Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Freebie Making Words with Digraphs

Well, it's been one of those memorable teaching days. You know, the kind you won't ever forget but would like to. I had a kiddo throw up. Yeah, and it wasn't a good one either. Bless his poor little heart.
I was teaching my math lesson, using pattern blocks and all. I had them all sitting on the kiva, (2 leveled benches my husband made me) engross in my lesson, when the poor little thing just let it rip. Thank goodness he was on the front row and no one else got hit.
Yeah, that happened in my room 3 years ago, when a girl threw up while sitting on the top row of my kiva and got 7 other kids. It was the worst one I've ever had!! All 7 kids had to go home to change clothes, a few just stayed home for the rest of the day. Really couldn't blame them.
Glad this one wasn't as bad. I did have to wash and sterilize some of the pattern blocks and throw away the game board I was using. But it could have been worse. Isn't it part of our job?
I guess I should be used to anything by now looking back at what I did two weeks ago. While in an assembly, watching a very talented ballet company perform, we noticed the kids just all of a sudden part and move away from one of the kids. I saw mud on the floor. So I jump up, go grab some paper towels and my trusty spray bottle of disinfectant and start cleaning the mud. But it wasn't mud. Must be dog poop because of the smell and the firsties were just out at recess, right? One of the other teachers found the kiddo and took him out while I continued to clean up the mess. But I was having a hard time getting it off the tile and the paper towels were getting pretty wet. So one of my teammates runs and gets more paper towels for me. Meanwhile, I realized I hadn't 'gloved up'. Duh! So I started spraying my hands with the trusty spray bottle. Well, to make a long story short. The ballet assembly continues on around us, I clean up the 'poop' and all was well. No way. Come to find out it wasn't 'dog' poop! Yup, the little kiddo had had an accident! Believe me, I have never washed my hands so much in my entire life. And I used a whole bottle of hand sanitizer, EXTRA LARGE. It still gives me nightmare! So, like I said- it's part of the job and I still LOVE my little firsties! I realize they are only human too. However, I've learned my lesson-ALWAYS glove up even for mud, you never know!
Okay, now that I've grossed you out, let me give you a freebie I've been working on. We've been working hard on our digraphs and word families. My kiddos loved the blender activity I shared in an earlier post. You can check it out HERE. So I came up with one for making words with digraphs. I used it for a mini lesson during Daily 5. But you could also use it in a literacy center or a whole class lesson. The borders are a free download on TpT by Karen Cox. Click HERE for a link to the borders. And the graphics are Scrappin Doodle. There are 2 cards, so you could use it for 2 separate lessons and a recording sheet.
Click on the picture to grab a PDF.

I hope I didn't gross out too many of you. I'm sure you all have similar stories to tell. I'd love to hear them!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Santa's New Suit

I'm home sick today with a bad cold so I've got lots of time to blog! I hate being sick because I hate writing lesson plans. I'd rather go sick but when you can't breathe and can't talk, I guess it's time to give in and write those plans.
I want to share a great Christmas book. I got this from a dear friend years ago when I first moved down to first grade. Shelley helped me survive the move. I don't know what I would have done without her! She showed me this cute book and fun idea. The book is called 'Santa's New Suit' by Laura Rader. Santa is tired of his old santa suit and wants something new. He goes shopping and tries on all kinds of fun things from pajamas to cowboy duds. But nothing seems right until he finds the perfect new suit. I stop right there and ask the kiddos what they think his new suit could look like. They have all kinds of weird ideas. Then I send them home with a picture of Santa and ask them to create his new suit. They can use crayons, markers, fabric, food, whatever to decorate Santa's New Suit. They have a week to finish and bring it back. Then we display them in the hall for all to see. And then I finish reading the rest of the story to them. They love it and I love seeing the creativity! I'll have to post pictures later in the week when I get them all back. Click on the picture of the book for more info from
Click on the picture below to grab a copy of Santa for the firsties to decorate.
I love Laura Rader's books. She's written some more which my kids love hearing. After I read them it gives the kids lots of writing ideas.

