Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pinterest Pick 3 Linky: November

November? Seriously?  It feels like we just started school, and it's already time for all things holiday, beginning with so many fun things to do for Thanksgiving.

Today, I am linking up with some fabulous bloggers to share my top 3 favorite Pins for the month of November.  

What did we do before Pinterest?  I remember the old days of scrounging through MailBox magazines and Teachers Helper to come up with great ideas for each month. Now, it's all at my fingertips and I absolutely love it. Pinterest has definitely broadened the horizons of ideas for so many teachers, including me!

Here are my Top 3 faves this month that I can't wait to use in my classroom!
One of my favorite Thanksgiving books is Twas' the Night Before Thanksgiving.  It is such a fun and cute story and the kids always love the end. If you haven't read it, I won't spoil the ending, but this is such a cute craft & writing activity to go along with the story. I can't wait to use it with my first graders. Do you see the little feathers hanging out? 

 Who doesn't love a cute turkey?
These cuties from Cara at The First Grade Parade are to die for. 
Look at those eyes! I know my kids will just love these, and I'm always looking for a cute hallway display, and anything to accompany good writing!


While I obviously love all things turkey this time of year, I also like to spend some time teaching my first graders about the real reason we celebrate Thanksgiving...about the Pilgrims and Native Americans & that treacherous journey to find a new home.

I found this pin from First Grade a la Carte and knew that this would be a great way to teach my firsties about the first Thanksgiving.
You make the bracelets to go along with the story.
Such a fun and age-appropriate way to do this, and the kids get practice retelling, too!
I hope you found something you can use this month!  For more ideas, check out these other bloggers who have linked up with their favorite pins! The linky is open for the month, so if you have something you'd like to share, please do!  As always, thanks for stopping by! :)

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

4 Types of Sentences: Mummy Style! {freebie}

Hi Y'all!  Well, it's a wrap...well, almost.  October is almost over, and we are soaking up all things spooky in first grade.With a full moon, Red Ribbon Week, Halloween, and super crazy rain, we are working hard on staying engaged while celebrating all the fun this week has to offer!

 So, speaking of wrap, today I wanted to share a super fun activity we did while learning about the four types of sentences. 
Since it's Halloween week, I love digging through all my fun books to find texts that lend themselves to our language arts skills.  Our focus has been on the 4 Types of Sentences & Where's My Mummy? was absolutely perfect for this lesson!! It has all four types of sentences in the story & the kids were able to identify them as we read.

We started with our anchor chart, where the kids gave me examples of each type of sentence
We practiced acting out each type with some motions.
Declarative:  I like pizza. (stomp for the period)
Interrogative:  Can you help me? (Hands up and out for the question mark)
Exclamatory: This is so much fun!  (Hands straight up in the air like a cheer for the exclamation point)
Imperative: Stop running! (Pointing straight out like Uncle Sam for the exclamation point for period)

Then, we moved on to reading our story & making our mummies!
Each child got a mummy template (actually a gingerbread man, but hey, it worked!).
I ran the templates on black construction paper & then outlined in white crayon for those that needed help seeing where to cut.

Then, I laid out a bunch of pre-cut white strips on each table.

The kids just glued down the strips to cover up their mummy. Then, they turned their mummies over & cut around the edges to remove the excess white paper from the strips.

We glued some crazy colored googly eyes to each mummy to complete the craft.

Each student was then given four speech bubbles, and they have to write an example of each on the correct speech bubble.  When they were finished, we glued it all down to a piece of construction paper!
And Voila!  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  The kids loved it & it was really a great way to reinforce our learning of the 4 types of sentences!  

So, that's a wrap.. Yeah, yeah, I know.  If you'd like a copy of the speech bubbles & the mummy template, just click {here}.  I've also provided pre-made sentences to cut & paste onto each speech bubble for those learners who need some extra assistance.

Well, that's it for me. As always, thanks for stopping by!  I hope you are all having a great week!

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sharing Sunday: Resources for You in November!

