December 19, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!!

It’s my favorite time of year! 
 We have so much fun during the month of December.  Of course we are learning as well!   We started our penguin unit a little earlier this year.  I wanted to spend more time on Polar Bears and comparing/contrasting the two,  so I decided to teach penguins in December. 
 We will learn about Polar Bears in January.
I hope you enjoy looking at our memories as much as we enjoyed making them! 

We love read alouds by special guests!!

Taking responsibility!!

Our Winter Holidays party!!

STEM activity

Turkey in Disguise!!

All About Penguins!

Great FREEBIE from Tools to Grow!

Penguin Glyph FREEBIE from Herding Kats in Kindergarten

November 12, 2016


 It’s great to use for those moments when you need students to complete a task independently with very little assistance from you.  It’s also a great activity to do for morning work.  It does use a lot of copies but it’s worth it.  Each scroll sheet has a 10 by 10 table with boxes large enough to write numbers inside.  

While the number line helps with the concept of sequencing, and base-10 blocks reinforce place value, the hundred chart combines these skills. This is one of the biggest benefits from having the students complete the Scroll.  Students see number lines, organized in groups of 10.  They also observe patterns of tens and ones both horizontally and vertically. 

Students start out writing numbers 1-1,000. Writing the numbers 1-1,000 will have given us some time to learn different strategies to help with addition/subtraction. So then the scroll will transition to writing addition fact sentences up to 18.   When they have reached that goal, they start writing subtraction facts (starting at 18).  You can have students go up to any number you like.  I do have ‘cheat sheets’ available for those students who need extra support.  I printed out charts 1-1,000 and laminated front to back on constuction paper.  I keep them in a magazine holder next to the scroll sheets.  

The sides of the scroll sheet need to be cut so it fits on the paper towel roll better.   I tape the first sheet with packing tape so it holds better but every sheet there after can be connected with clear tape.  I show my students how to attach the sheet and how much tape they need for each. 

 I write their names on the ends of the paper towel rolls. 

I found a $3 basket at Goodwill to store them.  It’s the perfect size for growing Scrolls. 

Students love to see how long their Scrolls can get.  I tell them it’s not necessary to unroll it every time they complete a sheet but they enjoy looking at their progress.

  Stay tuned to see the longest Scroll at the end of the year!!

November 7, 2016

Cause and Effect

I think this is one of the most difficult concepts to teach first graders.  It’s even more difficult when they need to come up with the effect.  We made our way through the first introduction of cause and effect and didn’t do too bad.  There were lots of activities to help master the skill.  As always, we started with some read-alouds and exercised our Metacognition by making a Reading Salad (will post about making a Reading Salad soon). 

Literature we used during the unit

I made sure to ask lots of ‘why’ and ‘what’ questions during the process. 

It also helps to have an anchor chart that remains up throughout the lesson.  Thanks to The Learning Toolbox for this one. 

My class loves all of the Pete the Cat books.  So, it was only fitting that we include one in this unit.  We used Pete the Cat and his White Shoes.  I gave them a sheet of blue construction paper and I saw the most creative cats I’ve ever seen in my life!! 

I used an idea from Teaching With a Mountain View blog and created a Cause and Effect chain.  I used very simple statements that my class could read on their own.  It’s a Freebie on my TPT site

 Click Clack Moo makes my students laugh every year I read it!    It's a cute story!!  The students needed help reading the causes and effects so I had them work in groups with two average-high reading students.  We went through the sentences together before they worked in their groups.  

I was also able to differentiate the lesson thanks to Mrs. Patmore and her 

The kids LOVED the story  A Bad Case of Stripes. The Texas Teaching Chicks offers a cute activity that went along with the book.  

 We learned quite a bit about Cause and Effect!

September 28, 2016

It's That Time of Year!

We are almost at the end of our First quarter of school.  Conferences are

under way.  It’s when I have so much to tell parents but limited time so I try to

 make the most of those 15 minutes.  The Georgia Department of Education has

 put together Developmental Progressions for grade levels 1-5 in the areas of 

Reading, Speaking and Listening, Writing, and Language.  I’m using it as a 

springboard to let parents know where their child SHOULD be as it relates to 

mastery of standards.  It also gives a few activities to work on at home.  

Developmental Progression for Reading

It’s a great snapshot to show where we want the students to be.  It’s also a lot

easier to explain than pulling out a million standards to show parents.  

Check it out!

September 11, 2016

Crazy about Character Traits!

We worked really hard on learning Character Traits!  The unit was full of rich literature and creative activities thanks to Michelle Hudgeons and her 

We read  the following books:

We discussed what character traits were using an anchor chart from 
I loved using the chart to start the whole group lesson.  The visual really helped the kids understand the difference between an inside trait and an outside trait. 

We completed the I am and I am not sort from  Glistening Gems.  It was a FREEBIE!! YAY!
It’s amazing how many students thought they were not chatty.  We also drew pictures of ourselves then wrote the character traits around our self-portrait. 

We also created our Character Capes and tested them out during recess! 

This was an awesome unit to implement in the classroom!  There were still more activities that we will work on later in the year!