Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

It's official. I survived my first Halloween as a teacher! Our kiddos wore their costumes this morning and we had a costume parade through the other classes! They were BEYOND adorable! I wish I could post pictures of all of them!

Apart from the time our parade took, we actually got quite a bit accomplished today! Of course, I had very low expectations of the kids behavior, so they had nowhere to go but up!

This week, we are learning about animal adaptations. To start off, we read What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You. If you have never read this book, you are missing out.
I love Steve Jenkins! He has great nonfiction books! I think I must own like 7 of his books. This one is all about ways animals have adapted to escape predators. My kids loved it-- almost as much as I do! I plan on reading more of his books with my kids during our animal unit. He has one about habitats that we will study next week. Tomorrow, we are going to talk more about camouflage and do a fun activity!

In honor of Halloween today, we did our first opinion writing activity--why my costume is the best! Since it was our first try, I gave them the sentence "I think my costume is the best because..." to finish, and had some of my better writers add more detail. So cute!

I think my costume is the best because it has, blades, a bat, a mask, makeup, wings, and a skirt. Isn't this picture great?! What an artist!

I think my costume is the best because it is from the seventies, and it looks like it was from the seventies. I love kids' spelling!

I think my costume is the best because mine has camouflage, and it has a lot of things that I like. This kid came dressed in full camo today--camo pants, shirt, jacket, gloves, hat, and he even painted his face camo!

Now that my first Halloween is under my belt, I just need to make it through the sugar-high days after Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

50th Day and Halloween Writing

Today was our 50th day of school! I cannot believe it! It is going by so fast. Before I know it, we will be celebrating our 100th day! We did a few fun activities today to celebrate our 50th day. We did a writing activity--I wish I had 50... Their responses were so  cute!
I wish I had 50 little brothers.

I wish I had 50 dollars.

There was 50 babies, 50 Halloween costumes (so they could get more candy and they wouldn't notice it was the same kid!), and 50 puppies. I love when they get creative!

Then they drew pictures of what they look like now and what they think they will look like when they're 50.

I guess this girl thinks she will already be a blue-haired old lady at 50 :)

We also finished up a how-to make a jack o' lantern writing activity that we started yesterday. We did our how-to a few weeks ago and described how to make a craft that we had done. They did so much better their second time! I was so proud!

Their jack o' lanterns turned out so cute! There were some small, some big, some smiling, and some that looked scary!

Today, we took our first stab at writing conferences. We typically do mini ones whenever they do a writing activity. They will bring me their "completed" paper, and we will talk about it together and decide what could be better. Today, I discussed their journals with them while they were working on their other writing activities. We looked at multiple of their journal entries. Then we picked out one thing they were doing well, one thing they needed to work on, and set some goals for the next conference. For now, I plan to conference with each student once a week. We'll see how it goes!

Any writing conference suggestions from those more experienced? I'm always up for a helpful hint!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Motivational Monday Linky!

Happy Monday! Let's be real, we all need a little motivation to get going on a Monday morning. I am linking up with The Learning Tree, Smiling in Second Grade, and Classroom Cupcakes to provide a little motivation to help us teachers make it through the week.

Here are a few funnies to put a smile on your face!

I have about 10 kids that could say this to me!

Definition of my life some days.

 I seriously don't know how teachers lived without TpT or Pinterest! I feel like I work hard now even with all of these great resources to help me. I can't imagine doing this without them!

I 100% believe this is true.

I keep this by my desk. It is a great little reminder to have a positive attitude and that happiness is a choice!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Animal Classification

This week, our class learned about animal classes. We made anchor charts to organize the facts that we learned. Later, we added examples of animals in each class to our charts, but of course I forgot to take a picture of our completed charts! We learned what it meant to be warm-blooded or cold-blooded and vertebrates or invertebrates.

On Friday, we did a little writing activity. Each student picked an animal, then had to tell which class that animal belongs in, and describe that animal. They loved getting to pick whatever animal they wanted and using their new big words!

A cat is a mammal. They are warm-blooded. They have a backbone. Cats are good.

