Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone survived the fun of Halloween!
Here's some pictures from my super fun but very draining day.
This is my fabulous first grade team!

A cone head zombie and the green power ranger reading about pumpkins by candlelight.

A vampire and a zombie doctor reading spooky stories by candlelight. (battery tea lights)

A witch and a Harry Potter playing Boo Bump.

Our room moms had us playing a fun game from minute to win it!

This little ninja is playing Halloween Word Winners.

The pink Power Ranger stopped by to read Halloween stories. (A room mom!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pete the Cat Subtraction lesson

You know how every once in a while you'll have a lesson that just goes perfectly! The kids are all engaged and well behaved, and everything just clicks. Well, I finally had that happen today. I didn't think it would happen this year with the class I have especially this close to Halloween but it did!!! It also helped that I had 4 absent so that brought my total down to 27. Anyhow, I absolutely LOVE Pete the Cat and now my class does too. I taught subtraction using the Pete the Cat book- "My Four Groovy Buttons".
I know I've blogged about Subtraction and Pete the Cat before and posted a freebie I made for math stations. You can read that post HERE. But today's lesson was a great way to teach or review subtraction. I read the book and then gave all the kiddos a shirt mat and some buttons.
I had them put 5 buttons on their shirt. Then we sang the song from the book, "My buttons, my buttons, my 5 groovy buttons..." Then I said, "POP! 2 buttons just rolled away. How many buttons are left?" We took 2 buttons off our shirt. Then we wrote the number sentence on the recording sheet.
We continued doing more with other numbers up to 10. I had a few finding patterns and discovering cool things about subtraction. My firsties were loving it! They didn't want to stop. Man, I wish my principal would have been doing my evaluation. It went great! I hope it's not a once in a school year happening.
If you'd like a copy of my shirt and recording sheet just click on the picture below.
I hope everyone has a super week and a hauntingly great Halloween. Oh and love & prayers go out to those of you on the North Eastern coast!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Fun!

Okay, I'll admit it- Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday. I DO love to see the little ones have fun dressing up and parading around the school and neighborhood. But I hate the scary, gory stuff and all the sugar kids consume. It also is a wasted teaching day. So I'm trying to come up with some time fillers for my kiddos to do on Wednesday that are somewhat academic. (I say that with tongue in cheek!) I found a cute FREE bump game we're going to play. It's from Ashley over on First Grade Brain. You can check it out on TpT HERE.
In between costume parades, yes that is plural, we have 2 parades. We are a large school, so to accommodate parents and parking, we parade twice. Anyhow, in between parades and a party I've got a few other things planned. I made a Halloween Read & Write the Room for our self-start and to keep them busy while I take everyone's picture. They hunt the room for 13 Halloween words and write them on a recording sheet. You can click on the picture for a FREE download.
Then for wordwork we'll be doing Halloween Word Winner. You can click on the picture for a FREE download again.
I have a battery tea light for each firsties and we'll be reading Halloween stories by 'candlelight'. Here are some of my favorites.

I'd LOVE to hear what your plans are on Halloween to keep your firsties busy.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Writing, Winners, & Kindles

My kiddos did such a great job writing about BATS this week. I got this free packet about BATS from Jodi over on her blog Fun in First Grade. Click HERE for a link. They LOVE non-fiction writing and want to do more. So I made a generic graphic organizer for my little firsties to use. It's one of their choices in Writer's Workshop.

I made a basket of easy non-fiction books for them to read first. Next, they fill out the graphic organizer. Then they write.
If you'd like a FREEBIE of my organizers click HERE. It is 9 pages. It includes graphic organizers for non-fiction and 2 for biographies plus several different writing pages. Later in the year we will do biographies and this will work well when we interview each other and write about our friends. It will work well for writing about famous people too.

 And the WINNERS of my 400 followers giveaway are:
 BIG THANK YOU to all of you who entered and follow me and read this little ole blog!

 I'm VERY EXCITED about my new Kindle Fires and so are my kiddos.
I'd LOVE to hear everyone's ideas and what you do with Kindles and iPads in the classroom. I've just begun to explore all the fun possibilities! Please leave me a comment!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spooktacular Sale!

 I'm having a sale!!
Check out my TpT shop for 20% off until Sunday!
Click HERE to link over to my shop.
Have a GREAT WEEKEND everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Story Mat FREEBIE!

My favorite way to teach story problems is with a story mat. I wrote a post about it at Christmas time last year and shared with you some Christmas mats. You can read that post HERE. I also have some packets at my shops that my kiddos really like. You can check them out over on TpT or Teacher Notebook. Well, it's Halloween time and so here is the lesson I did with a Halloween mat. My firsties had a BLAST!
If you'd like a copy you can download a PDF by clicking HERE.

Don't forget to enter my 400 Follower Giveaway. You can check it out HERE I'm giving away some great prizes to 4 lucky winners!

I hope everyone has a GREAT week!
Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to read your comments if you download and use the mats.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

400 Follower Giveaway!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I just reached 400 followers! I am in awe by the blogging world. I am honored that 400 people follow my blog. So for a little fun, I thought I'd have a giveaway! I'll be giving away 4 prizes to 4 lucky winners.

#1: $10 Gift Card to

 #2: $10 gift certificate to TpT

#3: $10 gift certificate to Teacher Notebook

#4: $10 worth of packets from my teacher shop

All you have to do is follow the directions on Rafflecopter. GOOD LUCK! And THANK YOU for following me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Main Idea and Details Freebie & Management

This summer in one of my workshops, I heard this great idea for teaching main idea and details. So I came home and wrote it up and found pictures for it. I would love to give credit to whomever came up with this idea but I don't know who you are. But thanks for sharing it at our workshop. Let me know if this is yours.

There are 5 pages in all. You can download it by clicking HERE
The graphics are from KPM Doodles and Scrappin Doodles.

On another topic, I read a great post HERE over on Nikki Sabiston's blog about management. She has a GREAT blog. You'll want to check it out. 

She talks about her views on behavior charts and why she'll never use them again. I know a lot of teachers use them but please read her post and ponder what she says. Nikki has some very valid statements which I agree with whole heartily. I have used several methods of management in my classrooms. Some were by my own choosing and others by administration's. Some worked and many failed. I've read research and found what works for me and a behavior chart is NOT one of them. Like Nikki, my own children have helped me see what works best for kids. My kids advised me along the way and I'm very grateful for them.

In my classroom, I have more success with rewarding the positive with a little ticket called a 'caught ya'. I give them whenever I see good behavior or want to reward a child for great work. Then we have a drawing every Monday for prizes out of the prize basket. Then once a month the school picks a 'caught ya' winner from each class, announces the names over the PA and gives a prize. On the flip side, I give 'Stop & Thinks' for students who can't follow the rules. It's simply a time out for 5 minutes to think about what they did and how they can improve. This allows me as a teacher to work with students who have a harder time with behavior like my ADHD or autistic kids. If the behavior is severe then they are given a 'Stop & Go' where the child is taken to another classroom or the office, a note and phone call to the parent is given. In first grade the 'Stop & Go' lasts for 15 minutes where the child does the work he/she is missing in class. If a child gets 3 'Stop & Go' then a conference is held with parents, teacher, student, and administrator to form a plan to change behavior. I have never had to have a conference yet and hope I never do. This is a great way to help kids change their behavior and reward them for being great kids.

Sorry for such a long post. What do you do for management? I'd LOVE to hear.