Sunday, February 10, 2013

Quick Valentine's fun...

Happy Sunday everyone! I'm gearing up for the big day Thursday and thought I would share some freebies!! Besides all of the centers we'll be completing, we will also be making great use of some little hearts I snagged from the dollar bin at Target.

The first activity we'll do is a little coin count. I have 10 heart containers (because I have 10 students). Each lid has a number and inside are some coins. When I say "go," students will open their heart, count the coins, and record their answer. After about a minute, I'll say "swap." Students will have to quickly put the coins back in their heart, put on the lid, and pass the closed heart to their neighbor. I've also played different versions of this game where the materials stay (the heart and coins) and the students travel to other seats with their paper. Either way, after everyone has had a chance to count the coins in every heart, we'll go over the answers. I'll call out number 1. The student with that heart will come to the front, empty the coins, and count them. All other students will count along (I have matching coins on my SmartBoard) and then check to see if they got the same answer. 

The buckets are also from the dollar bin and just a cute way to hold the hearts. Here's the recording sheet. If you would like a copy, click on the picture. It will take you to my TpT store where you can download it for FREE!

Another way I'll be using the hearts is in a part of speech sort. I have a ton of small foam shapes. So I took out some hearts and wrote either a noun, an adjective, or a verb on each one. Then I put that foam heart inside one of the numbered hearts. Obviously, I'll be removing the coins before inserting the foam heart! Just like before, each student will start with a heart. On "go" they'll open their heart and read the word. If the word is a noun, they'll color the corresponding numbered heart on their response sheet pink. If the word is an adjective, they'll color the heart red. And, if the word is a verb, they'll color that heart purple. They will also be writing the word inside of the heart on their paper. After about 30 seconds, I'll say "swap." Students will return the foam heart and replace the lid. Then they will pass the heart to their neighbor. This will continue until we have passed all 10 hearts around. Then, just like with the coins, we'll go number by number and check our answers. 

By the way, I made sure to write the words on hearts that WERE NOT the same color as the answer. For example, no verbs  were written on purple hearts. The response sheet for this activity is included in the download for the coin count. 

Of course, another heart activity is graphing the candy conversation hearts. I'm sure you all do this, too. However, if you're looking to change things up a little, check out my worksheets! Did I mention they're free?!

There are a few questions about estimating and measuring, as well as, graphing.

Well there you have it. Some Valentine freebies for my friends :)

If you're still in need of some centers, mine are a steal at only $5.20 until Wednesday! Click on the pictures to check them out...

Have a great week and Happy Valentine's Day!

Best wishes,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Terrific Teeth...

It's teeth time in first grade! And since last week was a short week for us (only 3 days) we're going to be spending quite a bit of time learning about our pearly whites this week!

I'm sure like most of you, we begin each unit of study by talking about what we already know. My kiddos this year really like this part because they love saying the word "schema." I really love post-its because I can remove them easily and save my posters for next year.

Then we started reading about losing teeth. Some of my favorites are Moose's Loose Tooth, Wibble Wobble, and Tooth Trouble. So many of my students have wiggly teeth right now so they were more than happy to make connections.

Something new I'm doing this year is keeping track of what the Tooth Fairy brings each time they lose a tooth. All year long my students have been reporting large cash deposits under their pillow!! When I was a kid, it was a bright and shiny quarter, sometimes a dollar! And I'm not even that old!! Man... inflation! Anyways, I'm calling it the Tooth Fairy Total. So far we're up to $501 (a few teeth aren't pictured) and a pair of roller blades. I'm hoping those weren't under her pillow all night!

We have also begun working on a creative writing piece. We spend so much time writing nonfiction and showing evidence to support our claims that I really wanted to kids to have time to just be creative. So, I asked the students if they have ever pulled one of their teeth out. Not surprisingly, many of them have. And just as I was hoping, one student recalled the time her grandparents tied a string around her tooth, the other end to a door knob, and then slammed the door shut! That really got the kids excited!! I asked them to come up with an idea for how to pull out a loose tooth. I told them it could be nice and easy (like wiggling it gently and then pull when the tooth is ready) or silly and creative. Boy did they deliver! My favorite is... step 1: run into a hard wall, step 2: eat a crunchy apple, and step 3: push it out with your tongue! Only a kid could think that up!

