March 20, 2017

Back from Spring Break with a FREEBIE!

Today we returned from spring break...even though it was still about confusing!

You know as every student walks in they can't wait to tell you about that one great moment that happened over the break. They ALL have those moments! That's why I created this freebie for you!
The very first thing we do the day we return from spring break is write some "Spring Break News".
They pick their most favorite thing they did all week, write about it, and illustrate.

We sit in a circle with our papers and share all about our break (briefly, some would talk all day)
 with everyone.
Pick up this FREEBIE by clicking H E R E.

March 6, 2017

WIN a Year of Scholastic Printables for FREE!

What do teachers love more than Scholastic Book Orders!?
Well there's not much, but did you know they also offer other resources?

If you've never heard of Scholastic Printables, they give you unlimited access to thousands of activities, lesson plans, skill sheets and more!

I love using it if I need something quick for in-class practice or homework.  I can log on, search for what I need, and print!  It definitely saves me time and money!  The classroom resources are created by teachers and vetted by Scholastic. 

We've been studying American symbols and Scholastic Printables has been a great resource to turn to. 

Their site is very easy to use. I was able to type in "American symbols" and 3 pages worth of resources were at my fingertips! You can also search by grade level, theme, or even reading levels.

We completed this symbols book from Scholastic together.

Next, my students still wanted to know more about the Bald Eagle. So we watched a few education videos, read a few books and I had them create this eagle puppet I found on the Scholastic Printables website.

We glued the template to a paper sack and they recorded facts about Bald Eagles on the back. 

Ready for the B E S T part!?
You could WIN a FREE 1- year subscription to Scholastic Printables.

Follow the guidelines below on the Raffelcoptor.
Giveaway ends March 9th. Winner will be chosen March 10.

 Want to find out more about Scholastic Printables?
Check out their many social media accounts:
Visit the Scholastic Printables official website.
Follow Scholastic Teachers on Twitter and Facebook
Follow Scholastic on Instagram

*This is a sponsored post. I received a free subscription to Scholastic Printables in exchange for writing this review.  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.  

March 2, 2017

Giddy Up, Texas Style!

Texas, our we love learning about our state!
Rodeo season is in full swing and we've got our boots cleaned and ready to learn.

Our poem of the week is one of our favorites and I find them reciting it subconsciously throughout the week. Catchiness as its best!

We kicked off the week learning about all the symbols of our great state.
Some we already knew and some we didn't.

L is for Lone Star is a fabulous book that taught even this devoted Texan things I didn't know!
After recording our schema and new learning, we made a flip-book with 3 of our favorite symbols.

Each day throughout the week we dove deep into talking about 5 important symbols.
We read about them, asked questions, and recorded facts in our Texas Symbols book.

{You can find this in my TpT store}

On the day we learned about Bluebonnets, I taught my firsties how to make their own!

You can too:
Fold a white sheet of computer paper in half.
Color the top half blue, bottom half green on BOTH sides.
Cut the blue into small strips.
Roll at a diagonal and tape.

Themed books about our state are always fun to read. 
Here are a few we practiced making connections with.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly--There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Anth

Little Red Riding Hood--Little Red Cowboy Hat

We did a little comparing and contrasting with 2 stories this week too. 
Most of my kids knew the story of Cinderella.  I had them retell the story out loud for those who didn't. 
So we compared it with this laugh out loud story: Bubba the Cowboy Prince---a MUST read!
 We compared the 2 stories in a Venn Diagram boot and made it look a little fancy-shmancy!

In writing, we've explored the 5W poem this week during our poetry study. 
It answers the questions "who, what, when, where, why"?
We wrote a class poem about an armadillo together and they got to be the illustrators. 

Then we brainstormed ideas/animals/people that represented Texas. 

They chose one to write their own 5W poem about. 

We also wrote 5W poems that describe ourselves. Grab this FREE template in my TpT store!

During our grammar time this week we reviewed adjectives. It just seems that these little words won't stick in my firsties brains! A sign to the teacher...I need to use it more ; )

We colorfully decorated these big ol' boots.

I gave them 3 sticky notes to describe their boots and glue at the bottom. 
"bold"   "vibrant"   "pretty"

To top it all off, we celebrated our week with FOOD! Our state dish of course....CHILI!
I'm always SO shocked when some of my friends tell me they've never had Chili!!!

To incorporate writing, we made the chili together and then wrote a recipe for them to take home!

After our taste test, we again, used adjectives to describe our Chili.

