Halloween Freebies & ABC Order

Saturday, October 29, 2011
Hey everyone! Christie here from First Grade Fever! I was sooo excited when Anna asked me to be a guest blogger (especially right before Halloween!) I just LOVE this time of year-there are so many super-cute books and activities that I feel like I need about 2 months to get them all done! And then what do I do??? Yep, you guessed it...head to the blogging world and find oodles more amazing ideas! One of our favorite books during October is "Skeleton Meets the Mummy" by Steve Metzger. My firsties just love this story about a skeleton being tricked by his best friend before they go out trick-or-treating! Hopefully you can squeeze some of these activities in on Monday-if not...just save it for next year!

Just click the pic to link to your FREEBIE activities!

This year I decided to add "ABC Order Reporter" board to our morning meeting/calendar time. And I am soooo glad I did-the kids love this (and they don't even realize that they are becoming experts at alphabetizing!) It's nothing real fancy or complicated-looks like this...

I bought one of those goofy little microphones from the Target Dollar Bin & I announce..."It's time for A...B....C.....O-r-d-e-r  R-E-P-O-R-T-E-RRRRRR! (with my announcer-type voice, really stretching those words out!) Then I ask for the students to think of one of our spelling words or word wall words and they have to spell it to me. Then I write it on a post-it. After we have about 6-7 words I have them figure out which comes first, second, etc...  They LOVE doing this & are so good at it already! So simple, but really makes a big difference!!! Anyone else have any quick lil morning meeting goodies that you would like to share? We'd love to hear about it!!!

I want to say "CONGRATS" to Anna on completing her graduate degree! What a huge accomplishment!!! And thanks so letting me be a guest blogger!!!


It’s the Great PUMPKIN, Charlie Brown!

Thursday, October 27, 2011
I love watching that movie with my kids. J Does your school allow you to participate in Halloween activities? I try and focus on what we can do instead of what we can’t.  First of all, and yes this is insane, we ask all Kindergarten students to bring their own full size pumpkin to school a few days before Halloween. There is so much you can do with just a pumpkin.  

Here are a few fun ideas:
  • Learn and sequence the life cycle of a pumpkin.
  • Measure the pumpkin.
  • Weight the pumpkin.
  • Make observations about it’s appearance, size, shape, color, etc.
  • Estimate the amount of seed in the pumpkin.
  • Write a recipe using pumpkin.
  • Use your senses to taste, smell, feel the pumpkin.
  • Interactive Writing: A pumpkin canhas..is
  • Writer’s Workshop: If I were a pumpkin.If I lived in a pumpkinHow to plant a pumpkin.

Really, the possibilities are endless! Holiday or not, learning can and will take place because we are teachers and that is what we do.J At the end of this jam packed week, we carve all 22 pumpkins. Surprisingly enough, this is the day we have our biggest parent turn out and praise God for that!

After all of our pumpkin fun, on Halloween day, we take our campus by storm and have a Hilarious Hat Parade. A week before, we send home a paper plate and ask parents to help their child create a creative and original hat for their child. What a fun family project and the hats are a hoot!  That’s right, after surviving carving 22 pumpkins with 22 kinders, we joyfully strap on our crazy hats and walk in and out every classroom, spreading our smiles and sweet thoughts of the candy that is yet to come.  I don’t know about you, but celebrating Halloween or not, this learning is still pretty SWEET!

Click here for these pumpkin freebies from my Fall, Pumpkin, & Halloween Unit, and come by and say hi sometime. J


Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
 Hey Friends! I just posted my newest math and literacy center packet- Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!! It's full of hands-on turkey themed fun to help reinforce several important first grade skills.
Here's a little sneak peek of all the gobblin' goodies in the set!!  

The best part is that it's on sale! You can get 20% off of it all day on Thursday!!!
Click {HERE} for more information about my Gobble, Gobble, Gobble Math and Literacy Center packet! Thanks for checking it out! 

