Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

 We had so much fun today! All day was filled with Candy Corn activities! 
- ABC order
- Art
- Graphing and Data Analysis
- Creating Words
- Measurement
- Estimation
- Sight Word BINGO
...and the best part of all, Candy Corn Popcorn Balls!!! DELICIOUS! All of these activities are available in my "Candy Corn Fun!" packet on TPT. These activities would make great stations at a Fall Party!

Addition and Subtraction Posters

Friday, October 28, 2011

Okay I know the picture stinks...I should have taken the picture before sending it through the laminator, OOPS! I will work on getting a better picture posted BUT....these are the addition and subtraction posters that I created this week. They are hanging above our windows adjacent to the calendar wall.

A very important part of our daily math routine is our Problem of the Day. I am always trying to find ways to help students identify those key words that will give them the clues they need to solve the problem. My students have found it so helpful to be able to reference the vocabulary words they should be looking for in the math problems. I also created "mini-posters" to glue to the inside of their Math Journal. I put everything you need to create these anchor charts in your class in a 17 page packet. It is available in my TPT store if you are interested.

Fall Party

Sunday, October 23, 2011

With this Friday being the Friday before Halloween, our first grade team is having our Fall Party. I know it's a school day early but...
1. Monday/Halloween is our "Candy Corn Celebration Day" check out that packet at my TPT store!
2. I don't "party" on Monday!
Anyway..back to the Fall Party Post, each teacher chooses an activity and the classes rotate through the different rooms. It is so fun to get a feel for your teammates class. I always feel so happy when I get my kids back (not that they are any better or worse they just know my expectations, rules, etc.. and I know their names). My activity this year is going to be Sight Word BINGO. I am going to put a bank of sight words on the board and let students pick which words they want to put on their BINGO boards. Note: Have them write their words with a marker, you always get those 1 or 2 kids who are secretly attempting to change their boards mid-game :) Click here to get this activity for your class.

Calendar Companion

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Now that second quarter has begun, my students have be given their "Calendar Companion". Let me tell you they were SO excited! (that's why I LOVE first grade) There are many versions of calendar notebooks but I was just not able to find one that fit our exact needs with the new CORE Math Standards so I created one. 
I found that student engagement during calendar tends to decrease as students get used to the routine of calendar. So, now that we have spent time learning the routine it is time for each student to get their own Calendar Companion.  Students bring their 3 prong notebook and a pencil back to calendar everyday. I have attached the label pictured above to their folder. Students complete calendar everyday in their notebook.
Here is what is inside their Calendar Companion:
- the above label to attach to the front of their Calendar Companion
- monthly calendar fill-in
- number of the day sheet (tally the number, write the number word, find ten more, ten less, one more and one less, write the number in expanded notation, represent the number in base ten)
- weather graph/analysis
- reference sheet (months of the year, days of the week, number line, color words, number words, hundreds chart)
- tooth and birthday graph
- counting days at school chart
- write the date page
I took the Calendar Companion .pdf file to Staples and had them print poster size images of the file for our calendar wall. It cost about $20 for the 11 posters, SO worth it! My calendar is EXACTLY the same as their Calendar Companion. The amount of students engagement has increased dramatically since students have received their Calendar Companion! I took a picture of my calendar area so you could get an idea of the space I have to work with (notice the beautiful electrical box in the middle of the wall). The picture is not the best but hopefully you get the idea please feel free to email me with any questions!

Whoooo Am I?

Whoooo Am I? We just spent some time learning about several different types of owls. The kids were so intrigued by them! After collecting facts and creating a mini-book about the different types of owls the students were challenged to pick one owl and write about it. They were given the owl wings and asked to write one clue about their owl on each wing. Then they got the owl body and wrote the answer in the middle. They attached the wings with brad clips. I told the kids to keep their owl a secret so that they can give their clues to the class and we would try to guess which owl they picked, they were HILARIOUS trying to hide their owls from each others inquiring eyes. The kids had such a great time and they wanted to take their owls home but then how would I create this adorable bulletin board? We compromised and decided to have them hang up for just a week. I posted the black lines and mini-book here if you would like to do this fun unit with your kiddos!

