Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lotto, Pigeons & 4 Types of Sentences!

Did someone say $550 MILLION DOLLARS??!! Wow!  My brain can't even comprehend what that kind of rich would be like, but like 99% of the US, I have bought my tickets & am patiently awaiting the number draw tonight.  A few of us went in together at school, so maybe that will increase the odds.  I think the heading " First Grade Teachers Hit the Lotto" has a great ring to it !! :)

Anyway, beyond the daydreams of wealth, this Common Core change is something I'm really trying to wrap my brain around. There are some standards that are so much more appropriate, and then there are others that I can't, for the life of me, figure out who decided first graders needed to master.

For example.... 4 types of sentences.  Now, don't get me wrong, we've focused on asking, telling, and exclaiming sentences for YEARS, but never have I been expected to teach my kids the words "interrogative, declarative, explanatory, and imperative".  I know vocabulary is super important, but just getting my firsties to master the structure of a sentence or tell me what makes a complete sentence has sometimes left me pulling my hair out!!  Anyway, after trying to figure out how to teach this fantastic skill to my little ones, I came up with this . . . and I have to say, it's gone great! :)

This week, we have been reading the "Don't Let the Pigeon...." books to focus on the different types of sentences.  We made this anchor chart while we read the books:
OH NO! I just realized the Imperative sentence has a ? mark on it. WHOOPS! Guess I will be fixing that FIRST thing in the morning!  Now I'm embarrassed :/
We have chanted "Declarative Tells, Explanatory Yells, Interrogative Asks, and Imperative Commands!" about 4 GAZILLION times & I'm just hoping it sticks.  

Each day, we've read one of the books & located each type of sentence in the text.  In the kids' reading journals, they had to write an example of each type of sentence.

Then, today, we made pigeons!

After making the pigeons, I divided the kids into 4 groups - one for each type of sentence.

Then, each group member got a speech bubble labeled with their type of sentence. They had to create a sentence that matched the type to go with their pigeon.

After that, we cut out our bubbles, shared with the class, and displayed them in the hallway :)
 (please excuse the broom - my classroom is the last one on the hallways...and sometimes becomes the stopping point for brooms, trash cans, floor buffers, etc.... It's okay, we like our little hideaway! )

The best part is . . .  they actually GOT IT!! Woo hoo!  Now, fingers crossed, they still get it tomorrow :)

We completed the activity as a whole first grade team & everyone had success with it, so I wanted to share with you.  

I can't seem to get the template to upload (Google docs & I are NOT friends), but if you would like the pigeon pattern, just email me or leave a comment here (with email address) & I'd be happy to email you the PDFs.  They're just hand drawn & nothing fancy, but you're more than welcome to them! I just ran them on light blue construction paper & had the kids make their own beaks and legs. :)

Hope you like & everyone has had a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!  

For those of you who are playing the lottery....good luck tonight !   Can you imagine what you would do with $550 MILLION DOLLARS??!!?!  Wowzers! Makes for some good daydreaming, if nothing else :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Gift Tags - FREEBIE!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....everywhere I go !!!

Wow, the Christmas season has certainly gotten here fast. I can't believe it, but I do LOVE it. This is my favorite time of the year - there's truly  nothing I don't enjoy about it. I can even look past the crazy shoppers as long as no one gets hurt! haha

I went shopping on Thursday night and was home by midnight with MOST of what I need to get. Even if I did have to sit on the floor in the peanut isle for 2 hours, it still was a super fun time. I love to people watch & there's no better day for than than Black Friday!  Woo hoo...everything else I should be able to get online, so I'm hoping for some great Cyber Monday sales.  Did any of y'all venture out into the madness of Black Friday???

Anyway, in the spirit of Christmas and gift buying, I wanted to share a freebie I made. I keep seeing these things on Pinterest eveywhere. You can click on the pictures to go to the Pinterest post....

Isn't that such a cute & creative idea??!!  I could use my Cricut (my mom's...but I can hijack it for a day) and do those at the bottom, or I was trying to come up with a Christmas-y way of printing and sticking. 

So, that got me thinking and I made these to share!

I think that's such a cute way of identifying WHO gets what present, and you could do different colors, etc.. if you had more than one name starting with the same initial. I'm going to use this in my classroom for student or parent gifts, too!

