October 28, 2012

A Pumpkin-y Kind of Week

Sunday's over already?  {Insert long s-i-g-h}  At least the weather here in Texas is looking a little bit more Fall-like!  I'm sure it will be back up to 90 degrees before long (boo). Since this is the last week of October, I thought I would share a few pumpkin activities I plan to do with my firsties this week! 

We've been working really hard on contractions and nouns for the past few weeks and I wanted to incorporate some independent practice into my center rotations.  So I made this here little Pumpkin Literacy Center packet of goodness for my firsties.

It includes a cute pumpkin poem, a contraction match up (using not contractions), and a common/proper noun sort.  It even comes with recording sheets! Great for literacy centers.
Click on the picture to download!
Since Halloween falls on a school day {insert 2nd long s-i-g-h}  I have put together a 'Pumpkin Investigation' for my class to do on Wednesday.  I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that all ...you know what... doesn't break loose!  This fabulous investigation printable is from Julie Lee over at Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten. Click on the picture below to download her amazing freebie!
Here are a few other things I plan to do all inspired by the magnificent Cara over at The First Grade Parade.  Check out her post {here} and {here} all about her Pumpkin Day! 
I will be back later this week with all the pumpkin-y fun we had during our Pumpkin Investigation and lots more pumpkin activities!

October 25, 2012

Trick or Treat!?

Who has eaten way. too. much candy this week?? That would be me! Haven't even been trick or treating but I did take a trip down the candy isle while grocery shopping and those darn pumpkin spice hershey kisses just happened to find there way in my cart.  I am a sucker for everything pumpkin spice flavored!

Since I have no kids and won't be going trick or treating next Wednesday, here is a cute little craftivity that plays off of the 'trick or treat' saying. I found this super cute idea over at Doodlebugs Teaching and added a writing portion to go with it.


I'm going to have the kids write 4 clues about themself:
1. Are they a boy or girl.
2. What color hair they have.
3. Something they like to do.
4. A favorite of theirs. 
They will illustrate what they look like and then cover their picture with a 'sheet' to make thier diguise as a  ghost!
Click on the picture below to download the question printable.
We've been studying all about spiders this week. Here's a peek at what our learning looks like.
We recorded our learning on a KWL chart.
 We put alot of what we learned into a spider booklet.
 We wrote spider facts.
 Drew a diagram of a spider and labeled it.

And wrote an acrostic poem using words that describe spiders.
We also put what we knew about spiders into a spiders can/have/are chart. 
We used the organizer to create a friendly spider art activity and sandwich poem!
Click on the picture below to download the organizer.
Tomorrow is FRIDAY and storybook character day at my school. Can't wait to see just how cute my kiddos look!

October 21, 2012

A Batty Week and a Spider Preview

Last week was our bat unit. I'm not quite sure what it was but my kiddos literally drove me batty! Here is a peek at our 'batty' week in pictures.
We started our unit off reading a few non-fiction books about bats and filling out a Bats Can-Have-Are chart.  They then picked 2 facts from each category and made their own can-have-are chart.

I also introduced the concept of labeling to my firsties using this 'Parts of a Bat' chart.  I showed them a diagram of a bat in a book we read and talked to them about all the different and interesting parts of a bat.  I then had them help me label the parts. We also drew our own diagram and labeled the parts but....let's face it, my drawing is horrible and isn't blog-worthy!
We have been talking all about story elements the past few weeks. I chose to read Stellaluna to my kiddos because I just love the book...such a sweet story. 
We broke down the book and talked about these story elements: character, setting, problem, solution, and main idea. I had them make a little craftivity to go with it.

On one side the had to fill in the characters and setting.
On the opposite side, they wrote the problem and solution.
And when they walked in the next day they saw this:
You would have thought I won a teacher of the year award or something ya'll! They were beyond excited about their bats hanging upside down from the ceiling.
We have been working hard on our short vowel sounds.  I made these assorted vowel word work pages.  They help me know whether or not my students understand the concept of the short vowel sound in a word since they are generating their own words in the circles and drawing a picture of their word. 
Click on the picture below and it will take you to my original post with the assorted vowels packet where you can download 3 different worksheets!
Up next week is our spider unit! There's 4 things I strongly despise in life: snakes, roaches, junebugs, and spiders.  There is just nothing cute about these creepy, crawly things but there is just something about the brain of a first grader that absolutely LOVES learning about them.  So all fears aside, here goes nothing.

