Monday, August 27, 2012

Space Unit

Our first science unit of the year is Space. The students really enjoying learning about the universe and all about each planet. It's still so hard for me not to teach that Pluto is not a planet! Luckily, there is a book out there called Pluto: A Dwarf Planet  by Thomas K. Adamson that helps me cope with this semi-new fact.

This year I wanted to add a few things of my own and made my own Solar System Activities.  Here is a list of what my packet includes:
  • Black & white planet templates to use for any activity you choose to do in the classroom.  I usually have my students color the planets and place them in order.
  • Ordinal Number Planets Center.  Print out the planet and ordinal number cards.  Have the student order the planets and match up the correct ordinal numbers.  There is also a recording sheet for this center.
  • Label the Planets Worksheet
  • My Alien Writing Paper
  • Astronaut Space Camp Activity

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    Handwriting Fairy

    Check out the handwriting fairy that sent me an email and came to visit my class today!

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    First Grade Keepsakes

    Tonight was Parent Night at school and everything went smoothly! I really do have a great set of parents and students. I'm looking to a great school year!

    I decided to make the parents a gift for Parent Night. I saw this pin and knew I had to make one for first grade.

    I had the students sign their name in a pink, green or black marker underneath their hand prints.  

    The parents were excited to get them tonight. I told them that once the box is full, they have to start throwing some of the papers away and only keep some of the work.  Some parents actually keep every. single. paper. and never EVER throw them away.  I don't know if they'll go for it or not - there was a lot of nervous laughter when I told the parents that.  Maybe one day you'll see this box on the episode of Hoarders!

    TPT is finally working for me, so if you are interested in a free phonic games for your students, check it out here.

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    Survived Week One!

    Whew!  The first week of school flew by and it's time for week two.  I enjoyed getting to know my sweet class this past week and I can already tell it's going to be an AMAZING year!  Especially when I looked up one day and one of my students was doing the "sprinkler" dance after finishing the assignment.  Does it really get any better than that?

    I always forget how little the firsties are at the beginning of the year!  They don't have many independent skills.  I love it when I tell them they can open their own snack with their scissors - it's seriously la lightbulb moment.  Ha!  During math this week, I had drawn a number line on a shower curtain and was having the students hop across to practice counting forwards and backwards.  I made them take off their shoes, which of course, they couldn't believe I let them do that.  And then 3 of them couldn't put their shoes back on. Ha! As we say in the South, bless their hearts!

    Over the summer I had made a phonics review game.  I had planned to do it on Thursday, but I worried the students wouldn't understand how to play.  But I was worried for nothing!  They understood how to play and enjoyed getting out of their seats.

    The game is called Beginning Sounds SCOOT.  SCOOT is a game you can play with any skill you'd like.  Each student has a card and a recording sheet.  They write down the answer on the recording sheet and then "scoot" to the next seat.  I'm trying to upload to TPT as a freebie, but it's not working.  Hopefully it'll be up soon!

    Edited: I finally got the game upload.  You can pick it up here.

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Last Day of Summer

    Today is my official last day of summer!  I've technically been back at school since August 1st, but tomorrow is the first day with the students.

    I am VERY sad to see summer end!  Here's the rules for the Good-Bye Summer 2012 Linky Party.

    *Share 4 things about your summer!
    1: a place you visited 
    2: a book you read (either for fun or for school)
    3: something you did or made for your school class
    4: a fun thing you did

    1.  I went to Hilton Head Island, SC.  I stayed right on the beach with my parents.  A free week in the sun sounds great, right?  It rained every. single. day.  I didn't get a lot of beach time, but I did get some good outlet shopping done.
    2.  I had such a hard time this summer finding good books to read!  I read plenty, but there was only one standout among the bunch - On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves.

    3.  I jazzed up my bookcases for the classroom.

    4.  I spent a lot of time at the pool this summer.  It was great to catch up with friends while lounging in the sun.  When I went by myself I enjoyed reading and catching up on a few zzz's.

    You can link up to the Good-Bye Summer 2012 here.

    You Might Be a First Grader is having a 100 follower giveaway.

    Off to shop the big TPT sale, relax in the sun, and hopefully squeeze in a hot yoga class!  Enjoy your Sunday!

