Monday, September 30, 2013

DAZZLE Words Writing & a FREEBIE for you!

Is it really almost October??  Holy schmoly!
I have been a bad blogger, and no matter how many times I keep writing it, I can't seem to get in the swing this year.  Does anyone else's "to do" list continue to grow...and grow...and grow??
 But, regardless of my neverending list, I took the weekend off and just had some fun.  Well, mostly off - do we ever really not do ANYthing?  It was a nice break, though, but now I'm in hyper overdrive trying to tackle that darn list!

Anyway, enough of my venting....
Today we had a great time diving right into our Dazzling Monster Word Choice Unit!  We usually save this 'til closer to Halloween, but we've got big plans to do our Wizard of Oz unit so we can dress up like the characters for our dress up day, so it was decided we would kick off October with this fun writing unit.

Day 1??  Monster Mischief !!
If you do not have this in your collection... RUN, don't walk.. to your nearest bookstore...or click, click away to Amazon and grab it. It is always a HUGE hit with the kids, and the vocab in this baby is just wonderful for introducing DaZzLe Words! :)

It does mention Halloween, so if you're not quite ready for all that madness, you can save it for later in the month, but it seriously is a fun book.

Anyway, we started with our Word Choice Song from the 6+ Traits of Writing...

Then, we read the book and talked about how the author using DaZzLe words to make the book more exciting!
Then, we took two of our most commonly used words in our writing - big and walk - and brainstormed a list of DaZzLe words that would make our writing more interesting...
The kids did such a great job coming up with these words... Massive and Colossal??  Yeah, that was ALL them and not me!!  We put an * there because they were AH-Mazing words!

After brainstorming some words, the kids took a regular ole sentence ...
    We can walk to the patch and maybe we'll see a big pumpkin
and rewrote it using our DaZzle Words! 

Love, love, LOVE! 
They did such a great job & it was such a great way to introduce using DaZzle words in our writing :)

You can get your own FREE copy of this activity by clicking the picture below :) 

This really was a fun activity & one that could be used in K, 1 or 2 - great way to introduce word choice, and a fun way to kick off October, too :)

As always, thanks for stopping by & I hope you can use this little freebie. I will post more of our writing unit as we go along.... :)

Happy October...almost !

Friday, September 20, 2013

THREE? for Friday? Tall Tales, Math Notebooks Freebie, and Spelling

Happy Friday, Friends!!!
This week has been a long one... A fun one, but a long one.
So, this ole' teacher is happy and ready for the weekend :)

I'll be honest, I had every intention of linking up with Five for Friday, but I have been a bad blogger with not having my camera with me, so I didn't have 5 things to link up. So, I'm sticking with three REAL ones...and a couple more to make sure I follow the rules :)

This week, we finished up our Tall Tales unit. Last week, it was all about Johnny Appleseed, and because the kids always have so much fun with him and apples, we always turn it into a week (or two!) long unit.  The rest of our tall tales include Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Davy Crockett and Annie Oakley according to our state standards.

We read books for each one, make characteristic charts, and complete our tall tale booklets. This year, though, I came across the CUTEST craftivities from Teacher's Clubhouse on TpT.... and I just had to have them.

Aren't they precious?? The kids had a BLAST with these every day, and it was our first time with "was, could, have" (is, can, have), and I think they did pretty good.
*Note - Yes, I am aware that John Henry is African American.... he accidentally got copied on manilla paper and I couldn't go back and remake them :(  I hate that he's represented incorrectly, and we definitely focused on how JH was an African American hero. Just had to share my mistake :(

You can grab the packet by clicking the link above.  The set includes Annie Christmas, so we just used that pattern for Ms. Oakley , and the kids just colored a target to represent her abilities as a sharpshooter.

Okay, now onto our weekly math...
We have really been working with ten frames, and then onto counting on...

Today, the lesson focused on counting on AFTER grouping objects into tens, and counting on from there...

So, we read the book Corduroy, which happens to be one of my favorite books from when I was a kid....

As I'm sure you know...Corduroy is a little bear that has lost the button to his overalls & he goes on a search for it in a department store..

So, after reading, I had the kids count all the buttons we had on our clothing today...and come pick up cut-out buttons....

I love my hole puncher... I used it for the eyes on the crafts, too.
Anyway, the kids came and picked up their circles and made them into "buttons".

Then, they came up and glued all their buttons to our classroom chart...

We then counted and grouped them into TENS!
  *I'll be honest here... I had NO Idea we would end up with that many goal was less than 99 but we had to go with it! haha!

Once we counted them all up, we had 11 groups of TENS, and 1 we reviewed counting to 120 to match our Common Core Standard and just went with that...

THEN, we read A Pocket for Corduroy & repeated the same activity with pockets ( I just KNEW we'd have less pockets than buttons!haha)

This worked more like the plan... and was PERFECT for moving into our place value unit next week.

Overall, our class chart looked like this...

Lastly, we dove right into our first try with interactive Math Notebooks with this activity...

The kids had their own pockets to cut & paste into their notebooks, and then circle to group the tens & identify their number..
 You can click the picture to download the activity AND the pockets I used for the above activity :)  
Because, of course, I forgot to take a picture...arghhh !
I've uploaded the latest FREE Cut-Apart Spelling for Unit 2.
The spelling words are based on Reading Street, but you could incorporate it into any word work, as the words are based on spelling patterns. 

Click the picture to go grab it for FREE in my TpT store...the directions for how to complete the activities are there, as well. :)

Shameless plug... and a stretch for a #4.... I've also uploaded my most recent math centers... PB&J Centers for practicing Part-Part-Whole and matching numbers to ten frames & number words....AND word problems. Click the picture to check it out...

