Wednesday, January 30, 2013

100th Day!

Today, we enjoyed a day full of 100 fun! And we had a blast! There were so many things that I wanted to do that just couldn't get done, but we still had a great day!

We made 100th day hats! I think they turned out adorable! They were a definite hit around school.

We counted beads by 10s to add to our 100th day necklaces.

We had a rather large goal of reading for 100 minutes throughout the day. We didn't quite make it, but we made it to 60 minutes! They have come a long way since the beginning of school when some of them still didn't recognize their letters! I am one proud teacher!

 We also drew pictures of what we might look like when we were 100!

The two circle at the bottom are the wheels to her walker!

Got to love the angel wings! She figured she would be looking down on others as an angel when she was 100.

We also went on a number scavenger hunt, which I did not get any pictures of.

We had such a fun day! I feel like it is such an accomplishment to have a 100th day under my belt!

Happy 100th day!

How does your class celebrate 100 days?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Comparing Numbers and Arctic Animals

This week has been so busy, and it's only Tuesday. I knew it was coming--there are so many things that I want to get done in the next few weeks, and there is just not enough time! But I decided to try to do them all anyways. I'm just too indecisive.

This week, we are researching arctic animals. We have done research before, in groups, but this is their first solo research project--and they are already rocking it! They have come so far. We are using a combination of PebbleGo (which you should definitely check out if you haven't before! It's great for primary.) and books that I have gotten from the public library.

They have so much fun listening to the information, watching the videos, and looking at the maps on PebbleGo. Today, I showed them a student writing sample provided on the Common Core site. They were blown away! They thought it was from a 5th grader. I definitely don't expect this out of most of my kiddos (we only started really writing in November), but I know there are a few who can get close. Hopefully this will push them to do their very best!

We are also learning about comparing numbers in math. So today, I pulled out our Mystery Box

They get so excited when they see this on my desk. I found this in the Target dollar section, where I find some of my best purchases ever! I also have one that's striped. Inside, were number cards. Who knew adding a little box could make number cards so fun?! We drew two numbers out, then compared the two using the new alligator mouths we made!

How cute are those?! Quick, simple, and a total hit. I love how they added unique details, even if it is blood on the alligator's teeth. We would flip our alligators over to make it true for the number cards we drew! Meaningful, math fun--I love it!

We also have our 100th day fun and Groundhog's Day to look forward to this week!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Good News and a Giveaway!

Good news--my DonorsChoose project got funded! Our classroom will be receiving about 40 books for our classroom! I could not be more excited!

I also got these from one of my precious angels this morning. What a sweetheart!

Such a little thing, but it definitely brightened my Monday!

And to brighten your Monday, here is a great giveaway from Growing Firsties! It has so many great prizes, including an Erin Condren gift card!! Go check it out!

I have been busy getting ready for my first 100th day of school on Wednesday! I might even be more excited than the kids! When is your 100th day?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MLK and Place Value

This week, despite multiple sicknesses, we have been having lots of fun with Martin Luther King, Jr. and place value! Yesterday, we had 6 kids absent from our class and a quarter of our school gone! Let's just say we are cleaning our desks about 3 times a day.

Yesterday, we started a KWL chart on Martin Luther King, or Marthin Luther as he is better known as in our class. We read a little info about him on PebbleGo (a great site for nonfiction reading!). Today, we listened to part of his "I Have a Dream" speech, then discussed what our dreams for the world are. They came up with some great answers!

{I have a dream that no one will bully and no throwing rocks. I hope they do it.}

{I have a dream that the earth would be cleaner, and no more drugs around anymore!}
I loved this picture. People from all over the world holding hands. This one always blows me away with her pictures!

I love how amazed they were that people were treated so differently in the past. Their little minds just don't see any differences in people.

We have also been wrapping up some work on place value. Today, we played a super easy review game that they absolutely loved! I printed some sheets of paper that said either "one" or "ten" last week because I'm always prepared this morning. I gave one to each kiddo. Then, I picked one student to make a number using our ones and tens friends.

 They loved it! It was a great way to review before our assessment coming up.

This short week is flying by! But I have a feeling that might mean next week with drag on...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Blog Feature

Dana over at Fun in 1st Grade features new teaching blogs every Tuesday--and I'm featured today!

Hop on over and check it out!
The other blog she has featured is The Convenient Teacher--another great blog to check out!
The Convenient Teacher Teacher

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Classroom DIY Feature

Jump on over to Classroom DIY! My Writing Process Clip Chart is being featured over there today!

Classroom DIY

If you have never been to this blog before, you are missing out! There are tons of great DIY ideas!
Thanks Charity!

Friday, January 18, 2013

SNOW Much to Catch Up On!

We have had such a busy (and productive) week! I love ending the week feeling like we actually got necessary things accomplished, and even had time for some fun! This week was all about snow for us--and we had so much fun with it!

One day, we collected data about our favorite snow activities and recorded it in a bar graph.

We have done this kind of activity before, and they absolutely love it! They get to collaborate with the other students and see which ones like the same things they do. It's the little things that get them excited, and I love that.

Our choices were making snowmen, having a snowball fight, sledding, or staying inside and drinking hot chocolate. Hot chocolate and snowball fights won by a landslide!

My favorite part of the week? Making snow!! Start with this--

I found it at Hob Lob with their science kits. The kids did this in little Dixie cups and it worked just as well, and it was less mess.

Add a little water and...

A little more...

So fun!! The best part--I hear you can lay this out to dry and use it again! My original plan was to have them draw and write predictions about what would happen once you added the water. But once I thought about how drawing snow would be a little difficult, I decided just to do our predictions as a class discussion.

We rounded out the week by making paper snowflakes! I remember doing this in school (and also in a college "math" class) and loving it! We did it very simply--just some coffee filters folded in half 3 times. 

