Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Compound Word Bats, Last Minute FREEBIE & some Sweetness

WOW!  Ever year, I forget just how nutball my kids are at Halloween. They are all kinds of ca-razy!! I know they're super exited about it, but goodness gracious, they're wide open, for sure!  I can't even begin to think about Thursday :/
Anyway, we made compound word bats and they turned out super cute, so I wanted to share:

We also did pumpkin number order & I thought you might want a FREEBIE.  You know, in case you have a lull in your day tomorrow *yeah right!*

I used our die-cut to get the pumpkins and wrote random sequences of numbers on them, but I included a pumpkin template if you want to run it on colored paper or construction paper.  The kids loved this & it was great for practice on our numeracy standard of counting to 120 from any given number. You can pick up the freebie <HERE> if you want it :)

Lastly, just a sweet little something to share with you.
Today, my school collected goodies & snacks to share with the thousands of people stranded here in Atlanta at the airport because of Hurricane Sandy. Our kids brought in the goodies & then wrote notes to give to the people as a random act of kindness.  This one just melted my heart & just reinforced how much I LOVE first grade :)

Have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fun Fiction VS Nonfiction Activity

You know those days when everything kinda comes together and you're like "ahh... I think they're finally getting it!".  I love those days.  I often spend time wishing there were more of them. but I have to remind myself that my kiddies are just babies, and they are inundated with SO much stuff everyday.  So, with that in mind, when something finally clicks, it' awesome! :)Anyway, I had one of those days today & it was great. Top that off with a 3 hour dinner with one of my most favorite people in the world, and I'd call Thursday a WiN. 

Anyway, wanted to share a cute little activity that I did today . .. thanks to a great first grade team mate . . . that my kids loved.

How many of you have a bunch of these laying around?
We get so many in our mailbox, and unfortunately, not many parents order the books, so we send a couple home & do the online order thing . . . which leaves me with books of these.  I typically toss them, but then my colleague suggested a great activity for reinforcing our study on fiction vs. nonfiction.

We have been identifying & discussing non-fiction text features, and focusing on how we can compare and contrast the two.  So, today, we took out all these little flyers, and went to sorting.

I started with our Sorting Circles that we usually use for math.
Each student got two of them & labeled inside the circle either "fiction" or "nonfiction". ( Well, I labeled to save time and because I'm just slightly OCD!) Then, they started cutting pictures of books and sorting them inside their circles.

Then, they had to move their "stickies" to a divided piece of manilla paper and glue down their choices.

Lastly, because their choices seem to be only made my sight, they wrote in their Guided Reading notebooks answering these questions.
You can see the full text <HERE>. I just put them up & the kids wrote (sorry, I forgot to take a picture!).

Some responses were :
 I know my choices were fiction books because they:
* Had drawings instead of photos
* Were stories about things that couldn't really happen
* Had characters

I know my choices were non-fiction books because they:
* Had photographs of real animals or things
* Gave facts about a topic

I THINK the non-fiction books MIGHT have:
* a glossary
* a table of contents
* an index
* captions

....etc.. You get the point. Anyway, the kids did GREAT & loved the activity. Easy, cheap & successful.  Definitely a win :)

  It's a great way to use all those fliers & it was an easy way for me to assess who really "got it" and who might need more help with the concept.  Hope you like it !  Have a HAPPY Friday and an even better weekend !! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Show Some Bloggy Love & A Giveaway

Just a quick post tonight about a fellow blogger who has just reached 50 FOLLOWERS! Yay! 

 Nicki at Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten is having a giveaway to celebrate her 50 followers . . . and the prize is THREE items from her TpT store. Such cute stuff !!

Anyway, scoot on over there, show her some bloggy love & enter to win a great prize!  :)

Hope y'all are having a great week & I can't wait to share some fun stuff with you, soon! As always, thanks for stopping by :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October LOVE, Cool Pumpkins & a FREEBIE!

Dear Weekend,
    You simply go by way too fast. I really thought we had something, and yet, you leave me time and time again.  *sigh* :(

I can't believe how quickly weekends go by - and I swear they go by faster when the weather is as beautiful as it's been, and there's fun to be had.  And even more so when you know that you STILL have lesson plans, laundry and papers to grade!  I really think we should even out weeks with 4 days working and 3 days off . . .  ahh...how nice that would be?!

