Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bucket Filling---Christmas idea Freebie!!

Well, this isn't an incredibly new and wonderful idea, but thought I would share what I'm doing this month.
*****I know that many of you do NOT use the bucket filling ideas within your classroom.  I kept that in mind making this packet.  This packet actually has 2 sections.  The first one has "Bucket Filling" and the second is a duplicate, however the words "Good Friends and Bad Friends" as well as Kind friends.  The club they will be in is called the "Friendship Club"***

First, we started a school-wide Bucket Filling program this year.  I was actually going to start it in my own classroom but the school-wide part is now an added bonus!  I love how it gets kids {and adults!!!} thinking about others and how their actions can change how people feel.

Well, since starting, my kids have become a little.... um.. comfortable with each other, and well, the bucket filling has since become bucket dipping.  So, I had to do something about it.

We started off by rereading the book and discussing what it's like to be a bucket filler and a bucket dipper.  We created this little anchor chart to remind us:

 Next {we'll start this when we get back}, we will discuss different ways to give compliments to others.  I hate when kids can only think about literal, not-so-sincere {though, sometimes needed!} compliments as, "you look pretty today" or "I like your shirt..."  We will discuss three different ways to start a compliment.

They will also complete a "Bucket Filling Buddy" Application!

During our weekly class meetings, we will go through a scenario from my packet that gets them thinking of what happened, if there was bucket filling or dipping as well as what would they do differently.  Many of the stories are from my own observations of them this year!  Some from years past and some just made up.

Each week we will have a challenge where students will be looking for things to fill buckets.  After a few weeks, I'll start accepting members into our club and they'll get certificates!  They will not be "inducted" all at the same time.  I want to make it something special and have them realize how they are capable of filling other buckets all the time.  I want the excitement of being a "member" to stay too!

For the month of December, we will be filling each others STOCKINGS!  We created our stockings before heading off to our Turkey Day break.  I hung them after they left {I had 12 hours of conferences to put in...}  When we get back, students will be filling "stockings."  These stockings will go home right before our holiday break.

Now, for those wondering.  What about those kids who don't get a lot of "notes?"  Well, my solution is simple.  I will be printing out a small class roster for each student.  They will cross off the person they write to.  Once they wrote to everyone, then they can start over!  {I'm sure I'll have a few overachievers}

 Click on the picture below to grab your freebie if you'd like to have a copy of the stocking template and stationary to write to friends.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Kevin Henkes!

This post should have happened a LONG time ago.  I just finished up my Kevin Henkes packet, however we have been done with him since September!  We started off our year with a "friendship" theme, which is perfect for the beginning of a school year.  We spent some time reading Kevin Henkes books and talking about friendship.  I have to say I wasn't so good at remembering to take pictures during this time of year... so here's what I have to share!

 {My teammate made this lovely bulletin board with the project!}

We spent about 2 weeks with this unit.  The kids loved the books.  {This was also the time where I used my freebie to help kids learn what character and setting mean--as well as know the difference.  You can find that post HERE.}  My unit with the kids concluded with them picking their favorite book, creating a mouse to match and writing a retelling of that book.  (First, next, then and last)  Unfortunately, I am unable to find the picture examples of these right now...  I've looked on every camera I have!  I know it is somewhere!!

This packet also includes a fun beginner research packet about mice!  It is set up like the rest of my research packets and can be completed whole group, small group or even independently, depending on your classroom abilities!

This packet includes activities for these books:  Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Sheila Rae the Brave, Chrysanthemum, Chester's Way and Wemberly Worried (as well as a few generic graphic organizers to use other books you might have of his!)  If you'd like to check out my newest product with all the Kevin Henkes goodies---click on the picture below!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Favorite Thanksgiving Food Writing!

We use the Step Up To Writing program.  {I was actually trained awhile ago to train teacher to use the program!  I actually had to train our K-1 staff----ugh!  I got over that fear of public speaking pretty fast.}  I LOVE how it gets our kiddos organizing their writing with their color coding system.  {Uses the Stop Light colors}  Anyway, I thought I would share a fun writing activity that we do every year that gets even the reluctant writers writing!

Step 1-we brainstorm our ideas.  Let's face it.  It's hard to write about something when told--right away.  This brainstorming process is essential for kids to get their ideas out and feel comfortable.  In the middle is our "Topic" which I usually write in green, but sometimes I forget!  The kids just use pencils after a few times through.

Step 2-we choose 2-3 ideas and circle them in yellow.  These are going to be our Key/Star ideas.

Step 3-We create a T-chart.  At the top is our Topic.  It's green.  We are going to GO tell our readers what we are writing about!  Our topic is about Favorite Thanksgiving Foods!  {The t-chart has fragments only} 

Then we have our yellow stars---this is where we SLOW DOWN and tell a little more about our topic.  We always have a transition word with it, just because!  {It will help them down the road-but for now, it's a just because--when we first learn how to use it}

Now, we could just have 2 YELLOWS and be done, but sometimes we want to STOP and tell the read more about our key ideas.  This topic needed a little more explaining.  This was the first time we added more detail and used the REDS!  This topic is one of the easiest ways to get them to add more detail.  I mean, who doesn't want to tell you that they love to have lots and lots of whipped cream on their pumpkin pie???

Last on our T-chart is GREEN.  Why green???  Well, we're going to GO back and remind the reader what they just read about!  It's our conclusion!

Step 4-We take our T-chart and we transfer it to a draft.  We turn our fragments into sentences.  We add descriptive words and make our writing sound smart!  We fold our papers into 4ths.  We put a color coded dot on the side so they know which color they are looking at. 