Hi Y'all !
Is it possible that October is almost over and we are right smack dab in the middle of fall?  I'm ready for it to start FEELING like fall here in the south, but I absolutely love teaching this time of year!

There are so many units to teach, fun stuff to make, and engaging lessons to teach my little firsties. This is my favorite time of year for so many reasons!

Today, I'm linking up with the Primary Peach and some other amazing bloggers to share some fantastic resources that I personally use in the month of November.

There are blog posts, freebies, products, and other stuff for you to check out, so just keep scrolling!

You can click on any picture of the visual plans to take you to Google Docs PDF File where all the goodies are linked. There are so many amazing resources, so feel free to click around!
Alright, friends, let's get started....
 We love using Mo Willems' pigeon books this time of year. They are great for predicting, lending voice to writing, and they are just fun, fun fun!  In my plans, you will see an anchor chart that I love using with my kiddos and a cute craftivity my first graders always love to make! 

Of course, November wouldn't be the same without a little unit on Thanksgiving.  One of my favorite books is Twas' the Night Before Thanksgiving.  It is absolutely the cutest book, and if you haven't read it, the very end is the best!    First Grade Wow has the cutest craft and writing FREEBIE to go with the book, and I am love with that literacy unit...and my kids are, too!

In writing, we are working hard on narratives. We use the Lucy Calkins framework, and one of the biggest lessons we teach is about focusing on SMALL MOMENTS in writing. I love using this great fall freebie for teaching this skill to my kids.

I don't know about you, but we spend MONTHS working on sentence structure, writing complete sentences, as well as learning about the 4 types.  My kids love doing pretending to be real doctors and doing Sentence Surgery to practice working with naming and telling parts.  

And our love of Mo Willems moves right on into our ELA unit on the sentence types.  Check out the blog post to see an anchor chart and a freebie craftivity for working with Pigeon and all those crazy sentences!

Place value, place value and more place value!!  We dive right into this difficult skill in November, and there's nothing more fun than using pool noodles to practice building numbers.  I also love incorporating literature into math so using The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, we build houses and even make a street!  You'll find a great place value unit and a super engaging freebie for working with your students too!

November is also a time when we ramp up our Fact Fluency practice. These Fluency Tickets for Addition and Subtraction are great for implementing an easy, low prep, program for you & your kids. 

In social studies, it's all about the pilgrims and their long voyage on the Mayflower. Check out Scholastic's great interactive website to explore The First Thaksgiving, and this great freebie from Cara at The First Grade Parade to make the most of your unit!

While we are learning about the voyage, we make these little suitcases and fill the with what we think we would carry on our trip to the new world.  It's so funny what they think they will NEED, like video games and an iPad.  This is a great way to start the conversation about needs and wants, too! 

Check out these great resources to make your life easier!!  These centers are easy to print and use in your classroom while meeting all the components of Guided Math. I also love using the Would You Rather? prompts to really encourage higher-order thinking while working on our writing.  Asking students to choose between two scenerios really get them thinking!

The Text Evidence Passages are a go-to in my classroom. I use the all year in Guided Reading and they are awesome for increasing metacognition while reading, and using fiction & nonfiction texts.

So, that's my month in a nutshell!!
I hope you have found some great resources to use in your classroom & this has made your planning a little bit easier! :)

Check out these other great bloggers at The Primary Peach and their visual plans for some other great ideas!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sentence Surgery: Naming & Telling Parts FREEBIE!

Hi Friends!
   Fall is definitely in the air, and we are busy, busy, busy!  Every year, I spend so much time (and effort!) trying to teach the naming and telling parts of sentences to my first graders.  I typically end up wanting to pull out my hair, and if you've ever tried to teach this particular skill, it can be nerve wracking for sure!

   This year, my fabulous student teacher and I decided to make this can-be-boring-but-have-to-teach-it standard into something fun....with Sentence Surgery!
  My student teacher made these awesome anchor charts to set the purpose for the lesson and to review naming and telling parts of sentences. 

We used the book The Duckling Gets a Cookie?!? by Mo Willems because it's such a fun book that the kids always love, and it is a great example of INcomplete sentences.

