart and am planning on using it for several different activities.

One idea came from Babbling Abby.

Another for a making words activity- from Brooke at Primary Perspective

Contractions from Teaching in Highheels

Math from The First Grade Parade from her math packet. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roll/Stack/or both

In science we are talking rolling/stacking/ or both.

Here is our Venn diagram from Mr. D. :

Valentine's Day

Here are some ideas from my Valentine's Day  Unit.

I will be sending home a class list with the students so that everyone gets the same amount of Valentines.

Stay tuned for more ideas and photos of our projects!

We are going to join Brooke in her Valentine Buddy Exchange

So far I have frog cards and pencils for my students.

What are you planning?
During our Snowman Place Value played like Price is Right Ms S says "We need a commercial!"

Place Value

Playing Snowman place value. I am trying unsuccessfully to post a link where you can get your own set of cards, but I can't find the author!!! :( I even looked at the info on the document itself!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

100th Day of School

On February 4th we will celebrate our 100th day of school!!!
Our math groups will focus on activities dealing with 100.

My students will be rotating between these centers:

Flip a coin 100 times and record head/tails
- created sheet

Make trains of 100 cubes- unifix cubes

Roll a dice until the total is 100-there is a sheet that I got from a blog I follow

Make as many coin combinations as possible to equal a dollar use stamps 

Use sheet with counting by 2,4,5,10 etc. I will post a photo of this so you can make your own.

I have several books I plan to read to my students too :)

We will be weighing our 100th day snack as well. We will be completing a 100th day booklet. It is still down at the copy center- I hope it makes it back in time.

I also have a sheet that you attach a roll of Smarties to that says I am 100 days smarter. I will be giving that to my students along with those in my math group.

I will also be hiding 100 Hershey's Kisses.  I used garage sale dots on the bottom- I am thinking of putting them under the ELMO- but will it melt is the pressing question!?!?!?!?!? I want them to see the progress. Oh the dilemma

I have a packet of about 30 things/pages to do. Such as:
*draw a picture using 100 circles/triangles/squares
*do 100 jumping jacks
*write your name over and over again on a 100's chart

Monday, January 24, 2011


Soon we will be studying volcanoes. I am fine with the idea of them, but then someone thought it would be a good idea to see one.... In my lesson plans for the objective, it says for me NOT to loose my mind!!!

We bought this volcano model:
on the left, it lists what each part is, on the right, it just lists the numbers that correspond with. In the front of the photo, you see the tube where you add the mixture. There is a tray to catch the "lava." I tried to convince my teaching partner to do this on Monday as a a kickoff but I don't think that will be the case!  lol It will be the culminating activity.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Word Family -uck -ock

This week we had two word families -uck and -ock

Of course I get a little nervous about one of those families...... hooray!!! Not one child said a bad word.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Animals in Winter

This week was rather odd.  We had no ASP on Monday so on Tuesday we used Monday's plans. I learned to about different kinds of snowflakes. We read the chart as a news reporter.

The first graders worked on a snowflake book.

We had early release on Wednesday and no school on Friday! So we had only one other day, so we talked about animals in winter- do they adapt/migrate/hibernate? I read the book Animals in Winter to the K-1 children and then we put the animals in a pocket chart. (No photo :( I am bummed) Then the 2nd-5th grade children had to read the book and find out which animals did what.

I did get my pictures from ChalkTalk.

I had one third grader literally flip through the book and tell me he couldn't find the answers. Um  really? I told him I would give him $10 if he couldn't find any answers. Another third grader said how about a gift card? I was like I will give you $100 gift card if you can't find any answers or you give me $5 lol I get so upset when capable children don't even try. :(

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Listen to Reading

I was truly blessed to receive a LeapFrog Tag Readers classroom set from LeapFrog.  I received 6 TagReaders, 6 headphones, 6 cases, and six books each of about 30 different titles.

Here is how I store the remaining books:

 In the class, they are stored like this:
I think there are four or five books inside the large plastic bins. Inside the case we store one of the TagReaders plus the headphones. You can store books inside their cases, but not the headphones, so we just leave the headphones and the TagReader inside.

All of the children really enjoy this center and now you can see why :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Word Work

I have several different choices for our Word Work rotation.

They must do either Cube Roll or Trace and Write.

Then they may choose either Word Family sheet (I actually have three different sheets that I rotate)
Another is Making Words. I choose a theme related word and the children get letters and fill out some paperwork.

I created cards to hang in a mini pocket chart. That way I can rotate their options.

After they complete their "must do" choices, they can choose from the other choices:
*bottle caps
*magnetic letters
After they create the words, I have them take a photo.

Their choices for the week are the Star Words or words from our word family.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Author Studies

I am going to start my top reading group with different author studies.

So far, I have come up with:

Eric Carle
Mem Fox
Laura Numeroff
Jan Brett
Dr Seuss (in March)

For each author study, I give my students "paperwork." One page are all of the book covers of that author's books that they check off after they have read the book. The other pages are where they write their responses.
We have a rating scale,

one item- okay
two items- good
three items- excellent

Eachh respose sheet has different items to shade in.