The next day we turned our ideas into complete sentences. I helped them write a topic sentence and a conclusion. Happily, about half of my kids are beginning to work ahead of me. I'm so glad they're getting the hang of this! The day after that, we reread our stories and added more details. I usually proofread for them, but we're going to be working on that ourselves on Monday! 

I know it all sounds like fun and games so far, but I promise there's leaning going on, too! For instance, we had some dental hygienists come and show us the correct way to brush our teeth. They mentioned brushing from the gums up, using a circular or up and down motion, and remembering to brush our tongue. Then they passed around a large set of teeth to let the students try. Somehow, I didn't remember to take pictures.

After learning about how to brush our teeth, we discussed when to brush our teeth. The dental hygienists told us to brush 3 times a day! Realizing the difficulty of brushing our teeth after lunch (bringing toothbrushes and toothpaste, labeling them, storing them, remembering to bring them down to lunch with us, taking away recess time to brush, plus having a ton of kids in the bathroom at once...), we decided to promise to brush our teeth twice a day. In order to make sure my little ones are keeping their promise, we made a Brushing Teeth Toothbrush Tracker.

Each morning the kids brush their teeth, they get a sticker. Each night they brush their teeth, they get another sticker. Since I took this picture Monday afternoon, we only had an opportunity to get 1 sticker. However, on Tuesday I asked them if they remembered to brush their teeth last night (Monday night) after dinner and that morning before school. Those that answered yes got more stickers. Those that answered no did not receive a sticker. This, by the way, is a fantastic follow up activity to our lesson on honesty. We spent quite a bit of time discussing honesty last month during Character Education!

All of these ideas are bundled together in my Dental Health and more pack. If you're looking for something to supplement what you're already using, please check it out! Since I announced a new product, you know what's coming next... the first 5 who comment will get a copy for absolutely no cost! But wait! There's more... just kidding! I just wanted to sound like an informercial, hehe!

Next week we're going to be performing the tradition egg experiment. I'm using Cara Carroll's Dental Health Mini Unit. Have I ever mentioned that she is my absolute favorite teacher blogger!! She always has such great, engaging ideas!! If you ever need anything, and you can't find it here, of course, go visit The First Grade Parade.

Well, I'm off to work on the kitchen now. My husband and I started to remodel our kitchen 3 YEARS AGO and still haven't finished! My, oh my, how time flies!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Day bulletin board...

In an attempt to make this a super quick post, I'm gonna get right to the point... 

This is the Valentine's Day bulletin board I have done for years now. It's a huge hit around school and very easy to do. Plus, my students love thinking of themselves as little pieces of chocolate! All you have to do it make a few large hearts, snap some cute photos, and grab muffin papers. I cut a circle around each student's face and put it in the center of the muffin paper. Then I staple everything to the board. Easy as that! If you put one up in your room, I'd love to see it!!

That's all for now. Like I said... super quick tonight! I feel a cold coming on.

Best wishes,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

It has been quite a while since I've tried using Google docs. Or is it Google drive now? Or neither?? I can't keep up with all of this technology. TpT has seriously made everything so easy for me as far as selling items, but I'm looking for a more convenient way to share my freebies. Thus, a return to Google whatever. 

A quick post to show what we're working on this week. We are reading The Sleeping Pig. It's such a cute story and the kids love acting it out. What I wanted to do was integrate some "making connections" into the lesson. I whipped this up real quick so the students could tell me about a time when they tried to wake someone up. Some of their stories were pretty hilarious! Let me just say I hope my future child(ren) don't...

That's right... he threw a fake spider on his poor mom and dad to wake them up!! I shudder to image how I would respond to THAT!

I could, however, live with that! What a sweetie, making breakfast for her parents' anniversary :)

Put them all together with a little cartoon pig, some other watermelons, and a vine. Viola!

If you read this story in class and are interested in making connections, I posted the writing prompt to Google. At least I think I did. Hence the testing title ;) You should be able to click on the picture below. If it doesn't work, let me know and I'll do a little more googling. Ha! 

I've got sooooo much good stuff in the works that I'll be back tomorrow! Until then sweet blogging buddies!

Best wishes,