Anyway, I did have fantastic weekend & have to tell you about the coolest thing that happened...  So, since there's so little time to get away these days, MB and I decided to take a DAYcation to the north GA mountains yesterday.  We went to some festivals, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze (it was a 2 hour wait so we just kept on truckin') and finally up to Amicalola Falls.  

We get to the top of the falls & this guy asks me to take a picture of him & his girlfriend.  Sure! No problem!

 Then, I go to hand the camera back to him and he says, "Do you mind taking just one more??  I have a very special question to ask this girl". WHAT?!?!

 So, there I stand at the top of the falls snapping away as fast as my fingers would go as this guy drops to a knee & asks his girlfriend to marry him!!! It was BEAUTIFUL!!  But, I was so nervous and trying to get all the right shots - i.e.  man on knee...man with ring box...putting ring on finger....the 'yes' moment (thankfully!) . . . the hug...and the kiss :)  So wonderful ! Everyone broke out in applause & it was such a beautiful moment.

This was the view right before the proposal. I was so happy for the sweet couple, but I really hope those pictures turned out good :) Ahhh, October LOVE !

    Anyway, I promised y'all I would post my pumpkins from our Fall Festival. I finally decided on Angry Birds, and I thought they turned out pretty cute!

Here are some others from teachers in my school.  We had  a Dr. Seuss theme for our festival, so a lot of people chose to do pumpkins related to our theme.

And I dug up some pictures from the celebrity pumpkin decorating contest we had at a staff meeting a couple years ago and just had to share the cuteness!
 Dolly !
 Elvis !
 Lucille Ball
 Nicole Richie (back in the day...when she was preggers)
Tina Turner

Lastly, I posted about my writing unit the other day and realized just how short of a time it is between now and Halloween. WOW!  Only 8 more teaching days.  So, I have a FREEBIE for everyone from my unit. We've been working on Standard 1L.5 with Shades of Meaning (Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance, stare, glare, scowl) and adjectives differing in intensity (e.g., large, gigantic) by defining or choosing them or by acting out the meanings).

So, I made these cards with different "shades" of meaning. We put them on a giant candy corn (smallest "meaning" at the top..."strongest" meaning at the bottom). Then, the kids do it in a center. They love it! 

You can get the cards for FREE <HERE>.  You can also pick up the whole unit <HERE>.

Hope you all have a great week :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween Writing & ELA Unit - YAY!

    So I am super excited about Halloween, as I'm sure y'all have figured out, and I'm even more excited to share my new Halloween writing & ELA unit.  It's common core based, and included lesson plans for 13 days of fun.  Now, I know there are only 9 school days before the big day but you can pick & choose what you want, or even join some activities together.

   The unit includes full lesson plans (written in E.A.T.S Learning Focused Format) for your integrated writing/ELA time, craftivities (YAY!) for monsters, ghosts, & tombstones  . . . printable story maps & beginning, middle, & end activities, center cards, a poem, a story, a recipe for Witches Brew & some other extras.  I've taught this unit in the past & it's always a favorite of my kids. :)

   Here are some previews:

We actually did the Monster Synonym/Shades of Meaning activity in class today & had a blast.  We talked about synonyms & how they don't always mean EXACTLY the same thing, but they have shades of meaning (common core language here folks!).  We created monsters & on the hands, the students wrote a pair of synonyms.  Tomorrow, we'll be making candy corns to show the different "shades". :)

This and SO MUCH more is included in the 27 page unit.  Please hop on over to my TpT store to get yourself a packet :) It's my very first item for sale over there, so I am kinda nervous and hope you love it as much as I do. Does anyone else feel like a mommy when it comes to their stuff?? haha!

Oh, and just a note - I decided to go with the Angry Birds for my pumpkin decorating & have been up to elbows in paint for a couple hours now . .. fingers crossed they turn out well :) I'll share pictures of all the great creations soon!! 

So, thanks for stopping by. I hope you like what you see & have a wonderful Friday. It's almost the weekend, people! WOO HOO! 

*P.S> NO IDEA why the fonts are so random and wompy, so please forgive me :)