Last Day for Giveaway!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011
Today is the last day to enter my giveaway. If you haven't entered, check it out HERE!!! The contest ends at 9am EST tomorrow morning!!! Can't wait to announce the winner!!!

Thanks to everyone who has posted comments and/or visited my blog!!! I am so excited that I'm getting very close to 200 know what that means...another giveaway in the near future!! YAY!!!

1st Grade Chicks and Bunny Shakers

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Interesting title, huh?!?! I'll explain.....

We have new 1st grade friends on our hall!!! My team member had a parent bring in an incubator full of eggs and look at the preciousness that hatched out of them!!! This is the first one that hatched on Monday & two more hatched today!!! So much fun...they are TOO cute!!! I'm in L.O.V.E....seriously!!!

Now onto the "Bunny Shakers"!!! Aren't these so sweet!?!?! I saw them at the Dollar Tree and immediately thought "DICE SHAKERS"!!! YAY!!! I love a good ole' day at the Dollar Tree. I can't wait to use them with my Spring and Hippity Hoppity Math and Literacy Centers!!! It's worth checking out your nearby $Tree to see if they are available!!!

I made an addition and subtraction recording sheet to go along with these adorable bunny shakers. Students make addition and/or subtraction number sentences with the numbers on the dice. Click on the pictures to download them!!!

Don't forget to participate in my giveway celebration!!! If I reach 200 followers by Friday, I'm going to give 2 lucky followers (instead of 1) the center packets!!! Please post about it on your blog to send others this way!!! Thanks for spreading the word!!!

Hope you're having a fabulous evening!!! Tomorrow is my last day before SPRING BREAK!!! To make it an even better day, it's also my son's 2nd birthday!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!


Buggies and Birdies Center Fun

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
This week's centers are full of birds, bugs, and butterflies from my Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies Math and Literacy Center Packet!! My kiddos are LOVING them!!! YAY!! Here are some of the things we've been doing together!

Ants & Antonyms- My sweeties matched the antonym ants in this center!

Base Tens Birdies- In this center, the students matched the base ten birds to the birdhouse with the correct number. This was a great review for them!!

Money Birds- The kiddos counted the coin combinations on the cards and matched them to the correct amount of money.

Ladybug Number Toss - The kids absolutely can't get enough of these number toss boards. They loved this fun ladybug!! They used little insect erasers as counters!!

Bugged Out Compound Words- In this literacy center, my firsties made compound words!! I could really see who understood compound words and who...didn't...for example, the child that enthusiastically told me that he found "footbox" is on my list for a little small group lesson on compound words this week! :)

Caterpillar Fact Families- I LOVE fact families!! They really help my students grasp the fact that addition and subtraction are related to one one child put it, they are a family!!! This sweet Scrappin' Doodles caterpillar graphic was too perfect for a fact family center!!

Making Words with "Caterpillars"- We just love making words activities in my room!! The kids made a ton of great words with the letters from Caterpillars...some I hadn't even thought of...haha!!!

If I were a bug....journal writing:) I've enjoyed reading these...I was very proud of all the describing words in this sweet girl's entry!!!

Head on over to my TpT store to get your copy of all 10 centers for only $6.50!!! It will go back up to its regular price on April 1st! Thanks to everyone who has already purchased it!!!

Hope y'all have a wonderful evening!!!

100 Followers GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011
WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!! I'm pumped about this post!!! In honor of my first 100 followers and as a way to say THANK YOU, I want to have a little GIVEAWAY fun!!! I'd like to give one lucky follower my Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies, Hippity Hoppity, and Spring Math and Literacy Center Packets!!! That's a total of 32 centers!!!! Click on the pictures for more information and previews of the packets!

You have 3 chances to win!!! Make a post for each of the following to enter:

  1. Follow my blog.

  2. Follow my TpT store.

  3. Post about this giveaway on your blog (feel free to use my blog button).

The contest will end at 9am on Friday, April 1st. Random generator will be used to determine the winner!! Have fun and good luck!!


Fraction Kites, Shadow Puppets & 101 FOLLOWERS!!!!

Hey Everyone!! I'm so excited!!! I have 101 AWESOME followers!!! WOW!!! I'm going to post a GIVEAWAY to celebrate later this evening, but first I wanted to share a couple of fun things I did this week with my kiddos...
Fraction Kites!!!

