Friday, September 4, 2015

Place Value and Stations {Five for Friday}

I'm ready to jump right in to this three day weekend. Who's with me? I stayed late at school today get everything finished so I have nothing but relaxing and fun ahead of me! 

Here are some things we've been up to this week. We just finished off day 22 of this school year and that is unbelievable! Time is flying by! 

We've been hard at work this week introducing place value. My favorite lesson from the week was an impromptu circle session where we practiced counting out groups of ten bears and recording the results. 

We are slowly but surely getting settled in to reading stations. So far I have introduced writing, word work, and computer. I love first grade writing and this little cutie loves brain breaks! 

This year I'm following the steps outlined in Jan Richardson's The Next Step in Guided Reading to get my stations started. I'm loving all the time I get to spend with each group modeling and teaching them how to use the materials at each station. While I've been introducing stations the other groups have been working puzzles, coloring, play with play dough, legos, and tangrams. 

I made these Place Value Scoot cards as a fun way to practice our learning this week. This was our first try with scoot this year and it was a success! I heard a lot of, "Oh I get this now!" while we were playing, so that always makes this teacher happy!

Click here or on the picture above to check it out in my store. 

Today marked week two of Fun Friday and it was another big hit! The idea came from Angela Powell and you can read more about it here. I thought the beads and pipe cleaners would be nothing but a distraction to my firsties, but they have proven me wrong and been so responsible with them! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Come Check Us Out

I'm so excited to be introducing myself as one of the authors of the new Virginia is for Teachers blog. Click the picture below to check it out! 

Friday, August 21, 2015

First Grade Calendar Routines {Five for Friday}

I'm so glad to have another great week of first grade in the books AND I'm so glad it's the weekend!

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I was new to first grade last year. Before first grade I'd spent all my time in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. I am going to confess that the thoughts of calendar time stressed me out!! It was elusive. I polled everyone I worked with about what they did during calendar, I read blogs, and did a lot of Pinterest searches. What if I did the wrong things? Was there a special formula? 

Thankfully there is no wrong way to do calendar! But there are a lot of amazing ways to do it right! There were a lot of great ideas out there about calendar time and it really helped me out a lot, so I wanted to pay it forward and link up to share some of my favorite routines for calendar.

Last year I used straws to count the days in the place value chart. This year I switched to the base 10 blocks and I'll never go back to straws. Already I can see my students starting to gain an understanding of place value. 

This was something I used last year and loved! It's even better this year because I'm using it along with the base 10 blocks, so when we do the add it together part it makes my teacher heart so happy!

If you are interested in it you can click here to go to Home and School Creations.

Have you heard about Blendspace

It's an amazing tool that lets you blend together all different types of media into one lesson. It is super easy to use. 

As soon as I read about it this summer I signed up and started this calendar lesson. I love using YouTube videos in the classroom, but I hate getting the ads on screen with students watching. YIKES! 

Since I've been using Blendspace that hasn't been a problem at all. Another perk is that the lesson stops after each video. Last year I just created a playlist on YouTube, but the problem with that is the songs play continuously. Since it didn't stop after each video I had to do acrobatics across the room to get to the computer and stop the videos. Because we all know if I don't stop it and Adding with a Pirate comes on we have to listen to it. Every. Time. 

I wanted to incorporate some tally mark practice in to calendar, so I made these little posters. Last year I tried keeping a tally mark for every day of the school year and that didn't work out so good for us. I thought a month would be a little more manageable. 

Click the picture to check them out at TPT. 

Of course the trusty countdown subtraction problem. Can be a little depressing at times when you're having one of those weeks, but I'm hopeful that all that repetition helps the second grade math teachers! 