This one had a harder time separating his thoughts into sentences, but he got the facts in there! He also included that most are "dangis" or dangerous. He was very into learning which animals were poisonous  and which weren't!

Now I get to spend the weekend finishing report cards and enjoying this short burst of fall weather before it goes back to being 75 next week! Got to love Oklahoma weather! Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Yesterday, we learned about contractions! I was totally drawing a blank when trying to figure out a fun activity for my kids to do with contractions. But then I found this precious idea over at The First Grade Parade. Adorable!

We did contraction surgery! They loved it! I gave them note cards with two words written on them. They had to figure out which letters the apostrophe replaced and heal them with the band aids!

I honestly feel like anything that involves them getting to play with band aids would be a hit. Band aids are just about as popular as "hanitizer" in my room.

Before our activity, we reviewed this anchor chart together and listed some more contractions that weren't on our chart.

I was so impressed and happy at how quickly they caught onto contractions! All day today, they were finding contractions in our reading. I love it when they connect things together like that!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Mural

I posted before about some of the activities our class did during our pumpkin unit, which they loved! We finished up today by watching a video on the life cycle of a pumpkin. We also made a mural showing the life cycle. We glued on real pumpkin seeds, baby green pumpkins, and full grown orange pumpkins. 

At the beginning of our unit, we created a KWL chart about pumpkins. After we did our research and learned more, we filled in the learned section. They learned so much and were so proud of themselves!

Even though our week is short, it seems like it is dragging on and on! I wish there was another fall break coming up! I guess I'll have to hold out for Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Craft and Writing Activity

Last week, our class did a little craft to celebrate Halloween--and oh my goodness did they turn out adorable! Some of the dads in our class donated neck ties and we turned them into spiders.

I love the Tabasco tie! So funny!

After we made our spiders, we did a how to writing activity. We discussed the steps we took to make the spiders and how order words can help people understand our steps.

This one is a little hard to read at the bottom, but he tells you to glue on the legs and mawth and I bols. I love kids' spelling.

The spiders were so cute and they were all different! For our first shot at how to writing, we did pretty well! With as much practice as we will be doing over the next few months, they will be pros!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The first graders learned about pumpkins this week with our librarian. They got to read pumpkin library books, learn about doing research, and cut open pumpkins. We scooped out the seeds and guts with our hands, tasted raw pumpkin, and compared the seeds of different pumpkins. I was amazed at how many of mine had never seen the inside of a pumpkin! I had two boys who wouldn't even touch the guts because they thought it was too gross!

We had a few different pumpkins, so at the end, everyone got to walk around and look inside the other groups pumpkins.

I was so glad that our class got to look at the white pumpkin! The seeds were a little different than orange pumpkins, and it smelled different--almost like a watermelon! It was a fun activity to finish up our short week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ABC Monsters

Let me just tell you, I am counting down the hours until Fall Break. My goodness. I think it will do me and my kids a world of good! They have been acting like they have never seen a classroom before!

We are in the process of wrapping up our alphabet book unit. Our last activity was to create monsters with each letter of the alphabet--they turned out adorable!

(Excuse the extremely poor picture quality!)

This is Cambambula. He eats just about everything and has fangs.

This is Lavagirl. She squirts lava from her sides, has 37 eyes, and her necklace gives her power.

They each had to create a monster whose name started with their particular letter.  We went through a few drafts on creating our monsters, then they dictated a few sentences for me to type.

I wish I could put all of their pictures up! I was so proud of their creativity! There were monsters with extra stomachs, arms, eyes, and even one shaped like a pear. There were some scary monsters, and some nice monsters. It was a great way to wrap up our ABC book unit. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blog Giveaway and Fall Break

Has anyone else checked out Rikki's giveaway at The Hive?

It is AMAZING! Tons of units and clip art! It's like Christmas in October! Here's hoping that I win!