We reviewed several skills in math this week! I love having time to go back and extend/refine concepts! I planned a special day for us to go back over fractions! We watched a cute little fraction BrainPop video, worked with fractions on our Smartboard, and made FRACTION KITES!! I can not take credit for this cute idea, my team member is the creative one who inspired me to do this with my class. All you need are different colored triangles (4 for each student), string, and tissue paper(for the cute little bows)! I let the kids create their kites using whatever color triangles they wanted to use. Then they had to show me the fraction of each color in their kite and write about it on their "My Fraction Kite" writing paper. Didn't they turn out adorable?!!?!! To download the fraction kite writing paper, just click on the picture of it!!

This is completely unrelated to fractions, but my firsties had so much fun with it that it's a MUST SHARE. In science, we are learning about light and shadows. To reinforce the concept of shadows, we made ShAdOw PuPpEtS!! Fun stuff, I tell ya! I gave each child a piece of white cardstock (reg.paper would work, too) to draw what they wanted their puppet to look like. Then they cut it out and taped a popsicle stick to the back of it! When all the puppets were ready to go, we went outside on a beautiful sunny day and checked out the shadows they made!! SO.MUCH.FUN!!! and E.A.S.Y!!! Look at how precious they turned out!! When they came back inside, they completed a graphic organizer about their shadow puppet.

Click the picture to download the Shadow Puppet graphic organizer!

Happy Weekend!! Be on the lookout this evening for my 100 Followers Giveaway!!! I'll post about it as soon as my little one goes to bed:) Again, THANK YOU for following my blog!!! Did I mention y'all are AWESOME?!?!?


Tweet! A Sight Word Game

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
My students love "Popcorn" inspired sight word recognition games! I have so much fun making them to fit different themes/holidays!! Here is one that I made to go with my Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies Center Packet. It's called "Tweet!"!! Students get with a partner/small group and pull the sight word cards from a bag/container. If a student reads a word correctly, they get to keep it. If they read it incorrectly, they miss their turn and put it back in the bag/container. When a student pulls a "Tweet!" card, they have to put all of their cards back!!! SO much fun and great sight word practice for your sweet loves!!! Click on the picture to download it!!!

I'm SO excited to almost have 100 followers!! 15 to go and it's time to celebrate with a fun giveaway!!! WooHOOO!!!



The First Grade Sweet Life is having a wonderful giveaway! Go on over there right now for your chance to win a $20 giftcard to my FAVORITE place to buy graphics....the one and only Scrappin' Doodles!!!!


"Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies" Math and Literacy Centers!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011
I was so happy to finally finish up my Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies Math and Literacy Center Packet this weekend!! It includes 10 centers (5 math & 5 literacy) and is on sale at my TpT store right now for only $6.50! Thanks so much to everyone who has already purchased it!
Click on the picture below to check it out!!

I also have my Spring Math and Literacy Center Packet on sale right now!! It includes 12 (6 math and 6 literacy) centers for only $6.50. Please click on the picture below to check it out!!
Happy, Happy Spring!!!!

Blooming Sentences Activity!

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Check out this cute flower activity! It reinforces naming, describing, and action words, as well as writing super sentences!! The kiddos LOVED it and it made our hallway look so SpRiNgY!!
To do this each student will need:
3 pink petals
3 red petals
1 yellow circle (stigma)
1 green long, skinny rectangle for the stem
2 green shaped leaves
**I wish I had a pattern to post, but my AWESOME parapro just cut out the shapes!!

First, the students picked out a naming word and wrote in down on the yellow circle/stigma. The child in the picture picked "friends".
Then, they wrote 3 describing words for the naming word on the pink petals.
Next, they wrote 3 action words for the naming word.
After that, they wrote a pronoun for their naming word on each of the leaves.

Finally, they wrote a "super sentence" on the stem. I asked my students to include at least one of the describing and action words on their petals to tell about the naming word (subject).
Didn't they turn out sweet?!?! I made butcher paper grass for them "grow" in!!!!

Now, my hall is ready for SpRiNg!!! Wooooohoooooo!!!!

Happy 1st Day of Spring to Everyone!!!


St. Patty's Day Fun!!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Happy St. Patty's Day, Y'all!!!! My kiddos and I had a blast this week!! Today was the cherry on top!!! Here are some pictures that pretty much sum up how much fun we had together!!!
My classroom was smothered and covered in St. Patrick's Day themed centers.

In the H.O.T.S. (Higher Order Thinking Skills) center my little leprechaun lovers compared and contrasted themselves to a leprechaun. I saw a lot of really good deep thinking going on when they were doing this!!!

Read the Room- I smacked these precious little leprechauns all over my classroom walls to give my students practice with words containing the vowel pairs /ee/ and /ea/! They loved it!!!