{Click on the picture for a FREEBIE}

I hope you found some Texas sized ideas to add to your Texas sized vault!

Many of these activities and more can be found in my Texas unit in my TpT store!

February 12, 2017

A Day in the Arctic: Room Transformation

This week we spend a day in the arctic.
We've been studying habitats, animal characteristics and even started our own research projects.
But we took a day off to explore artic-ish things!
So grab your cold weather gear and get ready to explore.

To transform the room, I used lots of paper, snowflakes and a little sparkle.
I covered my door in paper and made a sign.
I also covered the word wall and window with sheets of "ice" and "icicles". 

I also ordered a few items on Amazon.
I hung sparkle snowflakes from the ceiling, snowflake banner on our SmartBoard and snowflake cut outs on the window and word wall "ice" coverings.

The tables were also covered with white paper and some iridescent Easter grass for "ice". 
We worked with the lights off and arctic wind sounds some of the time. 

Earlier in the week, we read a book about Polar Bears and found the main idea/details with non-fiction text. So it was there turn to try it out themselves. I checked out several easy reads on arctic animals from the library. Each group had to read the book and record the main idea from the text. 
Who goes to the arctic and doesn't have a snowball fight? Not us of course. I wrote words on squares of paper. I turned on music and let them throw the "snowballs" across the room. When the music stopped, they had to find a snowball, open it and find the other student with their match to make a compound word.

Since the arctic is so incredibly cold, most people don't just venture there. We imagined if we did, how on Earth would we survive. So they wrote a procedural text on how exactly they would survive if the were in the arctic.

Our favotire part of all were our STEM stations!

I split the class up into 4 groups each to work for 12-15 minutes at each station.
At station 1 they build igloos out of marshmallows and toothpicks. At station 2 they made snowflake designs out of q-tips. At station 3 they used geoboards and rubber bands to make snowflakes. And at station 4 we made snow!

These days are so much fun, and not to mention engaging beyond measure.
If you would like to check out my last room transformation click HERE.

February 11, 2017

Presidents Mini Unit

I tend to forget how BUSY the month of February can get!
It's jam packked...but then again what month doesn't feel that way by the time it is over? 

Besides Valentine's Day, February also brings us President's Day.  
I find my students are more fascinated with non-fiction than anything else I teach. 
 There is just something about it that totally tunes them in!
 I put together a little packet to go along with our week long President's celebration.

  If you were able to check out my MLK unit and enjoyed it, then this will be right up your alley as it is fairly similar.

This mini-unit is the perfect way to teach all about Washington, Lincoln, and President's Day in just a few days! All you need is a non-fiction book to accompany the pages in this unit and you are set!

Here is what the unit includes:

*Who Was Washington? {describing graphic organizer}
*Washington was/had/wanted facts organizer
*Washington 3 facts and a fib {students produce & record 3 facts and a fib)
*Who Was Lincoln? {describing graphic organizer}
*Lincoln was/had/wanted facts organizer
*Lincoln 3 facts and a fib {students produce & record 3 facts and a fib)
*Comparing Washington and Lincoln! {Venn diagram}
*The President's: Fact or Not so Much {cut and paste fact activity}
*If I Were President... {creative writing prompt}
*President's Day ABC order
It is now available in my TPT store and will be on sale this weekend!

February 1, 2017

This Book is Important

Teaching main idea to first graders is hard.
Here's a book I stumbled upon that made the concept so much easier for my kids to understand.

The Important Book takes one "thing" and tells what makes it important. It also lists details to describe it too. It then tells again why it is important...much like main idea!

To start off, my students and I completed 2 pages out of the book together, discussing what was the most important part (the main idea) and how we knew that (the details).

I made color copies of the pages in the book, because who has 5 copies of their teaching books!?
I put my kids in small groups and gave them each a page to read. They had to figure out the main idea of their page and what details they learned about it.

We shared our findings and they totally got it!

If you don't have this book, add it to your collection asap!
Happy reading : )

January 23, 2017

Writing with Play-dough

Need to get your kids excited about practicing writing sentences?
Well then bring out the Play-Dough!

We have been learning about using question words and question marks.
I had modeled writing questions for several days and now it was time for my firsties to practice.
In my mind I thought, ugh how boring is this going to be and knew I had to make it engaging.
Enter Play-Dough.

They had to write 3 questions and once they did, they could create their question marks out of Play-Dough!

I was shocked how hard they worked!
We may just pull out the Play-Dough more often.
I'm sure they would'nt mind, especially when they get to play with it after their hard work!