 We definitely won't be making any creepy crawly spiders. Only cute ones that have descriptive 'sandwich poems'. Here is one activity we will be doing to go in our hall.  These 2 wonderful ladies {Doodlebugs Teaching} & {Amy Lemons} inspired me to put their 2 creations together into 1. 
And when my little loves walk in tomorrow this is the spooky scene they will see! We had a spider invasion over the weekend...boo-ha-ha!!!

Here's to a creepy-crawly 'drug-free' red ribbon week!

October 18, 2012

A Little Bit of This (Nouns), A Little Bit of That (Contractions)

There is just something about this week that has got me beat! I'm ready for a few days off (amen?). And how f---a---r  off is Thanksgiving break again??  30 days....ohh Lordy. That week off never sounded so good.  Now that I'm wishing it was November, back to October.  Here's what skills we have been working on the past week.

First up: nouns. Together, we make a big chart that lists types of people, places, and things.  I give each student 3 white squares.  On it they draw a picture and label one person, place, and thing.  Then I glue it on the chart.  Here's what our final product looks like.

Next up: contractions.  I was so anxious to do this cute little activity I found on Pinterest.  But, oh my word...it's SO much work ya'll.  I bet the mommas who I sent all the circles and legs home with to cut out just love me right now!

We've only learned about 'not' contractions so I made a list of words they could choose from to add with 'not' and make their contraction. All that hard work and they look pretty darn cute!

And when you add the two together...this is what you get...
This teacher is off to get some much needed rest...for I think my firsties have drove me batty (which I mean literally in every sense)!

October 15, 2012

BOO Who? Me!

BOO! Did I scare you?  I'm sure I will get that from one of my firsties sooner or later. 
Click on the picture above to catch up on all the other "boo-ing" bloggers!
Here are the rules:
If you've been booed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.
1. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!
 2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),
or freebie(s) that you love!
3. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don't boo someone again:
And don't forget to tell them that they have been BOOED!
First off I would like to thank Susan over at T.G.I.F for giving me the "BOO"!  You MUST check out her blog if you haven't already. Love her ideas and products!

Since I mentioned how great she was already, I'm going to share something with you of Susan's that I recently purchased and am thrilled to use!

Our district started a new writing program this year (Lucy Caulkins) as if I don't already struggle enough teaching writing--I have to admit it is NOT my favorite---!

But this little blessing came upon me yesterday and I had to snatch it up right away! Let me tell you:: true. life. saver!

Here's her {post} all about it=MUST read.
Small Moments Narrative Writing Pack
Next, Stephanie over at First Grade Fabulous Fish has made a great word wall work packet for the month of October. Check out her post about it {here}.
Last week I shared with you one of my newest October/Halloween themed creations.  I haven't used this in my classroom yet, but plan to put it into our 'grammar center' next week.  My kiddos have loved other candy corn activities this month, so I'm almost positive this one won't disappoint! If you didn't catch my post, click {here} to check it out. 
I love reading the book I Need My Monster.  It has so many twists and turns to keep my firsties hooked until the end.  After reading it we do a little fun art activity where I have them trace their hand and then trace their fists.  They then design them into their own "Hands Out Monsters".  I don't have an example with me but will try to remember to take a picture of one at work. They love both the book and the activity!
Now....let the 'boo-ing' begin! Check out my blogger picks below!
 Doodle Bugs  
 This blog has the some of the cutest ideas and units! She also has a blog where she designs her own paper/templates...so creative!
Just discovered her blog and her awesome TPT store! Check both out, you won't  be disappointed.
 Heather's heart
She gives away tons of freebies (who doesn't love that), has super creative ideas, and writes heart-felt blog posts that I just love to read! Plus she lives right down the road in the great state of Texas ya'll!
By far, hands down one of my most favorite blogs.  Everything she does is so creative, cute, and purchase-worthy. And too she also lives in the great state of Texas ya'll!

Seems like this little lady can come up with ideas off the top of her head on a daily basis...which I need help with.  Her blog is very inspiring to become more creative!
So go on and check out the new 'boo-ees' (I'm making up words left and right...ha!) and have a great week! Oh yeah, and leave me some love if you snatch up my Candy Corn Contractions : )

October 11, 2012

Candy Corn Contractions

Can you believe October is already half way over? Oh-my-word....does time fly or what!?!?  Since November will be here by the time we blink a few times (not literally), I thought it was time to bring out the Halloween themed goodies.  I introduced contractions today and decided it would be a good idea to incorporate them into my center rotation next week.  So, like I always do, I went to Pinterest for inspiration and low and behold I found the most perfect and cute idea (which was expected)...Pinterest never lets me down!  So, I sat down at my desk, pulled out my bag of candy corn <...because candy of any sort always stimulates your thinking or at least in my case...> and began to work on....Candy Corn Contractions! 
I'm sharing with you my creation.  Click on the picture below to download! 