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    Classroom Tour

    I've worked in my classroom all week and it's finally finished!  I don't have the best pictures - just the little old iPhone. Here's a quick tour.

    This is the view right when you walk inside.

    This is my reading and writing area. I love the Writer's Eye!  I've always wanted to add a CAFE board to my room and implement it.  I found the CRAFT board here.

    I completely changed my reading corner this year.  It used to be full of dark green, red, and blue containers.  I went through all of my books (I actually had to get rid of some - I had way too many!) and changed up the containers to pink, gray and lime green.

    To the right of this area is my new and improved word wall!  It's the smallest word wall I've ever had, but I know my firsties will use it a lot.  I made extra space for "t" and "w" words - I always seem to have ton of those words to put up.  I put the writing center directly underneath the word wall.  Right now it has writing journals, mini offices and different types of writing paper.

    You can see a little bit of the calendar in the picture, but I didn't take one of the whole calendar board.  To be honest, calendar time makes me sick to my stomach. I bought First Grade Parade's Calendar Companion, so hopefully that will spice it up for me. Or else I'll have to take a shot of Pepto Bismol everyday.

    Here's the clock and my class rules.

    Next up is the front of the room.

    See the pocket chart at the bottom of the board?  My mom made that!  Isn't she crafty?  Each pocket holds different colored crayons so if a student is missing a color, they can grab one quickly.  I usually keep some glue sticks there as well.

    I made this board to showcase the student's work throughout the year.  I glued a thumb tack to the back of a clothespin and stuck the clothespin to the wall.  I thought it would look weird if the parents saw just clothespins hanging on the wall, so I added the green paper.

    Open House was today and everything went smoothly! I loved meeting the kiddos and I think I'll have an extra sweet bunch this year.  We don't start until Monday, so technically I don't have to work tomorrow.  I was hoping for one last day of the pool (at least during the week), but they made us shut down the computers after Open House.  Hard to get any work without your computer!  Guess I'll be going in for a few hours tomorrow.  When is Open House for you?

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    Google Documents

    Whew, I am super tired after this week! We had 2 1/2 days of meetings and were able to go to our rooms by Friday mid-morning.  The meetings weren't too bad at all.  Our principal is super awesome and always takes our feedback when it comes to events.  Everything was straight and to the point.  I don't want to say it was no frills because our PTA board had an beautiful set up for the room and gave us such neat gifts.  I had pinned a cute classroom sign on Pinterest at the beginning of the summer and one of the board members commented on it to say she could make me one.  She actually made signs for ALL of the teachers, including the enrichment teachers.  I work at a small school, but she had to make at least 40 signs! The sign is already hanging up outside my classroom and I forgot to take a picture. I'll try to remember to do it on Monday.

    I accomplished a TON in my room and it's looking like I'll be in good shape for next week (*knock on wood*).  Open House is next Thursday and school starts on the 13th.  When do you go back?

    I've saved some really amazing things on the computer, but when it comes to printing Google Docs I'm having some issues.  I can open the document in Google Docs, but then when I try to print it give me an error that says something about having too many redirects.  I thought maybe the document was getting too many hits from Pinterest or something.  But when I researched the error, it turns out that this is happening to some Mac users.  Is anyone else having this issue?  Or know how to solve it?  Luckily one of the ladies at work will print things for me in color, but I would still like to get this resolved.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    New {School} Year Resolutions

    I'm linking up with Amanda Madden's New {School} Year Resolutions!  I go back to work today - 2 1/2 days of meeting before I get officially get back into my classroom.  Perfect timing to write down those resolutions!

    #1 Keep my desk organized.  It AWLAYS looks like a bomb has gone off on my desk.  I get distracted and leave piles. I started off doing great on this last year and then it kinda tapered off...

    #2 New Ideas.  This one shouldn't be hard due to the wonderful teaching blogs out there, along with Pinterest.  I'd love to start making more of my own things as well.

    #3 Writing!  This is a big push for us school wide.  Two years I read the book No More I'm Done! and it really opened my eyes on how to teach writing. I feel that writing is the HARDEST to teach because every year is different in terms of ability of the students.  So you have to cater your lessons more specifically than say, social studies.

    #4 Leave work on time.  Yup, I'm guilty of staying late a lot. I would like to balance out my work/home time a little more.

    Here's to a brand new school year!