In other news, I have Fall Break coming up this week! A much needed break. I plan on catching up on lots of things--sleep, school, and my DVR. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fire Safety Week

Good news! I survived my first parent teacher conferences! Yay!!! And even better than that, they were very successful (with the exception of the few parents who didn't show up)! I also made it through my second observation by my principal--half way done with that now!  All-in-all, a busy, successful week!

Today, we took our first stab at a making words activity in reading groups, and they did so well! I was worried that some of my lower kids would have a hard time, but they didn't at all! They loved it, and they were so proud of themselves when they made a new word! It was great to see them be that proud of themselves. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures.

In math, we started working on doubles facts. One of the teachers on my team shared a doubles rap with me, complete with movements. The kids loved it! 

They were adorable doing the rap to themselves when they were doing independent work. We also played a doubles facts memory game, which I also forgot to take pictures of.

On Monday, the local fire department came to talk to the kids about fire safety. You would have thought there were celebrities in the school that day. Today, we talked about what they learned from the firefighters (also called fighter-fighters by my kids) and made it into a safety tips book! Are anyone else's students as excited about making books as mine are? They LOVE it!

They turned out adorable!

They learned to crawl out of the house instead of walk.

They learned to go to a meeting place to find their families. My kids who didn't have meeting places went home and decided on one with their families.

Just one more round of conferences and Walk-a-Thon, then the weekend!! We are also starting our unit on sharks tomorrow--I'm super excited and I think the kiddos will be too!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day

Boy was it a crazy Monday! Between Columbus Day, the fire department coming for fire safety, 
an observation by my principal, and a grade level group project, our class got about half of what we should have 
done. I would love to say that the rest of the week would get better, but with parent conferences and our 
Walk-a-Thon, that probably won't happen. 

On a better note, I was so excited about how well my kids did today on their Columbus activity! We watched a quick video from BrainPop Jr., then talked more about Columbus and what it would have been like to "discover" a country. Then we did a little writing activity about discovering our own country! I only had to tell them to tell me more about twice instead of 5 times, which I loved! And they actually got creative!!

This is Candy Land where it snows all the time.

This student discovered a land called Cowboy. There are lots of cowboys. It's always warm, but there are never tornadoes (proof of an Oklahoman). There are also a lot of wars, but they never lose because they have a good army.

After they wrote, they each got to decorate a Columbus style hat to put at the top. They had a great time thinking about their country! There was also a Chocolate Land, Brownie Land, and a God Land. 

We have lots more to look forward to this week! We are making a fire safety book tomorrow, starting our shark unit Wednesday, and my kiddos could not be more excited for the Walk-a-Thon! Thank goodness fall break is around the corner so I can actually get some sleep!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Nonsense Word Tic-Tac-Toe and Adorableness

I posted once before about playing tic-tac-toe with nonsense words, and I finally remembered to take a picture! The kids LOVE this game. And after Dibeling them this week, it's helping them too! They made so much progress!

This game is super basic. The kids pick a word, read it, and mark it with an X or O. If they don't say the word correctly, they don't get to make a mark that turn. Anything with dry erase markers and those tiny erasers have the kids completely engaged! (And I've found that taking away the little eraser is an extremely effective consequence.)

Later this afternoon, we drew letter pictures. Each student got a paper with a letter, and had to draw a picture of a word with that letter, and incorporate their letter into the picture. Let me just say--adorable.

I like to ride my four wheeler.

This octopus's name is October.

I have an animal. The giraffe is getting an x-ray.

Happy Friday!

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's October?!

I can't believe it's already October!! Time is flying by! The good thing is, I feel like our class is finally getting into our groove. Then of course, today we got a new student to mix it up :)

We are winding up our alphabet books unit, and as much as I have enjoyed it, I'm glad that we're moving on soon! Next up--animals! The kids will love it!

Last week, we read Dr. Seuss's ABC. My kids love anything Dr. Seuss! They each made their own silly alliterations with their own name! 

Jakhia's jumping jaguar is juggling.

Brooklyn's baby brother's birthday had balloons and balls.

Didn't they turn out adorable?! They got so creative and worked really hard!

This week, we are working with the technology teacher to make a Powerpoint alphabet book of things around our school!