Monday, October 19, 2015

Pumpkin Projects

just wanted to stop by super quick for a fun little fall idea to bring a little excitement to your reading time. I have several kiddos in my class that need to be challlenged and pushed to the next level in reading. They are reading above level and are just naturally good readers who are fast learners. They necessarily don't need me day to day listen to their reading, model breaking apart words, etc. I really like to do book clubs with them and really make them accountable for their reading. 

 All over Pinterest there are TONS of projects for kids involving pumpkins. My higher readers have been focusing on character traits and retelling stories they have read so I wanted to incorporate that somehow. I came across "pumpkin book character" projects that were just precious! So creative and so fun! 

I had my kids pick a book and Read the book. 
At school we:
Read the book
Discussed the main character 
Sequenced the story
Wrote a small synopsis about the book

At home they:
Bought a pumpkin 
Decorated the pumpkin to look like the main character. 

I did not give them any parameters on what book they chose. I didn't care the level, just something they like was good with me. 

Here are a few of our awesome pumpkins! So proud of them! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Going Batty and Stelluna

For the past 2 weeks we jumped right into bats. We started off with Stellaluna. One of my all time favorite books! Love it! 

We read the book, sequenced it, discussed Stellaluna as a character and worked on our comprehension by asking AND answering questions about it. 

(From Deanna Jumps interactive reading notebook) 

I always like to do a little craft/project at the end of the unit or book to wrap it up. 

They loved their paper bag bats. 

After a week of Stellaluna we dove into non-fiction bat books. We started off by talking about our schema about bats.  We talked about features of non-fiction, verbs and adjectives to describe bats  

We did several journal responses that I forgot to take a picture of. At the end of the week we did a little directed drawing of a bat and some non-fiction writing. 

(One of the books we read had a picture of Itty bitty baby bats and she loved it!) 

Next we are learning about pumpkins to get us ready for our annual pumpkin patch field trip!!! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Apples! Oh my!

We have been knee deep in everything apples for the past 2 weeks. Apples are one of my favorite themes. It's our first theme of the school year, and I feel it just jump starts our year for learning and kind of sets the tone for what's to come. 

We started the unit off by writing down our schema- what we already knew about apples. 

"Apples can knock your teeth out!! Haha! Too funny! 

After we recorded what we already knew about apples we dove right in to learning new things. 
We have been talking about adjectives for a short time and describing apples are a great way to have them practice using adjective. I like to start their sentence by saying "apples ARE....." so that they are going to telling me about apples and not what they have. That's helps them say an adjective instead of a noun. 

After using our adjective words we came up with, I had the students make a directed drawing of an apple. Step by step with me, they drew an apple. I let them pick what color they wanted to color it (red, yellow or green) so we would have some variety. Then they wrote simple sentences describing their Apple. 

(Idea from @firstgradeparade) 

For a fun craft on a Friday we painted paper plate apples. 

We paint using cotton balls a lot. 1. Less mess and 2.  No brushes to wash. Win. Win. 

In the second week of our Apple into we started learning about the parts of an apple. 

And to wrap up our unit we of course had to make homemade applesauce. Which was a HIT!! 

They absolutely loved it! (Recipe from @firstgradeparade) 

We've had a fun filled 2 weeks! Now on to all things fall! Now, let just hope this east Texas weather would just cooperate. Hard to teach fall when it's almost 100 outside. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015


My title about sums it up. Tired. PTL tomorrow is Friday. We even had Monday off!! Always seems to me that the short weeks feel like the longest. Anyone with me on that??  This week marks the 3rd week of school for us. We are getting our procedures and routines down, diving into curriculum and starting daily 5 and guided math! 

I have done Daily 5 for several years. I left my centers behind and never looked back. I love the ease of daily 5 and its predictability. At the point I have only introduced read to self, work on Writing and read to self. 

After reading a couple of blog post this summer I knew I had to make a change in my math block. This year I started guided math. I have to say... It's wonderful!!! My stations are: teacher table, iPads, math journals and tubs. 

 Today was our first day of full rotations and I am so proud of them!! 

Next week I will introduce listening to reading and word work and we will press on with our guided math and math workshop, but for now it's rest and time to catch up on my recorded shows. �� 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New school year is here!

Thursday afternoon was our annual Meet The Teacher. This is one of my favorite days. I love meeting all of my new firsties, and seeing their excitement about school starting makes me excited! The afternoon always goes by so fast and when it's over I always feel like I've been hit by a bus. A bus of 22 6 year olds. �� It was a great afternoon and my class is just the cutest! 

