Saturday, April 30, 2011

Earth Day and Recycle

On Earth day I shared my Target Bag with my students.  Then we sorted things to recycle:

 And things that we would put in the compost pile:

I got the sort from
Later we played this game. Okay so we were supposed to play with contractions, but that wasn't in my lesson plans.  I wrote reduce, reuse, recycle on the spaces. We have two markers, a girl game marker and a boy marker. The children roll a die and move that many spaces. If they land on "Happy Earth Day" space, they say "Happy Earth Day" on the other spots they have to tell us something that they can reduce, reuse or recycle. 

Later, I was thinking about other things that I could show them that were also recycled. What can you think of that can be shown that is made from recycled materials?

Friday, April 29, 2011


I created this game for the Firsties. We have been talking about place value and the difference. So in turn came this game. I created two versions. One version for tens and ones and one for ones, tens and hundreds.

We send home math games every weekend for our math groups.

So for this activity, told the children to write a "W" if they had the bigger number and a :( the the smaller number. I don't want them to think of getting a loss. :(

Get your very own:

Big and Small

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We took a look at this present and brainstormed ideas about what it could be. We knew that it was a present for a baby.  The circle ideas were our guesses. The wacky shapes are our guesses after Mr. S held the gift he gave us some more clues as what it could be. 
 Here are our guesses after Mr. S's clues.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Each week I send home a newsletter. It has our star words for the coming week, plus what we covered in math.  I discuss our lessons, but since we switch for math groups between 4 teachers, we each do our own things but the same lessons. The children carry back and forth a Parent Communication log (a steno type notebook)  that the parents and I write notes back and forth. It is a great keepsake for the year. I quickly look through them, I make sure that I write in each one each week.  One mom wrote to me on the weekends about the weather or what was going on with the family.  I lived about 30 minutes away from where I taught, so they would often have different weather.

My newsletter

I was hoping to share the document, but Google removed all the cuteness :(

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dollar Tree Tuesday's

I was loving SwampFrogs post about their own pinwheels. Okay so it was a bonus that it was cute with a frog and then to top it off it was useful too!! Of course they didn't have them at my Target :( I came across this one at the Dollar Tree. I used fabric paint. My firsties had a hard time spinning it, so I spun it and they tried to pinch it. I came up with a question that related to our story.  I was thinking of creating some "W" questions so they could ask the class or read and answer it themselves.

One thing that I do when we read our reading series story, I have the students be the teacher and ask the other students the questions. So I say "Teacher Sean you are number 3" so he reads that question.  They make sure it is the correct answer too :)  We do our reading of the story with small groups.  If at the end of the story there aren't enough questions, then we ask what is your favorite page. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011


Ever had those days were time gets away from you? So I had all intention in letting the children hold the caterpillars if they wanted to.  Well then our day got all wacko due to our tornado drill. To top it all off, we didn't have school on Friday. When we came back on Monday, some of them had already turned into chrysilis'. 

As we were cleaning out the cups this was going on
{Side note: this was the one that I was holding and got the willies and had to put it down very quickly!}

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Caterpillar Life Cycle

We made these life cycles for our name tags for our lockers:
We drew the leaf and then put a small pompom for the egg. We picked two different colored larger pompoms for the caterpillar.

When we did this, I had the children wait to write "caterpillar" until after they glued down the pompoms.  I wasn't sure how much space it would take.

 Later, we made these TLC art caterpillars.  I gave them a bunch of choices of colors, but they had to pick two. I gave them a red head.

Later, I hung them all up on the bulletin board above our lockers.
Here is a close-up of the white paper under our TLC Art caterpillars.  
We made these from Pixie in the lab.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bunny Bags

We used the patterns from the mailbox, but they would be simple to make. We cut off some of the top so they weren't so tall.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't Rob the Bank

We are working with money this week.  I pulled out these game boards. How we played the game:
The students picked some kind of marker/game piece. I gave them two "ones" cubes of different colors. Then a number cube. Then a box of money!!!! {Well the play money variety :)}

So to play this game, the child rolls the number cube and moves their game piece. Then take that amount of money. When they can exchange, they do. Well they try to exchange. When I was monitoring the rotations/stations, I noticed that the children would "exchange" their money, but not put the money in the bank when they exchanged!! So that is why we called it:
Don't Rob the Bank

One of my "froglets" ended up with over $5.00 which would be nearly impossible with the little time we had to play lol

One thing that I would change the next time when I make this game, is to have the game never stop.  I love those kinds of games. They keep playing them round and round!

Here is a label I made for the game.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Writing Board

We have started meeting once a week about our writing, just like we do for reading.

I taught the Cafe strategy for using the table of contents. I printed off Kim Adsit's journal topics for the kids and placed them in a binder. I made a table of contents and numbered the pages.

I don't have a permanent spot for writing so I made this Writing Board from one of those tri-fold science things. I debated on what to cover it with, but voted on black. I turned sheet protectors sideways to I can slide in writing choices. I can rotate their choices as needed. I also included a guide of what is expected when we write. 

I used one of those pocket charts from Target for the expectations:

*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
*code date
*sound out words
*spelled star words correctly
*finger spaces
*Razzle Dazzle words
*Wrote more than 6 sentences.

 Here is a close up view of the pocket chart. I got the pocket chart from Target. I just clipped it on with clips, I would even use binder clips, they would be perfect! I decided against adding cutesy letters that say "Writing Center" to lessen the distractions.
I will tell you what a pain in the rear end it was to wrap this in bulletin board paper. The width was perfect so that was not the problem. I didn't want it to stay flat, but I wanted to be able fold and unfold the board. 

