Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hey! Hey! Momma Rock Me!

Moms are the best, don't you think?
I am blessed with a wonderful mom who is 
a guiding light to everyone in our whole family.
Now that I am a mom I have come to realize
what a job it really is!
You wear so many hats and are so needed.
I continue to need my mom a lot to this day.
I hope I can provide support and guidance for
my children into adulthood like my mom has done
for me and my family.
We started in today working on a 
"The Top Ten Reasons Why My Mom is the Best".
Mother's Day will be sneaking up on us in less than 2 weeks!
The kids started to come up with some great ideas.

Here's my top ten for my mom!
1. She still does a lot of my laundry (yes, it's true)
2. She watches my children 3 days a week
3. She makes the best dropped egg on toast
4. She's always up for a shopping trip
5. She watches the same shows as me so we can discuss
6. She's my Pinot Grigio pal!
7. She loves having my children sleepover
8. She gets along famously with my husband...
sometimes too good because they 
love to gang up on me.
9. She never complains
10. She's simply the best!

I created a little template for my class to 
make their top ten lists on. 
I have also included templates for grandma,
aunt and a blank space for various family dynamics.
It's free to you!
 Since I'm all about moms I spent my Spring break last week
It's loaded with writing, crafts and more to show
mom you care!

Be sure to visit
tomorrow 4/30!
I'm teaming up with Fluttering Through First
for a grand giveaway!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Are Your Kids Marvelous?

Happy Spring everyone! I hope this past month has treated you well! I had a wonderful & relaxing Spring Break last week! For those of you still on break, I hope you enjoy every moment! 

I can't believe we are nearing the end of the year! I can't believer there are just 5 Mondays left in the school year {I always count "by Mondays" because that's my yard duty day - blech!} 

Are you looking for a special keepsake to send your kids off with? 
Check out Marvelous Me Books!

I vividly remember making a similar book when I was in first grade! Every year I've taught first grade, my students have created their own keepsake book. 

I fancied up the version I'd been using for the past few years and decided to package it up!
Thank goodness for fun fonts, borders and clipart!
There is a huge variety of pages included - pick & choose what works best for your class!
This project is perfect for the end of the year because it took A LONG TIME! 
I kept reminding the kids that my parents had held onto my copy so many years later & that their parents probably would hold onto their keepsake, too! So you better do your best work! 

As I looked through my relic, I kept thinking, "Man I had horrible printing! {Ha - such a teacher thought!}
There are a few options for covers.
In my class, the kids always make a cover to look like them using scraps of paper.
However, it can be time consuming! So, I've included 8 different versions using adorable Melonheadz! 
Recently, my dad found my 1st grade book while we were cleaning out some {very} old boxes! It was super fun to re-read! I successfully predicted that I would be a teacher! :)
Have a fabulous week! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day Promise (Freebie)

Happy Earth Day friends!  This is Renee from Fantastic First Grade Froggies.  I love teaching about stewardship of the Earth.  I actually start the year with a "green team" unit because I want my first graders to begin the year with some recycling knowledge.  So on Earth Day, I often re-visit the reasons for the recycling.

This year I thought I would have my students brainstorm items that they can reduce, reuse and recycle. After a brainstorming session, I plan to have them write a promise for each thing.

Click below to find your freebie!

If you are interested in some great Earth Day picture book ideas, check out my post here.

Thanks for stopping by

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jelly Bean Fun!

Hey everyone! It's Nicki from Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten.

It's been a busy week prepping for Spring Break! (Yes mine is finally upon us! It starts the 21st!) I didn't think it would ever get here! 

One thing we always love to do is our Jelly Bean Graph!

This year I used Sweet Tart Jelly Beans to work with.

These are SO much better than regular jelly beans. 

So we had fun with a little graph.

I put the graph up on the Mimio (anyone else have one of these?) using the document camera. This really helps my littles who sometimes struggle following along or doing something like this independently.

As you can see, I even put my jelly beans under the document camera so that my students can see it step by step. Most of mine caught on quickly because we've done a few of these before, but it always helps those kiddos who need to "see" it and do it!
                                                                   In action!
Of course, they sorted the jelly beans first, then I passed out their papers. We graphed each color step by step and together. Once they moved to the number words and adding, most of them took off on their own. 

 Aren't they pretty colors?

Here's a little freebie for you!
Students can graph, count (write the number word), and add!

This isn't just for Easter either...use this any time of year! :)

Click on the picture to grab it!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Insect Math Freebies

Hi there!  It’s Amanda here from Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten.  In my class the past couple of weeks we were learning all about insects!

Our insect unit is one of my favorites because my students get so excited to learn about the different insects. The first day I do an overview of what makes an insect an insect and then I focus on one insect a day.  The last day of the unit is a review of all we have learned.

I am a big believer in thematic teaching.  Therefore, when I am teaching about insects in science then our reading lessons are on insect stories, our math lessons revolve around insects (if possible), and most definitely our centers are all things insects.  Today I am sharing some of the math activities in my All About Insect Unit.  I love using math journal prompts for story problems and math surveys to get my students up and moving around the room while working on math.  You will find both of these activities in this FREEBIE!

You can also find my Insect Skip Counting Freebie on TpT by clicking the image below. 

I hope you and your class get a lot of use out of these free math activities.  I would love to hear what you think of them in the comments below!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Encouraging Student Self-Reflection... With a Freebie!

Hey everyone! It's Angie here from The First Grade Scoop. We have FINALLY started our spring break... I am so excited!

This week, we had conferences, and I wanted a tool for my first graders to use to reflect upon their learning thus far. We've been doing lots of self-reflection in writing (spurred by an action research project I'm working on), and I wanted to apply it across the subject areas. I think that, with coaching and practice, even our youngest students can think about what they do well and celebrate those things, while also considering things they can do better to improve their learning.

