Monday, December 16, 2013

A gift your teacher coworkers will LOVE!!!

It's that time of year, and you have no idea what to do for your coworkers at school. If you are like me, you are at this point broke and running low on ideas. Here is an idea for a gift you can give that your teaching coworkers will love.

Personalized labels!!! I have given this as a gift the past two years as well as made them for myself and I use them all. the. time! I just gave them to my friends yesterday and they were so excited. It was inexpensive, fun to make, useful, and thoughtful. I cut mine up, put it in a clear bag from the party section at Walmart and stuck a ribbon on it. Bam, sweet first grade teaching buddies LOVED  them.
Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Traditions

Before we begin studying different holiday traditions around the world, I always like to start with sharing our holiday traditions here in America with the students in my class. First we read "Night Tree." It's a story about a family who every year on Christmas Eve go out into the woods and find the same wild evergreen tree out in a big clearing. They decorate it with edible ornaments, spread out a big blanket and drink hot chocolate while singing Christmas carols. That way all creatures can enjoy a special treat for Christmas. It's so sweet, I just melt every time I read it.
Night Tree
After the book, we have a class discussion about holiday traditions. We turn and talk to a neighbor about one of our traditions and then I send this sheet home in their BEE book. Parents sit with their child and help them brainstorm all the traditions that their family does for the holidays.
The next day or following week, we use our graphic organizer to help us write a narrative about our family holiday traditions. As we share them, we can compare and contrast our traditions with others in our class. Then we are ready to explore the traditions of other countries and cultures around the world the following week.
I always love to hear the sweet traditions each kid does with their family.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ways to Make Numbers

In our math investigations unit we are learning about combinations or different ways to make numbers. I love decorating my classroom with student work, but worksheets just aren't fun to display. As we learn about breaking a number apart and finding all the different ways to make a number we each choose one way and make a craft to display our learning. Here are a few of our combination creations:
A fun book to read with this one is "Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf." Students created combinations of 6 with red and yellow leaves. 3+3=6  5+1=6

I think this one is from What the Teacher Wants. You could read "Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar" as a read a loud to go with this activity. Students made combinations of 5 with cookies inside and outside of the jar.

Who doesn't love spiders in October? We made combinations of 8 using the spiders legs. The body is an 8 from our die cut machine.

We made combinations of 9 using peas and carrots on a plate. Our magic spoon could only scoop out 9 things. After this activity, I learned that peas can be square...ha ha! Integrate a health lesson with this about vegetables and allow students to sample peas and carrots.

This is a glimpse of how happy it makes my room. I have all of their combinations displayed all over and students refer to them as we continue our unit.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Greedy Triangle

 No geometry lesson is complete without the book "The Greedy Triangle."

It is one of my favorite math lessons. I don't own this book but I was able to find it online. If you can't access you tube at your school (like me) then you can find it on gaggle tube. Just type it in the search engine.
After we listened to the story, each student chose a triangle that I had cut out in all different shapes and sizes. We brainstormed where we see triangles in the world around us and each student shared what they were going to turn their triangle into. This was a very important step. My rule was that you had to make something different from everyone else.  In previous years I haven't done this and everyone made the same guessed it, the roof of a house. I love what some of them came up with all on their own!

And much much more. They were so proud of how they used their imaginations to manipulate and create their triangle into an object.
Another great activity I did with shapes this week is this poem to go in their poetry journals. It is titled "What Creature is This" and it's all about a jack o lantern made out of shapes! I passed out some shapes and they created the creature in the poem.

Do you read "The Greedy Triangle?" I would love to hear what you do with this story!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Our Classroom Apple Market

I just taught the most amazing economics/apple lesson! Our school is working with the ASAP farm to school program. We live in a rural community with farm land everywhere. The goal is to get kids thinking about local produce and what type of goods their community provides.
I found the lesson plan for the apple market here, and turned it into the best most hands on economics lesson that I have ever taught. Talk about making a lesson applicable to real life and hands on. This is how I used it:

Have fun with your apple market. Let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Constitution Day!

Constitution Day is Tuesday! Are you ready? If not check out my Constitution Day packet. I have included enough ideas to teach the Constitution in one day or over 3-4 days. I had so much success with this packet last year and finally felt like my sweet kids REALLY understood what the Constitution is, and why it is important.