Students will color the candy corn to replicate an actual piece of candy.  The bottom will be yellow, middle orange, and top white.  They will then pick one word from list one and one word from list two.  On the white part of the candy corn they will write the word from list one. On the orange part of the candy corn they will write the word from list two.  Then they will combine the two words to make a contraction and write that on the yellow part of the candy corn.  I'm going to let them outline their words with a sharpie (this alone will help them to finish...like it's magic or something!).  Haven't decided if I want them to add arms, legs, and eyes yet. What do you think??

Here's my inspiration photo:

I may just bribe the kiddos with some actual candy corn...if I don't eat some all of it first!  It always seems you get better results and harder work when they have something to look forward to!

Next week we start our bats unit. I got a little head start the other morning and had them trace their hands to make bats.  Here is a preview of a little 'batty' hall decor.

"We're Batty for 1st Grade!"


October 8, 2012

Spiders, Bats, and Vowels OH MY!

If these next 3 months of school aren't the BEST time of the year, than I'm  not sure what is...well ok there is this one day called the last day of school, but that's a whole different story!  October is full of pumpkins, bats, and spiders.  Then November brings my birthday, fall weather, and our Thanksgiving feast.  Last comes December when we go all out for The Polar Express, and Holiday parties (I hate we don't call them Christmas parties) and a 2 week vacation! 

But backing up to October...in the next few weeks we will talk about bats, spiders, and pumpkins.  We have been learning about the short vowel sounds since the second week of school.  Our district is implementing a new phonics program, so it has been a little v-e-r-y slow getting started...but none the less, we are truckin' now!  Next week we will finish our last short vowel {Praise the Lord}. 

I created a pack of short vowel word work for the month of October to go hand in hand with all our fun units! Included is a pumpkin, bat, and spider themed vowel sort.  I have included directions at the end of the packet so be sure to make your way all they way to the last page : )

Click on the picture to download!
Here is a peek at what you can expect!

I can't wait to share with you what we are doing for our bat, spider, and pumpkin units!  Here's one thing I'm super excited about:  Another teacher and I bought a mini pumpkin to plant and watch grow...only it takes 95 days for it to mature (they made sure to leave that off the packaging)! 
I am going to leave you with a question and 1 more freebie!  Have one of your student's ever asked you if they should spell a word with a 'c' or a 'k'?  It's only my 2nd year of teaching and I can count on both hands (and toes) plus some more how many times I've heard that question.  Well here is a cute little saying I learned from our phonics program that helps the kids remember which to use:  "K takes i and e and c takes the other 3".  Confused yet??? 
Here is a visual I made for my kiddos to refer to when writing. You can click on the picture to download!
So clever, so cute, AND so glad I now have the answer to their questions (if I didn't already know how to spell the word of course!)



October 6, 2012

Applepalooza {Part 2} Freebies!

As promised, I'm back with part 2 of Applepalooza! Last time I shared with you many of the activities we did during week 1 of our unit.  You will find links to everything from that post here on this post.

This week we didn't really focus on apples as in depth as we did the first week.  We mostly talked about Johnny Appleseed and compiled everything we learned together into our apple book. Now, before you and I both get TOO excited, I have to let you know...that I am a slacker.  At some point during every day this week, I reminded myself to take a picture of each page we had done in the apple book...and sadly, I failed...miserably.  I have NO pictures.  But, my example of the apple book is tucked away neatly in my files.  So, when I return next week I will take pictures for you because it is my favorite part of our apple unit!  I'm just going to have to give it it's own special post.

So, since I can't yet share the apple book with you, here are the links to the apple activities from Applepalooza {Part 1}!!  Just click on the picture and it will take you to the download!

Five Senses Apple Poem

Addition Doubles Facts Practice
Apple Graphing
Types of Apples Graphic Organizer
 Recipe for Applesauce Writing
To conclude our apple unit, on Friday we made a class batch of applesauce and lemme tell you---It. Was. GOOD.  So good that I just had myself 2 bowls, oops!

Here is the recipe for the applesauce and the recipe card we filled out together as a class.
We had a relaxing Friday afternoon....applesauce, apple juice, and a Johnny Appleseed video. Great way to end our first 6 weeks!  Several students said, "This is the best day EVER!" 
Never forgot about the little things in life : )