Friday, June 10, 2016

Last Day of 1st Grade FUN!!

My first year in a new school district and new grade has come to an end. It was a busy year, but a fun one! Did it seem to FLY for anyone else or was that just me? I don't know if it was like that for me because it was such a full year of learning new curriculum and a new grade or what, but it went crazy fast! I will say, I had such a fun time on our last 1/2 day of school this year. It was great celebrating with my class and just enjoying the day together. Here's a look at what we did!

We started off finishing up our memory books that we worked on during the last week of school.
 We had to go around and put our autographs in everyones book. They turned out super cute!


 Here's a look at a few of the pages in the book. I hope they treasure these because they will be so fun to look back on way down the road. :)


Once our class signing was over, we had time to play some Minute to Win It games! They loved these!
This first one we had two teams and they had to fan their tissue paper fish into the bucket on the other side of the carpet with a paper plate. When they got it in, they had to run the fish and plate back to the next person in line. 
 Then we did the noodle challenge. Each kiddo got a piece of spaghetti noodle (we broke about 1/3 off to make them a little shorter) and two penne noodles. Without using their hands, they had to get both penne noodles on the spaghetti noodle. Pretty tricky for some of them, but fun to watch! ;)

 Next up was another team activity where they had to toss the ping pong ball into their team's cup from behind a certain line. Once they got it in, they brought the ball to the next person in line on the other side. I split each team in half so we had some "rebounders" on each side of the cup. This helped prevent spending most of the time chasing the ping pong ball. :) This one got pretty intense!! 
After that game, it was time to head out to the all school recess. We are just a K-1 building with 6 classes in each grade. It's a tradition that the 1st graders get to race the principal on the last day of school, so they race in the field from one fence to the other. It's pretty funny to watch and they are dead tired when they finish!
 
After recess, the first graders went to an assembly to watch a video of memories from the year, get a special gift from the principal, and get ready for the clap up. For the clap up, all the parents and kindergarten classes go out and line the hallways as the first graders walk through everyone clapping them on to 2nd grade and a new school.
When we got back to the room, we had time to have the kids help clean up the classroom (which they LOVE!). We played a "game" with all the sight words on our word wall which actually helped me sort them out and have them ready for next year's Journeys lessons. I passed out a few to each kiddo and when I called out the sight word, they had to throw it on the table and then I would collect and put them into the correct lesson's file for next year. It was a fun and efficient way of sorting out all those words. It was a last minute, genius idea that I thought of and it was so helpful because I was dreading sorting all of those words back out. 
Then it was about time for lunch. We had a picnic lunch together outside and then they went out to regular recess. As they played at recess, I set the room up for our final goodbye with a red carpet, message, and floats!
When they got back, we had our floats first. Yum, yum!
 Then we got ready for our final goodbye to 1st grade! 

 Earlier in the week, everyone had to write just one word about each of their classmates. I took those words and put them into a shape wordle with their name. For the final goodbye, I read off each kiddo's name and all the special words used to describe them. They walked the red carpet as I did this and then they got a big hug and good luck from me at the end. It was a special, perfect end to our year. 
We finished right in time to head on out to pickup. What an amazing last day of 1st grade! What do you do for your last day of school? I would love to hear in the comments. :)

I hope you all have an amazing summer!!
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Friday, November 27, 2015

A Short Thanksgiving Week

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a great time with my husband's family and I'm pretty sure my tummy will be full for days! ;) I know it's been for.ev.er since I've blogged, but let's be real....this past year has been busy, busy for me and I haven't made the time between caring for our first baby, learning a new grade, and a new school. I've just been trying to stay afloat! I'm starting to feel a glimpse of my old self and maybe I'll start blogging a little more. Either way, I'm here tonight to blog about our short week before Thanksgiving break. I was a last minute planner for that short week, but I think it turned out pretty well. The kids enjoyed it and I got a lot of "your the best teacher ever" comments. That's all ya need right?! ;)

During our typical reading block, we studied the differences between things we do and use now compared to back then. I threw together a little product for this lesson which you can see below. 
I gave each of the kids a card with a picture on it. I encouraged them to use their very best coloring and use colors that made sense. They did a pretty nice job! 
 Then we came back to the carpet to sort our cards by things that are done or used now or then just using any prior knowledge we had. 
 This was the finished sort with just our prior knowledge. 
Then we read a story about many of these things and began coloring the pictures. 

 After some time spent coloring, we came back to the carpet to review our sort and make any changes that we learned about from the story. We discussed some of the items and compared them.  Then we wrote about how things we do now are different than it would've been back then. 

 The next day, we reviewed the sort and sorted again, read the book again, and did this piece of writing. They had to decide whether they would rather live now or back then and give reasons to support their answer. 


For math, we did some easy prep math stations that I put together. There were a total of 4 stations so we did two rotations each day. They loved playing games like these. 
The games worked on addition, counting on, decomposing, and writing addition and subtraction equations. To finish off the math block, we did some Thanksgiving problem solving.


 These were differentiated to challenge some of my higher kids.


