Friday, May 31, 2013

Five for Friday!!

It's Friday, it's Friday!!!  That means it's time for Doodle Bug's Five for Friday!  Here's a quick recap of my week! :)

1. Last Saturday was the Color Run!!  It was my first 5K!  It was totally pouring the whole time and SO COLD, but it was so much FUN!!!  If you don't know what it is, it's a run where powder paint is thrown around like crazy and there are color stations set up along the run where more paint is tossed at you.  If there's one near you, you should definitely do it!! :)

2. My birthday was on Sunday!  It was nice to have to long weekend to relax and enjoy it.  My boyfriend made me this planter for the deck.  Isn't it awesome?!  I love it!!!!!  He's the best :) He also got me a gel nail polish kit!  I did my nails on Sunday and there isn't even a chip (and I worked in the garden, planted seeds with my kids, cleaned...all the things that would usually require a repaint)!!  I am in love!

3. Our butterflies hatched sometime over the long weekend.  I was a little sad the kids didn't get to see them come out of their chrysalises.  But they didn't really care.  They've spent the week watching them through magnifying glasses.  Today we let them free!!  We made cute little butterfly hats for the special occasion.  I told the kids we were going to wear them so the butterflies would think we were butterflies and wouldn't be scared.  They loved it :)

4. I had an extra short week with my kiddos.  Thursday I was part of the interview team that interviewed for new first grade teachers.  It was interesting to be on the other side of the interview.  I remember how nervous I was for mine! 

5. We lost our pencil sharpener.  It was sad.  The kids loved the electric sharpener, so they would break their pencils on purpose always try to use it. I usually sharpen all the pencils in the morning before the kids get to school.  But we were using colored pencils for a project and I decided to be extra nice and let them sharpen their own.  And that's how it happened.  

So now we have been using the pencil sharpener on the wall, which has been off limits all year because it eats pencils doesn't work very well.  This is what it did to a pencil today.  The kids thought it was hilarious!  So I'm in search of a new sharpener before this pencil sharpener eats all the pencils I have left!  Any recommendations?  I need a good one!!!!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen this.......but this little lady has been laying on her eggs for.....21 days!  Do you know what that means????  They should be hatching today!!  I'm so excited :)  I keep checking, but she's covering them all so I can't really tell if any have hatched!  There was half on an eggshell to her side, so maybe?!?!?!  I have no patience!!!!!

Enjoy the weekend!!! :)
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Thursday, May 30, 2013


Who loves the Dollar Tree??? Me!!!! (And probably you?) I got these cute little things last weekend. I've bought these in the past and have used them for many different things. They just so cute! I have some monkeys with bananas, apples with worms, and a different set of frogs and lily pads. The kids love them.

I haven't totally decided on how I want to use all of them just yet. But here's how I'm using the mice and cheese :)

We've been working hard on our addition fact fluency. This week we've been learning the near doubles. I wrote the addition fact on the cheese and the answer on the mouse.

Tomorrow I plan on using it as a whole group. We'll sit in a circle and everyone will get either a mouse or cheese. I'll have my cheeses go first and the mice will have to listen for their fact. Then I may have the mice (the answer) go first and the cheese match their fact with the answer to really see if they know their facts :)

I also wrote on the back of them for when I put them out for centers. This way the kids can check their answers and see how to solve the problem, just in case they forget :)

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the PB&J or frogs. Maybe contractions? Subtraction? Who knows! :)

Happy ALMOST Friday!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tick Tock....Teaching Time!

Time to the Hour!

My kids are pretty good at telling time. Especially snack time and lunch time :). In the past, I have found that my kids can tell time to the hour, but struggle with remember how to write it as it would be on a digital clock. That :00 always gets them!

I had to come up with something silly to help the remember! So I told them I was a cheerleader. When cheerleaders cheer, the have their hands up in the air, just like the minute hand on the clock at an o'clock!! And cheerleaders cheer of course! So when the minute hand points up at the 12, we cheer "O O o'clock". The "O O o'clock" helps them remember that when we write say 5:00, it has two zeroes in the minute place. Silly but it works!!

Time to the Half Hour!

When teaching time to the half hour, I start by talking about how many minutes ate in an hour, what half means, you know, the usual. I've found that my kids get stuck on time to the half hour because the hour hand is between two numbers.

Sooo I set up a train station in my room! I do this every year and it always works!! I pick three or four kids to be the stations. They each bring a marker board and we'll write consecutive numbers. In my picture here we did 8, 9 ,10.