Thanks Shelley for helping me get through my first years of first grade, introducing me to some great books and sharing wonderful ideas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rudolph's Nose

Rudolph's Nose
We all know the kiddos are going to be higher than kites for the next 3 weeks. Here is a holiday behavior management activity I do. I'm not big on mass reward or mass punishment but this seems to work at this time of year and the firsties love it.
I put a picture of the North Pole on one side of my room with a big red balloon taped to it. Inside the balloon is a slip of paper with a prize listed on it. Something like extra recess, a cane candy etc. (just little things the kids go crazy for). Then I tie a string from the North Pole and stretch it clear across the room to the opposite wall. I punch a hole in a picture of Rudolph and thread him on the string. He starts on the opposite wall. The object is to get Rudolph to his nose at the North Pole to pop the balloon and win the secret prize. Rudolph can only move when the kiddos are on their best behavior. Then he takes giant leaps in the air along the string. Sometimes he has to move backwards if the firsties are being naught. Rudolph generally makes it to his nose every 2-3 days. Then I replace the balloon with a new one and a new prize. This has really helped with behavior on those hard to handle days just before the holiday.
Math Station Find
I just found 2 great math activities to add to my math stations. They are from Heather over on her blog Differentiation Station. A cute one for practicing even and odd. Click on her name above to head over and pick up your copy!

And another one for subtraction fact practice. Thanks Heather for sharing freebies!
I hope you can use something you've found here today. I'd love to hear from you! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Math Stations

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving break! I have so much to be thankful for- a fantastic family, good health, a great job, and awesome friends. It IS a wonderful life! I've been getting my holiday math stations up and running. Here is a peek at what we'll be doing for the next 3 weeks.

 This is an ordinal number matching activity. You can grab a copy by clicking on the picture above.
 Click HERE for the recording sheet for the ordinal numbers activity.

 This is the story mats I blogged about earlier. You can grab a copy and read all about them HERE.

 This is a form of the game BUMP by Shari Sloane. My kiddos need lots of practice with subtraction so I made it for subtraction. You use a wooden cubed marked 7-12 and a dot die 1-6. Subtract the smaller number from the bigger. Place your cube on the answer. If your partner's cube is already there you get to 'bump' them off. If your cube is already there, you place your cube on top and 'lock' that space in so no one else can bump you off. Play continues until all the spaces have been locked in. Winner is the player with the most spaces. My kids LOVE this game! Click on the picture below to grab a copy.

 This is Christmas graphing mats. The firsties count and graph all the reindeer. There are several different cards they can work on too.
 This one is called Christmas counting mats. I just copied and pasted the same clipart over and over onto a card. The kiddos count how many objects are on the card and record it. Some use chips to cover the picture to keep track of their counting.
This is a very simple game called Roll a Christmas Tree. It's an addition practice game. Each student has their own tree. They take turns rolling 2 dice, adding, and then covering the answer on their own tree. The first player to cover his tree WINS! Click on the picture below to grab a copy. 
I hope you have found something you can use! Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Story Mats!

We've been working hard on story problems. My kiddos always have a hard time grasping this concept. But this year I did story mats with them and they have really caught on. The idea comes from a book by Kathy Richardson called "Developing Number Concepts Book 2". Our district gave us the book last year and it has many great ideas.
Anyhow, we've been doing all kinds of story problems using the story mats in the book. I wanted something in my math stations so my firsties won't forget the concepts they've learned. So with the holidays coming up and the fact that it just started to snow outside, I made some Christmas Story mats to put in my math stations. First, I modeled and modeled and modeled. In the beginning, the kids just make up stories using cubes and a story mat. Next, they have a number sentence and have to make up a story using that. Then, I gave them stories that went with the mats and they used the cubes to retell the story and write the number sentence. Finally, they picked a mat and wrote their own stories. We've use them for addition and subtraction. They love it. Click on the pictures for your own PDF. The clipart is Scrappin' Doodle!

I hope someone can use these. It sure has help my kiddos! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Favorite Thanksgiving Book Linking Party!