I bought this adorable 10 frame (180 frame?!) on TPT this summer and we are loving it! It makes a really nice visual for the kids. There were some ooh and aahs when they noticed it, how tall it was, and how many boxes we'd have to fill up before first grade was over. Click here if you'd like to see this one from Firstie Kidoodles

What are you some of your favorite calendar time routines? I'm always looking for something else to add!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Easy Poster Size Dry Erase Sleeve

I love discovering easy little things that make my teaching life so much better! Today I have to share with you a recent discovery that has made me so happy! 

Did you know these $8.98 poster frames from Wal Mart are dry erase? Me neither..until a coworker told me. 

To make things better she added this handwriting poster from Amazon. I couldn't be happier with this. It makes an amazing way to model handwriting. I tried it out Friday and it worked perfectly! 

BTW, you can buy smaller sizes of the posters and frames, so that opens up a whole new set of possibilities! 

Once I get my literacy stations up and running I plan on letting kids use this as handwriting practice. See that blank space on the left side? Perfect for adding a list of spelling or sight words for the kiddos to practice. Kids love dry erase and bigger is better, right?

I told my fabulous coworker, Donna, that this was one that was to good not to share with you all! Any other ideas on what we could use this for? 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Classroom Pictures 2015-2016

Hi friends! I've been back in school for a whole week now. How'd that happen? 

I wanted to stop in with just a few pictures of my classroom for you. 

I love having the big window beside of my door and I'm always looking for ways to decorate it! The little First Grade Rocks pennants are from the fabulous First Grade Blue Skies. I've got a post coming soon about the sign in the little window. 

This is one of our little reading areas. I just added the rug this year and I thought it looked extra inviting. I hope the kids think so too! 

I'm trying out the Prop and Park from Really Good Stuff this year and so far it is amazing. Anyone else ever notice how a first grader can't keep a pencil on their desk until after Christmas? This really has been a life saver when it comes to lost pencils and erasers. Each kid has 2 pencils and an eraser at their desk. The only place they can store them is in the Prop and Park. I hope this cuts down on the pencil hoarding, too. You know....time to clean out desks and one kid has 20 pencils crammed in the back!! 

I added the bookshelf to the calendar area this year to help house some lesson materials and read aloud. I like the extra stacking room. #sorryimnotsorry 

Thanks for stopping by and taking a little peak into some of the favorite parts of my classroom. What's your favorite area in your classroom? 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rude Cakes {Book Review}

Amazon knows me. It's scary sometimes, but also nice because the book suggestions that pop up are how I stumbled across this adorable book that is just right for back to school! 

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

I took one look at the cover and the title of this book and knew that I had to have it. When it came in I couldn't open it fast enough and let me just say, it doesn't disappoint! 

This little gem will be the perfect, light hearted way to talk about manners! I can't wait to read this one with my firsties...I can hear the giggles now. 

Here is what Amazon has to say: 
Who knew that cakes were so rude?! In this deliciously entertaining book, a not-so-sweet cake—who never says please or thank you or listens to its parents—gets its just desserts. Mixing hilarious text and pictures, Rowboat Watkins, a former Sendak fellow, has cooked up a laugh-out- loud story that can also be served up as a delectable discussion starter about manners or bullying, as it sweetly reminds us all that even the rudest cake can learn to change its ways.

And since I can't help myself I'll leave you with this picture of one of my favorite pages from the book. 

Happy Reading! 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ink Friendly Birthday Celebrations {FREEBIE}

Birthdays are such a big deal for kiddos! And they are so easy for teachers to forget. Can I get an amen? 

This year I want to do a little more for my kiddos to celebrate their birthdays and I wanted to share my plan with y'all! 

These simple half-page birthday cards are black and white, so I will be printing those on cardstock and letting the birthday boy or girl skip morning work and color instead *gasp*! You could also do some colored paper here if you'd like. I'll have all my little darling sign the back of the card.

I also came up with some little black and white tags to add to a crazy straw. I got a pack of 6 straws for $1 at the Dollar Tree. That means for $4 and a few minute cutting I am ready for birthdays for the entire year and I'll have some happy kiddos! 

Click on the picture to get your freebie! 

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