Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Don't forget to enter the "Spring Themed Fun" contest!!!

If you haven't already entered the contest I'm throwing with Erica Bohrer, please click HERE!!! It's an awesome chance to win 3 great spring themed TpT products!!! Thank you to everyone who has already entered!!!

Well, I'm straight up silly exhausted from writing a 6 page paper today....ugh! Hey, at least I was able to check something off of my very important, can't procrastinate, must do list...What a relief!!!!!!

Anyhoooo, I promise to post some cute spring ideas with freebie downloads later this week....p.r.o.m.i.s.e.!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Goal Setting

Hey Blogger Friends! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday evening. I have a little free time since my little man decided to crash at 6:00!! Poor little boy has a stomach bug:(

I am so excited to have 200 followers!!! Wooooohooooo!!! Thank y'all so much for being a part of my blog!!! Make sure to enter into the "Spring Theme Fun" contest that I'm hosting with Erica Bohrer!!! The contest ends on Saturday, April 9th at midnight. You have 5 chances to win on both blogs!!!

Now onto goal setting!! It's a huge focus at my school. I have seen the wonderful benefits of it in my classroom. It's a life skill that your kiddos will always use! At the beginning of each week, I pass out a behavior and learning goal sheet for my little goal setters to complete. Then they take it home to share with their family. When they bring their goal sheet back to school, you can either display them in your classroom or have them keep it in a safe place! At the end of the week, we discuss whether they met their goal or need to continue working towards it during the following week!

I just gave my learning and behavior goal sheet a much needed makeover and wanted to share it with you. You can click on the picture to download it. It's very simple, but I wanted to keep it short and sweet!!!

FYI- Teachers pay Teachers is giving everyone 10% off of their purchases through April 9th with the coupon code A3F9D. Stop by my store, as well as others to take advantage of this awesome discount!!! I should be done with my "Fun in the Sun Math and Literacy Center Packet" in a few days:) It will include 10 centers that are full of sunshine!!!

I'm finally on Spring Break!! YAY!!! Most of it will be dedicated to grad school work, but I'm okay with not having to juggle it with a full-time job for a week!!! Exciting, huh?!?!?

Hope you have a GREAT week!!!

Spring Themed Fun Contest with Erica Bohrer!!!

The fabulous Erica Bohrer and I have teamed up for a "Spring Themed Fun" contest. You could win Erica's adorable Jelly Bean Math Centers AND her Spring File Folder and Writing Prompts, plus my Hippity Hoppity Math and Literacy Center Packet (10 bunny themed centers with recording sheets)!!! We are each hosting this contest on our blogs and will be giving away a total of 2 "Spring Themed Fun" downloads!! Please note that if you have already bought my Hippity Hoppity Centers or Erica's Jelly Bean Math and Spring File Folder and Writing Prompts, you can pick something else out of our stores for the same value!!

To enter, follow these directions and make a comment for each!

  1. Follow my blog

  2. Follow my TpT store

  3. Follow Erica Bohrer's blog (click here)

  4. Follow Erica Bohrer's TpT store (click here)

  5. Blog about this awesome contest and post a link about it

Don't forget to go to Erica's page and enter there, too!! The contest will end on Saturday, April 9th at midnight. We will announce the lucky winners on Sunday, April 10th!! Have fun and good luck to YOU!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mystery Words Center

Look at the cuties I picked up at The Dollar Tree!!! Can you tell I shop there frequently?!?! They have the best holiday themed stuff for centers. I used these fantastic chick and carrot eggs to store letter tiles for my "Bunny's Mystery Words" center. I put letters in each egg that my kiddos have to unscramble to reveal the Easter/spring themed mystery word. Fun stuff!!!! I made the letter tiles in the pictures, but you could always use your own tiles as long as they are small enough. If you want to have the letter tiles shown in the pictures,you can swing by my TpT store and pick them up in my Hippity Hoppity Center Packet. It is 1 out of the 10 bunny themed centers in the packet!!

Happy Weekend to YOU!!!

And the winner is......

If you did not win, you can still go pick up my math and literacy packets at my TpT store---->HERE!!! Thanks again everyone for all of your sweet comments!!! This was SO MUCH fun!! I'm counting down the days until my 200 follower celebration!!!

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Last Day for Giveaway!!!

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 followers...you know what that means...another giveaway in the near future!! YAY!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

1st Grade Chicks and Bunny Shakers

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!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Buggies and Birdies Center Fun

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 another...as 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!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

100 Followers GIVEAWAY!!!!!

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?!?!?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tweet! A Sight Word Game

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!!!!


Monday, March 21, 2011

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

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!!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blooming Sentences Activity!

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!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

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

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 work...so 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!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Awesome Giveaway at What the Teacher Wants!!!

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*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Grade Fun Dr. Jean Giveaway!!!

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 crazyforfirstgrade.blogspot.com 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!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Think Dots Choice Board

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 crazy...trust me, it will get much, much better!!!

For more resources and information on a TON of awesome differentiated activities check out this awesome website- http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/

Happy Friday Eve!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

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

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