October 25, 2015

Pumpkin Week is in the Books!

Pumpkin week...always one of my favorite weeks of the year to plan!
I always forget how awesome things turn out when you integrate. 

 We recently learned about non-fiction text and schema.
So we started off the week talking about what kind of pumpkin schema we had.
Before I taught anything about pumpkins, we recorded our schema on pumpkin seeds & put it on our chart.

The next day, we read a non-fiction book about pumpkins. We learned lots of new information and also recorded it on a pumpkin seed. 
{Anchor chart inspiration from The First Grade Parade}

Our poem this week was I'm a Little Pumpkin. Perfect for the occasion!
It goes to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot.

We also read about the life cycle of a pumpkin and put the cycle in order using these cards from The First Grade Parade.  You can also watch this song...beware your kids will LOVE it!

Throughout the week the kiddos brought in mini pumpkins for a grammar activity.

The room began to look like a pumpkin patch!

We used our senses to describe our class pumpkin.
Each student wrote their descriptive words on their mini pumpkin.
What!? We get to write on our pumpkin!?!?

Total hit! Talk about concentration...you could hear a pumpkin drop!

We read the cutest book, The Littlest Pumpkin. It's a great book for making connections so we did just that.

We had a quick art activity too. Funny face pumpkins turned out adorable! 

Then it was time for our GREAT pumpkin investigation.
We headed down to the Science Lab.
First we labeled the parts of a pumpkin. 

Next up, will it sink or float.
Out of 42 kids...about 5 thought it would float!

Boy were they surprised!
We recorded our data on our Pumpkin Investigation log.

We cut into the pumpkin so that we could count the seeds.
I put butcher paper down over their desks and gave each student a handfull.
They had to put them into groups of 10 for us to count.

Their predictions were anywhere from 20 to 101. But we actually had....408!!! They were shocked!

We also measured how tall our pumpkin was with cubes.

Everything that we did during the investigation we recorded as a class on this chart:
It's very similar to their personal ones that we glued in their science journals. 

At the end of the day I love hearing..."Mrs. Griffith, today was the best day ever!"
Totally makes all the hard work and planning I put into a moment like this worth it.

October 14, 2015

5 Wardrobe Staples Every Teacher Should Own

This post isn't going to offer you any great lessons.
But I do hope that you find some of my fashion tips useful!

By NO means am I a fashionista of any sort.
I like to look cute.
I like everything to coordinate.
But most importantly, I like to be comfy.

So here I am sharing some of those cute, coordinating and comfy duds with you!
All the items I've picked are not only what I mentioned above, but they are very versatile and can pair with pretty much every item in my closet. Who doesn't love that!?

Below are the links where you can find each of these staple wardrobe pieces:

What about you? Is there anything you love or adore that you think I should add to my list...or closet?

October 11, 2015

Focusing on Non-Fiction

It seems as though this year lends itself for the PERFECT time to teach Non-Fiction!
 To this point in the year we have read plenty of fiction books. 
So when introducing a new "genre" of books, the kiddos are enthralled!

To kick off our unit we watch a Brainpop on fiction vs. nonfiction.
We create these anchor charts together. 

And then we take a look at a few books from our class library and sort them to go with our charts.

Each day over the past week we learned one or two new features that we see in non-fiction books.
We created this chart with each feature, an example and its purpose.

It will hang in our room all year long.

I was thinking of a way to have my kiddos kind of show me what they learned when I came across the perfect idea from Smitten with First! It's like my friend just read my mind and gave me just what I needed.

So using her idea, I wrote the name of each feature on a different color paper and hung them around the room while the students hunted through their Kids Time Magazine to hunt for the features.

Once they found a feature, they wrote that page number on a sticky note and went to place it on the paper.

It was a great way to get my little firsties working while getting up and moving at the same time!

This is definitely an activity I will be incorporating into our non-fiction study every year.

Check back shortly for more ideas in our non-fiction study!

October 1, 2015

October Ideas in a Nutshell

It's October!
I'd love for you to go back and read my past posts on all the great things I do in this fun month.
For the sake of time, there's no need to do that because I've brought it ALL to you right here in one post!

Pumpkins {check}
Bats {check}
Spiders {check}
Halloween {check}

Let's dive into all of the great activities I do in my classroom using Pumpkins first!

I love bringing in a real pumpkin for my class to explore. It's hands-on learning at it's finest.
It's all about the math and science when it comes to the class pumpkin.
We also read some non-fiction books about pumpkins and record our pumpkin schema beforehand. 

{If you would like to read more details about each activity, click on it's link}


Next up, Bats!

We go batty for bats!
We again read some non-fiction about bats and record our schema and new facts on a large bat.
We also use labels to label a giant bat!
We read other books like Stellaluna and craft it up using plot. 

{If you would like to read more details about each activity, click on it's link}

Bat Schema

These creepy, crawly things are so interesting to firsties. Here's a few spider ideas!

When learning about spiders we always fill out a KWL chart because there is always so much they already know but even more that they want to learn! We read plenty of non-fiction during our study of spiders.
Making our spider web shaped book is always a hit and a few fun spider shaped crafts are always fun too!

{If you would like to read more details about each activity, click on it's link}


The very end of the month brings us Halloween. We don't necessarily celebrate it at our school, but we still do a few fun things. Check out the Halloween ideas!

{If you would like to read more details about each activity, click on it's link}


I hope from all of these ideas, you are able to implement a few. 
I have implemented every single one of them at some point and time and lover every one!

May October treat you and your students well!