I'm so excited that my blog has been listed as a Top 50 Early Childhood blog! Crazy, Crazy...but super exciting!!! The blogging community continues to blow me away!!! I'm honored and humbled at the same time!! THANK YOU!!!
Okay, it's midnight. Must get sleep!! Lots of love to y'all!!!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Hey y'all!!! Halloween is in the air and my teacher buddies are getting boo'd left and right at my school this week!! It's so much fun {and easy} to play that I had to come here and share it with all of you!! To get your BOO on, print two copies of this adorable poem that I have no idea who wrote. If it is yours, please let me know so I can give you the credit!!! Love it!!

Also make two copies of the BOO cards!
Click {HERE} to download the BOO poem and cards!! Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles.

Then make two treat bags & secretly deliver them with the poem and cards to two people in your school!! Can't wait to deliver my special treats tomorrow!!! I challenge you to get the BOO chain started at your school this week!! Have FUN!!

On another note, I start teaching nonstandard measurement {one of my favorite math concepts} to a bunch of excited trick or treaters on Monday!! How am I going to engage them?!?!? With candy corn & bats, of course!!

Click on the picture below to download "Batty Measurement"!!!

I'll be back tomorrow to introduce my next set of math and literacy centers....gobble, gobble, gobble!! Don't forget that all of my TpT products are 20% OFF right now!! Check them out HERE!!

I'm excited that I'll have more guest bloggers coming over to share their awesome ideas this week!! Wooohooo!! Love our blogging community and the cyber collaboration that's happening here!


TpT 20% OFF SALE!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011
Hey Friends! Just wanted to let you know everything in my TpT store is 20% off until Wednesday! Click {here} to check it out!!!

Hope you have a FABULOUS week!!


Super Summary Lessons & Printables!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Hello! My name is Emily Rocha. I’m a first grade teacher near Houston in Richmond, Texas. I am so excited to be a guest blogger! I currently don’t have a blog, but I am considering starting one of my own once things start to settle down. I would love to share some of the things I have created and lesson plans I have made for free to the blog world!

My students have been working on writing a summary this week. This can be a difficult process for many students. I decided to take a step by step approach.

        Day 1 and 2:
I introduced what a summary is. I defined  a summary using the following terminology, “A summary is a brief account of the text and giving the main points. It’s not telling everything. It’s putting together important information.”

I read aloud a book and modeled filling out a portion of the pre-writing page. This pre-writing page is meant to collect their ideas. It is not written in complete sentences, but rather in lists with bullets. I then read another book aloud, and students then completed the pre-writing independently on the second book read aloud.

Day 3 and 4:
Students use their pre-writing to create a draft. The draft uses the bullet points and turns the list into complete sentences. I encouraged students to write the title and author in their introduction. I also modeled how to write the summary into the story without explicitly stating it. I wanted to avoid students writing, “The setting is outside.” but rather write, “It was a beautiful, sunny day.” I modeled the steps of the draft using my pre-writing page, then had students complete their draft independently.

Day 5:
I modeled how to turn a draft into a final copy. I emphasized using nice handwriting, four star sentences, and the importance of a final copy. Students then completed their final draft summary independently. Students were also expected to draw an illustration they feel best sums up the story.

I hope you find this useful! I have also included the exact lesson plan I used for you to have for your records, and the rubric I used to grade it. I always present the students with the rubric criteria before they turn their papers in.

Lesson Plan
Click the the picture to download
Click the the picture to download

Thank you for reading!

Emily Rocha

Goal Setting

Monday, October 17, 2011
Hey y'all!!! Goal setting is HUGE at my school!! One of my amazing team members made this cute little goal setting printable that I just had to share with you {with her permission}!! It's simple and sweet. Enjoy!!!

Click on the picture to download it!!
Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!!!
Many of you have asked about when I'll have my Thanksgiving themed centers ready!! Now that I'm not writing a paper every day, I am back to my center making self!!! I hope to have my turkey themed  centers posted by the weekend!! I'm so excited about them!!!

Stay tuned for an awesome post from a guest blogger tomorrow!!! If you would like to be a guest blogger here, please feel free to e-mail me!!

Have a GREAT week!!!


FREE Technology Toys!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011
Hey Friends!! I'm SO excited to announce that I completed my Master's degree program yesterday!! I feel like a new person today...recharged, inspired, and RELIEVED!!! I want to say THANK YOU to all of the sweet guest bloggers that dropped by this week to keep things rolling over here!!! Please make sure to check out their blogs and TpT products if you haven't already!!

