Sunday, March 11, 2012

Long E, Measurement, and More!

Hello all!

I hope everyone is getting excited for their spring breaks! Mine is a whopping Friday-Monday, but it is time off none the less :)

Last week, we had a good/bad week. Academically, we had an awesome week! They are really absorbing the information quickly and are still able to explain and apply it. So exciting! But on the bad side, my kiddos have been really struggling with bullying lately. I've had the"If you don't do _____, you can't be my friend," "I don't like you anymore," and just the general bossing other kids around. It's breaking my heart because its making some of my kiddos so sad! I had a big talk with them and we are doing a lot of anti-bullying activities this week, but I don't know what more I can do. Does anyone else have this problem? I can't believe first graders are acting like this! Any advice?

We have been learning about long vowel sounds! We have already gone over all of the bossy e patterns (a_e, i_e, 0_e, and u_e). If you need any fun games to review these spelling patterns, check out my Long Vowel Read the Roomy Fluency passages. My kids loved them! Instead of just searching for the word, the students have to read the sentence, and find  the word within it.

Another resource I have found super helpful, is the BBC Long Vowel Sound website. I have used/plan to use all of the poems in the poem pack! They are so interactive and great for my students that have trouble regonizing our word patterns right away.

This week, I started introducing measurement. We have been DYING to use our rulers, so I decided I wouldn't torture them any longer! I created a rocket measuring activity that is FREE for you to use! The best way I could think of to introduce this was to model measurement, work in pairs, and then complete an independent activity. First, I introdued the ruler and the terms "ruler" and "inch." We talked about how we use the ruler to measure length, width and height.
I modeled how to measure the first rocket and had each child show me where I would place the ruler to measure it. (All the measurements are from the tip of the rocket to the bottom of the fire.)

After we discussed this for a little bit, we played "Around the World." The rest of the rockets were placed on their desks and they rotated around with their answer sheet and measured each one. This made it SUPER easy to see who got it and who didn't.

By the time they finished the activity and stared the indepedent worksheet portion, they were pros!

We used the measurement activities from Crazy for First Grade and they are awesome! We used the Measure It activity twice, with nonstandard measurement and with the ruler. It was really cute for the kids to see the difference! And they LOVED the Measure A Friend activity. How could they not like using their friends to learn math?

On Friday, since we alwals have Fun Fridays, we did this cute FREE gummy worm activity I found on TPT. We practiced measuring in both inches and centimeters, so this was a great way to end the week!

I really want to do a class play this year that stems from a read-aloud. I have 15 students and I want them all to be involved somehow. Does anyone hav any plans? I thought of maybe doing The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, but I can't decide. Ideas or suggestions would be great!

Have a great week! It's a four day week for me!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Lovely Blog Reward and a Thank You Freebie!!

I am so grateful for all the wonderful blogs that I read every day. I get so many incredible ideas and activities from them. As a first year teacher who has nothing, I feel so incredibly blessed to have so many resources and knowledge available to me everyday!

Ms. T from Second Grade Math Maniac has awarded me the Lovely Blog Award! I am so grateful that the ideas and activities that I do with my little first graders everyday can be helpful to other people!

The rules of this award say that I need to pass the award onto 15 others bloggers. Phew! I'll stick to the blogs I frequent the most and see how many I get!
  • The First Grade Parade (I get more incredible ideas from you that I can even count! I love all of your TPT products too!)
  • The Techy Teacher (I am so trying to be technologically advanced and you make everything so easy and understandable! Thank you!)
  • Sailing Through First (You give away so many wonderful freebies and everything you make is adorable!)
  • Mrs. Bumgardner's First Grade Class (The amount of craftivities your class does amazes me. My kids would fall on the floor if they got to do as many amazing crafts as your kids do! I get so many ideas from you every time I look at your blog!)
  • Oceans of First Grade Fun (You were one of the first blogs I ever stalked and you got me hooked! Thank you for all your wonderful ideas!)
  • Crazy for First Grade (You are phenomenal. Wonderful does not even begin to describe what you provide on your blog. I am so grateful for you! I love all your TPT products too!!)
  • Rowdy in First Grade (You ideas are so cute. I love all the hands on and interactive activities you do!)
Of course I picked bloggers that probably get this award 50 times a day because they are so awesome, but their knowledge has helped me beyond belief!

If you would like to give this award to someone else, the rules for this award are:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you
2. Pass the award to 15 other Lovely bloggers. 
3. Follow the person who sent it to you!

And to say thank you for giving me this award, here is a little prewriting freebie. We are working on the writing process, and I am trying to get my little guys to think of ideas for their writing, without actually writing the whole story. The idea is to complete the idea web first, and then narrow their thinking to 2 story ideas.

Thanks again for my award!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Currently March :)

I actually really enjoy writing these currentlies because it makes me reflect on myself, and not just my students. Thanks to Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for continuing to do these each month!
Have a good Tuesday~

Seuss Week, Leap Day, and more!

What a crazy week. I LOVE Dr. Seuss and could not cram enough activities into my lesson plans last week.

We read The Sneetches and watched the movie. Of course when we voted, we liked the movie better. I can only do so many silly voices :) We talked about how unfair it was that the plain-bellied Sneetches were treated differently than the star-bellied Sneetches, because no one person was better than the other. We decided in the end, they all got along because they felt good about who they were. So we did a little writing activity about how we feel good about ourselves. Each first grader got a star, and wrote about a quality or talent they have that they are proud of. Many of us were proud of our sports skills :)

 Then we read The Foot Book, and How Big is A Foot? by Rolf Myller and started a discussion about nonstandard measurement. I love Rolf Myller's book! If you are introducing nonstandard measurement to your students, it is the BEST book to use. It really shows the students how different measuring tools are different lengths. Just like the king and the queen in the story, we decided to measure things in our classroom with our feet. You can get a copy of the paper here.

We read Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? and loved all the sounds he made. We loved them so much that we made our own book of sounds. As first graders, we are working on remembering how to spell and use our last names, so making this book was awesome practice! The writing prompt was: Miss/Mr. ________ can ______, can you? The students had to fill in all the blanks and add an illustration. They turned out so cute! You can have a copy of the book cover and page here. (The book cover picture is a little blurry, but works for my purposes!)

Wednesday was LEAP DAY! Once we were threatened and actually started listening, we had a wonderful day :) I bought Andrea W.'s Leap Day packet from TPT and we loved it! We used so many of her cute ideas! It was perfect for my first graders.

First we read her cute original story, Three Little Leapfrogs. She wrote the story, and my kids each got to illustrate their own story.

Most of my little guys worked really hard on their illustrations and were so proud of their books!

Next, we did her little frog craftivity, and wrote the facts we had learned about leap year! After they wrote their facts and created their frogs, they got to personalize it a little bit. The mustaches and beards were very popular....

In the afternoon, we did math stations using some of the worksheets from the pack. We also made a Leap Day trail mix of 29 different things! We had a great day!

All week I was asked when we were going to read the Lorax! The kids could not believe that no one thought of what would happen when there were no trees left! We thought of all kinds of different ways that we could save the earth. We decided to write a letter to Mother Earth to tell her how we were going to protect her. You can get your copy here!

Unfortunately, I was at a visual phonics workshop (which is really cool by the way) on Friday so I wasn't with my kiddos for Dr. Seuss's actual birthday, but they got to have a fun-filled day of reading his books and have a little treat.

Have a great week! I am jealous of all of you that have a week long spring break. We just have a Friday-Monday deal :(

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