  While most of the phrases in the book are questions or commands, the students were encouraged to think of ways that the pigeon could have used complete sentences to talk to the duckling.  

The kids brainstormed for a while and gave suggestions.
Then, we told them that the pigeon's sentences needed help...they needed SURGERY to be complete and make sense!

Every student got a "surgery kit" (i.e. bandaids and a surgical mask), and then they got to work making sentences.
 Here are the sentences we used...a couple related to the book & a couple that would be familiar to them.
 The bandaids were a LITTLE sticky, but they finally got the hang of it!
(A lot of them tried to "glue" the sentences together using the bandaid, so I suggest having them use the bandaid to stick the sentence down to the construction paper)
 It's much neater that way!
 All you need is strips of construction paper, bandaids, surgical masks if you can find a sweet donor, scissors and glue!
 The kids absolutely LOVED this activity. They kept calling each other "Dr." and it was hilarious. Most of them even wrote their names as Dr on their papers!  Hilarious!

They all wanted to wear their masks home, and I got some strange looks from other teachers. Plus, a bus driver asked if there was some sort of "outbreak", so just FYI if you decide to do this!

I loved that the kids were so engaged, and this activity really made those awful naming and telling parts make sense!

To grab the sentences we used, as well the cover, just click the picture above.
I also included other sentences in case you don't read this book, and some with varying fonts to help you differentiate for your learners.

  In our literacy centers, we have been reviewing the naming and telling parts with a Make a Sentence Center.
The students are given 4 sets of naming & telling parts (color coded by using colored paper). They have to match the parts to create complete sentences and record them on our activity sheet.  

There are also different fonts used within each set to help assist lower learners in making sentences, and to help me differentiate for my students

You can check this center out in my TpT store by clicking the picture below.
I printed my own on colored paper to save ink, but there are color versions available in this pack, as well!

So, there you have it friends... Sentence Surgery.
I'm telling you, the kids absolutely ADORED this activity & they're still talking about it...and they still want to be called "Doctor"! 

As always, thanks for stopping by!!

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Working with Plural Nouns & FREEBIES!

Hi Friends!
   It's been a busy week in first grade, but we are finally getting in the groove of everything.  This week, we have been working with plural nouns.  While our first grade standards don't explicitly state that children must learn suffix -s, -es, and -ies, these plurals are seen in so many of our assessments and first grade text. For that reason,we just jump right into using all three!

   We started by learning the difference between singular and plural - two GIANT words that can be confusing for firsties.  We practiced sorting examples, and then I passed out sticky notes for the kids to sort onto our charts. 

 I saw this idea on Pinterest but it went to a dead link. Please let me know the original source so I can give credit where it is due :)
The kids loved getting up & moving around & they did a great job sorting! 

When we finished with our sort, the kids cut & paste singular and plural nouns into their own little flapbook.
I had to walk the kids through the directions for cutting JUST on the dotted lines, but they did well with it.

*All of the cute clip art is from Ashley Hughes, Krista Wallden & the Worksheet Junkie.  Fonts by Kimberly Geswin (KG)*
Click the above picture to grab this flapbook for FREE!

Then, we moved into sorting words with specific suffixes. The kids had to determine if the word would need an -s, -es, or -ies to be made plural.  

They each had pockets and pencils to cut and paste.
Again, I had to walk through the directions.
We cut out the square pockets, then ONLY glued on the left, right & bottom....leaving the top open to make a pocket.  Children then cut out their pencils and sorted them into the correct pocket.

I folded a sheet of 11x17 construction paper in half "Hot Dog Style" and cut the strips for the kids.

When they were finished, I folded them into thirds to make a little book for each of them.

You can grab this activity by clicking {here} or the above picture. 

Later, I added our Pencil Pockets Sorting Activity to our center rotation & the kids have been practicing with plural nouns all week!  You can check this out in my TpT store {here}.


So, that's it for me! I hope you can use these freebies for practicing plurals in your room!

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Happy (early) Friday!