Pumpkin Life Cycle

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is a short week for us so this week has been devoted to everything pumpkin! Today the students painted their own pumpkin patch, did a pumpkin life cycle sequencing activity and wrote a mini-book. We learned so much and their art projects turned out so CUTE!Tomorrow we are going to work on a pumpkin place value mystery picture (my kids LOVE these), pumpkin seed measurement, pumpkin seed addition, pumpkin spelling, pumpkin tally marks and then create a pumpkin number line to do some word problems. WOW are we busy!
I have put all the activities together in a Pumpkin Life Cycle packet if you are interested.

Our T-Shirts are here!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Okay I know it's late but I am so excited about this I had to share before going to bed for the night (tomorrow is a teacher work-day full of meetings so it's okay if I am a little tired right?). While blogstalking Mrs. Lochridge at First Grade Factory, I came across this adorable idea to make class t-shirts! Well I couldn't stop myself and had to do it! My parents were super supportive (kinda scary since this is the first time I have made these) and 21/24 kids brought back the order form to buy. So now we have these AMAZING shirts and I can't wait until the kids return on Wednesday to see them. The company that creates these adorable shirts is called Whitney Daniels Designs. They are based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Word of warning: call the company and ask them about the shipping charges. Being in AZ, the price of the shirt is slightly different than what the website lists because of shipping costs. 

Math Core Standards Unit 6

Oh my goodness!!! I shared Unit 5 Math Core Standards with the other first grade teachers in my district and WOW are they amazing! I received so many positive comments. I had slowly begun working on Unit 6 and after reading all of the responses I kicked it into high gear to finish it tonight. I have it posted in my TPT store, stop by and check it out. I am so grateful to work with the most AMAZING teachers in Chandler. It is so thrilling to create valuable resources that other teachers are excited to use in their classroom. 

By the way I had a TON of requests for units 1-4. As soon as I get them posted I will let you know and have a 50% off sale in my TPT store. Follow my website so you don't miss the sale!

Harcourt Trophies Fix-Its

Friday, October 14, 2011

Between the unpacking, the notes, taking attendance, etc... mornings can be a little crazy! I like to have "Bellwork" ready to go on students desk when they come in to help manage this time. I have found that bellwork routine needs to be as consistent as possible so students are not asking "What do we do?" I have created Harcourt "Daily Fix-It" for students. These come directly from the teachers guide. I will post the next anthology soon if you are interested. 

Math CORE Standards

 Click here to view my Unit 5 Math program. This unit includes everything you will need for 10 days of math instruction. I began developing these units out of frustration with not having consistent materials to teach the new math core standards. I believe consistency is the key to student achievement so I try to keep my math time very structured. Below I have described what my hour math block looks like.
Daily Math Schedule:
1. Problem of the Day. Each student has a spiral “Math Journal”. They are given a “Problem of the Day” to glue onto their page. We read the problem together then they are given a few minutes to work the problem out independently. I encourage them to then share their thinking with their table partner then students can volunteer to share their thinking with the class. My "Problem of the Day" Packet is available for purchase at TPT.
 2. Calendar time. Our calendar helper helps lead us through our daily calendar routine. I believe so many important skills can be taught during this time. I like to have a outline to follow (I have included this in the teacher pages) but often times I review/discuss many other concepts.
3. Mini-Lesson. Each day we have a math mini-lesson. This can take anywhere from 15 -30 minutes. (Each mini-lesson is included in the teacher pages.) Try not to skip a mini-lesson because these skills come into the worksheets.
4. Guided practice. Students are given a worksheet with a guided practice side and an independent practice side. We do the guided practice side together.
5. Independent Practice. Students complete the reverse side independently. The independent practice pages were designed to be spiral; students are constantly being challenged to review previous concepts. When they are finished I check their work and dismiss them to their math tub.
6. Math tubs - Usually run between 15 - 25 minutes (time depends on how long the mini-lesson of the day was). Two to three students go to each math station. Stations contain games and activities that were played during prior units. 

