Saturday, April 25, 2015

Five for Friday: 4/24/15

This post is going to be full of random tidbits from the last two weeks and it's going to be short and sweet since I have to head back up to school for bingo night.  It's also going to contain a lot of freebies to save you time and money. ;)

We've been learning about plants.  My favorite new-to-me craft has been I Love Carrots.

It's also a freebie which makes it even better. ;)

You could also use this watermelon craft during your plant unit. I'm personally saving it until our watermelon day in a few weeks.  

How adorable are these directed drawings from First Grade Blue Skies?

One of my students said his mom never believes him that he drew it.  She thinks I drew it for him and just let him color it in. You can download the instructions HERE.

My students actually cheer when I pass out these printables from Hollie Griffith.  They are great because it's interactive - they color, the unscramble words, they roll dice.

We also played this game. (Not free, but it's only $2).

I planted my garden this week!  

I planted tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and zucchini.  Fingers crossed that it grows.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tell It To The President

The tattling situation has gotten a bit of out hand.  It's really the same few students and all they want me to do is tell the person exactly what they've already told me.

This idea isn't new, but I decided that they can go tell it to the President.

Source: Wiki

I pulled out a bin from my closest, printed out a picture of the President and whipped up these templates.

Consider it letter writing skills while also not driving the teacher crazy.  Tomorrow's our first official day - I'll let you know how it goes. ;)

If you want to try it, click HERE to download your copy.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I seriously cannot believe that I only have 4 1/2 weeks until summer vacation starts! The last month of school I really like to plan themed weekly activities to keep the students motivate and interested.  Let's be honest, I need a bit of excitement to keep me going too.

Here's what I have on the schedule:
April 20 - Standardized Testing
April 27 - Worms
May 4 - Field Trip to the GA Aquarium; Ice Cream 
May 11 - Camping
May 18 - Watermelons, Field Day, Crowd Control on the last day

Each week I'll share what I'm doing so if you need ideas, you can grab them as well!  I'll share my science experiments in a few days once I have some pictures.  So for now I'll jump ahead to worms.

I like worms in my garden. But I don't like worms anywhere else.  These are the things I do for my students!

I always have a variety of fiction and non fiction books on worms displayed in my classroom.  Students are free to grab these books and look through them when they are done with their work.

We'll go over facts about earthworms and I'll let them play with a worm.

I always give students the option not to play with a worm.  Some students won't want too and I don't want to force them.  In making a worm habitat, I screamed every time I touched one (I told you they are not up my alley).  I don't want to show this side of me to the kids (and have them screaming and flinging worms).  We discuss how to handle living things.  I also make the students grab the worms out of the cup so I don't have to touch them.

After they have played with the worms, we build a worm habitat.

The leftover worms go into our school garden.

Once we've throughly washed our hands, students write the steps on how to build a worm habitat.

During the unit, I have the students eat a sour gummy worm and a regular gummy worm.  
They also complete a Venn Diagram comparing gummy worms and earthworms.

At the complete of the unit, students write a non-fiction piece about earthworms.

 You can pick up everything you see here (and more) in my All About Worms packet.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Giveaway Time!

I've teamed up with Brooke from One Smart Cookie to celebrate her 500 followers on TpT.

I've donated The Three Billy Goats Gruff packet to the prize pack.  

Check out this post if you want to see the pack in action. 

Otherwise, you can enter the Rafflecopter below to win the pack plus tons of other items!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 6, 2015

Star Dollars: A Classroom Management System

Hey! I'm excited to be guest posting over at One Stop Teacher Shop.  I'm talking about Star Dollars and how I use them to motivate students in the classroom.

If you're visiting from One Stop Teacher Shop, I hope you stay awhile.  Be sure to check out all of my freebies under the tab at the top of my blog.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hey, Call Me Crazy

If you know me in real life, you know that I love coupons and saving money while shopping.

I've got a great deal for you!  I've bundled all of my current I Have, Who Has phonics games.