I attended the best technology fair ever and learned about some really amazing FREE technology resources on Friday!! I've been waiting ever since then to tell you all about it!!! Seriously, who doesn't love FREE?!?!

Are you ready?!?! This stuff is going to blow your sweet teacher heart away!!!

Random Name/Word Generator
Check out this name/word generator cuteness.  You just enter your students' names or words and it will randomly select them!! What a great way to make sure you are not calling on the same kids over and over again!!! Click here for this FREE resource!

Countdown Timer
Wanna make timing your kids FUN?!?!? Try this awesome countdown timer!! My favorite thing about it is that you can pick a soundtrack to go with your visual countdown!! I can't wait to use this with the Mission Impossible soundtrack for our clean up time tomorrow afternoon!! What would you use it for it your classroom?!?!?

Have you ever heard of Wordle?!?! Ohmyword!! Talk about word heaven!! This technology toy lets you take words from a text to make an instant word cloud!! You can copy/paste words from a document, enter a url to find words, or enter your own. I did one from the words in my lil' blog! The more the word has been used, the bigger it is in the cloud!! Cool, huh?!?! It gets better you can even customize your fonts, colors, backgrounds, etc.

If you like Wordle, you will LOVE Tagxedo!! You can actually make your word clouds in the shape of an apple, heart, star, etc!! Too cute!!

Digital Flipbook Maker
Do you use flipbooks in your classroom? You must check out ReadWriteThink's digital flipbook maker!! You can make a digital flipbook page by page and print it out!! A-MAZ-ING!!


 I about fell out of my seat when I learned about Zooburst!! You can make your own digital 3D pop up books on this site for FREE with a basic account!! Not only am I excited to use this with my kiddos, but I also can't wait to show it to Parker!!

 Comix is a place where you sweeties can actually create their own digital comic strips!! What a great activity to incorporate creativity and critical thinking in your classroom!!!

I hope you have found something in this post that you had no idea was out there in cyberland that you can use in your wonderful classroom!!!

Happy, Happy Teaching!!!

Greater Than and Less Than

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Hey there friends! It's Erin and Leslie over at First Grade Fanatics. We are so excited to get to be guest bloggers for such an amazing blogger! Thanks Anna! We've really been working on greater than and less than with our little firsties, so we thought we'd share some fun stuff with ya'll.

We started over at Super Teacher Worksheets because they have a super cute little alligator that we used to introduce the concept. Isn't he the cutest?

We quickly moved beyond Mr. Alligator to teaching the symbols, but really found that using him did give the kids a great visual to remember which symbol to use.
Here is a worksheet that we used with the alligators, but you could definitely use it for just symbols as well. You can find the black and white little alligators HERE at Super Teacher Worksheets. We didn't love their worksheet, so we made our own. Make sure to grab a copy below.
The Hungry Alligator Worksheet

Next we did an activity with the kids using whiteboards where we came up with 2 numbers that they wrote, and then they picked a card with a symbol to put in the middle. Make sure to click below to get a copy of our signs. They worked really well for the kids!

We really want our first graders to be familiar with the correct language to use when comparing two numbers. The worksheets below contain boxes for students to write the correct sign in, and phrases to circle.

We ended the week teaching our kids to play this game.

This was a huge help in reinforcing greater than, less than and equal to.

Each pair of students gets a spinner to create 2-digit numbers. They then record them on their worksheet (they can either share one, or have their own) and include the appropriate symbol. They loved this game! We were so busy though, we forgot to take pictures. Oops! :-)

Here's a copy for you!

Thanks for sticking with us! Do you have any other ideas for teaching this strategy? We'd love to hear from you!
Now we're moving on to place value...

Don't forget to stop on by our blog and say hello. We've got all sorts of fun freebies and printables to share! Have a great day!

