Sunday, November 6, 2011


Hi! I'm Tamela and I blog over at This and That. I am a former elementary school teacher turned homeschooling mom. I am absolutely in love with all of the amazaing 1st grade blogs that I have found! Let me just say that, "You guys rock!" You all do an amazing job in your classroom and I have been inspired by lots of your ideas and printables!

I want to introduce you to something that I love doing with my girls ~ lapbooking. Lapbooking is big in the homeschool world, but I think it would be fun to do in the classroom, too! Basically, lapbooks are a way to compile all of the learned information in a neat and organized way. Here are a couple of examples that we have done...


This is the middle of the lapbook. The components are labeling a penguin and a number matching game.

This is the back of the lapbook. We included a poem about penguins, the life cycle of penguins and a little reader. The little reader book is by far my favorite component because the girls got to use their thumb prints to make the penguins on each page!

This is my oldest daughter working on her penguin! Sorry, just had to share that one with you, too! You can add different components too like their habitat, what they eat, the different types of penguins. There really isn't a wrong way to lapbook!

Another type of lapbook is based on a piece of literature. For this lapbook, we read "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". The girls really enjoyed the extended learning that we did with this book. We talked about onomatopoeia, real versus fantasy, and why it's important to obey rules. Gracelyn helped Mr. McGregory plant a new vegetable garden and then wrote him a letter of apology on behalf of Peter. Ella put together a mini book on staying well in winter.

cover middle - onomatopoeia definiton and example from the text, step-by-step directions on how to draw a rabbit, new vocabulary words, mini book and animal fantasy back (pocket to store all of the 81/2 x 11 sheets) response to literature vegetable garden planning letter of apology real vs. fantasy worksheet our house rules drawings of rabbits

If you are wondering what the letter says, it says: Dear Mr. McGregory, I am sorry for eating your vegetables. I would like to plant more vegetables in your garden. Sincerely, Gracelyn

I know this is a long post, but I wanted to show you a couple of different types of labooks. If you have any questions, please let me know. Oh, and the internet is filled with other examples and You tube also has a short video on how to fold a lapbook.

Awesome Investigations Resource!! Tons of FREE resources!!

Do you use the Investigations math series? If so, you have to check out this awesome FREE online resource that was recently shared with me! It is full of SMARTboard activities, games, vocabulary cards, and rubrics that go with each Investigations unit!! Can you say AMAZING?!?! Even if you don't use this series, you might be able to find something that works with your first grade math standards!!

Click {HERE} to check it out!! Thank you Shannarae for creating such an awesome resource!!!

Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Measurement Fun!!!

I love teaching nonstandard measurement! We measured everything you can think of with a variety of different tools this week!! I made a couple of new printables for our lil' measurement masters!!

Measure It!
Let your students pick a measurement tool (cubes, counters, dominoes, craft sticks, etc. all work well) & estimate/measure 5 objects in your classroom. Here are a few pictures of the fun....

Click on the picture to download the "Measure It!" recording sheet!

 Measure a Friend!
We all know how much our kids love partner activities!! My loves had so much fun measuring  their friend/partner! No pics of this activity because we were all so busy....and yes, I was also on the floor being measured. ME=BIG kid!
Click on the picture to download the "Measure a Friend" recording sheet.

What do YOU do to have fun teaching nonstandard measurement?!?!

On another note, several of you have asked about my plans for future math journals and centers. I love making these resources and plan to continue to make them throughout the year!! Christmas center packet is in the works!!

Click HERE to check out my other teaching resources!! Thanks so much!!
I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Freebies & ABC Order

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!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It’s the Great PUMPKIN, Charlie Brown!

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
  • 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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!!!

 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!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

TpT 20% OFF SALE!!!

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!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Super Summary Lessons & Printables!!

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

Monday, October 17, 2011

Goal Setting

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!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

FREE Technology Toys!!!

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!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Greater Than and Less Than

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