Then I pick a few kids to be a train (the hour hand). They choo choo around, clockwise, until I tell them to stop. I have them stop between each station, so between 8 and 9, then between 9 and 10. ( at this train station the minute hand stays at half past :) ) When I stop them I ask what time it is.

This makes it really visual!! Say they stop between 8 and 9. If a student says, it's 9:30 I'd say, "but has the train gotten to the 9 station yet??" They instantly understand and see that it's 8:30!! I started this last week with my kids and they want to "do the train" just about everyday! It's a little silly, but it really does work! :)

How do YOU teach time? :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Optimum Organization!

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend!  I know I did!!  I'm linking up with Kristen and Elizabeth for their Optimum Organization linky party!  I love being organized (who doesn't, right?) but sometimes it can be hard to STAY organized.

Here are a few ways I try to stay organized!!

The first is more for my kids than me.  I am lucky to have cubbies for each student.  I bought baskets at the Dollar Tree for each kiddo to have in their cubby.  They keep their math toolbox inside, as well as hats and mittens in the winter, lunchboxes, stuffed animals that sit and watch them work, basically anything small that could find its way rolling out onto the floor!  They work great and they look cute too! :)

This is where I keep my daily plans and activities.  The top five drawers are for Monday-Friday. I keep everything I need for that day in the drawer.  The extra drawers I use for writing paper, larger projects, or whatever I may need it for.  I have thought about having drawers for the kids to turn their completed work into (and maybe one for incomplete as well?!) but I haven't set that up yet.  But these drawers are colorful and cute and very helpful in staying organized!!  I've seen them at Michaels, but they were about 30 bucks at Walmart (super deal!!).  I want more.  I just don't really need them ;)

Here's the shelf where I keep most of my reading and math binders.  I know, most of them aren't labeled, but I know what they are!  I feel like labels would make it less pretty!!  The top shelf I have my Scott Foresman units, 6 traits of writing stuff, my month-themed book, and binders for center ideas.  The bottom shelf is Scott Foresman black lines and the rest are decodables and other books to use in reading groups.  Does that sound organized?  It may not sound it, but I know exactly where everything is! (Even without labels!) 

I have this on my desk to keep track of things I need to file or copy and for work that any absent kids miss.  I try to keep it nice and empty!

I think I mentioned this last tip in another post, but it definitely helps keep me organized.  The top shelf is all math games.  I have a basket for each addition strategy.  The bottom shelf is centers. I have a basket for social studies, language arts & reading, writing, math, and science.  The kids can choose any of these centers when they finish their work.  They are pretty good at keeping it organized!

Join in the party and share a few ways you organize your classroom!!!
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for this week's Five for Friday!!

1. I've been working on my kids' memory books for the end of the year. We've been talking a lot about what we want to be when we grow up, so my totally awesome boyfriend put this together for me!! :) It was super easy to do the pics. I just cut out black construction paper and wrote with chalk on it!

2. We learned about the life cycle of a pig....and made these cute little piggies!!! Then we wrote about them. (You know I love crafty writing!!!) :)

3. We've been doing our ABC Countdown. The kids LOVE IT! Yesterday was D for Dance Party Day. Their dance moves were so precious! I had a few robots and a whole lot of sprinklers! One of them even started a train. They were all lined up dancing around!

4. I posted about this earlier this week, but I love this sign!!! This was last weekend's project...I found the idea on Pinterest!

5. One of the girls at work brought us boxes to start packing. They make this move seem more real. I'm still not sure how I should tell my kiddos they won't be able to visit me on their way to their second grade classes next year.

Are you ready for the long weekend?! My weekend is filled with birthday fun! Color Run, hiking, margaritas, and cake!! What could be better? :) Happy weekend everyone!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Bucket List!!

Who's ready for summer?!  Come join in the Summer Bucket List Linky Party hosted by Miss Kindergarten, A Modern Teacher, and A Cupcake for the Teacher!! 

I still have about a month left of school, a field trip, field day, report cards, and memory books to finish!!  But I DO know what I plan on doing for the summer! :)

1 The number one thing on my list is to pack up my classroom and move schools without losing my mind!!  First grade in our district is moving to a different school this summer, so I will be doing a lot of packing, unpacking, and ORGANIZING on my days off!  I've been bringing home my files already to start going through them so everything will be ready to go in my new classroom!  My new room doesn't have cubbies (*sad face*) so I may be trying out this idea!

2 I LOVE the thought of adding a little pop of color to my ugly slightly boring file cabinets!  I found this on Pinterest and I am SO trying it out!

3 New floors in our dining room!!!  Love the dark wood in this one!  It'll go nice with the green walls :) (I can't waitttttt!)

