Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Last Minute Halloween Craft & Writing FREEBIE!

Looking for a last minute idea for all the madness of Halloween tomorrow??
Well, here you go!

This was very much a last minute, throw it all together, activity for my first graders, but, let me tell you, it was a hit! 

Frankenstein Writing!!!

First, we read this fun book... you know me, I always gotta have a book !!!
It's about a kid who builds his own Frank, and finds out that having a constant companion may not always be the best thing. It's fun & the kids thought "Frank" was hilarious!

Then, we made our own monsters & completed our "Can, Has, Is" graphic organizer to help us with prewriting...
They really turned out so cute!

I let everyone make their own mouth, which just made me laugh...
 She told me "My Frank is Frankleeta...she's a girlfriend for Frankenstein!"
Oh, of course....

We are still working on nouns, verbs & adjectives so the 
"Can, Has, Is" prewriting activity was perfect for extra practice.
Umm..yeah, we still need to work on our spelling too!
But, you get the idea.

Some of the kids got started on the draft of their monster story....
But, we're really diving into more writing tomorrow. Today was a 1/2 day for us, so the kids left at 11:30, leaving us with not enough time to get it all done. I can't wait to see the final products!

Anyway, I wanted to share our Franks with you in case you were looking for a little last minute 
fun for your kiddos :)

If you'd like the craft templates & the graphic organizer FREEBIE, click <HERE>!!! 

As always, thanks for stopping by &
best of luck on the crazy day.. I have a feeling this little funny might hit way too close to home tomorrow....


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Hodgepodge of October Crazy

Wow, what a crazy week...and it's only Tuesday!!
I love Halloween, and all the fun stuff that goes along with it, but teaching during this time is EXHAUSTING!  And again, it's only Tuesday. 

Friday is the real day of crazy -
  the day after Halloween...
     the day after trick-or-treating...
        the day after all that candy...
            the day after little sleep...
               THE day....'Nuff said, right?!

But, as they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!  So, we have been up to our nose in fun learning activities to keep us busy.. and I just wanted to share some of our fun with you!

A little while back, I blogged about our Spider & Fly Addition Books...
The kids had so much fun adding with this awesome book that we just had to do a similar subtraction one. So, we read Pumpkin Town...
and then made our own Pumpkin Patch Subtraction books...
It turned out super cute & it was a great way to see who "got it" and who didn't :)

 If you'd like the Spider/Fly Addition books, click <HERE>. If you'd like the Pumpkin Patch Subtraction booklet, click <HERE>.  They're both free :)

Now, onto some spider studies!

   Unfortunately, I don't have all the pictures of the things we did, but we spent some time comparing fiction and nonfiction texts about spiders, and working on our informational writing. We also integrated our study of spiders into phonics with these fun little digraph spiders...

   And we also made SPIDER COOKIES!!!! 
 Just two Fudge Stripe cookies, some cake icing (cream cheese, of course!) and some red hots for eyes.
  They're messy, but so much fun!
 Yeah,  told you they were messy!!
The kids had a blast & what made it even better was my mom came to school & helped! Nothing better than that, right!?! :)

Some other fun....

We read of my all-time FAVORITE Halloween books...
If you haven't read it, it's about a "weiner dog" whose mom dresses him up like a hot dog for Halloween. The other dogs make fun of him, but in the end, he's the hero!  
The kids always get the biggest kick out of this book & I love it, too.

So, after reading that, we did this AWESOME writing activity I found on Pinterest & traced back to

The kids take a template of the teacher....a picture of the teacher...and write about what they want the teacher to be for Halloween.  


 Check out my cape!!  I'm a superhero!
 And, apparently, I look like a cowgirl....
 A witch??  Some days, I guess....
Yeah, a devil.. because I look evil.
That's definitely worse than witch.

He later changed it to "because she WOULD look evil", but I'm not convinced. hmmmm.....

Aren't these hysterical???
So funny & so easy, too! I made my own template so we could use it as an opportunity to review nouns, verbs and adjectives, but I just LOVED the idea & turns  out, the kids thought it was great, too!!

Lastly, it's Red Ribbon Week & we're having a Door Decorating Contest.
We made vampire bats...

     The kids got those plastic little vampire teeth, and I took their picture wearing them....making their scariest faces.
     Then, I printed out the pictures & put them in the center of our bats.  They are SO cute...I LOVE them.

