Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snowball Fight!!!! And a FREEBIE! :)

Hang in there, friends... it's ALMOST Friday!!

Tomorrow is Dr. Seuss Day...or DEAR Day...and PJ Day at my school & let me tell you, the kids are pumped!  They are allowed to wear their PJ's, bring a pillow, blanket/towel, and a stuffed animal for our celebration. We have lots of actual work to be done, but it's also such a fun day to just curl up and read some of our favorite books.

Look what I found on Pinterest...
 Isn't this a great idea??  I think my kiddos will love trying it out tomorrow...  For the original source, just click the picture :)

I do love me some Dr. Seuss Day. :)

Anyhoo.... (get it? Whoo?  Whoville?)  Okay, anyway..
Today, we had the best time working on word problems. If you've been reading my blog, you know that we have been working on these forever  for a while.

Well, I found this AWESOME anchor chart to help my firsties learn the proper steps to solving a word problem...
This comes from Working 4 the Classroom...she has AMAZING anchor charts, folks!!!  (click the picture to check out this one & more!)

We used this today & I created my own version to put up on our Promethean Board & share with the kids.
The kids CIRCLE the numbers..UNDERLINE the whole questions...BOX the key words ("in all", "how many more", "are left", etc...), EVALUATE (or think with our math brains), and SOLVE the problem.

Works like a charm. I'm a wee bit in L.O.V.E. with this!

We  practiced a gazillion a few times until we really had our strategies "down pat".  Then, we had a SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!

Yep, you read right... we had a snowball fight.

Now, here in GA, we don't get much snow...truth be told, we don't get any snow. It's been quite a while since we've seen as much as a flake..... so, when my kids heard we were having a snowball fight, they were very curious...and very excited!

Each kiddo got their own sheet of white paper. They had to create a word problem...just the problem..and record it on their paper. Then, we balled them up like SNOWBALLS!
On the count of 1...2....3, the kids got to throw the snowballs for 3 minutes. Not long, I know, but they had a BLAST!

Just wish you could have seen their faces.  Priceless, I tell you.

After the "fight", the kids each had their own "snowball".  They had to open it up, go to their desk, and solve it using our new strategies.

It was so much fun! I'll admit.. I let them continue their snowball fight for a few more minutes after we were done. It was hilarious to watch them..especially since so  many of them haven't really gotten to play in the snow or have a real snowball fight.  Plus, it made a great way to clean up the classroom.. Believe me, peeps, there was NO trash on the floor at the end of the day.

So, I decided we HAD to do this again!  I made up this little pack of snowball word problems. Tomorrow, they'll each get one word problem( so I have a LITTLE control over the problems they solve....AND I can actually read all the writing!! haha).

Since y'all are so awesome, I am sharing this with you, too!
I went the lazy route, and only made a preview of 4 problems and a blank, but the pack actually includes 20 problems (that's how many kiddies I have) & a blank one if you want to make your own, too...or extras for more problems.

Tomorrow, as we rock out in our PJ's...

I'll pass them out...

We'll crumple 'em up...

and have another SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!!!!!!!

Click on the picture to grab it for FREE!  You can also click on the picture of the "CUBES" strategies if you want a copy of that, too. 

I'm heading out of town this week... going to spend some time with MB & head to a bridal this is the closest I could get to my Freebie Friday.

I hope you all like it! Please leave comments if you think you can use this in your room, or if you have some more ideas for this.

If you are working on word problems & need a daily fix for that extra problem solving practice, my March Problem of the Day pack is at my TpT store right now :)

Have a great weekend, friends...and Happy Dr. Seuss Day!  :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What a Wonderful World !!

We are back in full swing after our winter break & loving every minute of it.
With Dr. Seuss' birthday right around the corner, we have been reading, reading, reading...and learning a bunch too!

Today, the kids got to present their Black History Projects. Every year, my team & I ask the kiddies to do their first research project. Encouraging kids to read non-fiction text and to practice some of our Common Core research strategies is one of the reasons we do this, but we also think it's a great way to celebrate Black History Month.

Often times, only the "bigs" get to do stuff like this & line the hallways with their cool stuff, so we like to give our firsties an opportunities to show off their big brains!

Here's some of the awesome projects!!!

Aren't they great???  My favorites are always the ones where the kids really do most of the work & you can tell. I have to say, they did a great job presenting their "person", too.  I was just a wee bit proud :)

When we're finished, I grade them using the given rubric & the kids evaluate themselves. That's a big part of our evaluation system this year - having kids set their own goals, and grade themselves on their work and progress.  That's so hard to do with first graders, but we're working on it!

 See?? First graders can research & show off, too!

So, because a couple kids chose Louis Armstrong & it's a great culmination activity for our study of black history, we also listened to a few tunes... ( I love all that YouTube has to offer!!)
and created our "What a Wonderful World" books. It's one of my favorite songs & since we've been working on mental images/visualizing, I thought this would be a perfect way to end our unit...and have some fun, too. :) I've done this for years now & the kids always love it.  It's funny  how universal and timeless this song is...

I just LOVE their illustrations....this always shows off their sweet side & that children's innocence we don't get to see much anymore.  It makes my heart just swell with happiness.

We then cut them apart & make them into a little book. 

If you want a copy of this, let me know & I'll email it to you...or leave a comment with your email address.  I dont have it uploaded to TpT or Docs, so I can definitely send it on :)

What do y'all do for research projects??  We are looking for another one to do because the kids had such a good time & they rocked it !!!

So, that's about it for our Tuesday. Time to get to making some Dr. Seuss stuff for Friday - we get to have D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read) Day & the kiddies get to wear their PJ's to school, bring a favorite stuffed animal, pillow and blanket. Fun fun... I love days like that ! :)

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Naughty Leprechaun Giveaway

Oh my Goodness, I am so excited & I just have to share with you...

