Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chicka Chicka Bulletin Board

This is the bulletin board that I did for the beginning of the year last school year.  I taught kindergarten last year.  I love this bulletin board.  Since I am looping up to first grade, I will have to come up with a new idea.

I am doing a "BEE" theme next year so I was thinking "First Grade is the Place to BEE" and then write the kids names on pictures of bees.  I will upload a picture when I get it done.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ahoy! First Week Pirate Activities

I found this great book called Pirate School by Cathy Dubowski.  So I decided to do a pirate theme the first week to get the kids excited to be back to school.  This book includes a list of pirate rules.  Of course, pirate rules are very different from our rules.  This should lead to a good discussion about why rules are important.  Then, our class will brainstorm a list of rules for our classroom.  I will chart suggestions under the categories = respect, responsible and safe (these are our 3 classroom rules.  Most of the class suggestions will fit into one of these categories).  After we generate our rules, we will discuss our classroom behavior plan.

Getting to Know Each Other – I modified the activity by Michelle at First Grade Best Find a Friend Who…  to have a pirate theme.

Spy Glass - Each student will paint a paper towel roll black and decorate it to look like a spy glass.  Then we will use them to play "I Spy Letters" and go on letter hunts to review the alphabet.  You can also review sight words and numbers using the spy glasses. 

Pirate ABC Book – Each student will be assigned a letter and we will make a class book to review the letters. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weebly - Website Creation Made Easy

I just transferred my website from educatorpages to weebly.  This website is free and much easier to use than educatorpages.  I can upload documents and pictures. 

Weebly - Website Creation Made Easy

Favorite 1st Grade Read Alouds

My favorite books to read to my class are the Ready Freddy Series.  They are chapter books and I read one chapter each day.  There are about 8 chapters in each book.  They are about a boy named Freddy and he is in 1st grade so the kids can really draw some text to self connections.  Also, since these are not pictures books, they really have to try to create a pictures in their mind using the words.  The books are written by Abby Klein and she does a great job at making the reader want more.  At the end of each chapter, my kids want me to read another chapter.  I always tell them they will have to come tomorrow to see what happens.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Math Games

I found this great idea for Yahtzee math games on the Swamp Frogs First Graders Blog.  She created a recording sheet that I will be using instead of the sheet I created. Mine only had 2 columns and hers had 3. This idea was adapted from Shari Sloan at kidscount1234.

I created directions to go along with this game so that I can send it home as a math take home activity.

Yahzee Directions

This also got me thinking about what I was going to do about dice. I have a lot of dice but they usually end up flying around the room or make a lot of noise when rolled on the desk. As I was cleaning, I found that my printer ink cartridges come in plastic containers. Two dice fit perfectly in the containers and with some card stock and tape, I made dice shakers. I can't wait to use this in my class.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Spelling Ideas

Spelling Squares - Pass out a blank sheet with 12 premade squares on it. (Or however many words your spelling list has) The students must put 1 spelling word in each box underlining the phonograms. Once they are done, they cut out the boxes. We store them in zip lock backs and they are sent home Thursday to help study for the test Friday. Then students can sort them (word families, rhyming words, ABC order).

Rainbow Words - As part of my first grade morning routine, I have my students do Rainbow Spelling Words. They trace their spelling words everyday with a colored pencil. At the end of the week, they have practiced writing them 5 times, as well as worked on handwriting.

Spelling and Phonemic Awareness - I also use our weekly spelling words as the words we use for our Daily Phonemic Awareness Activities including:
* Recognizing and producing Rhymes
* Segmentation of Words into Syllables
* Awareness of Initial Consonant Segments
* Awareness of Final Consonant Segments
* Segmentation of Onset and Rime
* Phoneme Segmentation
* Blending of Syllables and Phonemes
* Phoneme Manipulation – adding and deleting phonemes

Just Added My Blog to Edublogs!

Find this blog in the education blogs directory

Find a Friend!

I just found the greatest idea for a first day activity.  It is called Find A Friend.  Students will walk around the room and find a friend that fits the category.  I found it on First Grade Best blog.  Here is the link. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Here is the document I created for our Vocabulary notebook.

Vocabulary Notebook HM Theme 1-5

Vocabulary Notebook

Research by Robert Marzano indicates the nature and critical need for direct instruction in basic vocabulary.  Basic vocabulary includes the high-frequency terms that are critical to an understanding of the English language.  At least two groups of students require direct instruction in these terms: students of poverty and English language learners (ELL).  When schools understand the importance of school-wide direct vocabulary instruction, the playing field is leveled between language deprived students and other students.  Research indicates that, when students learn vocabulary terms and relate them to semantic clusters of words similar in meaning, long-term memory of vocabulary is significantly increased.  In contrast, there is no scientifically-based research to support the teaching of vocabulary words in isolation (memorizing a weekly word bank) and hoping the instruction sticks.

This year my students will be keeping a vocabulary notebook.  The notebook will be divided into sections organized in semantic clusters based on the Houghton-Mifflin curriculum that our district uses.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

A special kind of class: Alphabetical Order

A special kind of class: Alphabetical Order This is soooo cute. We just finished our famr unit but I love this.

Farm Unit

We started our farm unit by creating a KWL Chart in the shape of a barn.  On the chart, I only write what we know and what we wonder.  We write what we learned on chart paper during our morning message.

We created a list of farm animals.  When I wrote the list, I left off the beginning sound.  My students helped me fill in the beginning sounds.  We then talked about some of the animals on a farm and their jobs.  I was careful not to discuss that we eat some of hte farm animals.  So I let my students come up with the answers.  The cat catches mice.  Goats give us milk.  Dogs help the farmer keep the animals from roaming away.  Horses are for riding.  Chickens and ducks give us eggs.  Cows give us milk.  Sheep give us wool to make clothes.  And my favorite answer is pigs roll in the mud.  So of course we talked about why pigs roll in the mud - to keep cool.  It is the same as applying sun tan lotion.

We learned about what characteristics a bird and a mammal have.  We than classified fram animals by those characteristics.

We read a book about farms and listed what a farmer does.  Wow!  Farmer sure are busy.  We talked about how most of our food comes from farms and how important farms are.

We discussed crops that gorw on farms.  We defined what is a fruit and what is a vegetable.  We than sorted pictured of crops into categories - fruit and vegetables.  (Fruits have seeds and vegetables do not).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Kindergarten Students are Published Authors

We just finished our class book titled When I Grow Up.  Each student got to write and illustrate a page in the book.  This is done through a company called  Nationwide Learning, Inc.  Each year my students decided on a topic to write about, complete rough drafts and a final draft that will become their page  in the book.  Parents have the opportunity to purchase the book.  The students get so excited when they see their writing published in a book.  Here are some photos of my books from previous years. 

If you are interested in doing a book with your class, here is the website for the company.  They are a lot of work but well worth it.

Nationwide Learning