Hoping you all have an awesome weekend, and as always, thanks for stopping by!!! :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday & An Apple FREEBIE!

We successfully completed week 6 of this school year, and it's hard to believe time is flying by so fast. I keep reading about everyone getting ready for their fall breaks, and I admit, I'm just a wee bit jealous. This year, we went back to our "normal " school year calendar, which means no week long fall break. We do get a Friday and Monday in October, so I am happy about that.. Now, if only the weather would reflect the fact that fall is just a week away.......

Anyhoo...time for Five for Friday, and a little peak into our week!

Well, my week started off with a visit to the minute clinic.  I should tell you I am NOT one to go to the doctor.. I avoid it at all costs, but Friday night, MB told me my face looked like I had been beat up in the parking lot, and I just couldn't breathe, so during Saturday FunDay Football, I finally gave in and went to the Minute Clinic to see what was wrong...

2 hours, 4 prescriptions & a diagnosis of a double ear infection, sinus infection and bronchitis later, I was finally on my way home to curl up on the couch and enjoy my favorite day of the week...and some awesome football  :)  Plus, sweet MB brought me roses to cheer me up. Love him!

Sight words.... ahh...sight words.
Since I had to take Monday off, I dedicated my time to making differentiated sight word rings for all my kiddies. 22 rings later...all with different words...color coded to match their list...we had success! YAY!

This year, they changed our standard in first grade from 220 to 600, so we're really working hard to master all of these words.  The best part???  I tested again today, and some of them had already learned their WHOLE ring in three nights!!  Woo hoo!!!

This summer, my team & I did a lot of reflection on our math instruction. Our scores have come up, but we felt like we were still missing something. So, we went back and realized we didn't do ENOUGH with ten frames and building numbers last year. This year?  Oh yeah, we're knee deep in ten frame activities & the kids are loving it!!

This week, we've been studying Johnny Appleseed, so we've been integrating apples into EVERYTHING!!  We did this super fun activity with building numbers to 10 using apple jacks....

We built numbers, created equations, and then we got to eat our treats!! Yummo! :)

If you'd like a copy of this activity, click <here> for the FREEBIE :)

We've also been doing a lot of subitizing!  I had done it in years past with my Kinders (YEARS ago!), but I hadn't really focused a lot on in first. We have been doing it since the beginning of the year,and I'm amazed of how effective it's been at increasing my firstie's number sense...
I found these awesome PowerPoints that I've been putting up on the Promethean Board everyday (takes literally 5 minutes out of my whole day), and it's been awesome. You can check them out here at Mrs. Young Math Coach.

Today was APPLE FEST DAY!!!!!
We have been studying Johnny Appleseed & apples for two weeks, so the culmination of all our hard work was a super fun Apple Fest!
 Look at all these goodies!!!  We had apple cider...all kinds of different apples with dips....and even...
 Apple Soda??  Have you ever had this stuff??  My kids loved it...and they thought the little shot glasses were so cool. I thought they were kinda funny, but perfect for just a little taste of something new :)

 Parents were so generous in sending in all this yummi-ness, and the kids thought it was just too cool.

They got a little taste of it all, and watched the little Johnny Appleseed Disney video while we ate.

So that's it for me... a great week, and an even better FRIDAY!
Now, if all this medicine will finally do its thing, and get the crud out of my head, we'll be good to go :)

Oh, and before I go... I don't know if you've seen this new Kid President video, but it's fabulous...
take some time to watch it, and remember just how AWESOME you are!

Have a happy, happy, happy weekend &, as always, thanks for stopping by! :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Number Line Goodness - and A Very Pinteresting FREEBIE! :)

Happy Sunday, Friends !
    We are heading into our sixth week of school (what, what?!) and things are finally settling into a routine. YAY!  I love it when it all starts falling into place.  The beginning of the year is always exciting, but Lord knows it's exhausting, too.  This week, we FINALLY got our Guided Reading groups & centers working, and I am just so thankful. How's your year coming along??? :)

Okay, I've been known to be a wee bit addicted to Pinterest. But, I'll admit, my love for it has weakened just a tad because I'm convinced it's just because I felt like I made it to the end... the end of Pinterest and all its fabulous ideas...

....but lately, I've been back on looking for new math ideas and things to do in my room  with this new and challenging batch of firsties.  I needed some inspiration.

So, when I found this idea from Mrs. T's First Grade Class, my Pinterest love cup was the best idea I'd seen in forever, and when we did it in class, the kids LOVED it!

Enter.... the Number Line Slider Baggie:

My kiddos really need lots of hands-on practice with math, and when I saw this idea, I just knew it would be great for them. 

I got a bunch of slider baggies, and wrote number lines on them to 10.  Then, I went ahead and made 5 cards to go in each bag to have the kids work with as they practiced.

 The kids put the "slider" on the starting number, and SLID up the number line how ever many spaces needed to solve the problem.

They had a blast doing it,and it helped them understand how to use a number line to 
solve addition problems. 

Then, I gave them each notecards (about 5 per student), and had them write their own problems. We switched number line baggies, and tried solving new and different problems. :)

Lastly, they did some paper & pencil practice...
You can click the above picture for the number line FREEBIE... :)

A big thanks to Mrs. T for the great idea!!  

Keeping it short today - there are sight word rings calling my name!
This year, they have changed our sight word standard from 220 words to 600! for first grade, which is A LOT of words... A LOT!

I've always made sight word rings for my kids, but going to 600 will be a whole new undertaking..time to get crackin' on them.  :)

How many words do your kids have to learn??  Any fabulous strategies for teaching them? PLEASE share... I'd love to hear all about it !! 

Have a happy rest of your weekend & an awesome week ! :)