Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday: Gimme a Break!!

Woo hoo - it's finally Friday!
Time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching & her super fun weekly linky....
I always love reading what everyone is up to each week.  
Here's my FIVE....
 This week, it's been All About Adjectives!!  We started with popping popcorn & using our 5 senses to describe how it sounded, tasted, smelled, felt, and looked.  We also read some monster books &  created our own creature. Then, we described them!. The kids loved it!!  Don't you just love how my little friend used and spelled the word "hideus"?  :)
We also used our study of adjectives to work on our writing.
Using "Adjective Pumpkins" by Kelley at the Teacher Idea Factory, the kids each created their own pumpkin (no pencils, just scissors!) & had to write a story using at least FIVE adjectives.
 I absolutely LOVE how they turned out!!!  This kids said his pumpkin had a mustache!
 And this one's hair is just too cute.
I love any project that lets the kids be creative!  My Type-A personality really likes a craftivity template, but when my firsties get to let loose & create, it always turns out great! 
I. Must. Let. Go. haha! :)

 We worked on sneaky e all week & made these super cute puppets inspired by First Grade Wow. 
My kids love watching the "Silent e is a ninja...." video by The Electric Company, so this was a perfect compliment to our learning.  I think they turned out so stinkin' cute....and I can't get that song out of my head!
And now, you can't either!

Volcano Day!!! 
If you missed my post about it, click {here} to read all about our Volcano study, and some super fun things to do with your students. My kids went nuts about our day!!
 Yesterday at our faculty meeting, we got to meet our new Partner in Education... Wal-Mart!
The manager came and gave us each a $50 gift card to the store to show their appreciation.
Plus, we got cake. Money and cake? Um, yes, please!

So, that's my week.... 
We were off school today & will be Monday for our "Fall Break".  We used to get a whole week...and I miss it....but I'm taking what I can get! 
This guy cracks me up every.single. time.  
And his stapler? Yeah, I'm kind of like that about my school supplies, too!

Happy Friday! Hope y'all have an awesome weekend, and thanks for stopping by! :)

Head on over to Doodle Bugs and link up.....what has YOUR way been like????

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Volcano Day!!! {LOVE!}

This week, it's been all about volcanoes!  I got all of these amazing ideas from Kristin at A Day in First Grade. When I tell you she's a genius, I ain't lying - you have to go check her out! Just wanted to give credit where it's due before I even get started. :)

Anyway, we started our week with some fiction and nonfiction text about volcanoes.Last week, it was all about landforms, so this was just an extension of that, and a great way to incorporate a literacy study with our social studies unit.
My kiddos have a wee bit of a problem interrupting and blurting, so My Mouth is a Volcano was a perfect pick. It's not necessarily about volcanoes, but it does include some vocabulary we would be studying, and the message was just what we needed.

We used the nonfiction books to compare texts, and dig deeper into learning more about volcanoes.  The kids learned all about magma, lava, eruption, volcano and crater.  We focused on these words throughout the week, and included them in our journal and creative writing. It was so great to see these words in their actual work, and actually being applied. I loved it! 

So, we worked hard all week, and then today....................was VOLCANO DAY!!!
We are out of school tomorrow, so today was our Friday...and what a perfect way to wrap up the week.

These ideas from Kristin were truly the BEST. THING. EVER!
My kids were motivated all week just knowing that Volcano Day was coming up.
I even had amazing behavior class-wide, so YAY!

We started with our watercolor painting.
 The kids painted an "outside" picture, as one little girl called it.
 We hung them on the fence so they would dry fast, and we'd have time to do the rest of the fun stuff later in the day.

After they were dry, the kids cut out and glued a volcano to the paper.

Then, we went back outside, and sprayed our volcanoes with LAVA!!!
Well, not real lava, of course, but paint & water in a spray bottle did the trick for first graders.

The thought it was the MOST fun squirting their paintings with "lava"!
I hung them on the fence again so 
1) they would dry quickly and 
2) the "lava" would drip down for a more realistic looking eruption.

 Of course, the paint dripped on the pavement, and it looked like a murder had taken place. 
All the kids thought it looked like blood. 
I blame that on the upcoming Halloween holiday! haha
 I just LOVE how they all turned out!
As for the mess, these dried in less than an hour, and just minutes after I took them down, the skies opened & it stormed like nobody's business.

Mess Gone.

No more lava on the pavement!