For writing I always have my kids do a countdown to Thanksgiving with 5 things they are thankful for. I didn't get any pictures this year, but the book is in my store here. We also made these cute little turkey hats. My students asked if I was going to make one for baby Creyton, so here he is! My little turkey in his turkey hat! :)
So yes, in the midst of having a busy year, there is so SO much to be thankful for. This little man is one of the big things I am especially thankful for this year. Again, I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and I hope you are all getting rejuvenated and ready for a quick December! We will be on winter break before we know it! :)
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ocean Literacy Centers

So, I had every intention of blogging and sharing about our ocean literacy centers (as well as many other themed literacy centers at the end of the year), but it just never happened! I finally finished finalizing the literacy center pack to post tonight and I thought why not just blog about it too?! Maybe it will be useful for somebody, right?! Well if that somebody is you, here you go! :) 

A few of the centers included in the pack are not shown here because, well, I didn’t create them in time to use at the time, but I wanted to make sure I included 5 ready to use centers in the product. I would totally use them all next time around!

We always love the write the room center so it’s definitely a regular in my classroom. I added a little more to it where the kids have to find the cards, write the word, count the syllables, and then turn the paper over to draw and label a picture and write a sentence using the words they found. This keeps them completely engaged and busy the entire center time. 


Every kid enjoys a fun board game, right? This next center fits all those competitive little souls and can be played multiple times throughout center time. Of course it's really just luck of the spin and they don't even realize they are working on sight words when they play. When the player spins a word, they get to move to the next space with that word in it. 
The next center is rainbow writing sight words. See a pattern here? We were really needing to work on sight words at the end of the year, so it did happen to be a big bulk of our literacy centers. 
There are two more centers included in the pack which include a fun sight word bump game and a matching memory game working on reading words with ee and ea vowel teams. One of the other centers we did in this rotation was a game I learned from Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade when I listened to her sessions in Wichita. My kids LOVED this and you could do so many variations of it to switch it up to fit another theme. It's called Hop to It! I laminated and cut out lily pads and wrote sight words on them. I only did five words at a time and wrote them on lily pads twice. The first time we played, I had the kids hop to the word after I said it aloud. They went up against their partner. Eventually I had a student reading the word and they would just switch out with whoever won the round. You can see a video of this on my Instagram. The next time we played it, I had them use my froggy flyswatters. So fitting, huh?! ;) This time they had to swat at the word after it was said as you see here. It was fun, but I did have to remind them every once in a while to make sure they were reading the words and not just swatting without putting any thought into it. 
Well, there you have it!! If nothing else, maybe you found an idea to pin and come back to later because this is probably not what you are thinking about as we are all getting ready to head back to school! ;) 
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gingerbread Math Stations

We've been spending all of December working on these gingerbread math stations. These are perfectly themed because they don't have to be Christmasy, but they could be all at the same time! We could literally continue these on into January if we really wanted to. We just happen to have a gingerbread day in December (that I still need to blog about) so it goes perfectly for this time of year in our classroom. Here's a look at all 12 stations in my Gingerbread pack! Each station comes with an instruction card to make it easy to read by the teacher and student, an answer key if applicable, and recording sheets in black and white or color to use how you wish! All of that plus the fact that they are aligned to the Common Core standards which are posted on each instruction card. The work is done for you!! :) 
Gingerbread Roll & Cover for addition or one more. Made fun with peppermint candy covers!!
 You Can't Catch Me game board with a gingerbread spinner.
 Baking Up Shapes where students practice identifying 2D and 3D shapes. Here they are using a timer to see how many they can name before the timer runs out. 
 Lil' Gingy Count On - the students draw a number card, record it, and count on the next two numbers in the sequence.
 You Caught Me card game working on greater than, less than, and equal to!
 Tasty Measure 'Mints' station to work on measuring with a peppermint ruler. 
 Sugar Shake & Spill could be used to decompose any number your students need to work on. An easy way to differentiate for your little mathematicians. :)
 Spin & Make a Gingerbread Family - students spin two numbers on the gingerbread spinners and add them up!
 Hunt for the Gingerbread Man game that can be played like Monster Squeeze. One student hides the gingerbread man behind a number while the other student hides their eyes. Then the other student guesses the number it is behind. If the number is five and the student guesses six, for example, then the player would turn over six through ten to show the gingerbread man is less than six. They continue to squeeze the number until the correct number is guessed. They don't even realize they are doing math when they play this "guessing" game! ;)

 Decorating Cookies works on decomposing five and ten. Mats and recording sheets for both numbers are included for differentiation. If students aren't ready for a number sentence to record the combinations, there is a recording sheet where they just fill in the color combinations too!
 Sweet Memory to work on number identification. 
 Finally, the Gingerbread Write the Room with two different recording sheets. On one sheet, the student is recording the number he counts on the ten frame and filling out the ten frame. On the other recording sheet, the student counts the number on the ten frame and counts on from that number. 
If you like what you see, you can get these stations for your classroom here. When we get back from winter break, we will be ready to start our winter math stations which you can get here. You can see a peek at the winter math stations on my blog from last year here

I hope you all have a wonderful end to the semester and a fabulous holiday season!! 
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