Thursday, October 25, 2012

 She Really is Fabulous!!!

I just wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to DeAnne @
First Grade and Fabulous. She was one of the first bloggers to give me some encouragement when I first started out. She and I have never met, but we have several things in common:
1. We both teach first grade.
2. We both have to have the pleasure of using Treasures for reading.
3. She likes to make sweets, I love to eat them! ha
4. We both have a passion for teaching.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment and tell you about some terrific Halloween Centers she has on TPT. (I'll probably be using them even after Halloween...they are that good!)


These can all be found in her Spook-Tacular Centers for Halloween. Click the link below to get to her TPT store.

She also has the cutest Halloween story that follows the pattern of Brown Bear, Brown Bear. It has a color copy for you to read to the class and blackline master with 2 on a page to save ink and paper. Thank You!

The last on has all kinds of literacy activities, such as plurals, is it a statement or a question, etc...
Caught Up in Literacy Centers So sorry this is blurry, click the link to see a good copy.

Anyway, I know it is a little late in the season, but as I said I'll probably use them after Halloween. Check out her store she has lots of really great items!


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Friday, October 19, 2012

 b & d Letter Reversals Freebie

The other day in class I was talking to the kids about paying attention to make sure they are not writing their bs and ds backwards. I was trying to draw the picture of the bed with the b & d as the legs. Well, I'm not much of an artist and it wasn't turning out that great, plus I have a couple that are very low that probably couldn't spell bed.
So there I was right in the middle of something that wasn't going well. All of the sudden, I had another thought that I hoped might help. I just wrote b c d on the board and I gave the b & d an eye (profile) and a mouth. Then I told them if they have the 2 letters going the right way then b and d are looking at each other..."b can "c" d and d can "c" b. they seemed to get it. I am having them write it at the top of their spelling tests to help them out. I made a poster and it is free in my TPT store if you are interested, here is the link.

Letter Reversal Poster - b and d

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

 Scarecrows, Prairie Dogs, and a Freebie

I am now getting to enjoy my Fall Break! It actually started on Monday, but I taught intersession. I had 7 of my students. We had a good time reading pumpkin and scarecrow stories.

The focus story was the favorite "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything". Making Learning Fun had their own version of the story for me to print for the kids. You can find it here:
 They also had a version of the "The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves" that went perfectly with my scarecrow theme, here's the link. If you aren't familiar with this sight, check it out, most of it is geared towards kindergarten, but there are things on there for first grade.

They also have the finger play "Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate" to color, cut and paste. As we were working on it, I decided to have the kids each take a part to put on a little performance for the principal. So we quickly made some pumpkins to hold in front of their face and then we trimmed the 5 little pumpkin page and glued it to the back side of the pumpkin so they could read it.

I was just going to have the kids stand and do the finger play, but then as they were practicing, I had the thought to have them use their chairs as the fence. So they were on their knees holding the pumpkins up to the back of the chair. My creative daughter, who had to tag along with me to intersession, started singing the finger play to the tune of 5 little monkeys sitting in a tree, the words worked perfectly. We ended up reading the finger play with my daughter and one student as narrators and then all of them singing it. Here is a picture of the pumpkins waiting for the principal (they were hiding). lol

Here is a video of the kids singing the song, sorry, it's not very good quality. Yes there are more than 5 pumpkins, my daughter had to get in on the act. haha

Last week in Treasures we were reading "A Prairie Dog Home". I had found to use a styrofoam cup to make a hole for a groundhog to pop out of it so I decided it would also work for prairie dogs. I found a picture of some prairie dogs and then cut it down so only one with a baby was showing. I put four on a page. Here's the link for the puppet pattern.
The kids colored them , cut them out and glued them on a large tongue depressor. I then gave then a 16 oz styrofoam cup with a slit cut in the bottom. They used some green tissue paper that some pears had been wrapped in to cover the cup. Here is what it looked like.
I also had collected a couple of boxes. I turned them on their sides and cut some circles in them just a little smaller than the top of the cup. The kids took turns dropping their prairie dog burrows into the holes and they put their hand in the box opening at the back and they could raise and lower the prairie dogs. Then one of them used a fox puppet and tried to catch a prairie dog. They had a great time. This was kind of spur of the moment, I did cover the front with some green paper, next year, I'll have it ready and try to make it look a little more realistic.
I really enjoyed my first full day of Fall Break and I didn't even leave the house. I filed a bunch of papers that had been piling up into the right units. I also did some laundry doesn't that sound like fun??? Next week, we are going to Texas to see my new nephew. I hope to get caught up on grading and ahead on lesson plans....a girl can have her dreams can't she?
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

 Counting Down...

I'm counting down the days till Fall Break. This Friday will start our 2 week, yes I said 2 week,  break. I am more than ready for it. I need some time to try to get ahead. Is that even possible???

Last week went well. We were reading "Little Red Hen" in Treasures. The kids always love that story. I googled and found some puppets from Dr. Jean ( that have the same animals as the version in our book. The kids made little stick puppets instead of  using felt like the directions say. They loved them! Friday afternoon, they were having some free choice time, I gave some of them paper to make scenery so they could do a puppet show. The next thing I knew, the kids had all gotten into groups on their own and were making scenery so they could do puppets shows. It was a little noisy, but it was so fun to watch them working together. Some when they finished were advertising trying to get people to come and watch their play. It was so cool to see that some of them got their books and were reading the story. Here are a few pictures from the chaos. : P

We also participated in International Walk to School Day on October 3. The local paper was out and took pictures. The school buses drop the kids off at a park a couple of blocks from school and the teachers park at the school and walk down to the park. Some of the walkers have to pass the school to get to the park. We participate in "The Walking School Bus" every month. The kids love doing it! 

Taking part in National Walk to School Day, students and their parents are joined by community members  as well as teachers and staff  as they walk as a group  along NE 50th Street to begin the school day at Spencer Elementary on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.   Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.
This is my daughter and a couple of her classmates.

Taking part in National Walk to School Day, students and their parents are joined by community members  as well as teachers and staff  as they walk as a group  along NE 50th Street to begin the school day at Spencer Elementary on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.   Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.

Last Wednesday, the Zoomobile came to school and brought a few animals that are native to Oklahoma. We are following it up with a trip to the OKC Zoo on Friday. So it was perfect timing that we are reading "Prairie Dog Home" in Treasures this week. Last year, I used the desks, chairs and tables to create a prairie dog home for the kids to craw around in. They had a blast! I don't know if I will get to do it this year since we are going to the zoo Friday, plus I have zip-tied desks together and I really don't want to undo them them. It might work without taking them apart, so it may just be a matter of having the time to do it. If I do, I'll make sure to get pictures this year.

I'm very proud of my daughter. She brought home her report card for the first quarter. she had straight A's. Her lowest grades were 95 in art and music.  She loves watching Create the PBS channel with cooking shows. I have been teaching her to bake. she makes chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and choclate cake from scratch. She has informed me that she wants a kitchen aid mixer for her birthday. She started cooking at a young age, here she is when she was 5.

Hope you have a Great week. I'll be counting the days till my Fall Break.
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