Check out what others have said:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale!!

Get ready to go shopping!!! On Aug 18 & 19 it's tpt's back to school sale and everything in my store is 20% off. Plus with the code: BTS13 you get an extra 10%. I'm so stinkin excited!
thanks Krista for the sign!

Here is a quick look at some of my favorite products in my little store. Click on the picture to preview on tpt.

First is my best selling product. This is the easiest and funnest way to teach little minds about the Constitution. Read my post about it here. Love, love, love this little mini unit.
Next is my Unit on how neighborhoods and communities have changed. It includes fun ideas on how to create a Pioneer Day from long ago in your classroom. My students LOVED this last year!

Who doesn't love snowmen? This adorable writing activity has everything you need to create this. Seriously...all you do is press print. It would also be a great sub emergency lesson to have on hands. I got amazing stories and my students were thrilled to create their own melted snowman.

This resource includes an amazing and adorable craft to help your students skip count. It also has math tub ideas and practice/assessment sheets. My students refer to skippy all year!
And I have lots more for FREE in my store. And if you like what you see, follow my store for lots more activities coming soon. {Last year I worked on getting my national board certification so it really slowed my tpt products down}.
Enjoy shopping tomorrow!!!



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School Freebies!

It's back to school time!!! Teachers in our county start back on Monday. Of course I'm going through the normal roller coaster of emotions that all of us go through at this time each year...excited, sad, excited, nervous, excited, overwhelmed...
I've been working on a few things that I want to share with you.
The first is a back to school gift that I  am using with my kids this year. I bought a big pack of suckers for cheap and made these SWEET labels.
Click on the pic to get these labels for free.
The next is a sign that I made for my classroom bathroom. I think I said this a thousand times last year so maybe a poster in the bathroom will help them remember. Here's hoping...
Click on the pic to get it free.
And last I made a power point presentation to run while students are in my room for meet the teacher. Sweet Aimee from Primarily Speaking created this little adorable power point template for free. Go to her blog to get yours too. Here is what I did with mine.

Don't you love the letter to the students? I got the idea from this pin.

The font I used is KG Lego House.

I also wrote a post last year about more meet the teacher and back to school ideas. Click here to read about it.
Good luck!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teacher Week: Classroom Tour

I'm linking up with blog hoppin for teacher week!
Today is the 'ol classroom tour. I love looking at other teacher's amazing classrooms so this is going to be my favorite day.
Before I begin with mine, keep in mind that our students don't come for another two my room still has some polishing until she shines just right, but here is what I have so far.
Photos are taken on my quality is not so much. sorry!
Here is where I house all my word work activities.

This  is my door going out into the hall. I have my helper for the day chart, behavior clip chart, how we get home chart, and baskets for BEE books.

Here's a look at ALL my cabinets...aren't they amazing? And every single one of them is jam packed FULL!  
Here is where I organize papers. This is where students turn in completed papers and where they come to get new clean paper in different forms.  
Just a quick shot of the back of my classroom. My teacher assistant desk is on the far left then I have two tables for small groups.
This is a peek at the front of my room. My desk is on the far right, along with my Letterland alphabet chart with each character, my birthday board, calendar, and book case to hold student book boxes.

Here's where I teach calendar. Letterland users...if you look at the far right you will see  how I organize my Letterland character cards for live reading and spelling. It makes teaching this so much more efficient. I highly recommend making one. All it's missing is the Letterland header.  
I gave myself a lot of room to write those I can statements this year!

Here's my math wall and how I am organizing my math tubs this year. Did you notice how all of my tubs are mismatched? I worried about it for a split sec before Nickers (my husband) put a stop to my spending. Oh well, maybe next year. I did print off new labels though.  
I also changed my alphabet this year. Instead of having a separate word wall that my students NEVER used...I combined my alphabet chart {which they use a ton} along with my word wall. Now everything is at the front of the room. I'm so excited about this change! 
And I love those hand signal cues
Here's the reading area. Needs a rug or something. And maybe oooonnnneeee more book shelf.
The rest is a work in progress. I don't think I'll ever be done tweaking and perfecting this room. I'm sure you all feel the same way.
Thanks so much for visiting! I can't wait to see your sweet home away from home too!!!