After attending a Math Core Standards training, I found that the CORE standards are much more vague and open-ended than what I am used to. Please keep in mind that this is my interpretation of the standards and I believe that what I create closely aligns with the Core Standards but, you know your students better than anyone and materials may need to be adjusted to fit their needs. I hope this unit is something you find useful in your class. I would appreciate any questions and feedback that you have. I will be posting unit 6 soon!

I LOVE Candycorn!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

 My absolute favorite type of candy during Fall is CANDYCORN! LOVE IT! To follow school district policy I don't have a "Halloween Party" rather a Candy Corn Celebration Day! We do all of the activities I have included in my "Candy Corn Fun!" packet on TPT. The packet includes spelling activities, ABC order, estimation, graphing, measurement, Bingo, an art project and a fun recipe the kids help me cook. Check it out!

Math Journal

Friday, October 7, 2011

Math Journal is a very important part of our daily math routine. I give each student a problem-of-the-day story problem. We read the problem together, they spend a few minutes trying to find the solution independently, then they are given time to talk to their table partner to compare answers, and finally I ask volunteers to share their thinking. I have just posted a Autumn Math Journal Packet in my TPT store. Stop by and check it out. It contains 30 different story problems all you need to do is copy. I have included the above image as a free download. This is what I tape onto the front of their spiral notebook. 

Ants Invasion

Saturday, October 1, 2011

 One of our Harcourt stories is Ants, so we made this fun project. We created a Venn Diagram comparing humans to ants and had so much fun creating this art project. We studied what the underground tunnels that ants make look like, and then students created their own ant hill. As you can see some students ant hills are more intricate than others :) Here is a FREEBIE Venn Diagram if you are interested in doing this project with your students!

Frog and Toad Together Book Guide

I LOVE doing book studies with my higher-level students. We are currently reading "Frog and Toad Together" so I have created a Book Guide and posted it to my TPT Store. I hope it is something you can use in your class to challenge your little readers!

Apples Apples Everywhere

 Working with functional text is always so much fun! To finish our first quarter of school we made a mini-apple pie recipe and cooked apple pies. We created our beautiful art using a great PowerPoint from TPT that I purchased from Tricia. The kids art was amazing, I had so many parents make such positive comment during Parent/Teacher conferences. My poor students are so "paint-deprived" because painting with 1 adult and 24 kids is a scary thought! But they really followed the instructions and did an incredible job. I had the kids create a recipe card for the mini-apple pies we made. I have created a pdf with the teacher recipe and the kids recipe card in my TPT store. My students loved the apple pies so much I had parents emailing me for the recipe!

U.S. Symbols

This quarter we worked on U.S. Symbols. We created this U.S. Passport to document our travels and the kids had so much fun. When we were done "traveling" through the symbols the kids created a torn-paper flag and they looked amazing hanging in our room during September 11th. I have just posted the U.S. Passport on my TPT page, enjoy!

No, David

I have updated this link with a freebie! Click here to get there.

"No, David" is one of our favorite books to begin the year or use anytime we need a little review of what our classroom expectations are. One corner of our classroom is devoted to David and our school rules. 
We read the book several times then the students chose one rule they thought was especially important to them and they typed their rule during Computer Lab time. Then each student created a picture of David and they turned out AMAZING! We had so much fun with David this year that we decided to use iMovie to create a short video of David following the rules and showed the video to the entire school. How FUN! If you would like to view the video you can see it on my classroom webpage. The poster shown above was printed at Staples. I used PhotoShop to edit the title to fit our lesson and class.


I am so excited to be joining the blogging community! I have spent years "blog stalking" so many AMAZING teachers and decided I would like to begin sharing instead of just taking. I live in sunny Arizona and teach at a year-round school. I just began my 2 week October break and I am looking forward to posting some great FREEBIES over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!
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