Wednesday, March 28, 2012


So, I'm planning for next week, which canNOT come fast enough!  Every year we have done the story Rechenka's Eggs (if you've never read this book, it is a great story.  Click on the pic below to take you to Amazon to read about it.

After we read this book, we have students decorate hard boiled eggs (that we asked them to bring in).  Each kid brings in 2, that way if one happens to break, there's usually extras.  The students use CRAYONS to decorate their eggs any way that they would like.  Once they are done, they choose a color to dye it.  The eggs turn out SO beautiful!  We started doing this a few years ago, and since then, it is what I do with my own children at home now.  (There's also a Reading Rainbow for Rechenka's Eggs that we watch too that actually shows Patricia Polanco designing eggs like the story-minus the goose of course).  Here are a few pics of my HOME eggs from last year.  They are kinda hard to see in the carton, but a few you can see.  The crayon color comes out so bright after being dyed!

Since we are having a 4 day week, I decided to make the theme "Eggs."  Thursday morning we will read Rechenka and decorate the eggs.  One other book I will be using is called The Perfect Nest.  I just absolutely LOVE this book.  If you haven't read this one, you definitely should check it out!  (Click on the pic to see about it!)
Other possibilities are:  Horton Hatches the Egg and Easter Eggs Everywhere.  I'm still looking for additional ones since the ones noted above are so wonderful.  :)

I quick whipped up some recording sheets to use next week.  3 are for reading responses and the last page is a writing activity for How to Find the Perfect Hiding Spot.  The "Read All About It" page is a page that I have included in my Literature Circles packet that is posted on TpT.

And about that!  I have finished my INFORMATIONAL book groups packet!  This packet will also have role cards and worksheets for the grouping.  Of course, I designed it with the Common Core Standards by my side, since we lack books to actually use.  I wrote a grant to get some books, so we'll see if I can get some for next year!  :)  I'm very excited to use it with my kids.  They have been doing a great job with the Book Groups from my story packet.  I have actually added a few things to the file on TpT for it---so if you have already purchased it before this past Tuesday, go back and download it again!!!  Click on the picture to read more about the informational book packet!

Back to the freebies!  Click on the pictures below to grab a copy of the recording sheets that I have made up for next week.  Graphics are from From the Pond and the 3AM Teacher.  Sorry that this pic is sideways.... 

Thanks for reading and stopping by!  I can't believe that I'm close to 100 followers!  W.O.W.!  I think something special will definitely have to happen when I reach 100!  Make sure to follow so you don't miss it! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Earth Day

A few weeks ago, we had an in-service and were going over the Common Core standards for Literacy.  I'm a little less knowledgeable with those, as I am not on the committee to redo our LA curriculum, like I was on the Math.  We got into a discussion on how to meet the Speaking and Listening Standards, which are new to us to assess.  The topic of Show and Tell came up-which, we haven't done in YEARS because of the time frame, and well-it took away time from "other" things we had to cover.

Show and Tell covers MANY, if not all-depending on how you would run it, standards.  My grade partners and I decided we wanted to re-institute Show and Tell this year, but have it more focused.   Next year our goal is to have 2 kids share a day-which will give them about 2 times a month to bring something in.  We do actually have kids do show and tell at the end of the year where they incorporate their Step Up To Writing techniques---but we'll definitely need to do MORE next year.  We are *thinking* of having themed or content related show and tells for each month... 

Next month we are going to have our students create something at home that is recycled.  My son just did this at his Kindergarten enrichment (fancy word for-where he goes after his half day of kindergarten) :P  They had a little art show where all of the rooms (it's a daycare too) created art that was "recycled" in some form or another.  He painted over a cereal box and made it into a picture frame.  In the middle of it was a drawing of himself (self-portrait).

We are going to have our kids fill out a short form to help them when it comes time to "present" their art next month.  We will be planning on having students ask questions too-to cover that standard!  :)  The standards that could possibly be met through this are:  SL.1.1, SL.1.2, SL.1.3 and SL.1.6

Click on the picture to grab yourself the letter and worksheet that we are going to have our kids take home to complete!  We are going to send it home next week-to give them a good amount of time to complete it.  (I have one with the dates filled in and from The First Grade Teachers, and I also have one with blank lines for you to write in the dates of when you would have your students bring it in)  (NOTE:  Download again, if you downloaded it before 12:12pm EST....  I corrected a mistake on the kid paper....)