They had so much fun with this! Once they had a few to practice on, they got the hang of it and made some very good snowflakes!

And now I am glad to say--happy 3 day weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIY Writing Process Clip Chart

Today, I introduced this new clip chart to our class.

We have been hitting writing hard this year, and they are absolutely in love with it! I added this to help me have a better idea of what my kids are working on and to help the kiddos know what their process should be. They are responsible for clipping themselves up and down the process. We have been using words like brainstorm, draft, revise, edit, and publish throughout the year, but I am hoping that this visual will help to lock in the concepts.

The best part--it was really easy to make! I originally wanted to use yellow and pink rolled paper, but my school just happened to be out of both. So on to plan B--construction paper! I printed the pages below onto clear vellum from Hob Lob (I love that place!).

Download the Google Doc here!

 {I included the "I" statements in the process to remind the kiddos what they should be doing when they are at that part of the writing process.}

I glued the pieces of (trimmed) yellow and pink paper together, glued the vellum, and laminated it! Viola! The kids were all about this today! I love seeing them so excited about learning!

What does writing look like in your room?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Snowman Management and Writing

Our class had quite the surprise when we returned from Christmas break. I have posted before about our fishbowl management, which the kids loved! But when we came back, this is what we found!

I was definitely a little bummed to see it had been totally emptied, but I took it as a reason to try something new! 

Enter our new classroom snowman!

For every time our class gets a compliment in the hallway, has a good report from specials, or is just have a good day in our room, we add a piece to the snowman. He already got his hat put on on our first day! I'm hoping to do more like this and change for the month, season, or holiday.

We also started our unit on snow this week! Today, we read The Best Snowman.

Now this was not the book I had originally wanted to use for this lesson, but the other one was not available at the library. This one ended up working out perfectly!

After I read the book aloud, my kiddos wrote about what they think is the best snowman.

This one is a basketball playing snowman!

This is a teeny tiny snowman, so you can save it in the freezer and collect them!

I am so excited for the other snow activities we have planned for this week, including a science activity the kids will love!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

I saw this linky on Friday, and planned to do it then, but needless to say, I'm behind. So here are my five random things:

1. I'm blaming my tardiness on these little angels.

My sister and brother-in-law are out of town this weekend, so I got to hang out with these guys! Aren't they the cutest?!

2. My newest obsession.

I watched the season 3 premiere last Sunday and fell in love. Now I am catching up on season 1 on Netflix while blogging doing school work.

3. I am officially done with principal evaluations for the year! I have not received my feedback yet, but at least that is one more thing off my plate!

4. Here is a preview of a place value game we played during my evaluation--another post to come on this later!

5. I am excited to say that my belated Christmas present has finally shipped!!

It was on backorder and took longer to ship than expected. I am so excited to get it into my room and start using it!

Now to start preparing for next week--we are going to be doing some fun activities with snow!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Writer's Workshop Anchor Charts

In our Writer's Workshop today, we talked about how words were so important and how to use strong words in our writing. We used Max's Words as our mentor text--they loved it!

Max decides that he wants to collect words, and he then turns them into a story. This led into our discussion of strong words.

It took them a little time to brainstorm STRONG words, but once they got on a roll, I couldn't stop them! They kept thinking of them throughout the day! I love to see them get excited about writing!

This is where I post our Writer's Workshop anchor charts--on our chalkboard. I never actually write on it, so it has turned into another wall! You can see more about our anchor charts here.

We have not been doing Writer's Workshop in our room that long, but I can definitely see growth in my students' writing. They are also in love with writing! It is definitely their favorite time of our day. 

What does writing look like in your room?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Happy (late) New Year's! We have been talking about New Year's traditions this week. Yesterday we read Squirrel's New Year's Resolution-precious!

We talked about different resolutions that we could have for ourselves and ones that could help others. Today, we wrote our own resolutions.

{My year's resolution is to clip up (our behavior chart) everyday to outstanding! I want to move up a (reading level) color.}

{My New Year's resolution is to not clip down for the rest of the school year. And to eliminate bullying at our school and my home.}

This student has become all about anti-bullying! He has been begging me daily to learn more ways to stop bullying. He even wrote a letter to our principal saying that this was his resolution and he wanted to know ways he could help! Such a sweetheart!


The most exciting news of my week--my last evaluation of the year is Friday! After already having 3 done, I'm ready to be done with this for the year!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Giveaway and Count to 120 Club

I love a good giveaway! And 3 are even better than 1!

There are some great things! Go check them out!

It is officially back to school time! We have made it through the first two days, and my kids didn't forget everything we learned before Christmas! I call that a success!

Our grade level team has really been hating struggling with our new math series this year. It's better at facilitating critical thinking than our previous curriculum, but it is in a terrible order! Last semester, we jumped right into adding and subtracting. Most of my firsties had a tough time. So now we are on to counting and place value. Logical, right?!

For an easy and fun way to assess them, I started the Count to 120 Club! Each student will complete an empty 120 chart, and then count to me starting at some number before 120. They love being able to sign their name on our poster!

I am so glad that we have finally made it to this part of our math series. They are feeling so much more successful and confident--and enjoying math!

 On a totally different note, I have been scouring blogs, Pinterest, and Google trying to find good ways to use one iPad in a classroom. I am so excited to bring it in the classroom, and I know the kiddos will be even more excited! 

Does anyone have suggestions for good apps? Reference sites?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January Currently

Hello again blogging world! It has been a long, relaxing, much needed break. We officially start back Monday--and I am nowhere near ready. But instead of plan, I decided to join Farley's January currently instead! Probably not the best use of my time, but oh well!

As great as the break was, I am so excited to see my kids on Monday! Hopefully they won't have forgotten everything we learned before Christmas!