4 I'd also love to make these seat crates!  (Can you tell I'm worried about organizing and storage in my new classroom?! Ahh!)
5 Of course, I'd love to RELAX and ENJOY my summer!!  I plan on kayaking and hiking whenever possible :)

What's on YOUR summer bucket list? :)

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Response to Literature

I'm linking up with Jivey for this week's Workshop Wednesday: Response to Literature!

When I take reading groups, we spend a lot of time discussing the story (as much discussing a first grader can handle anyway!).  I always remind them what good readers do and I model it for them.  For example, I'll say a good reader thinks about what the author wanted us to learn by reading this story.  Then I'll pick a story we've previously read and have say I think so and so wanted us to learn blah, blah.  After, I ask the kids to think back and see what the story we're working on is about.  I do this for setting, main idea, pretty much everything!

I also have a little graphic organizer flip chart that I use in my groups.  It's part of our Reading Street reading program and can be written on with Expo markers.  It has a page for character, plot, beginning, middle and end of a story, and lots more.

Many times, I will use these for the kids to show their understanding of the characters, setting, and the stories problem.  They especially love the part where they have to answer how they would solve the problem in the story. :)

My kids do a lot of written responses in their writing journals as well.  Often times, I'll give them a sentence or question to get the started.  For example, our first unit is about pets, so their journal prompts may be about how they would take care of a pet, their favorite type of pet, or if they could have any pet, what would it be....things that activate prior knowledge or make them think a little more about the topics we are reading about. :)

How do your kids respond to literature? :)

One more thing before I take a break for dinner!!  Here's a little something special I made for my classroom this weekend!  I found the idea on Pinterest (surprise, surprise!).  

I think it came out pretty good!!  I brought it to school on Monday and my kids absolutely LOVED it!!  Lately they've been feeling sad because I've been doing special "second grade" things with them and they don't want to leave first grade.  I don't want them to go either!  But I told them whenever they're feeling sad, they can look at this and remember what a super bunch of friends they have! :)

Happy Wednesday!
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

B is for Buddy Day!

For Buddy Day, we did a whole lot of buddy work.  The kids loved it!  Our big project for the day was comparing and contrasting with our buddy.  I found this idea on Pinterest and thought it was perfect!! 

They started off talking to each other and finding out some things that were the same about them.  Then they worked on things that are different.  It involved a lot of teamwork!!

After they compared and contrasted, they became artists and turned their Venn diagram into themselves and their buddy. :)

These are a few if the finished ones. They came out so cute!!

I'd say Buddy Day was a success!! Tomorrow is Compliment Day...I can't wait!

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Monday, May 20, 2013

ABC Countdown!

That's right...26 days of school left!  I can't believe how quickly this year flew by.  I'm not sure I'm ready for my kids to be second graders yet! 

To celebrate the last 26 days of first grade, we started an ABC Countdown today.  I have seen many of you post your own countdowns and I was inspired to create one too :)  I'm sure many of you have much less than 26 days left, but you could always keep it in mind for next year!

Here's a look at our countdown!  

You can get an editable copy of it at my TpT store.  Feel free to change anything you'd like!!


I was looking through my old things from first grade and found this book, called All About Me.

Don't I look like a little old lady?
Here's another page :)

My family, before my little brother was born! This got me thinking about making an All About Me book with my kids! So letter A in our countdown is starting these books! I told them all about my book and they were super excited to begin. :)

They worked really hard on page one today and tomorrow we'll continue with the next! B is Buddy Day. So maybe they'll be working on them with a buddy?!

Have a great week!!!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Science Mentor Texts!

Happy Sunday!  I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties for this week's mentor text linky party!  I love teaching science, especially life cycles!

I have a set of life cycles books that I absolutely love!  I use them for almost all of the life cycles I teach my kiddos about.  I'm having a hard time choosing just one to tell you about!  Soooo I picked one to focus on, but I'm going to mention the others....I hope that's okay!!! :)

The author of these books is Camilla de la Bedoyere.  This is the one we have used most recently in class, Egg to Chicken.

These books contain so much information about the animal.  The kids love when I pull on down from my shelf!  There are diagrams of each stage of the animal's life cycle.  This one tells about different types of chickens, the difference between a male and female, and about how they live and what they eat.  It has all kinds of great pictures and lots of fun facts. 

Camilla also has similiar books called Pup to Shark, Caterpillar to Butterfly, Joey to Kangaroo, Tadpole to Frog and one about plants, Seed to Sunflower.  I have them all and they are awesome! :)

Hop over to Collaboration Cuties to check out other fun science texts!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!:)
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