It's a 31 page file of all the letters - pages with the alphabet A-Z and then individual pages of each letter (6 A's on one page, etc...) You can get the freebie at my TpT store <HERE>. I would love if you would leave some feedback if you download..pretty please :)

Anyway, hope you enjoy & I'd love to see pics of how your presents turn out if you come up with some other cool ways to decorate them. Hobby Lobby has their wrapping paper 50% off, so I've got to get my hiney over there and snag some up. I'm definitely thinking polka dots this year :)

Hope you enjoyed your holiday & are ready to jump back in the last few weeks of 2012 with your kiddies! Much love to all of you :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November Photo Dump & a FREEBIE

I've been a horrible blogger - it's been almost two weeks since I've been on here & I feel just awful about it. But, in my defense, I've been sick & as you can all relate, the last few weeks before a break are CRAZY!

But, I'm off for the whole week & I am super thankful about that. Right now, I'm just trying to get well so I can enjoy some Black Friday or Brown Thursday?? ( what DO you call that, now?) shopping.  I know there's lots of argument about whether or not stores should be open on Thanksgiving night, and part of me feels bad about  heading out, and the other part of me wants a really good deal on a TV :)  Are any of you heading out????

So, it's time for a Photo Dump! I love seeing pictures of what everyone is doing in their rooms, and I thought I'd clean out the memory card & share what we've been working on in the first grade :)

Adjective Teacher Portraits

Adjective Self Portrait Webs - the kids web adjectives to describe themselves & I took a picture of them in the center.

Poppin' Adjectives. We popped popcorn & then used our five sense (& five popcorn kernels) to identify adjectives.

 Adjective Native American Hats - four feathers with adjectives on each. 
We actually used these during our study of Sacagawea & the adjectives describe her.
Pilgrim Craftivities.  I found them on TpT <HERE>. It was such a fun project & the kids loved it.

Not sure where this guy's pants went...uh oh!

We also made Fact Family Turkeys & Mayflowers.  We used the Mayflower to identify 3 things we learned about the first Thanksgiving.

Lastly, we've also been working on plural nouns with suffix -s, -es, and -ies. 

We made our anchor chart & then completed a simple cut & paste activity. You can pick it up for FREE at my TpT store <HERE>
I hope that each and every one of you  has a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving & enjoys the time with your friends and family. You deserve it ! !

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Awesome Adjectives!

Oh my gosh this year is flying by! Progress  reports go home next week, and we only have 5 more school weeks of this semester...and until Christmas. YIKES!  I don't know about you, but every year, there is a defining moment where I realize how fast the time is slipping . .. and just how much there is to do!

So, we have been working on all kinds of parts of speech, and right now, we're focusing on adjectives. I LOVE teaching adjectives because it's something the kids can really get into.  Plus, it's just a lot of fun. I wanted to share some activities we've done lately because the kids have had a blast!

Do you ever wonder what your kiddos really think of you??  Well, first graders are pretty honest all the time, so I don't have to wonder TOO much, but this was just a cute activity that turned out successful and hilarious.

The kids started by drawing a portrait of ME! Then, they had to take strips of paper & write at least 5 adjectives to describe me. So funny!

 I love how skinny I am in the pictures. Think I could use one of these for the yearbook?? Haha ! The kids had so much fun & it was such a great reinforcement for adjectives. (Plus, I got a good laugh out of it). My colleagues have done this, too & they're a hit in the hallway.

So, after that, I had the kids web adjectives about themselves.  Instead of drawing a picture, I cut a hole out of the middle of the paper & they got to hold them up with their word web around them. I took their pictures and we sent them home.

They thought this was too fun - an interactive word web!!!

Today, we talked about our five senses and how to expand our use of adjectives in our writing. We focused on making a description of something more exciting by using adjectives . . . or words that described the way something looked, smelled, sounded, felt and tasted. 

So... we popped popcorn! Yummo!!
Then, the kids made popcorn adjectives. They TRIED to list an adjective for each of the five senses about the popcorn. How did it taste? smell ?  sound? etc.... 

I think they turned out so cute ! I got the kernel clip art from this site HERE! Just made a pattern for the box & cut strips of white paper, attached a label and VOILA! :)

Tomorrow, we are making "Indian" hats with adjectives, too. My teammate did these today & you know how much firsties love their hats. Super excited to see how these turn out!

 So, that's our adjectives!  I hope you can use some of these ideas in your room, too :)

Also, I posted last week about my new product on TpT - Thanksgiving Cut Apart Sentences. I thought I'd show your some pics of this center in use:

You can grab them for just $2.00 at TpT HERE!

As always, thanks for stopping by & hope all is well with you!! :)