Oh---also, I wanted to add that I am currently working (and almost finished) with an addition to my literature circle packet!  This will include roles for INFORMATIONAL texts!!!!  (now, I just need to find some good informational books to use them with......)  Click on the picture to see my Literature Circle packet (for primary kiddos!).
 Don't forget to follow me to keep up with more freebies and giveaways!  I'm nearing the 100th follower and am planning something special!  Also-follow me on facebook too!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Math Game Freebie

I changed the graphics from my St. Patrick's Day +10 Roll to have an Easter theme and also an April Showers theme.  Click on the picture to grab yourself copies!  Like before, there are 2 versions of each.  1 for using 2 dice and 1 for using 3.

If you need math center/game ideas I have an Easter packet and an April Showers packet on TpT!  I was in love with the bunnies, but then I created the April Showers and just LOVE the graphics for that one!  Just a friendly reminder that my math games increase in difficulty as the year goes by.  I try to create activities that they should be able to complete now (i.e. there is some place value and double digit addition/subtraction thrown in and no longer making groups of ten, etc..)  I have been creating some review games for things that I notice they have either forgotten or could use a refresher too.  Click on the pictures below to check out my stations!  :)



OH!  I just finished my Easter Story Problem Math booklet!  I created 2 version with it.  The first version is exactly the same template as the ones in the past, with room to draw/work and also to explain.  The second version has a smaller workspace and larger area to write the reasoning with added lines and the word "because."  I also included questions about fair shares within it (along with the usual problems that I have had in the past with +/- 10, missing parts, 3 digit.  There is also double digit adding in it this time too!)  Click here to see it!  Easter Story Problems

Hope you are enjoying beautiful spring-like weather like we are!  If not, so sorry.... :(  but-the bad thing is that I have to keep reminding myself (and my students....) that it's ONLY MARCH!  We still have quite a ways to go!!!! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Week

Wow, was that ever a LONG but short week?!  This is what I accomplished somehow this week.

*My entire plans and copies for next week.  The hubs is going out of town COUNTRY for the entire week, leaving Sunday morning...  Which means I'm on drop off duty and pick up duty ALL week.  (He's usually drop off since he goes to work MUCH later than I do.  My school starts at 7:50...)

*Cleaned most of my room because it was our yearly Superintendent visit for the day..... sidebar here----she was in and talking to my kiddos and asked one student to tell her what she was learning in my class-----my lovely, spirited kiddo told her, "No." ?!?!?!?!?!?!   sigh.......  She then walked out.  Guess she'll be remembering my room!  :/

*Wrote 2 complete grants for our district educational foundation grants that they give out each year.  Plus I'm 9/10 of the way through a third one that is for my team.

*Finished making party favors for my son's birthday BIRDday party.  Finished gathering the rest of the supplies that I needed to get too....

*Fit in a haircut for the little bird, which was a nightmare.  He's now at the stage of screaming hysterically, like we're really cutting his head off.......  ugh.  I remember going through that with my big bird.........

I know that there's more that I did, because as I felt it was a TON of work, once I put it out there on the blog--I guess it didn't seem like THAT much??  We had such a beautiful day for my son's party Saturday.  He had an Angry Bird theme that I just loved getting into the crafty spirit for.  Funny how different the weather is each year.  We had to postpone his 1st birthday party because of snow!  Today-it couldn't have been any better!  I can say that it definitely has me itching for summer!  (The swimming at his party today-indoors of course-didn't help the cause!)

I don't have anything free for ya this week since i was a bit preoccupied last week.  Here's some pics from my room:

An example of my students' work with their story problems.  I've now encouraged them to write what they did and also add "because" into their sentences.  For that reason, I'm a little behind on creating April story problems because I want to rework the template a little to add more room for writing, since they are getting better at showing work in other ways.  I will most definitely be working on these this week so I can get them copied for April, which is right around the corner!!   This is the packet I'm using now------> March Story Problems

Working on their Math "drawers"  I allow students to work anywhere in the room-except they may not be next to someone else with the same game (helps eliminate lost pieces...).  I have drawers that I use instead of "tubs" and have 3 sets of games in each drawer along with recording sheets.  The students' names are on the drawer for them to know where to go.  Each day I move their names down.

