Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sorting & Classifying Data: First Grade Style!

We are well under way with our school year, and have really been digging into our math curriculum. Since we don't have a set "program" to use for math, we are always looking for creative and fun ways to teach and assess the standards.

The last couple of weeks, it's been all about data!!  We have sorted, organized, classified, represented, and recorded data in so many different ways.  To culminate our unit of study, we did this super fun activity that is so easy to do, and a great way to assess the kids' understanding.

I started with clip art. Ahhhh...clip art!  If you are anything like me, you have a bunch of super cute art saved on your computer just waiting for a project. Well, here ya go!

I chose 6 groups of pictures - bears, bugs, vehicles, people, desserts and monsters.
 I just randomly scattered the clipart on 3 pages per category.  I  made sure to include some of each type of bear...bug...vehicle...etc... on each page, as well as a variety of sizes.
{Thanks to Creative Clips, Melonheadz, Ashley Hughes, and www.mycutegraphics.com for the adorable art!)

 I ran them on colored paper.  One page of each category on one color.... one page on a second color..and the last page on a third color.  Are we with me so far?  For example, with the monsters, one page was run on yellow...one on blue...and one on pink.

 Then, I just laminated and cut them out.  Nothing neat...I just cut out around the shapes to keep it simple.
I divided the kids into 6 groups and gave each group a baggie of objects.

Each group then had to sort them...any way they wanted to.
That's the key!  
The kids had to work collaboratively to decide how they wanted to sort the objects. 


After some "exploration" time, I stared to guide the activity with some category suggestions: size, color, and type of object.
We went through several rounds of sorting.

Then, the kids had to decide... as a group...how they wanted to sort and categorize their objects to represent them on a graph.

This was a great activity for working together, and making a final group decision!

When they finished sorting, each group was given a data collection sheet.

The students had to identify their categories, create a tally table, count & record tallies,and then create a graph to represent their data.
During this time, I walked around the room & assessed their understanding.

I loved how this activity gave the responsibility and ownership to the kids. Plus, it required them to apply several of our math skills to one activity.

The kids loved it & I was able to collect data of my own!

If you would like a copy of the data sheet, just click {HERE}. You can use it with any clip art, manipulatives, or objects you have in your classroom. It's open ended & a great way to involve your children in collecting and representing data. 

So, that's it for me, friends. I hope you can use this activity in your classroom & I hope you're having a great week! Thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chugga Chugga Noun Trains & a Freebie, too!

Chugga, Chugga, Choo! Choo!
   We are chugging right along in our school year & approaching the tenth day of school. We are still working on those rules & procedures, but we are also diving right into our curriculum.

   This week, it's all about nouns! I don't know why, but I always love teaching nouns to kids. It's such a great way to kick off ALL the parts of speech and language arts skills that have to be mastered in first grade, and there are so many ways to work with this skill!

   My kids love when we start our lessons off with a fun YouTube video, and for some reason, my firsties go nuts about this noun song.....
 Don't ask me, but it sure does get them moving!!  Of course, we also love anything SchoolHouse Rock!

   Today, after our little sing-along, we talked about trains. More importantly, we talked about how a PERSON can take a THING (the train) to a PLACE.  We made an anchor chart of all the people that might ride a train.... and listed the places we could go!  We also talked about other ways, or things, we could take to get to another place.

   Then, we made our Noun Trains!
 The kids were given the patterns (hand drawn by me, nothing fancy). The "windows" of the trains were cut out, and they glued the whole train car to the top of a long piece of white paper.

Then, they had to write and illustrate an example of a person, a place, and a thing.

You'll also notice the black circles on the engine.

I printed out pictures of the kids, and had them glue them to the engine so they were the engineer of their noun train! They loved it!

I think they turned out pretty cute!  The kids had a blast with them, and when they had to apply their knowledge of nouns in a quick assessment, they did great!

I made this little noun pack for my kids, and wanted to share with you.


