Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holly Jolly Centers & Winter Math Journal Prompts

Everywhere I go just screams CHRISTMAS!! I love!!! It's hard to believe that's it is just around the corner...CRAZY! It's even harder to believe that I have 90% of my Christmas shopping DONE thanks to online stores:) 
As the holiday season approaches, I get so excited about all of the fun things I can do with my students! I just recently finished my Holly Jolly Math and Literacy centers! It's my BIGGEST unit yet {15 activities} and full of fun to bring the Holly Jolly spirit into your classroom! 
Here is a lil' sneak peek of the goodies!!!
Math Centers
1. North Pole Number Ordering
2. Holly Jolly Fact Families
3. Santa's Shape Riddles {basic 2D & 3D}
4. Reindeer Time {hour and half hour}
5. Holly Jolly Graphing
6. Santa's Math Helpers 
Literacy Centers
1. Holly Jolly Read the Room {long and short vowel words}
2. Making Words with Happy Holidays
3. Making Words with Candy Cane
4. Candy Cane Compounds
5. Elf Editors
6. Opposite Ornaments
7. Holly Jolly Sentences
8. Holly Jolly Compare and Contrast
Click {HERE} for more details about this packet!

I've also posted my next set of math journal prompts!! There are a variety of skills covered: addition, subtraction, number representation, number combinations, number patterns, fair shares, shapes, and more! Many of the prompts promote higher order thinking and multiple solutions. 

Click {HERE} to check them out!!

 Happy, Happy Sunday!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gobble Goodies :)

Hey y'all!!! I know it has been forever since I last posted, but Strep throat hit my house BIG time this week! Ouch!! I swear that stuff is WAY worse as an adult!! On top of that, my little boy had to have an MRI yesterday because his pedi has been concerned about his very large head since he was 9 months old. He was sedated for the procedure, which scared the mess out of me & my hubs, but all went well...especially when his pedi called to let us know everything was normal this afternoon...BLESSED! Our sweet little guy just has the big head family gene, thank the Lord!!

Okay, now to the teacher stuff!! We've had turkey fever this week in my classroom. One of my favorite activities is a fun project where my kiddos disguise a turkey. I send it home, but you could easily do it in your classroom, too. I loved every minute of seeing how proud my students were when they shared their turkeys!!  I think they turned out SO cute!! Here are some pictures of our disguised turkeys!!

Artist Turkey

Bride Turkey

Chick-fil-A Turkey

 Georgia Power Turkey

GA Bulldogs Turkey

GA Cheerleader Turkey

Santa Turkey

Johnny Appleseed Turkey

Tae Kwon Do Turkey

New York Yankees Turkey

Gymnast Turkey

Princess Turkey

Baby Turkey

Super Model Turkey

Moon Turkey
Adorable, huh?!?!?! They just continue to make me smile....
 I found this activity a few years ago on an amazing website-Mrs.Nelson's Class. She has the turkey printable I used {printed them on cardstock}, as well as a parent letter to send home to explain the project for FREE!! That's right, FREE!!! Thank you, Mrs. Nelson!!!

I also found this sweet Handy Turkey activity from Mrs. Nelson's site that I plan to do next week. You can get the printable for FREE {HERE}!! Just scroll down until you see it!! Precious!!!

Hand Turkey

Since informational writing is our focus in writing right now, we also wrote interesting turkey facts in these "I Am Stuffed with Facts About Turkeys" books!

I don't have patterns for the book. I just free handed the feathers, folded a large piece of brown paper {w/ writing paper inside}, cut strips of brown paper for the legs, and let the kids cut out & decorate their own turkey head! Super simple to prepare!! 

 In math, we had fun making number combination turkeys. You can easily differentiate this activity by giving your kiddos different numbers to use. Again, I do not have patterns for this. SORRY!! I just used a die cut machine at my school for the circles {one small and one big}, traced & cut out the feathers, made triangle beaks, and a little red construction paper wattle.

How do I wrap up a week learning all about turkeys on a SWEET note? With Turkey Cookies, of course!!!

 To make these all you need are:
-chocolate chips (eyes)
-white icing (glue)
-sugar cookies(one cookie per child)
-candy corn (feathers)

- a small piece of a red Twizzler (wattle)
-Nutter Butter cookies (head)
 Delicious FUN!!!

What's even sweeter though is this "vase of flowers" one of my students brought me as we were leaving the playground this week!!! Melt my heart!! I have the BEST job in the world!! 

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