Sorry for the sideways picture... i tried to fix it.  I'll try again tomorrow.  This is the "drawers" that I use for the math games.  I do not have fancy name tags for this.  It's just names written on cut index cards.  Each day the names just get moved down one drawer (or to the top if they are at the bottom spot)  Students come to this activity after I teach a lesson and they complete any work that is required for the lesson.  They usually have about 20 minutes to complete.  Once they finish, I have random math games that they play with others who are finished.

Here is a pic of the favors i made for my son's party:  i forgot to get a pic of the magnets...... and there were no extras :(  (I did NOT make the slingshot!!)  :P

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kinder-2nd Linky Party!

I have linked up with Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle to share my First Grade blog for the Kindergarten through Second Grade Linky Party! Go check it out to see some wonderful blogs by some talented teachers!

Jeannie is also going to make a pinboard on Pinterest of all the blogs that join.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A New Look & Rainbow Adjectives

I'm the type of person that JUST has to figure things out on my own.  Blogging to you, is quite new to me.  I wasn't happy with how things were looking, nor could I find anything that I liked----so I started googling and looking for ways to make it more appealing, and also JUST a little bit different than others.  So, for now, I'm mixing a few different things with a header that I created myself.  :)  I think this blog will forever be a "Work-in-Progress."  :)

Next week we will review adjectives-specifically with color adjectives.  I figured I'd tie in the rainbow with it, since St. Patrick's Day is next weekend (not to mention my oldest's birthday party that I'm frantically planning and making things for!!!)  I had the idea, but had to figure out how to make it the easiest way possible.  When you download it, keep it in the EXACT order and the EXACT way it prints out.  Every other page will be upside down.  This is very important.  Once it printed, copy it double sided.  Then, you will be able to layer it and fold over to make a pretty cool flip book.  Under each flap, have the students write a sentence using the color adjective.  I am going to make sure my students write a sentence that does NOT say "The ball is red."  But instead, model and get them to write saying something like "The red ball bounces high."  I created 2 different versions for you.  The first one already has the color printed.  The second one will be black and white, so that students can color in the word/box (and also save ink---plus the indigo printed out a little bit off for me...)

Don't forget to follow me so you don't miss out on freebies and ideas!  I'm still loving all the "love" from your emails and comments :)  It's amazing that there are so many different people from ALL over the world checking this blog out.  Thank you!  I love getting ideas and inspiration from others too-which is what makes this blogging "era" absolutely wonderful!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and week!  I'm going to be working on my soon-to-be 6-year-old's Angry Bird party!  Which involves me making 60 pom pom red birds and 40 green pom pom pigs... and trying out my new found crafty-ness inspired from Pinterest and am also making some cute angry bird magnets (well, they are cute in my head---we'll see what happens to the final product) and will also be requesting the assistance of a certain 5 year old to make his "non-edible" birthday (non)treat for his friends in Kindergarten.  (Melting more crayons, but molding into a football shape) :)    (Then, I have 1 month to plan my soon-to-be 2-year old's party!  That's right-my kids are EXACTLY a month apart--March 15th and April 15th!)

Check out my TpT store for more St. Patrick's Day needs!  Literacy Games   Math Games   Story Problems 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Groups and a St. Patrick's Day Freebie

I LOVE book groups, but have never found a "good" template or job roles, etc. that has ever completely met my needs, nor has been very primary grade friendly.  Now that I have started making my own things, I decided to work on this so that I can finally put them back into my classroom.  I am SO happy to say that I have completed it and am actually very proud of what I created that I am the only one that ever uses them, I'm okay with that!  I just posted it on TpT tonight.  I created different roles related to animals and have recording sheets that I feel my students will do well with.  We are in the early stages of completing them together with a book that I would read aloud to the class, just so they get used to the recording sheets.  I have already had my students read a book together in a group, without jobs over the course of the past few weeks, when all were present.  I have decided that all of this work will be done in class, as we now have a homework policy for our firsties that is only 10 minutes of work a night.  I can't expect my kiddos to read a chapter/book AND complete his/her "role" for the next day or 2 days at home.  Next week we will go full steam ahead with the groups and I'll see how it goes by only doing it in class....  I'm hoping for the best!  Click on the picture to go to my TpT store to read a detailed description of what I created.  I didn't want to bore you and have it here too.  :)

