Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's Someone's Birthday!

So, like everyone else, we have been celebrating a special someone's birthday--and loving every minute of it!

We read One Fish, Two Fish, then did a graphing activity with enjoying a goldfish treat!

Today, we wrote about our favorite Dr. Seuss book. A lot of them had a hard time narrowing it down--there are just too many cute ones!

{I like The Cat in the Hat because I like cats because I have a cat.}

 {I like One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish because it is creative.}

I am so proud of how much better their writing is getting! We still have a long way to go, but they have grown so much!

Today, I did some Dibels progress monitoring, so I have been doing extra practice with my lower firsties even more lately. This has become one of their favorite games!

 So simple. A CVC clip art pack (I'm starting to become addicted to clip art). A bingo board. Done. I am always looking for another (different) way to reinforce their vowel sound fluency. The good news--most of my kiddos made GREAT progress!! There are still a few that are stuck, but the majority is making great steps!

Any intervention tips and tricks for mine that are still struggling?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

President's Day and Dental Health

Why is it that short weeks always feel longer than regular weeks? We were out of school last Monday for President's Day, but I feel like last week was 7 days long! I am definitely looking forward to a "normal" week.

During February, our first grade team tried something new--we switched classes for one hour every Friday. We were all feeling the heat to work in all of the science and social studies standards, so we split them up! In February, we focused on America, with each of us teaching one topic--Washington, Lincoln, the American flag, and other symbols (the bald eagle, the Liberty Bell, etc.) It turned out so great!! It was much easier on us to just prep one lesson for the whole month, and so much fun for the kids to have a little change. (We are looking forward to focusing on maps and geography in March).

I taught about George Washington. First, we listed some of the things they already knew about Washington. I am always amazed at what little facts they know! Then we read George Washington and the General's Dog. It is a simple little picture book, but the kids loved it! It was much more relatable for them than many of the other books I looked through.

Then we did a little Washington craft and writing activity. We had such a good time, and learned lots of fun facts about Washington!

 With my own kids last week, we learned all about dental health with the help of Cara Carroll's Dental Health Unit! Their favorite part was definitely our science experiment! We left eggs in soda and juice all week to see if the drinks could hurt our enamel (the shell). We formed hypotheses, made observations, and inferred what this meant for our own teeth. They love learning new, big words almost as much as they love doing science experiments!

Here is what our eggs looked like after 3 days.
GROSS. Especially that line left by the soda--it had all separated by this point. 

Then we brushed the "teeth" to see how much that could help the stains left behind. This picture makes them look more white than they actually are--the toothpaste did not do much.
We had such a good time with this experiment! It led to so many great conversations about science and dental health!

I can't believe that March is just a few days away! Now my brain has turned to St. Patrick's Day and how our classroom will celebrate! I just entered a giveaway at Keepin' It Cool in Kinderland for The Naughty Leprechaun Story. I had never seen this book before, but it looks adorable--and a great change in management for when my kids are definitely getting spring fever! Head over and check out the giveaway!

How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in your room?

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Ashley over at That's So Second Grade is having a 300 follower giveaway!

The other exciting part--I am contributing to the giveaway, along with some other great teacher bloggers! Head over and check it out!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nonfiction Writing

I am been the definition of MIA lately. After Valentine's Day, I definitely needed our 4 day weekend to recharge my batteries. I had the best intentions of blogging yesterday, but I was to busy catching up on my DVR--is anyone else freaking out as much as I am about Downton Abbey?! 

Anyway--back to the real reason why I write this blog...
At the end of January, (yes, I am that behind) we researched and wrote about arctic animals. We did this in groups earlier in the year, but this time, they did this on our own--and they did great!!!

Now they did get a little help on the editing part, but most of this was on their own! They soon realized that the red squiggle meant they had made a mistake, and they loved to figure out what their mistake was!

Check out what awesome writers they have become!

{Arctic foxes are white in the winter and brown in the summer.}

{Arctic foxes live in Antarctica and eat fish and birds and other small animals too.}

{Arctic hares look like large rabbits.}

 {They eat plants, moss, lichen, berries, leaves, twigs, and roots.}

Aren't those adorable?! We also learned about nonfiction text features, so of course they had to include headings in their books. For my higher kids, I also had them choose to include an index, glossary, or a table of contents.

 This week, we are learning all about dental health--so much fun! More to come on that later this week!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Bookmarks

It's almost Valentine's Day! We have been doing Valentine's Day activities this week and having a blast! Most of our activities are coming from Rachelle's awesome unit! 