Rainbowtastic Word Problems- In this math center, my students read each St. Patrick's Day themed word problem and solved it on their recording sheet. This was awesome since one of our standards this nine weeks is solving word problems. I was able to see who got it and who needs a little small group attention!

Making Words- My students made words with the letters from "Happy Saint Patrick's Day" at the pocket chart center!!

Shamrock Toss- This game is a classroom favorite!!!Students dropped two counters (green leprechaun coins) on the toss board and make number sentences with the numbers the counters landed on!!

Lucky Leprechaun Writing Choices- The kiddos picked a St. Patrick's Day writing choice and made the cute leprechaun book(on the right) to write in. They turned out so well!!!

Lucky Money- In this math center, my firsties found the matching fair trades on the pots of gold!

Shamrock Synonyms- The kiddos matched the synonym shamrocks in this literacy center!!! Fun and great practice for them!!!

Leprechaun Round Up- This math center reinforces rounding to the nearest ten and my sweet ones loved it!!!

Today, we graphed our Lucky Charms....YUM!!!

And we had a "Green Tasting Party"!!! Double YUM!!! My room was filled with precious green smiles:)

Look at what those sneaky leprechauns did to our room while we were at the library!! Can you say H.U.G.E. M.E.S.S?!?!?!? Goodness gracious, those little people can wreck a room!!!The kids loved every minute of it!!! We spent a good 20 minutes cleaning it all up!!! Totally worth all the hard much fun!!!

Look at the adorable footprints they left everywhere:)

What was your St. Patty's Day week/day like? I'm sure many of you are as exhausted as I am right now!

Happy Friday Eve!!!

Awesome Giveaway at What the Teacher Wants!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Holy Smokes!!!! What the Teacher Wants! (one of my favorite blogs) is having an AwEsOmE giveaway!!! Go over there ASAP to have a chance at winning a $100 giftcard to The Container Store!!! I sure could use more storage containers in my classroom:) *fingers crossed*

First Grade Fun Dr. Jean Giveaway!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011
Check out the giveaway happening over at First Grade Fun and enter for your chance to win a Dr. Jean cd!!! Congrats to Ms. Van Orman for reaching 200 followers!!! How exciting:):):)

YAY for a new blog makeover:) and BOO for new url issues:(

Hey Everyone!!! I'm loving the blog design Cara created for me!!!! It's perfect and makes coming over here and posting even more fun:) On the downside, I tried to change my url to and realized that it's WAY more complicated than I thought it would be! Turns out that changing your url is easy...I was able to keep all of my awesome followers (yay!), BUT (here comes the yucky part)the news feed wouldn't show any of you my new post ....double disappointment for me! I love the news feed and want everyone to know what's happening over here sooooooo.....I changed back to my old url for now. Sure enough my latest post popped right up in the news feed for everyone to see when changing back over.

Here's the deal....I want a new url, but don't want to have followers who can't see what I'm posting in their news feed! What should I do? Any suggestions???

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

Think Dots Choice Board

Thursday, March 10, 2011
I love using "Think Dots" choice boards in my classroom! The activities on each choice board are differentiated by levels and interests. My little loves have so much fun with them:) They roll a die with a partner and complete the activity if it is one that interests them. They have to complete at least 3 activities. When they complete one, they color the box and put their recording sheets (or whatever they used to show their work) in their math folder. Since this is a very student directed activity, I act as a facilitator and just circulate the room monitoring/helping as needed. I usually give the choice boards towards the end of a unit for extending and refining purposes. Click HERE to download a  Money Think Dots choice board!

I love, love, love these plastic storage drawers! They make having materials for several activities a piece a cake!!! I just put everything the kiddos will need for each choice in a labeled drawer!

As higher order thinking and differentiation become more and more of a focus at my school, I have found these choice boards really helpful. When I first started using them, my students and I went over the expectations and modeled how to complete each activity. Please don't get discouraged if the first, second, or even third time you do a choice board is a little me, it will get much, much better!!!

For more resources and information on a TON of awesome differentiated activities check out this awesome website-

Happy Friday Eve!!!

AN EXCITING BLOG ANNOUNCEMENT & TpT 10% off coupon code :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011
Hey Everyone!