Okay, let me slow down. St. Patty's Day is just around the corner & I absolutely love doing fun stuff with my firsties every year. 

Typically, the tricky leprechaun visits our room (coincidentally while we are at specials or lunch), and just goes nuts! Chairs turned upside down, little footprints everywhere, gold coins in neat desks...the kids go crazy & love every minute of it. Then, he leaves them a little treat.

Well, as much as I love this, I just found out there's a book to go along with all the trickery... The Naughty Leprechaun!!!  

Think Elf on a Shelf for St. Patty's Day !!  Yes, you heard me right... isn't that the best thing ever??!

Okay, so Khrys at Keepin' It Kool in Kinderland is hosting a giveaway right now...and she's giving away this book. Woo hoo! :)  Here's what she says about the story:

 "This is an adorable tradition to do with your littles each year. The Naughty Leprechaun tells the story of 2 leprechauns named Liam and Leyland. One of the brothers is a naughty fellow, while his twin brother is always making the right choices! Your kids will get to decide which of the twins they would like to visit them for the 3 nights leading up to St. Patrick's Day! If they get a visit from Liam, they will find treats the next day. If they get a visit from Leyland, there will be mischief waiting for them :) They need to make good choices to have a visit from one of the brothers, or else it will be left up to chance! The whole story and the pictures are seriously adorable. With whimsical illustrations and a creative story, this activity totally reminds me of the elf fun we have around Christmas, and it comes at a time when our kids are getting a bit cray-cray and we could use it!"

As much as I would like to keep this information to myself & win this sweet little giveaway, I just had to share with you. Even if I don't win, I'm buying it, for sure!  Head on over to Khrys' and enter to win! :)

Kelly :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Word Up! It's Freebie Friday ! :)

Today, I'm linking up with Teaching Blog Addict for Freebie Friday. It's my first time doing it, so I'm kinda excited about it. Woo hoo!!

Freebie Fridays

Since it's been all about word problems lately, I thought I'd share a few sheets with you. There are 3 - one for addition, one subtraction, and one mixed review. :)

Just click the picture to grab your FREEBIE.

And, if you're looking for word problems, I've just put my March Problem of the Day packet on TpT. It's got 24 daily problems, plus cut aparts for those that use math journals. Click on the picture to check it out.  Hope you like it ! :)
 Enjoy your weekend & Happy Freebie Friday!:)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Excuse me, where's your HALL PASS?

Holy Thursday, Batman - where is my week going?? I know, I know, I shouldn't complain because I'm off work this week, but doesn't it always seem that the weeks off go by a lot faster than those when you're at work??  Wow!

I did spend my day with some retail know, Hobby Lobby, Target, and Office Max.  I get excited just saying those words!  I had a couple gift cards I've been waiting to use, and boy, did I put them to good use today.  I'm so bad with gift cards - I want to make sure I spend them on JUST the right thing, so I hold on to them until the perfect item or day comes along. Does anyone else do this, or am I alone here??

Anyway, tonight I'm linking up with Reagan at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for her Hall Pass Linky. I L.O.V.E linky parties so yay! :)
Here's how it works:
P - Product
   I am fairly new to selling on TpT, so to choose my favorite product is probably easier for me than most. I'm going to go with my newest one because I'm kinda excited about it.... it's a Problem of the Day packet for March. It's Common Core aligned & includes daily sheets (one per day) and a sheet of cut aparts if you like to cut & tape the problems into math journals.  There are 24 problems and a cute cover sheet, too :)

I have been doing Problem of the Day as my activator to math lessons for years now & I love how it increases my firsties' problem solving. With the increased depth of the Common Core, we have been working on it more than ever! If you want to pick up this pack, just hop on over to my TpT store & grab it.
Also the first five people to comment below & leave their email address will win it. I'll send it right to you ! :) I'm already working on April & hope to make them for each month :)

A - Area
My favorite area of the classroom is a hard one... I'd have to go with my reading center...
The kids love to go in there & snuggle up to a good book.  I like it because it just brings my room together, plus my Ikea leaf just makes me happy!
I love my desk area too...when (and I say WHEN) I get to sit down, I love having a space of my own. A lot of other teachers I work with have gotten rid of their desk, but I still dig my little corner of the world :)

S - Signal
   Man, have I tried a million of these?!!  Bells, clapping, lights, you name it.  This year, I've been using the Whole Brain Teaching, "Class? Yes!" and it works like a charm.  After the "Yes!", I say, "Eyes and ears on me", and the kiddies turn around, put their hush buttons up (finger over their lips) and say "Eyes and ears on YOU!".  They love to yell YOU, and it works wonderfully.  In the hallway, I just have to say "Hush Buttons" and everyone puts their buttons on & is ready for walking.  That ones has worked for 12 years, so I'm sticking with it.  

S - Sanity
   My sanity is maintained by chocolate...
I TRY to keep these OUT of my room because I will eat all of them. Yes, all of them.  It's better for the chocolate to be located in someone else's room so I can just grab a handful, take a deep breath, and walk away.

   Another key to my sanity is my first grade team. They are THE BEST & I can laugh, be sarcastic, whine, cry, or be my goofy self with them all the time. I love them. "Nuff said.

   Lastly, LAUGHING is the best medicine for sure. I love my "funnies" as I call them, and always head to Pinterest for some eCards & other stuff for a good laugh.

haha...just a few of my recent favorites :) I hope everything is doing great & hang in there, it's almost FRIDAY!!! :)

Don't forget to head over to Reagan's blog & link up!