First Grade Fanatics

Many Luscious Lollipops

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Hi Dear Friends!  It’s Hope King from Second Grade Shenanigans and let me just say that I am CAH-RAZY excited  to be “guest blogging” here at Crazy for First Grade. Anna’s blog is filled with such fabulous ideas and was one of the very first blogs to inspire me to really beef up my instruction. Isn’t she awesome?!?   
Today, I am here to talk about all things delicious and tasty and scrumptious…ADJECTIVES!  I mean is there really a better month to talk about adjectives than in the month of October? How can you not cook up spicy words when talking about pumpkins, apples and all of those spooky Halloween costumes?  Lately, my budding authors have been hard at work adding a touch of adjectives here and there in their writing. One of the lessons that I look forward to the most during my little adjective unit is a lesson that I like to call “Many Luscious Lollipops.” {You’ll see the meaning behind the title in 3…2….}

Love, love, LOVE this book! It is a perfect beginning to an adjective study. However, it does get a little intense as you get close to the end. If you teach the youngsters, you may want to give it a little “preview” before your lesson and only read up until a certain point.
After reading Many Luscious Lollipops, we talk about the “Power of the Senses” and as a class, we think of ways that we can make our writing powerful by appealing to our reader’s five senses. Next, I bust out the ULTIMATE attention getter…candy…lollipops to be exact.  The students work to describe their lollipop using their five senses. {Just a little tip: I tell them they must describe taste last! I am always afraid that their lollipop will be GONE before they get one word on their paper! J}  After the activity, the students share adjectives that they used to describe their lollipop. I usually add new adjectives to our chart.
Here is the recording sheet that we use:
Finally, after the students become “adjective experts” it is time for them to become the teacher…BUT…not for other students….for their PARENTS!!! I tell the students that it is time to give their parents a little homework! {Pause for a few seconds here due to the level of excitement that will be going on in your room! You may need to alert the teacher next door that there is NOT an emergency in your room and everything is just fine! J} Seriously…the kids go absolutely crazy over the idea. That day, the students take home a parent activity that matches what they completed earlier.
We attach a Dum Dum to the sheet above and it is the parents turn to think of adjectives to describe their lollipop. I always “act” like I am just POSITIVE that the parents will need a tremendous amount of help and that I know the students are going to have to reteach them all about adjectives! They think this is hysterical and cannot WAIT to get back the next day and tell all about the adjective lesson they had with their parents.  This activity really gets them excited about including adjectives all throughout their writing. In fact, we will even have to discuss that although adjectives make our writing better, we do not actually need 25 in each sentence! J
I have put together a few adjective resources for you to use with your kiddos. You can {CLICK HERE} if you would like to download these activities.
I hope that you are all having a week filled with wonderful experiences in your classroom. Thanks again to Anna for allowing me to share this little idea with all of you! Happy Wednesday Friends!


Wizard Sentences

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Hi!  It's Cheryl from Primary Graffiti!  I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl for having the opportunity to post here at Crazy for First Grade.  Yep!  We've been working on similes today! This week as been a HUGE review week for my kids.  We have nouns, verbs, adjectives, similes, homophones, synonyms, and vocabulary percolating in our brains.  Words such as tantalizing, tintinnubulating are twirling off our tongues. YES, my 2nd graders are using these vocabulary words in our class and it's hilarious! I LOVE seeing how voracious my kids become for learning something new and exciting.  My young learners are developing as word wizards.   This leads me to a file that  I prepared for additional practice this week.  I'm excited to share this file with you today!  I would like to invite you to visit my blog for some fun happenings this week.  Tomorrow and Saturday will feature additional goodies for you.

Wizard Sentence

Monster Mash!!

Hey Everyone!! What a long week!!! AND it's only Tuesday!!! Don't you just love that feeling?!?!?

Let's talk monsters...I can't get enough of them right now!! My sweets are eating up the monster themed math and literacy centers I put together...I LOVE seeing them excited about learning!! Click on the picture to learn more about my Monster Mash unit!!

Here's a lil' sneak peek of everything in the packet!!
One of my favorite activities is "Monster Compare & Contrast"! It's hanging out in my HOTS (higher order thinking skills) center this week! The students use a Venn Diagram to show the similarities and differences between Monster A & B!! You can click on the picture to download it for FREE!

I know I have some Dollar Tree lovers out there!! Have you seen these FUN eyeballs?!?!?