There is a poster, a practice activity sheet, and an assessment for you to use with your kids. 
It's a FREEBIE, so click on one of the pictures to grab it! :)

Also, don't forget that TpT is throwing a ONE-DAY SALE tomorrow!
Fill up those wish lists, and get ready to save!

Oh, and for those who have been using my monthly homework packs, the second grade August set is now available...and on sale tomorrow!! Just click the picture.


So, that's it for me, friends. As always, thanks so much for stopping by!! :)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meet the Teacher {Linky}

It's that time of year when we all get to meet our new kiddos and, sometimes, our new coworkers. It's such a fun time for me because I just love getting to know each one of my first graders, and their little personalities.  They are just so full of life....okay, okay, sometimes a little {too} much life, but I still love getting to know them!!

In the spirit of getting to know folks, Stephanie from Falling into First came up with this fabulous linky where you get to learn a little more about the teachers behind the blogs.  Such a fun idea, and I'm super excited to link up!
 Hi y'all!  I'm Kelly and I'm a 37 year old first grade teacher. Wow, 37 sounds so much older when I write it out like that!  This is my 14th year teaching, and my 13th with firsties. First grade is truly where my heart is, and I absolutely love my job.  I was born in Tennessee, grew up in Alabama, and began teaching and still live in Georgia. I'm what some would call a southern mutt & I'm okay with that. Moving around and changing schools so much taught me just how important teachers are in the lives of students.  Being the "new kid" can be tough, but there were so many teachers along the way that helped shape who I am, and made me want to teach.  I'm so thankful for teachers everywhere!

I've been with this guy for a little over six years, and I am the luckiest girl on the planet. We live 100 miles apart, but see each other every weekend.  It's not always easy, but it is always worth it.

I spent my summer doing a whole bunch of beachin', and a whole lot of nothing else. It was fabulous. School has started back and the transition to real shoes (no flip flops) and "big girl" clothes has been a challenge! :)

 Alright, time for the Q&A...

containers...of all shapes and sizes (it's an addiction!), flip flops, the beach, mason jars, cotton, making & crossing off "to do" lists, crafting, painting, Diet Coke, college football (GO VOLS!), cheesy chick-flicks, The Walking Dead, live music, Sephora, Target, shopping, and naps.

Does Beach Bum count as an occupation, 'cause I could totally get into that!  Truthfully, as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. I used to line up my stuffed animals for "school" before I even went to Kindergarten, and my poor parents had to suffer through "homework time" regularly!  But, if I wasn't a teacher, I would love to be a talent scout for a record company, an interior designer, or a travel agent.

Loyal. Creative. Happy.

 "I have so much extra time!"  I don't know a single teacher that doesn't work his or her booty off day & night. There just aren't enough hours in the day!

Elvis, Jimmy Fallon, Peyton Manning, Melissa McCarthy, Sandra Bullock & Mother Theresa. 
Odd mix, I know, but imagine what they all could bring to the conversation!!

Organized Chaos - isn't that what all teacher's lives are like?!

The ability to teleport. How cool would it be to just show up wherever you want in a matter of seconds? I'd also really like to be able to "turn invisible" when I teleport. Some say that means you're shady... I think I'm just nosey. :)

"Dont take life too seriously... You'll never get out of it alive" AND
"Be the change you want to see in the world" - Ghandi

Couldn't pick just one. Sorry! 

Oh wow... no one needs to hear me sing. I would definitely make the "what was she thinking?" reel.
But, for the sake of the question, we'll assume I actually can sing. I'd pick "At Last" by Etta James, because if I could sing.. I would want to sing like THAT! :)

 Night owl!!!  All summer, my bedtime was never before 2 a.m. 
The 5:45 alarm clock is the devil, I tell you.
I hate mornings. 
My favorite would have to be my monthly Common Core homework packs. I love them because I created them for me & my team, and we use them every week. Personally, I love products that are tried & true in the classroom. 
I have an irrational fear of opossums, alpacas & ghosts.
Like I said, irrational, but they're real :)

Head on over to Falling into First & link up!
Or, if you're not a blogger, hop over & read more about your favorite folks :)
 So, that's me! 
As always, thanks for stopping by! :)

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Classroom Tour 2014

School has officially started for me, and it's time to get back into the swing of things.
Which means, back into the swing of paying attention to my sweet blog.