While we listened to the rumble of thunder outside, it was time to bring our volcano day inside with a science experiment. We made our very own volcanoes!
 To do this, you will need WARM water, red food coloring, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap and yeast.

                  We used Gatorade bottles filled with 1/2 cup peroxide and a few drops of red food coloring.

The next step was to add a dash of liquid dish detergent.  

Then, the kids added the yeast mixture - 2 TABLEspoons of warm water and 1 TEAspoon of yeast.
We mixed these two ingredients into a small contained and then poured them into the bottle.
 Then, we waited for the eruption!!!
One of my little friends said that thunder outside made it sound like our volcanoes were really erupting.
 Slow & steady, but the kids' faces were priceless!!!!
They couldn't believe it was "growing" as one of my firsties kept saying.
And, of course, they had to touch it! 
And on a warning/sidenote, all of the kids (and ME!) had red fingers when the day was done.
The kids couldn't believe that even minutes later, their volcanoes just kept erupting!
It was too cute!

So, there you have it. As one of Kristen's kids said, it was the "best day ever"!!!

We had the best time, and honestly, all of my kids learned so much about nonfiction text and about volcanoes. They were all using their "big" words, and kept telling me they couldn't wait to tell their parents.

Winning! :)

That's it for me, friends. We are off tomorrow & Monday for our Fall Break, so this chickadee is heading out of town. I hope you're all having a great week & you can use some of these idea with your kids, too!

As always, thanks for stopping by!
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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Printable Sticky Notes for Writing: Say What?!

Hi Y'all ~
  I have mixed feelings about Sundays.  I love the laziness of some Sundays. Even when I have to do a lot of schoolwork (don't we all?), I at least get to do it in my comfy clothes and with some really cheesy TV to keep me company. 

   I do not love the fact that it signals the end to another weekend, and time to set the alarm clock again.   This week is a short week for me, since we have Friday and Monday off for our "Fall Break", so I'm holding on to that. 

  Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but who doesn't love weekends??  Ahhhhhh......

  Anyway, on Thursday, I posted this picture to my Instagram...

Those are printable sticky notes...YES, printable! A colleague of mine showed me how to print little notes on stickies, and I was HOOKED

I just knew the idea would be perfect for making easy-peasy writing checklists for my kids' writing. 

This week, we used Ninja Turtles for our study of verbs & I used these little gems to assess their writing, and how well they met the 5 criteria we set before writing.
These sticky notes have been a huge time-saver for me!  So, how do you do it??
You start with a template. This one is for your standard size Post-It Notes, 3x3.  
{You can click the picture for your own copy. It is a PowerPoint file}
First, print a blank template.

Now, just put a text book in each square. Make sure you don't move the square.
Type what you want each sticky to say.

Then, you place your notes STICKY SIDE AT THE TOP in each square on the blank one you printed out.
You have to make sure the sticky end of the note is at the top of each page or it will hang in your printer. 
Use the arrow to help you.
Feed your paper arrow down. I have a top load printer, so this is how I do it. 
I am not sure how to do it with other types, but you just need to make sure the arrow is pointing in the direction that the paper pulls.

Print what you typed.

*I also recommend using cardstock for your template. It is sturdier when being fed through the printer time and time again*
Voila!!!  Your sticky notes are printed!

Now, just pull them off & there you have it :)
These are the ones I made for our verb unit, so they include a line about using verbs in their story.
Here are some examples of how I used them...

You can really do anything with them, which is why I am in LOVE with this idea!

I use them for all of our first grade writing: narrative, informational, and opinion.

I also use them to put cute little notes on work & write my own comments.

   I have all of these in my newest product.

This is what is included:
*Narrative Checklist: Self Reflection & Teacher Assessment
*Opinion Checklist: Self Reflection & Teacher Assessment
Informational Checklist: Self Reflection & Teacher Assessment
*Six cute little notes for your own comments
*A blank template to put your own stickies
*A blank template with a table to write your own checklist
*Instructions on how to make your own stickies!

I just love how easy it makes my teacher commentary!! Plus, I can just pull them off and save them for documentation and STILL send home their writing! Click either of the above pictures to check it out, or you can click {here}!

And, it makes my hallway display look good, too! 
Our ninja turtle writing turned out great, and the kids have visible and easy-to-understand feedback.
It's a Win-Win!

So, that's it for me, friends. Happy Sunday!
I'm about to go drag out all my Fall decor & spice up my living space a bit! :)

As always, thanks for stopping by :)

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

October Currently & a 24 Hour TREAT!