Steps 5-???  We edit and write final copies.  Of course, first graders can't really edit well themselves--so often times I meet with them to edit for them (if we are going through the writing process to a final copy).  Many times I'll just rewrite what they had below-so they don't have to keep figuring out if they need to look at their writing or mine...  Some I need to do that all year!  

The best part of this process is that we are ALWAYS at the same step.  We have system in our classroom where Mondays (or the first day) we brainstorm and web.  Then we have a day for our T-chart organization (sometimes we'll combine those 2 days).  Then we'll have our drafting day or 2.  Day 4/5 will be writing our final copies, if we're going all the way.  Sometimes-the draft is perfect enough! :)  In the beginning stages of this, sometimes we just do web-draft all on the same day.

Here's some of the kid examples of our drafts.  We're not to the final copy part yet!

 {The draft from that T-chart--i didn't take a pic of the back side}

Whew-that was a lot of into to take in.  If you want to give it a try, click below to download a copy to help guide you through it.  I know it's cutting it a bit short with Turkey day coming fast a furious at us!  {at this time I do not have the directions within the download---you'll need to refer to this post.  I will be adding directions later, but right now I do not have any more time!}

Monday, November 18, 2013

Spaghetti and Meatballs with WRITING?!?!

I can't take credit for this, as I learned about it a LOOOOONNNNGGGG time ago when I first started teaching, however, I have NO idea where it came from.

My kids struggle writing sentences.  It drives me bonkers!  This past week, we had the little talk about how we're 1/4 of the way through first grade and I still see ONE LONG word in their writing!  I showed them examples of ME doing the wrong things on chart paper (from no spaces to those "runaway capitals" to those who put 3 feet of space between words to make it look like they wrote a LOT!  They laughed and giggled, but they don't in their own writing!

So, I busted out my spaghetti and meatballs.  Red pompoms and yellow "string" (yarn, gimp-do they make that anymore?!?!  I had this noodle-y string I got when I was working at Zany Brainy back in the day when I was in college... loved that place... wish they were still around...)

Spaghetti spaces are for between letters IN words.  Meatballs are for between words!  Simple as that folks.  Don't need to go out and buy those spacemen, etc...  {though they are cute!}  Kids thought they were the greatest things ever-and you should have seen them writing!  (I only passed out the meatballs... they certainly didn't need help with spaces between their letters right now.... )


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Best Pencil Sharpener in the WORLD!

Hi y'all!  So, I'm a teacher who has had an electric pencil sharpener in her room, that loves it...  Loves it so much, that I don't trust the kiddos to use it.... so my dilemma is that I am the one who has to sharpen pencils.... because I don't want them breaking the electric one!  (I used a big chunk of my budget many years ago---back when we got a decent amount...)

Well, who has time to sharpen pencils now, with all the other things we need to do in the classroom?!?!  NOT this girl!  So, I decided to try out the Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener when I saw that they made it in PINK!  SWOON!!!!!!!!

After I received it, I got it out right away and put it to use!  It was SO easy to use.  Kids were in love that they could actually sharpen their own pencils now, and I liked it because I could move it anywhere I wanted (if it happened to be in the way).  Those old crank sharpeners are limited to where they are "installed" and I'm one who moves my room around a lot!  My current crank installed one is now behind a construction paper shelf, so it's useless...

 {Before sharpening}

 {During---LOVE how it holds the pencil in for you!}

{Less than 20 seconds later!}

I highly recommend this product.  It is WELL worth the money!  (My own kids were playing with it at home before I took it in, and actually got me thinking that I may just need to buy one for home.  I mean, I ALWAYS have a kid at home telling me they have a pencil that needs sharpened.... and I HATE dislike those hand-held-get-pencil-shavings-all-over-my-carpet-and-anything-else sharpeners!!!  This would be perfect for homes too!  {Maybe not in pink for an all boy family.....} 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Being Thankful {yep-I have a freebie!}

This month, you probably see everyone posting what they are thankful for on each day.  One thing that I am extremely thankful for is all of you.  I jumped into this blogland almost 2 years ago, along with Teachers Pay Teachers.  It has changed my life.  {and I'm not talking about the money}

Up until 2 years ago, I was a teacher robot.  I was told what I had to follow, where I had to be, etc.  My creativity was not being used.  2 years ago, I decided that I needed to change that.  I found the bloggyland and all of the wonderful bloggers and found my spark.  From that spark lit a fire that cannot be contained anymore.  Yes, I am now spending unreal amounts of time planning for my kiddos.  I'm making sure things are highly engaging and FUN.  I am making sure what I share with the world is my best work.  But, I am a better teacher, mom, person because of it all.  I have a confidence that I had lost being that "robot."  I'm not afraid to stand up for what I believe in.  I'm not letting the negativity bring me down like it is doing to so many.... so many that are my friends too.  :(  Not all teachers are there for their summers off.  I don't know many teachers who don't put 110% into everything they do.  But politics are bringing many of us down...

I digress.  I'm thankful for you.  Without you all, I would not be the person I am today.  I invite you over to my Facebook page to grab a freebie that represents the first thing I ever created for the world...  math games.  I have 4 Turkey math games that are perfect for this time of year--that practice subtraction, addition and missing parts.  (Click either picture to take you to my FB page!)

 {Don't have facebook?  Keep an eye out for other freebies in the works for my fans!  Make sure you are following me on Bloglovin' or by email!}

If you like these games, you can find many more {HERE} at my TPT store.

If you like what you see, you can also come {PIN} with me!  And check out my pics on Instagram!  (I'm much better at updating those than my blog lately...  but I'm working on it!!!) 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...