I'm beyond excited to announce that the awesome, Cara Carroll, will be giving my blog a much needed makeover in the very near future(a week or so)! Check out her blog designs at OH SO SPOILED. I admire her work so much & can't wait for my "new look". With a new look will also come a NEW BLOG NAME! When I originally set up my blog, I didn't do a good job of looking to make sure that my site name wasn't already taken or similiar to others. Turns out, Fun in First is a very popular name, which is awesome because first grade is so much fun, but I don't want to confuse anyone at the same time:) With much going back and forth about my new name, I've finally decided on one that fits me better, " Crazy for First Grade".....perfect, huh? My only worry about this is that I could possibly lose my sweet follower/visitor friends b/c my url will change & I don't want that to happen at all! When Cara's done designing and ready to get things looking a whole lot better here, I will post another announcement letting everyone know what my new url is before I actually change it over:) I've had a ton of fun sharing ideas with all of you and look forward to continue doing so in a much cuter space :) :)

FYI -TpT is running a 10% off special ALL WEEK with this coupon code- G2R2M :) Awesome!!! I have a few wishlist items that I can't wait to use it for:) Please check out my TPT store if you are in need of St. Patrick's Day and/or Spring centers. I love creating centers that are easy to use, but engaging and fun for my students! My packets include printable centers and games with coordinating accountability sheets! As mentioned in an earlier post, I finally have my Spring Math and Literacy center packet up and running over at TpT, but for some reason my preview isn't working right now. I've contacted TpT to get help with that so please know it will *hopefully* be attached soon. Here is the downloadable preview if you want to check it out.

Since my Spring packet is finished, I'm now working away on my next math and literacy center packet called "Bugs, Birds, and Butterflies". These centers will be really cute to use when you get tired of bunnies, chicks, and eggs...ha! What skills are you working on in you classroom that you could use a center for? Let me know:)

Hope you have a super Sunday and a GREAT week!!

~Anna Brantley

My Favorite Things

Saturday, March 5, 2011
The wonderful Jodi at Fun in First Grade started a Favorite Things Linky party and I've been wanting to post my favorites all week. Finally, I have "me time" to do it!!!

1. Starbuck's Breakfast Blend Coffee = LOVE! Seriously, I can't function in the morning without it!

2. Reality TV! It's my guilty very favorite are the New Jersey Housewives:) I'm also a huge fan of the other housewives, Jerseylicious, Jersey Shore, Wife Swap, etc.

3. Dansko clogs- These shoes are soooooo comfortable! I don't know what my little teacher feet would do without them:) If you are on your feet all day, they are a must!!!They come in a variety of cute styles and patterns! I like the black because they go with anything:)

3. Moroccan Oil hairspray- Not only does this hairspray hold your "style" without weighing your hair down, but it also gives a nice shine and smells sooooooo good!

4. Haribo Gummy Bears- YUM! The Best Gummy Bears. EVER.

5. Weight Watchers - I joined back in July and have lost 33 lbs! I'm only 4 lbs away from reaching my goal and becoming a lifetime member, which means I'll no longer have a monthly fee...yay! Good-bye baby weight:)

Rounding and Money Practice

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We've been reviewing previously taught skills in math this week. Yesterday, we worked on rounding to the nearest ten. Here's a game I call "Drop and Round" that my students LOVE! All you need are counters, 100 charts, marker boards & markers! Students drop a counter ( I like to use the small clear counters shown in the picture) on the 100's chart. On one side of the marker board, they write the number their counter landed on. Then they write the nearest ten on the opposite side of the board. You can pair your kiddos up or let them play independently. This week, I let my students play this independently while I walked around the room to observe/take notes. It was a nice formative assessment!
Here are a few pictures.....

Below is the recording sheet that was used to play these games. Very easy- have your students fold a piece of white paper into each box they write a number and it's nearest ten (they wrote the nearest ten in colored pencil to make it stand out).

Today, we practiced counting money and making fair trades. We played two different games - "Money Drop" and "4 ways". They are very similiar to one another.

Money Drop- Students drop a counter on a 100's chart and turn it into an amount of money. For example, John's counter dropped on 66 so he would use 66 cents. Once they have their number, they show it in four different ways on their Fair Trades Board (a large piece of laminated construction paper divided into four sections.

Four Ways- I give each student a coin combination card. They count the coins and write the amount on their board. Then they show that amount in four different ways on their Fair Trades Board.

Lastly, I want to share something with you that has nothing to do with money or rounding...ha :P! I'm almost done with my "book basket project". I had a few AWESOME classroom volunteers help me sort my books last week. I found the baskets at the $tree....All I have left is a w.h.o.l.e lot of labeling....thank goodness, I love labels:) Anyhoo, I'm so excited about this and had to share:) Can't wait to show you the finished product next week!!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! Thanks so much for visiting! I'm so close to my goal of 50 followers this week! 15 more and I'm there....Please share my blog with your friends! THANKS:)