Sunday, October 30, 2011

Getting to Know You...

Wow! I just received the Blog On Fire Award. Thank you so much! So here are seven things you did not know about me:

1. I am a movie addict! I could easily go to see a movie almost every day, but sadly, I just don't get to go as much as I would like. I love comedies, especially with Adam Sandler!

2. I run every morning at 5:30 AM. I am not always the most cheerful runner at 5:30 AM, but it keeps me healthy!

3. I have had the same best friend since I was in the fifth grade. We have been friends for almost 30 years!

4. I am addicted to the show Hoarders. I can't stop watching it! Listen, I love to shop, but that show is crazy!!!

5. I get excited by the dollar bins at Target. I can find the best stuff for my classroom (perhaps that is why I am so intrigued by Hoarders, Hmmm...)

6. I buy pocketbooks like other people buy their weekly groceries. I almost fainted when I found a gorgeous Kate Spade at Marshall's (again, maybe another connection to Hoarders, ha!)

7. I became a teacher because of my first grade teacher, Miss McIntyre. I have been teaching for 15 years. I started teaching in a private school as a fifth grade teacher. My true love is teaching the little ones, and I am very lucky to live out my dream as a kindergarten teacher.

Here are seven blogs that I think are on fire!

Little Literacy Learners

Mrs. Guntorius First Grade Class

Learning with Mrs Parker
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Friday, October 28, 2011

A Spooktacular Week and a Great Big Thank You!

Before I share some pictures from this week, I must thank Cara from The First Grade Parade for mentioning my blog this week. I have nearly doubled my followers - thank you so much!!!

We focused on pumpkins and Halloween traditions this week. It was a crazy, fun-filled week with my kiddos but I am ready for bed!  Here are some pictures:

This is our big bowl of candy corn. We used tissue paper to make these cute treats! This is one of two large bowls.  I hava a bowl hanging on each side of my door.

We read The Room on the Broom. We made a sequence map for beginning, middle and end. See my previous post for the printables.
We read Where's My Mummy and enjoyed some of Deanna Jump's amazing activities for this great book. We made connections to the story and completed the graphic organizer. Visit Deanna Jump's store on TPT for her awesome unit.

After reading Where's My Mummy we discussed the characters and made a character trait map for Baby Mummy. Then, we made our own mummies. Again, this craft is from Deanna Jump's unit that I purchased on TPT.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

In A Dark Dark Wood

I have been reading this classic tale every day this week and now the children can read it without any help from me. We actually turn off the lights and use a flashlight to point to each word. Then, after we read the book, I call a few students to come up to the book to highlight some of the sight word vocabulary in the story. The children love to use the flashlight to highlight the words such as and, a, & in.

I decided to make an activity to go along with the book. I am going to enlarge the dark wood mat onto a large piece of white construction paper. The children can color it with crayons or markers.Then, I will have the children cut out the three white ghosts and paste them onto the path.

Here it is for all of you! Enjoy!

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oh What A Night!

Next week we will focus on nocturnal animals. The week after Halloween seems to be a great time for this unit.  I just made a few new activities about bats and owls. Take a look! It's in my TPT store!

The clip art is form DJ Inkers. The link for her site is on the right hand side of this page.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Math Stations

Hi everyone! I read Debbie Diller's book about math stations this summer and I loved it! At this point I have only four math stations each week with either 5 or 6 children in each group. Then, they split into pairs to complete the activity. Next week, I am going to try to have six stations. We rotate through all of them by the end of the week. I will start pulling small groups as a station next week.

Our current focus in math is the "Counting and Cardinality" strand of the Common Core. I also refer to this by the fancy term, "Learning About Numbers." Original, huh?

I am going to post pictures of two of the math tub activities we did this week. I am also giving you a station you may use next week called "Who Lives in This House?' It is a fun Halloween activity for counting.

This activity is called "Monster Eyes." I found the monsters on the PreKinders website.They look at the number on the monster and place the correct number of googly eyes onto the head.

The next was really simple. I copied pictures of Jack O'Lanterns onto orange construction paper and wrote a number on them. Then, children had to put the correct number of little pumpkins onto the Jack O'Lantern to match.