Then, my room parent came & helped me make this awesome door & hallway display. She really went above and beyond & I am in LOVE.  
Judging is tomorrow...Fingers crossed !
But, win or lose, the kids absolutely LOVE seeing their own faces on our door...and the scary faces are just plain funny!

So, that's just a little dose of our crazy in first grade... but hey, what's good learning without a little crazy to spice it up?! ha! :)

I hope you're all having a fun week, too, and I'm sending up some happy vibes & prayers for a safe Halloween for all the kiddos & a calm and good day for all the teachers on Friday!

Oh, and last thing..
    For those of you that have been asking about the next installment of my Common Core Homework packs... November is UP! 
    AND, it also includes reading comprehension passages for each week, too. That's a new addition & I hope you all like it.

Just click the picture to check it out & there's a week's worth of pages for you to try in the preview :)

I appreciate ALL of the sweet & helpful feedback from the past couple of months. I promise to keep making them, for sure!

Allright, NOW I'll hush... Have a great weekend and a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Let's Bowl, Let's Bowl... Let's Subtract??

Okay, now I'm singing it.. "Let's Bowl.. Let's Bowl... Let's Rock n' Roll".... la lalala  la laa
I don't know about you, but Grease and Grease II are permanent fixtures in my brain as I just couldn't get enough of them when I was a kid.

I can literally recite both of them verbatim. Which is sad.  But true. 
Maybe I shouldn't have shared that fantastic (albeit strange) tidbit about myself, but hey, why not?! Right?! :)

Anyway, we have been working with our Number & Operations unit, and this week has been all about introducing and working with subtraction.This year,my little ones need ALL the concrete representation the can get.

We started with this awesome activity from Teacher Tipster.. Haunted House Subtraction!
I had to use his picture from Facebook because *duh* I forgot to take my own.

So, I grabbed one of these Haunted House boxes from the Dollar Tree, and then we put bats and/or spiders in  the box, and pretended that "some" got away. We would then write the equation to go with what happened. The kids had a blast, so thank you, Mr. Tipster!! He first mentioned to use this with missing addend, but it can really be used for anything, and it's made a great center, too, for creating equations..

Now..    on to the bowling. :)
So, in the gym the other day, I noticed that our Coach had a whole basket full of bowling pins & balls. Then, LIGHTBULB!!!! Hands-on Subtraction!!
He graciously allowed me to borrow them, and here's what went down...
 We made a bowling alley in our classroom!!!

Then, they kids each took a turn bowling...

We all counted how many pins we started with, how many we knocked down,and how many were left....

The kids then went to the Promethean Board and wrote their equation.
 I originally planned for every child to write down the equation on their white board, but I had forgotten that I loaned those out, so onto Plan B!

After everyone had their turn, we went back to our desks and created our own subtraction bowling problems in our Interactive Math Notebooks...
We are LOVING our Interactive Notebooks.... they are are the BEST thing I have done  
in a long time & I just love having a portfolio of progress right at my fingertips..and theirs!

They've been great for parent conferencing, small group interventions, and (should I say it??) less papers
in the basket to grade. Yippeee!!

If you'd like a copy of the sheet we used, you can click the above picture, and grab it for FREE.
There are two sheets so you can make it into a worksheet, or copy for your notebooks :)

So, my love of Grease II has proven to be a great thing for teaching subtraction. AND, I couldn't believe how many kids had never been bowling. :(

If you don't have bowling pins and balls around your school or at home somewhere, they're pretty inexpensive on Amazon, & I know they have them at WalMart, too :)

They kids had a blast, and I've already had to promise to start our lesson on Thursday with MORE bowling! I'm thinking we're gonna put up different numbers of pins to create equations  - there's just so much you could do with this!

Oh, and before I go..
  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we had our Pumpkin Auction this past Friday for our Charlie Brown Fall Festival... 

 Well... here's our class pumpkin...
And I'm SO happy to report that it brought in $80 at our auction!!!
WOW, right?!!?! All proceeds go to our school's PTA, which is awesome. 
Do y'all do something like this at your school??

Well, that's it for me tonight, friends. I hope your week is going WONDERFULLY, and as always, thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fabulous FREEbies on the 15th Linky - Add It Up!!!

How is it that half of October is already gone?? Time needs to SLOW down, for sure...
I keep hearing that time gets quicker as you get older, and I'm starting to believe the truth in that.. I mean, wasn't it just a few days ago we were starting school??