So, in the spirit of Back to School, I figured I would share my classroom photos for this year.

If you're anything like me, you like to change it up every year. Now, I don't have the dough to overhaul the whole thing, but I decided to give it just a little makeover.

Welcome to my classroom!
 The balloons were a big hit. So much so, they asked to take them home!

The view from the front door.  Come on in!

Supply cubbies...obviously!  I really wish they were all white. 
Maybe I could paint them?!

Two of the best ideas I've ever implemented in my classroom:
1) Highlighters for the kids to highlight their name before turning papers into the basket. 
I get very few "no name" paper this way, and I LOVE it.

2) Bathroom Passes - the kids put the pass on their desk, so when I look around, I know who is out of the room AND it reminds them to give a little squirt when they get back. Because, come on, we know they
don't all really wash their hands like they're supposed to.

Lunch choice table. The kids each have their own name stick on their desk in the mornings. I put the lunch choices out in front of each can, and they just put their stick in the correct bucket.
My "lunch leader" counts each can and takes the lunch count up each day.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Front of my room with my crate seats.
Whoever thought this original idea up was a GENIUS!
They serve two purposes - much-needed storage AND the kids can stand on them to use the Promethean Board.

My standards board- still a work in progress.
On the left, I will post our daily standards and EQ's.
On the right is where we hang our anchor charts for each lesson.

I found this super cute bunting/banner at Hobby Lobby. It was strung in burlap, which I LOVED, but it didn't match my room, so I just put some blue ribbon in it instead, painted the words, and voila!

Writing center and floor space....pretty self-explanatory :)

Listening Center & supply cart.
The rug & the cart are both from Ikea.
I can't leave that place without spending a fortune!!
(and I need a new beanbag - I cannot, for the life of me, find blue!)

Subway art from Just a Primary Girl. They are just $1 & then I framed them in Dollar Tree frames.
I love the way they fill up that blank space...and they just make me happy :)

View from the front of the room.

 Book center!  
My mission this year is to clean out all those books!
I have way too many, and I know there are some new teachers out there that would love to have them.
Plus, I'm starting to look a little like a book hoarder.
Not good.

More Ikea goodness - MB spray painted my old green chairs & I tied some ribbon around them to make sashes. :)

 My area.
I got rid of my desk last year, which has saved me so much space.
Now, this serves in its place, and it's where we meet for Guided Reading and Math. 
*Pardon the clutter... it's a work in progress!*

 Our Sky High Behavior Board.
I will post more on this later, but basically, each child has a cloud, and when a rule is broken, he or she has to put a clip on the cloud.  
The first three days of school were "freebie" days, but names will be on the clouds Monday morning! 

A place for Exemplary Work! 
I post everyone's work in the hallways, but I needed a space to showcase some fantastic work samples with commentary. My sweet, sweet friend and art teacher drew the frames for me, and I am in LOVE!
Aren't they precious!?!?!

A view of the back wall.  
It's my favorite. I love the blue!
It's looking pretty bare right now, but soon it will be full of kids' work & our calendar.

 Our meeting area. 
I went on a summer-long search for a cute rug to put there, but I just couldn't find the ones I wanted.
Still looking....

 And the other wall... Each child has their own cubby & I store all of our supplies in those black bins.
Plus, a LOT of stuff is on top of the shelves.
Yeah, that's another mission - Operation Clean Out so Not to be a Hoarder!
Or maybe I should just make some curtains to hide it?! haha :)

So, that's it!  Thanks for sticking around for all those pictures, and for taking this little tour with me!

I'm linking up with Just a Primary Girl for her School Tour linky, and she's having an awesome giveaway, too! Head on over & check out some other classrooms, and enter to win! :)  Just click the picture below!

I hope you're all having a wonderful "Back to School"! 
As always, thanks for stopping by! I promise to be back soon!:)

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