I also started my counting jar. Take a look:

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Signs of Fall

Here is a peek at two of the fun art projects my children completed last week. Boy am I glad I bought an apron this year!

We sponge painted leaves with red and orange paint and decorated our classroom door.

We made pumpkins on a vine to go along the top of our windows. We painted the bottom of the paper lunch bag orange and the top is green. Then, we tied raffia to it to create the stem.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Room on the Broom and more!

Hi everyone! So, I hope you have read the story Room on the Broom. It is so great! I found it last year while browsing the local bookstore in my town. The woman working in the store told me that I had to get it for my classroom and I am so glad I took her advice.

I made a story map and a graphic organizer for the book. I also made a simple sheet for the "at" family. The clip art is by DJ Inkers.

Also, check out  Life in First Grade. She has amazing lessons and activities to go along with this book.

In Math, I am slowly getting my kiddos into the routine of math stations. I read Debbie Diller's book this summer and I love the idea. While the students are using the math tubs during stations, I like to pull small groups for a guided math lesson. I made a sheet about counting and comparing numbers to use next week during my math group.

Let me know if you have a favorite story for Halloween. I love hearing about great books for my classroom!
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Mouse Count

I love this book! It is always a big hit with the children too. I just went to a great math workshop in my district and the presenter reminded me about this book and how to use it in the classroom. She suggested keeping a counting jar in the room. Every week or so you can add different things to the jar and the children can visit it whenever they have a free moment to count the objects and record the number. I love really clever but simple math activities that I can implement right away!

For the first week, I went to the Dollar Tree and bought a bunch of little toy mice (the ones you get for your pet cat) to go along with the book.  I also made a generic a sheet to go along with this idea. You can use it for the entire year. If you don't want to use a sheet every week, you could also have the children write their names and numbers on one class sheet or on a white board.

Here is the recording sheet:  Counting Jar

I also found some great printables and activities for this book on the site Making Learning Fun.
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

What did we do this week?

Here are some pictures of classroom activities about the farm:

We completed a labeling activity about a pig:

 We added the letter D to our Alphabet Wall and made these adorable ducks:

We identified three of our word wall words in the story Mrs.Wishy Washy and made this project. The word wall words (and, in, the) are written on her apron. I can't remember where I got the song from but the idea for the project was inspired by the Virtual Vine page. Here is the link: Mrs. Wishy Washy at the Virtual Vine. If you know who wrote the song, please let me know so I can give them credit.

Here is Mrs. Wishy Washy's tub. The gold pipe cleaner is actually a "magical word finder" and the children use it to locate sight words in the big books.

 Here is the chicken feed weighing station. It was a big hit and the children wanted to go to it again and again!

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life on the Farm

As I told you in my earlier post, my theme this week is life on the farm. This is always a fun unit. I have so many favorite books that it is hard to pack it into just one week. I have created a few new activities that I thought I would share with all of you.

The science station activities are placed in the science station for the whole week. The first one is about chicken feed. I use corn kernels or small beans. They scoop them up with a small cup and weigh them on a balance scale. The second science activity is called, "Can you milk a cow?"  I use a plastic latex glove and fill it half weigh with water. I hang it in the science station over a bowl and they pretend to milk the cow using the pretend "udders". They love it! I let the children visit this station during center or free choice time.

My current writing unit is called "Labels". We explore labels as well as environmental print. I created a fun label project. Let me know what you think! Thanks!

Science Stations:

Labeling activity for Reading or Writing Workshop:

ABC or Word Work Station:

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Wishy Washy! Wishy Washy!

My theme this week will be all about the farm. It is also a district wide Farm To You Fest. Local farmers visit our schools and teach us about growing fruits and vegetables and about life on the farm. We also have a recipe contest during the week and encourage buying local produce or products from our farmers. I am in upstate New York, so we have a lot of apple orchards and other wonderful farms that provide us with healthy foods. To go along with farm week, I do a lot of activities with one of my favorite characters, Mrs. Wishy Washy. One of the activities we do is a class book. We practice writing our names and two of our sight words: in and the. Then, we glue a photo of the student in the tub. We compile all of the pages into a class book and add it to our classroom library. The kids love it!

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