There is a linking party going on! My favorite book to read at Thanksgiving time is called: "My Most Thankful Thing" by Liz Mccourt.
When the little girl asks her mom what her "most thankful thing ever" is, Mom turns the question into a fun trip down memory lane. Turning the pages of Mom's photo album, they discover many wonderful moments in Mom's life, from summer camp to winning a trophy in a soccer tournament, from singing onstage to her wedding day. But one event in Mom's whole life is the very best ever -- the birth of her precious little girl. 
While reading the book with my class, we try to guess what the mom is most thankful for. Many of the kids guess right just before the book tells us. It's fun for predictions! After reading the book, we talk about some of the things we are most thankful for and then write a page for a class book. 
The Most Thankful Thing
Oh shoot! I just went to Amazon to get the picture and found out this book is now out of print. If you can find it in the library, it is well worth the read!
Looking forward to seeing what others like to read for Thanksgiving! If you'd like to join click on the link Teaching Blog Addict.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fun Reading!

Several years ago, one of the teachers I taught with gave me these fun reading activities. She never told me where she got them from. Sorry, I'd like to give someone the credit because they are so cute! We send them home for homework on the short holiday weekends like fall break, Thanksgiving, and spring vacation. The kiddos love doing their reading in a fun and crazy way. If they bring the paper back they get a prize from the prize basket. I hope somebody can use them. Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Things & Fabulous Friday Finds!

We've been working on writing lists. So I had the kiddos make their Thanksgiving Shopping Lists. We glued the little title tag onto a small paper bag and then wrote our lists with a marker. Some got carried away with the bullet thing but they had fun. It was interesting to see what some of them put on their lists. It would make for a strange Thanksgiving dinner- things like chili, tacos, and watermelon. And I just love the one in the picture- "mashs butados". Don't think I want to try those!

 Click on the picture below for a PDF.
For graphs this week, we are doing something a little different. I was inspired by a math center over on First Grade Garden who was inspired by Doodle Bugs Teaching fall unit on TpT. (How's that for a round about shout out?) Any how, they both had these cool graphing cards. So I made some for my math stations. But to introduce it, I'm going to do a Thanksgiving one with my whole class. Then I've made some others to put in my stations. The kiddos count the objects on the card and then record the data on a graph. You can grab my version of this idea by clicking on the picture below. Of course the clip art is from one of my favorites- DJ Inkers!
We are working on digraphs and I found this cute idea over on First Grade Blue Skies. It's called the "Thinking Thumb". Great 'thumbs on' idea to help the firsties remember the 'th' sound!
I hope you have found something you can use in your classroom.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a fun weekend!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Turkey Game

Boy, is my internal clock messed up with this Daylight Savings Time. Why do we have Daylight Savings time anyway? It just messes with our minds. One good thing though, I won't be going to school in the dark tomorrow (I think). I hope I can get back on schedule soon.

Here's a fun little game we are doing this week in wordwork to practice the -in and  -ine word families. Grab a copy by clicking on the picture.
Also, I am doing this Spelling game in my Daily 5 wordwork. The kiddos use a 10 sided die. Assign each word a number. They take turns rolling the die. Their partner tells them which word to spell for the number they rolled. They get a point if they can spell it right. First player to get 10 points WINS! I printed a few of the cards on cardstock and we are ready to go!

 I hope you have a great week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blends and more blends

I've been tending my grandchildren for the weekend. They are 9, 7, 4, and 18 months old. And can I just say "I'm exhausted!!!" I don't know how their mother keeps up with them. I need a little down time tonight so it's 'blogging time!.
We've been working on blends this week and the next. Here is a little activity for the kiddos to do. Some of my lower ones had a hard time doing this alone but the higher kids loved it. It's called blenders. There is one for l-blends, r-blends and s-blends. The recording sheet goes to all three. Click on the picture for a PDF.

Here is my graph for this week. It's about colors.
I'm getting ready to launch Daily 5 on Monday. It's been hard to plan because we have a staggered starting schedule. I only have 70 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon with just half my class that I HAVE to teach literacy. So I'm going to try and do 3 rounds with 2 short teaching times in between. I hope I can make it work. I really need to do something. I have a pretty low group this year and I need to work with my guided reading groups more often and for longer periods of time. I think this will be my answer. Keep your fingers crossed. I found a great blog that has helped me a lot. You might want to check it out if you haven't already. It's by Christina Bainbridge. You'll want to read everything she's shared on Daily 5. You can go HERE to find it.
I hope you have a great weekend. This grandma is going to bed NOW!