Friday morning all of the teachers had a work day. We got to work in our rooms, uninterrupted. ��  It was so nice because I was knee deep in school supplies and had so much to prep for the first day of school. 

I like to have all of their school supplies ready to go when they walk in on Monday. Just makes the morning go much smoother. 

This is my schedule for this year {as of now}. If I get going next week and notice I need to adjust, I'll do so. 

After organizing school supplies and mapping out my day, I needed to get started on procedures. I gotta let them know how we do things! �� 

Here are just s few of my anchor charts for the first day of school. 

I love to read the story "Listen Buddy" on the first day. It's about a rabbit who keeps making mistakes because he wasn't being a good listener. After the story we write down things that make a good listener. One of my favorites for sure! 

And we're starting Read to Self day 1!! 

I will be back later, hopefully the first day of school {if I'm not too tired to type and I survive} �� with our first day activities! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

B2S Teacher Gifts {tickled pink}

WHOA!! Is it really the middle of August??? I really love this time of year, even though it is extremely crazy in my neck of the woods.  As many of you know, my husband is a high school football coach and with that brings a crazy fall schedule.  I'm one of those "I never miss a game" and I wouldn't have it any other way! It is so much fun! Last week my little family took football pictures... while waiting for our session I snapped this jewel! :) 

She is soooo ready for football season.  Her happy place is on the sidelines! 
Since the first day of school is a week from tomorrow (August 24th) for me, I thought I would go ahead a prep my back to school teacher gift for Aubree's preschool teacher.  We have been blessed for 3 years now with wonderful, sweet, generous teachers. We are so lucky! I saw this adorable idea on pinterest and decided it would be perfect for Aubree's new teacher! 
I found the cute pink bucket at Hobby Lobby in the summer section and then I just made my way through Walgreens picking up anything I could find that was pink that I thought her teacher would like.  
I placed it all in the bucket, added a tulle bow and a tag! Super simple and I know she'll love it.  As a teacher, I know how much thoughtful gifts are appreciated.  

You can grab your tag HERE! These are 2 to a page and are a PDF file {uneditable}. 

For those of you that have started school already I hope it went great {and you were showered with gifts ;) and to those who start on the 24th like me, Good Luck! Hope it goes great! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Meet the Teacher Ideas

I just wanted to stop by and share with you some things I do for "Meet the Teacher" night at my school. We have an afternoon the week before school starts that parents and students may come up to tour the school, bring up their school supplies and meet their child's teacher.  It is a fun afternoon! I'm always so excited to meet my new students and parents.  It is also so nice to get their school supplies unpacked and organized and ready to go on the first day of school.  

I use signs to make sure they hit all of the "stations" or important areas before they leave. 
First, they sign in and come in.
Next, they find their desk.
On their desk is a folder with information papers.  A few things about myself, my classroom and some getting to know you forms. Some of the forms came from HERE.  I have them take it home and send it back the first week of school.


Also inside the folder I place an "All About Me Bag" inside for the students to share the first week of school.  You can grab yours HERE
I give each parent a checklist and it is projected on the board to help keep things flowing and organized.  I want to make sure that they and myself don't forget anything because the afternoon is such a whirlwind.  

I put signs up at the front of the room for the large supplies that I have to store and specific directions for the small supplies.  This just saves me a ton of time and the kids LOVE to help.  Plus they learn where thing go. WIN, WIN! 

The small supplies goes in a shoe box size tub, labeled with each child's name.
I have found great success with keeping it separate from each others. I store these in a cabinet and when they are in need of another glue stick, etc. I just have them grab one from their tub.
 While each kid also has their own pencil box in their desk with only crayons, a pencil, big pink eraser and twistables, I also keep caddies on the desk where they keep their scissor, markers and glue.  

After they put their supplies away and I know the way they get home each day I want them to take a tour of our classroom and the campus.  Just to get a feel of it and put them at ease for the first day of school.  

I also post "helping hands".  They are supplies that are not on the supply list, but we use all the time in our room.  Mainly craft supplies. Paints, googly eyes, cardstock, etc.  I am so grateful for all of my giving parents in the past who have helped!!
{just noticed typo! �� will fix!}
And lastly, they grab their gift! I want them to know how excited I am to have them in my class and really welcome them with excitement!! 


Grab your tag HERE
You can grab your numbered "Meet the Teacher" signs HERE!

I hope you had a restful summer! Enjoy the back to school craziness!!