The bundled price is $11.20 but until tomorrow (4/5) at 1pm, this bundle is 50% off!

This savings is really unbelievable because the bundle is a GROWING bundle and I'll be adding more games. That means you will pay $5.60 for a year full of phonics I Have Who Has Games!!  What?!? Every time I add a game to the bundle, you'll be notified.  All you have to do is download it again and the new game will appear.  See the schedule below to know when new games will be added.

It currently includes:

R Controlled Vowels 

Vowel Digraphs & Diphthongs 

Coming Soon!
Short Vowels:
Short A - May 2015
Short E - May 2015
Short I - May 2015
Short O - May 2015
Short U - May 2015
Short Vowel Review - May 2015

Long Vowels:
Long A - June 2015
Long E - June 2015
Long I - June 2015
Long O - June 2015
Long U - June 2015
Long Vowel Review - June 2015

Hard C & G - July 2015
Soft C & G - July 2015

L blends - July 2015
R blends - July 2015
S blends - July 2015

Y as a Vowel - September 2015
Silent Letters (kn, gn, mb, wr) - September 2015

Beginning Digraphs - September 2015

Each game includes enough cards for 24 students.  If you have less than 24 students, pass out the extra cards.  My students get excited if they get two cards.

Want to try out an I Have, Who Has Game before you purchase? Download a FREE copy of I Have, Who Has Game: Middle & End Digraphs to see the quality of my work. The free version has enough cards for 20 students.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

It's All About That Schedule (and Currently too!)

It's all about that schedule, that schedule, that schedule.  I'm always waiting on pins and needles to find out what time enrichment, lunch and recess will be.  It's like I can finally starting planning once I have that schedule.

To give you a background, I'm a first grade teacher at a private Christian school.  This year I have 18 sweet kiddos.  It feels like a wonderful number since I had 21 last year!

I've been lucky that the past two years, my schedule has pretty much stayed the same.  The bonus is that I have a break about every 1 1/2 hours.  I think it works well for the students too.

Students arrive between 8 - 8:25.  As the year trickles on, I don't really have any students until about 8:15.  They unpack their book bag and get started on their morning work.  Let's be honest, it's a bit of a social hour as the year progresses too.

Everyday we have Praise & Worship.  Seriously, I feel so grateful to work at this school!  We head to the worship center, sing songs, and have a short devotional about the word of the month.  It really centers our day and everyone leaves in a good mood!

Readers Workshop - This covers reading groups, centers, and phonics lessons.  Usually I start with the phonics lesson and then have a snack break before starting reading groups.  It's a busy time of the day because I feel pulled in so many directions.

Next up is recess and PE.  They have 20 minutes of PE followed by 20 minutes of recess.  On Tuesdays, they have a full 40 minutes of recess with the other first grade class.

Math is probably my favorite time of day!  We usually start in our math journals using daily editing word problems (my favorite purchase on TpT ever), or interactive notebook activities.  I use Reagan Tunstall's math notebook and Angie's notebooks that I won last month.  I like the variety between both - Regan's allows me to introduce some concepts earlier than I would have (like measurement) so they kids are completely shocked by it when it comes up.  I really like how Angie's notebooks are grouped by category because then I can easily pull up topics we are covering in class.

This usually take about 20 minutes of our math block.  I usually do a whole group lesson (I know, I know, but I don't think I have the time or energy to do small group math), students work independently, and then go to math stations.  

We are excited when math ends because it's lunch time.  We used to have a lunch duty every other week for about two years, but the principal let us give it up a few weeks ago.  All of the teachers rejoiced! :)

Writers Workshop includes a grammar lesson followed by a independent writing time.

We have enrichment everyday - library, computer, music, art, etc.

I end the day with a Bible, Science or Social Studies lesson.  I usually do Bible two to three times per week.  Science and Social Studies alternate depending on our theme.

Be sure to check out all of the other schedules!

I also finished my Currently for the month!  I'm on a roll for the morning!