With St. Patrick's Day coming up, I created a quick game for students to play with partners.  There are 2 versions, of course :)  Version one--students will roll 2 dice and add ten.  They will find that number and cover it.  They need 5 in a row to win.  (They can decide what happens if the number they need is no longer available--lose a turn, roll again, etc...)  The second version is for THREE dice.  Same rules, just adding 3 numbers.  (Covers yet another Common Core Standard!) ;)

Click on the picture to grab your copy!

(I have Common Core Aligned Math games and Literacy games/stations on TpT if you are in need!)

Hope you have a wonderful week!  We are still finishing up Dr. Seuss stuff!  AND OH.MY.GOODNESS!  Have you seen the Lorax?!?!?!?!?  They did such a fantastic job with that movie!  My son and I saw it this weekend (while the hubs stayed home with the almost 2 year old, who is definitely already hitting the "terrible twos") :)  If you haven't seen it------you definitely need to!!!!  If you did see it, what did you think?!

Don't forget to click to be a follower!  I'm getting closer to the big 5-0!  (and almost to 100 on TpT!)  W.O.W.!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Math Games; An FYI Post

I wanted to give more information about how I do my math games.  The math games I design are what I am using in my classroom with my kiddos.  As the year goes by, the games get "harder," meaning that we are no longer working on those early math concepts from the beginning of the year (such as part/part/whole,  and number combinations for 10, etc).  The games match how we (myself and another first grade teacher in my district) created our curriculum this past summer to match the First Grade Common Core Standards and how we thought the pacing should be.  We created the pacing, keeping in mind what our kiddos had struggled with in the past and making sure we had plenty of time to teach it and have our kids master what they need to.  (ex... place value and double digit adding with regrouping!!)  We were SO relieved when money was removed from our standards.  It has become such a difficult task to teach our kiddos such an abstract concept---especially in a world where that uses credit cards 98% of the time!  I would always have those kids who got it right away and those that are in second grade now that still have no clue....

Right now in math, we are working on place value and the 120 chart (soooo weird to say that instead of the 100's chart..)  :)  I do have to say that I absolutely LOVE the new standards.  I feel that it ups the game for our kids and I am quite anxious to see how it plays out and how the kids take to it.  (I have a love of math too----I'm always thinking about numbers, patterns.....  just another reason I don't sleep at night!!!)

One thing that I had created and have on TpT for free is a game that helps kids understand the concept of the equal sign.  What an important concept that we never really STRESSED so much to our kids.  They really do think that the equal sign meant the answer, when really we need to be teaching them that it's kinda like a balance.  One side is the SAME as the other side.  A game that I used to first introduce it was my True/False Equations.  They are looking at the number sentences and deciding whether they are true or false...  Really thinking about if it's the right answer..  It still has them seeing it with an "answer" but it is the beginning of getting them to evaluate what's there.  In some of my math games (which, I actually eliminated from my St. Patrick's Day and April Showers-- I believe--but it will resurface in May's games) is having 2 number sentences on both sides...  (ex.  2+3=4+1)  and having the kids decide if THOSE were true.  That sorting IS included in my Dr. Seuss Math Games packet.

Click on the picture to take you to my TpT store to grab yourself a free copy of my True/False equations.  It's an arctic animal theme again, but it could still work in your classroom for a few more weeks! :)

Last, I just wanted to say that I've only been doing this for the last 7 weeks.  Crazy to think about what all I have created in that time.  That being said, I do not have anything for the beginning of the year to post.  (well, the first half of the year!)  I will be working on those once I finish with the year.  The last concept we teach will be Geometry and Fractions.  We felt that we wanted our kids to end with a "fun" concept, that is FAIRLY easy for most students.  (Plus there are SO many hands-on activities that we will have to do with the Geometry one specifically, to cover the standards!  When better to do that than the end of the year when they are ready for summer!)

Thanks for reading!  I know that I tend to get a bit wordy.....  I'm working on that!  (and trying to get better at uploading pictures from my camera so that I can share those with the world!!)
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