This unit has really help me and my kids learn about Valentine's Day and St. Valentine. Before we read the non-fiction book, I asked my kids if they knew why we celebrated Valentine's Day. One student's guess--the day that Jesus got married! How cute are they?!

I will be posting more later this week about what we've been up to, but I wanted to share the valentine that I made for my kiddos. I saw LOTS of adorable ideas on Pinterest, but I wanted to do something a bit more meaningful. So--bookmarks! (Thanks Mom for the great idea! How is it that moms always have the best ideas?!)

This teacher is looking forward to a 4 day week, 4 days weekend, and another 4 day week--talk about getting spoiled! 

How do you wish your kids a Happy Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Calendar Time!

One of my favorite times of day is calendar time. I feel like we cover so many skills in a short period of time, and the kids like it too! Here is a little rundown of what our calendar time looks like.

 Here is our calendar board. 

 We work on skip counting. These posters change sporadically. We also continue the skip counting with the help of our hundreds chart. We also add a straw to our place value chart everyday. We also use this to help us practice finding 10 more and 10 less.

 And what is a calendar board without a calendar?! We work with patterns, days of the week, number recognition, and number order (great for my lower kiddos)! We also write the date in words and in numbers.

We graph the weather, add tally marks daily, and make sure the tally marks match out days in school. I purposely forget to add tally marks sometimes so we can figure out how to make it match our days in school count. We count all the tally marks at least once a week, and they are so much more confident in counting by 5s!

Our work problem of the day is one of my favorite parts! Typically, it is a word problem--we decide if we should add or subtract, the best way to solve the problem, write a number sentence, and a word sentence to answer the question. If we covered something brand new the day before, I might use this as a chance to review.

Most of the rewards in our classroom treasure chest are behavior coupons, and one of the favorites is the calendar teacher coupon! This time of day is predictable, and a great way for the kids to feel successful! One student cashed in his coupon last week, and I was so proud of him!

He kept everyone engaged and excited to answer questions! 

What does calendar time look like in your room?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Giveaways Galore!

Does anyone else feel like there are a million giveaways going on right now?! I LOVE it! I am a huge fan of giveaways. I always enter the ones at the bottom of Target receipts. I know I will win eventually one, and hopefully it will be one of these great ones! Go check them out!


Mrs Pauleys Kindergarten

Congrats Nicki and Amanda!

All of these giveaways makes me start to think of what I will do for my 100 follower giveaway...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Groundhog's Day, Currently, and Shopping!

So this post is a few days behind. I just did too much TpT shopping and Beyonce Bowl eating to post this weekend.

Last week, we did a writing activity and craft about Groundhog's Day! 

I am a terrible drawer. Absolutely terrible. So I Googled how to draw a groundhog, and found a way that used hearts--so simple! I used that as our template for this craft. Some left their hearts right side up and some turned them upside down. They both turned out super cute!

{I do not want the groundhog to see his shadow because I want to play baseball and swim in my pool.}

{I want the groundhog to not see his shadow because I will be sick and I want to be ok.}
This little one had been out with the flu!

I'm also a few days behind linking up with Farley for February's currently!

Did anyone else hit up the major TpT sale on Sunday?! I have a wishlist of about 30 things, so I got to take a few off! I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to share what I bought!

When I realized that I don't even know why we celebrate Valentine's Day, I knew I needed this mini-unit from Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants! It's full of great activities!

 Teaching and Tapas has this great assessment packet! Its great, quick assessments perfect for review too!

 I love these sound charts from Teaching in High Heels! It's a great visual reminder for the kiddos!

What are your favorite purchases from the TpT sale?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Shout Out Linky!

I am linking up with Growing Firsties and Teacher to the Core for a blog shout out!

My first shout out goes to Mr. First Grade.

This is a fellow first year teacher that I have just recently found, and I love his blog! I have not purchased any of his TpT items yet, but I downloaded a nonsense word freebie game from him, and my kids are in love with it!
My other shout out goes to Sarah from Yeehaw Teaching in Texas.

I found her blog just a few days ago (while researching custom blog designers--any suggestions?) and I am obsessed! This is also her first year, her classroom is amazing, she has TpT store--basically I am insanely jealous that she can get it all done. I wish I could do that. She is starting to make me think that I can do more!

Be sure to check out these awesome blogs!

I will be back, hopefully tomorrow, with an adorable Groundhog Day craft we did! 

Happy weekend!