 I wrote numbers 1-10 on two sets of eyeballs. Students pick three eyeball numbers and add them together on their recording sheet!!! Click on the picture to download the recording sheet!!
Halloween is just around the corner & I can't wait!!!
If you are looking for resources to celebrate all things trick or treating, check out my Trick or Treat unit. It's packed full of activities to get your students in the mood for Halloween while reviewing important skills!!

 Here's a sneak peek of these Halloween goodies!!!

You are in for a BIG treat this week! Please join me in welcoming several awesome guest bloggers!!
Wish me luck on Sat.!! I'm ready to be DONE!! 4 more days....4 more days!!!


Let's Have a Holly Bloggy Christmas this year!

Monday, October 10, 2011
Hi friends!  It's Caitlin (aka Ms. Preppy) from Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots.  I am beyond excited to guest post here at one of my very favorite blogs! I'm also excited that Anna is allowing me to share a super fun project that I've been cooking up with Sarah from Kindergarten Korner.  We are organizing a Christmas gift exchange for our fabulous teacher blogger friends!  I know it's early in October...but both of us already have visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.  I'm CRAZY in love with all things Christmas.  I just can't get enough of it.  The other day I was in a local home decor store and when I looked at the Halloween decorations I thought, "Man, it's way too early for pumpkins and ghosts!"  But I had no problem walking out of there with two new Christmas decorations.  {I told you.  Crazy!}  But I believe it's perfectly acceptable to be a smidgen crazy when you can turn your crazy into something good.  That's where Holly Bloggy Christmas comes in!

Here are all the dirty details!
- Holly Bloggy Christmas is a Christmas gift exchange for members of the teacher blogging community.  Participants will receive a gift from another teacher blogger AND a virtual stocking full of teacher resources from our sponsors!  It is free to participate, but sponsorship options are available and all donations will go to support TOYS FOR TOTS!
- Sign-ups begin NOW and will last until October 31st.
- In order to sign up, please send an email to hollybloggychristmas@gmail.com.  Copy and paste the questionnaire below into the body of the email and answer the questions.  We will send your answer to your secret pal, along with your address.  This information is TOP SECRET!
- Sarah and I will put participant’s names into a bowl and draw names to match you with your secret pal.  By November 10th, you will receive an email with the name of your secret pal and their answers to the questionnaire. 
- Get to crafting and/or shopping!  Be creative!  There is a $15 spending limit before postage.  Before you place your gift in the mail, snap a picture and email it to us.  On Christmas we will post all of the pictures of the super fabulous gifts everyone received!
- Send your wrapped gift in the mail (with delivery confirmation) by December 5th.  This way it has plenty of time to make it to your secret pal!
- Open your gift on Christmas morning!  NO PEEKING!  We will have a linky party for everyone to link up to a post about their gift and their wonderful secret pal!
Want to sponsor Holly Bloggy Christmas?
- Sponsorship is $5  All money will go towards TOYS FOR TOTS!
- Submit your donation via the paypal link in my sidebar.
- Sponsors have the opportunity to send us a product (unit, game, worksheet, etc.) that will be placed into a virtual stocking that all participants will receive on Christmas!  This is a great way to gain some exposure.  Please submit your product in PDF to hollybloggychristmas@gmail.com.
-Sponsors will also have their blog button or TpT/Teacher’s Notebook store button placed on the Holly Bloggy Christmas page of each of our blogs.
- For every $5 donation you make, you may submit one product.
- Email us at hollybloggychristmas@gmail.com if you have questions.
Holly Bloggy Christmas Secret Pal Questionnaire
1. Full name or your “teacher” name (for monogramming!)
2. Mailing address
3. Email address
4. Blog/Website/Store (so your pal can learn a little more about you – but you don’t have to have a blog to participate)
5. Grade level
6. Favorite treat
7. Favorite colors
8. Not-so favorite colors
9. Give a little bit of information about yourself.  Married?  Kids?  Hobbies?
We hope you will all consider joining us in this fun Christmas exchange!  We already have several signed up, so I know it's going to be a good time!  Thanks again to Anna for allowing me to share about Holly Bloggy Christmas on her blog!