So... I created this little printable to use with my students.

While we went over how to complete it on the Elmo, my students considered things they did well in reading, writing, and math. Some of my students were very insightful, noting things like, "I'm getting better at including details in my writing" and "I need to work on checking my answers in math." Yay, right?! I also wanted a student-friendly way to self-evaluate their behavior and effort, so those boxes were added as well.

Finally, I had a section for teacher comments, and a signature line. Since I saw each parent personally, I didn't have them sign it, but I might for future quarters when parents don't come to meet with me.

If you're interested in downloading, just click the picture below to grab your free file!

Off to enjoy a little well-deserved R&R! See you next month!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

testing testing...1 2 3

Does your school go into some sort of crazy mode when testing starts?! Mine does! I teach 2nd, and here in Alaska, thankfully, 2nd graders don't have to take the state test. But, that doesn't mean our stress levels don't go up! For a good week, I feel major tension and even the occasional scowl if anyone makes a peep in the hallway. Yeesh. So, my interim principal asked the K-2 teachers to come up with some sort of poster or cards to encourage those bigger kids during testing. As much as I want to take the time to have my kids work on something like that, we just have enough to do as it is.  So, I made a quick app poster after seeing something similar on Instagram (do you Instagram? You can follow me @tongassteacher).  You can download the apps for free and make your own poster! Click below to grab it! If you're school has already had testing, just save it for next year :)

See you next month!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easter, Spring, and Earth Day Ideas!

Spring is FINALLY here!  Hip, Hip, Hooray!  I am so excited about this warm weather.  April is an exciting month to teach.  I love to teach a unit on Beatrix Potter works during the month of Easter.  Not only do her books touch upon subjects related to Spring and Easter, they are also wonderful examples of children's literacy and include TONS of literary devices.  

My Beatrix Potter unit revolves around her stories The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of Jeremy Fisher, and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. It covers a range of standards including reading, comprehension, probability, fractions, estimation, noticing details (character changes throughout story), text connections, comparing characters, retelling, sequencing, writing, determining word meaning, making visualizations, plants, science, and much, much, more!

Peter Rabbit Craft and Writing Activity

Making Visualizations Activity with Jeremy Fisher

Speaking of Easter, here is a *FREE* jellybean sorting and graphing activity:

Another fun way to incorporate Spring into the curriculum is by using these *FREE* Spring-themed Four In A Row Sight Word Game Boards!  

Students play in partners, and take turns reading words on the board.  If they read the word correctly, they get to place a marker over it.  The first person to get four markers in a row wins!
When creating the boards, I had an end-of-first-grade student in mind and used both the Dolch (Pre-Primer-1st Grade) and Fry (First Two Hundred) Sight Word Lists.  The lists contain many of the same words, and I think it only helps to cover words from both lists. :-)

Finally, if you're looking for something to do on Earth Day, how about incorporating one of my favorite Earth Day books, The Lorax, into your plans?  I've compiled an Earth Day unit that can be used alone or with The Lorax.  It includes reading, writing, craft, and personification activities.  

 A Personification Activity

Earth Day Fact Book

I'll see ya' next month!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

120 Chart ... Fun and a Freebie!

Hello, Teaching Friends!

How are your first graders doing with the 120 chart?

At first, with the boosted level of the core standard, I have to admit that I was among those saying, "Are you kidding me?? How much more can we ask of these little ones?".  But now, having seen it in action, I do see the benefits of extending the range to 120. Most of our first graders seem able to handle it, it's a good transition to exploring further understandings about place value, and the higher expectation will motivate some students to do even more!

My main concern with 120 being the new 100 is for the strugglers (and those of you who read my blog know that that is always my concern). Can we really say that a six-year-old who has some rough spots in counting to 120 is already behind?? Mercy, I hope not!

In any case, today I'd like to share a few activities and games that will strengthen control of the numbers 1-120, as well as counting up and back on the charts.

Here's a hundred chart activity that I've previously written about on my blog.  Reading Keiko Kasza's great little book Wolf's Chicken Stew is a super way to kick it off and make a math/literacy connection.

This is a fun math activity to save for the 100th Day next year... but why not use it now for hundred chart practice?  Keeping it seasonally fun, the basic idea is that you'll be hiding 100 (paper!) chicks around your classroom while your students aren't there. Then they'll go on a "chick rescue mission" to find them and gather them all up. But once they've all been found, how will you know if any more are still "on the loose"? Well, how about arranging them in a giant hundred chart? As your students construct the hundred chart on the floor, you'll be able to quickly assess who understands the patterns of lines and columns.

Fun!! In this photo, I was working with a group of about ten children. With a larger group, you might print two sets of the chicks, for building two separate hundred charts. Some groups I worked with were able to complete this with very little assistance, other than some reminders about taking turns and not crawling on top of the numbered chicks! :)  Another support you might try as needed is to put a few pre-labeled sticky dots on your floor before you begin, to help your students structure the chart.

Here's a free set of the chicks for you, along with a follow-up writing activity for the book and the hunt. There are some extra blank chicks, too, in case you want to extend your chart to 120.


If you're looking for math center games for the 120 chart, I've just put three sets of them into a bundle on TPT. There are 11 games in all, for lots of practice moving up and back by ones, tens, and multiples of ten. Here are a few of the games.

If you buy them bundled, you'll save $1.50 over the cost of purchasing separately. Click on the cover to see the details.


Here's a free 120 chart game for you! More chicks, but, hey... 'tis the season for chicks and bunnies! :)  Plus, these adorable little chickies from Educasong were just begging to be used!


Please share your interesting idea for teaching with the 120 chart!

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you'll hop on over and visit my Primary Inspiration blog! 

Happy Teaching!