Here are two samples of paperwork:

Book List paperwork

Response Sheet

So who are your favorite author studies for first grade children?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gold Bar Words

I am always looking for ways to re-use things in my room. I drink a ton of coffee. It never keeps me up, but it always warms me up :)

I reuse other plastic lids for "Finger Glue" when we do TLC Lessons.  I pour white glue on the lids and my students use the tips of their fingers to glue. I also teach them how to clean their fingers- which is rubbing it in the palm of their other hand. :)

Which brings me to another sort of recycled item. Because I have sooooooo many of these, I first used them to sort crayons (makes my TLC Lessons easier too!!!)
So they have a gold top. I think they look like gold bars to me :) Well what I see on TV anyways lol

For one of my Word Work choices, I created this Gold Bar option. I will write out five words for the week on them and have them fill out the sheet using a gold pen or gold colored pencil. To not waste them, I will be using both sides for different words.

Here is my Gold Bar recording Sheet.

In case you don't drink this much coffee, try scrapbook paper or just plain note cards using a gold sharpie.

Friday, January 14, 2011


They are more than cute and cuddly creatures! We learned all about penguins over the past two weeks.
This was day one- we wrote down all of the names of the penguins. The K-1 children traced over the names.  The 2-5th grade children had to investigate to find the names.
 Day two, we color coordinated where they lived.
We added a B, a P, an R, and a P.
What the mom and dad do.

Here are some of the penguins that the children drew:

I asked the students to find me their favorite penguin page.  Here they are:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snack Club

After wracking my brain and getting some good ideas, I have decided that I will have a snack club.

I will make some sort of graphic- maybe a clubhouse. If their name is on there, they can choose from different things.

So far I came up with:
*wear a crown- Ms. M thank you!
*get to choose D5 choice first
*eat with the teacher
*choose a book for the teacher to read

I will talk with them to see what they want to add to my list too.  As soon as we discuss, I will post their ideas.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I needed to beef up my calendar now that the new year has begun. I like the idea of calendar binders, but another binder is just another expense that I don't want to spend. We had homework binders, but the children destroyed them :(

Does anyone have any tips for keeping the homework binders safer? They weren't on the supply list, so the teachers just bought them.  The hope is that next year, that as a supply item, they will last longer.

Anyways, I was inspired by Shari Sloane and Kim Adsit to create my own. It covers everything on our calendar: We have to write the date with dashes, today is, the weather, the season, yesterday, today and tomorrow, and answer the question of the day graph. You can find all of my graphs on my website.

Check out the form on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I'd love the hear your feedback.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snack Struggle

So in my room, we have a community snack time. Everyone buys a box of food to share with the class. Well we are almost out of snacks and no one is bringing in more snacks. I don't want to skip snack, but it is just another expense that I would rather spend on other materials. :)

I was thinking of some kind of snack club to get the children excited about snack in our room. I am starting a new newsletter in my room so I plan to have a spot to thank parents for whatever they did for our class.

Even in the snack club, everyone would still get snack, but I don't know how to celebrate when we do get snack.

I am going to try another letter with ideas for what to send.

What is working in your room with snack?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Target Shopping

Here were my Target finds:

top: 3 new Seuss videos- $5 each
Valentine's pencils, 100th day bookmarks, growing pellets, glitter letters,  cupcake notepad,  Very Hungry Caterpillar plates and tablecloth. (Is it still a tablecloth if it is made from plastic?)

Growing Pellets- I plan to use these with a recording sheet, when I get close to use them, I will post it.

I will be using the glitter letters for a container for brain sprinkles. I will post photos when done.

For the VHC materials, I will be using the plates to make book covers. The tablecloth could be used for the background on a bulletin board.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Work on Writing

As part of Daily 5, the children rotate to Work on Writing. This needed a little bit more "beefing up" because one little guy just wrote list after list on the same thing! So I created this Writing Menu.
There are two menus on one page.  The second page contains all of the instructions and descriptions of each box. Please let me know if something is still unclear. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I often find awesome materials that my teaching friends (okay blogs that I stalk follow) find and either we don't have that store or my store doesn't have it anymore. Well today, while DH and I were at Michael's looking for Cricut cartridges, I found these at only $0.29!!

 I plan to use them as pointers after I get some dowels. We are doing penguins, so the penguin was perfect!!!! I also got a Cricut cartridge for $9.99!!!!!!!

I was sold with the frog on the cover. Turns out that there are two frogs included in this set!! I am really amazed at this set- it includes bugs, animals, birds, mushrooms, clothes, shoes, make-up related items, phone, iPod, and the nesting dolls. Very cool.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Today in the ASP we were practicing writing our names and I always ask "Is this your best work?"
I asked this one boy and I asked him about the "a" that was floating. We just finished our space unit, so I pretended to space walk.  Then this other Kindergartner came by and just starred at me like I was crazy! I told him I wasn't crazy, but I don't think he bought it.  I turned to my K girls and asked them if they thought that I was crazy.

Miss N said, "Oh you aren't 100 crazy" Oh good, at least she doesn't think I am 100% crazy! Then they thought about it and Miss D said, "You are only 1 crazy." Oh good, only one crazy!!  Then Miss K said after much thought, "You are two crazy." Okay so I was giggling now, with the whole play on words, my co-teacher commented about my giggling!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


It is day two of our penguin unit.  I gave the children a sheet with 17 different penguins on it which they had to identify.  I lightly wrote it for the K-1's, I gave the 2-3rd the first letter of each one. I told the 4-5th that they were in alphabetical order.

I told my students that theirs was not in color.  If they wanted to have a color copy of their own, they should give me their email address!

Most of my printables came from my friend Jessica

We Are Family

This week we have two word families this week: -op and -ip

Writing- road maps

We also read a book about road maps.

Today we reviewed what to do when we write:
*Use 6/7 colors depending on our age for our picture
* write to go along with what we drew
*use punctuation . ? !
*start with capital letters