I set it up with the sheet protectors open to the edges, so I can change the chioces as needed.  I included my sample in the Make a Book if they needed reminding :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


We were working on symmetry in math groups. We have been doing "paper and pencil" activities with lines of symmetry. So I kicked it up a notch and gave them scrap paper to create their own designs.

I thought that this looked like a sting ray. My students didn't because they don't know about them lol

 A crab with pinchers.
If you look sideways, I think they look like elf pants with shoes lol

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Target Tuesday

So on Sunday, Target was giving away these ultra cool bags with purchase. I of course, headed right for the Dollar Spot. I found the elusive elephant can. :) While wondering through the rest of the store, I came across these flamingo clips.
 I thought they would be perfect for hanging chart paper on the easel.
 Here is their "true" use! There was also a fish and a gator/croc. I also heard that they carry them at Kohls.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Balloon Lady

We have our very own personal balloon lady at my school. She is a GENIUS!!!!!!

She made me these two frogs:

 The yellow under was a lily pad, but it delfated by the window :(
Here is a little guy that I could actually put in my hair!
She also works in our school library. Thanks so much Jeannie :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Plants- food, flowers, other

Here is the kindergartners responses: the one I forgot to write was leaf. {I didn't want the first graders to see when they came over lol}

 Here are the First Graders answers. The last one that I didn't write was tree.
The old students did it on their own.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lima Beans

During our plant unit, we dissected lima beans. We took off the seed coat and opened up the seed. If we were careful, we got to see the embryo. We drew them in the our science logs.
After dissecting the seeds, one of the 4th graders found this "baby seed" and wanted me to photo it.
We used this sheet from AIMS.

Get your Inside the Seed packet.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Beginning Middle and End

 This weeks story was:
We made this story map:
We are working on beginning, middle and end.

Here are some sheets that I have made:
 A boy version. A girl version.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oviparious and Viviparous

We studied Oviparous and Viviparous animals. I found these apps for my iPhone. This first one is very easy, 4 cracks and it opens.  Here is the deal, it is a random creature (most of the time lol) I used this with the K-1's. When they cracked the egg, they had to tell us if it were oviparous or viviparous. 
{Side note-it does have several things that aren't either, and they laugh and laugh lol! Anyways, one says Happy Easter all over, one is jelly beans, and one is an egg.) The students love this. They have been asking to crack the egg for two weeks now.  

 Of course I must show the egg hatched a frog!  lol

This one is a little harder one, not for the creatures, but the amount of times it takes to crack the egg!!! I am talking a good 20-30 seconds lol.  Anyways, it is the same concept as the younger kids version. They were both free apps.

Both apps make sound, but I don't usually turn on the sound.

We sorted pictures in a pocket chart and then the students got their very own to sort and color in their science logs.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


When the children loose teeth, they get a sticker and a pencil. A teacher friend of mine  uses the pencil on the left "I lost a tooth." Here is the HELP that I need.  She can't find anymore of these pencils :(

So where do you get your "I lost a tooth" pencils???
We would be forever grateful for your help!

Since we can't find anymore tooth pencils, she had these erasers, so I just picked a pencil and popped a tooth eraser on top :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Animal Sounds

Here is a photo from my reading series manual. This photo is taken right from the book no I don't have a large one for the students.

After we read this several times, then we brainstormed some out loud, then we wrote our own. I wrote the "I'm a" and "hear me".

I did help them think of interesting words for two of them (for elephant- trumpet and fish- gulp)
I had the children just write their first letter of their name because I was putting it on line.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Target Dollar Spot and Dollar Tree

I got two bags and two notebooks for Where the Wild Things are for some take home bags.
The monkey and giraffe cans. 
A frog and lady bug hat.
A butterfly headband.
Frog sticky notepad.
Glitter pencils.
Chicks and egg shakers.

At the Dollar Tree:
a funky pen
and a pinwheel.

I plan to put 
on each one of the petals.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

3D symmetry

We combined symmetry with our 3D shapes.

Here is a great book to use from Mrs. I's class

Here is a great plan for 2-4 graders.

Here is a great I Have Who Has game.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Finally the toothbrushes have arrived!!! I don't understand why it takes so long to get them. Don't they know when dental health month is??? lol  I am grateful that I can share them with my students, but dental health month was in February.

I came home earlier this week and my husband has brought them in for me.

Even though dental health month is over, healthy teeth are always important!  I plan to do something special from The First Grade Parade's dental unit.

There wasn't anything new to add to my collection. I still have the video, CD's and game board.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I love love love to sing.

I usually make up my own songs for everything.  I have so many songs/CD's that are collecting dust.

How do you use music in your classroom?

I also forget what songs I have as well uggggg!

I have already started adding music to my laptop so I can move to my iPod.

Don't get me started on all of the books on tape I have lol

Bonus for me and the children is that I can actually sing. I sing at church for weddings and funerals.

I created these sheet to help me out: Music Guide {link fixed :)}

I run the spreadsheet back to back. I do one CD at a time. so I am not overwhelmed at this daunting task.

I also have a playlist that has just musical backgrounds for new songs. Those familiar songs that I change the lyrics to :) I use this book: First Grade Grammar Book 1 and book 2.

ETA: It appears that they are doing some work, so I searched some, and located the blog where I got them:  Polka Dot Teacher

Friday, April 1, 2011

Seuss Day- 18- Ten Apples on Top

Today was 10 Apples on Top day.

We completed our apple graph too :)  Thank goodness for die cut machines :)

I brought in apples. I used my Pampered Chef Apple Peeler Corer Slicer in for the kids to use. They have the magic touch when it comes to using that thing! I think I go to fast :)  I was thinking about bringing the regular apple slicer, but I think they will like the APCS one better :)

Sadly this is our final Dr. Seuss day.  I hope that the children had as much fun as I had!! We made many memories this month- I hope they last a life time :)