Happy Fall Y'all !!
Nothing like kicking off the month...and this beautiful season.. with Farley's Currently!!  So, here goes....

Listening.... and watching some Shonda Rhimes goodness!  I love Thursday nights!  I've been a faithful fan of Grey's since the first episode, can't get enough of Scandal, and am in love with the new show, "How To Get Away with Murder".  Goodness, for sure! I'm so glad new TV is finally on!

Loving.... this weather!  Well, the weather that's coming, that is. Today was 86 degrees, so not so awesome, but they're calling for a breezy high of 68 on Saturday, and I'm ready, Freddie! I'm thinking maybe some apple picking, a fall festival or the fair this weekend. Mmmm... I {heart} Fall!

Thinking... I've got to get some sleep. I haven't hit the hay before midnight all week, and I'm dragging all day long. Does anyone else get this way when the craziness of the school year (read: assessments, data charts, meetings, meeting, meetings, report cards, meetings..) start getting to you??  Gotta get some zzzzzz's so I am so thankful tomorrow is Friday & for a "no alarm clock" weekend!

Wanting...some new fall clothes. I have a closet full of stuff & nothing to wear! I feel like I wear the same stuff to school every.single. day. and I need a little fall spice in the wardrobe! :)

Needing... to MOVE! I've gotten into a rut, and now that the weather is cooling off, I need to get off my jiggly behind and exercise. Seriously, friends, this is a NEED!  Unless the new fall fashion is a burlap sack, I'm gonna have to take off some LBs!

TREAT !!!   I love treats...and I love freebies, so I figured why not have the best of both worlds?!  My October Guided Math Centers (36 pages!!!!) is FREE for 24 hours.  That is, until 10:30 p.m. Eastern Friday night (October 3rd).  Go grab it if you think you can use it in your room, and I would love your feedback! Just click the picture....

So, that's it for me, friends! I hope you all have a Fabulous FALL Friday!!! :)
Head on over to Farley's Blog & check out what everyone else is CURRENTLY doing...and load up on some treats! :)

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Five for Friday: Double Up Edition

Hi Y'all!!  It''s finally Friday, and I am happy, happy, happy to see the weekend roll around.  When I see all the cars pulling out of the parking lot on Friday afternoons, I always think of this...
Yes, it's bad....but yes, it's funny, too!

Anyway, I missed linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching last week, so I'm doubling up for a Five for (2) Fridays....
This linky is all about the highlights of the last week...or two, in my case.  So, here goes....
MB and I took a little weekend trip to New Orleans & had a blast!!  The beignets, the music, the crazy people, and the history.. it was fantastic. It was so hot, I sweat my face off, but it was worth it.  I love weekend getaways!

I got these super cute magnets from Tea and Coffee!!  They were personalized to match my classroom, and of course, I love the Melonheadz!!!  I'm still trying to figure out the best way to use them...and if I need to buy another set...but I am in LOVE, Love, love!!!  Aren't they adorable???

We practiced place value using our pool noodles.  I saw this idea from Teacher Tipster a few years back, and it's a hit every year. This class needs a lot of movement and hands-on activities to keep them engaged, and these were just the ticket!!  I've seen them all over on SALE with summer coming to a close, so head on out & grab you some cheap & fabulous math manipulatives!

 This week, it was all about verbs. They're something that you DO!!!  This is another great unit to keep these kiddos moving around as we acted out verbs all week.  My firsties absolutely love this video....
We've listened to this so many times, I am hearing it in my sleep!!!

Then, we just HAD to read and listen to Pete the Cat: Rockin' in my School Shoes. Always a class favorite!
After we listened to this a gazillion times, we made our cute little Pete the Cats with verb guitars!
 Then, because the fun never stops...we finished up our unit with a little 
Turtle Power!!!!
The kids had to write a narrative story about an adventure with their favorite Ninja Turtle. The rules were they had to include at least FIVE verbs, use their best handwriting, and make sure their stories were sequenced correctly.  

I had them highlight their verbs (kids always love to use highlighters!) & then they could make their craftivity!  They loved it, and their stories turned out so cute!!!


I posted about one of my favorite ways to stay organized last week.  Using the Copy Binder has made my life so much easier. I had several requests for the templates, so they are up in my TpT store if you are interested. Just click {here} to check it out!

So, that's it for me!! I hope you all had a wonderful week & this finds you well. As always, thanks for stopping by!! :)
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