Apparently not, since our 9-week report cards go home Friday. I've spent the last week and a half assessing & now it's time to input grades. Fun fun!! 

Because of all that awesomeness, I'm keeping it short tonight, but Lucky to Be in First is hosting an awesome FREEBIE linky, and I just had to join in!
I mean, everyone loves freebies, right?? I know I do, and I try to post as many as I can on this little blog-o-mine...

With October being in full swing, we have spending a lot of time reading some of our favorite Halloween books. Have you ever read The Spider and the Fly??
Love, loVE, LOVE this book. It's actually a poem written in 1829, but the illustrations are absolutely AH-Mazing & the kids think it's super creepy and fun.  Basically, the spider is trying to persuade the fly to come into his "parlour" so he can trap her in his web.

If you haven't ever read this, I highly suggest you check it out...if not for anything but the pencil drawings. Seriously, folks... love!

Anyway, we have been studying addition, so when I pulled out this book to read, I just knew we could make this into an addition fact book... I mean, spiders, webs and flies?  Yes, please!

 The kids each get a page of flies, and 8 pages of webs to create their own addition problems. I loved that the kids could make simple problems or more complicated ones based on their level of understanding. You could also differentiate the number of problems they have to make.

Either way, the kids LOVED it, and they were so proud of their little books. :)

So, here's your FREEBIE if you'd like.. Just click on the picture below!

I hope you like & I can't wait to check out all the other FREEBIES being linked up. Head on over to Lucky to Be in First, grab some good stuff, and link up your own! :)

Have a great rest of your week, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October Math Centers Mini-Giveaway & a FrEEbie too! :)

Hi Friends !
   I am SO in love with the fact that Fall is here, and it's actually FEELING like it around here. Being in the south, we get a LOT of summer...just a touch of fall... a dab of winter..and then a LOT more summer. So, I'm just enjoying the low 70's and that it actually feels like it's supposed to right now.

   All this wonderful weather has got me in the decorating mood lately, so I spent my weekend getting all the fall stuff out and up. Love love love! :)
 The witch's feet just make me happy & I *HEART* my white mum!


Think it needs a little something, something, but it'll do for now :)

Anyway, this time of year also means it's time for report cards. Ugh. 
I always think they come around so quickly,and there's just so much assessing to do for 1st grade.
Plus, almost all of the assessing has to be one-on-one, so it's time -consuming....

To battle this, I plan for a lot of center practice in my room. 

I made these October Math Centers to practice what we have already learned, and also to use as quick observation assessments of the kids' understanding..
  I really try not to use my blog as a TpT selling platform, but I am so excited about these centers, I just had to share...  

    I use Guided Math in my classroom, so our centers are focused on the 4 main areas of math literacy -  
Problem Solving, Numeracy & Number Sense, Manipulative/Hands-on Practice and Graphing/Data Analysis...

      Here are some pictures of them in action...

 Center #1 - Problem Solving: Candy Corn Word Problems!
The kids read the problem, draw to solve, and write the equation.
 Then, they record their equations on their recording sheet :)

 Center #2 - Numeracy: Number Order Pumpkins

5 sets of pumpkins - to be printed on different colored cardstock.
The kids count by 1's, 5's, and 10's to put the pumpkins in order & record their answers.

 Center #3 - Manipulative/Hands-On Practice: Ghostly Base Tens

My firsties use base ten blocks to make each number (there are 20 of them) on the cards.
There is also a recording sheet for all of the ghosts for the kids to record their answers.

And lastly.... for Graphing/Data Analysis
Our Fall leaf graph.... easy to create, cut apart, and get out for the kids.
They create their graph and then complete a graph on their recording sheet and answer some questions. :)

  So, there you have it.... easy to put together centers, all with recording sheets,  to create that time I need for assessing!!  Yay, yay!

   If you are interested, you can grab them in my TpT store by clicking the picture below....

AND...the first FIVE people to leave a comment below with their favorite thing about fall (and their email address) will get them for FREE!!! :)

And, another freebie for you...'cause I'm just in LOVE with all things fall & pumpkin-y right now...
Pumpkin Addition Cut & Paste !! My kid always have fun with this one :)
Just click the picture to grab it ! 

Allright, friends... time to type up some conference forms and settle in for some TV watching!  Happy Tuesday...and an even happier Hump Daaayyy!!! :)