April 28, 2013

One Word...Instagram!

I have found a new love and its name is Instagram! I've had a personal account for about a year now and recently realized what the hype is all about. So, I ventured off and turned it into a personal/teaching shared account. If y'all haven't jumped on the bandwagon, now is the time! What is more fun than seeing what other teachers are doing in their rooms? It's a great new way to get ideas, comment/talk with other teacher bloggers, and get a peek inside some great teacher's classrooms!

Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants and Michelle at Apples and ABC's have come up with a genius idea.

Here's how it works:
1. Create an Instagram account and join in on the fun!
2. Post a picture on Tuesday of happenings in your classroom.
3. Tag the picture using the hashtag #teachertalktuesday.
For the Love of First Grade is on Instagram so don't forget to follow!
Here are a few of my favorite posts from the last 2 weeks:
We finished our poetry unit learning all about alliterations. Here is the chart my kiddos helped me create.
 My newest freebie for Mother's Day was in the works last week, and was posted on the blog yesterday (check Sunday's post)!
While blogging Saturday morning, my cat decided to catch, tackle, and take on this fierce lizard!!

Come join us on Tuesday for our first #teachertalktuesday! And don't forget to link up with Michelle over at Apples and ABC's for an Instagram linky!

Colorful Carnations, Magnificent Moms, plus a *Freebie*

I feel like I am always saying "I can't believe it's already ______!"  Before I started working as a teacher, 2 short years ago, I think back and don't remember time ever flying by as fast as it does now. It just blows my mind! I mean...Mother's Day is in just 2 weeks. Did you hear that? 2 WEEKS {gah}!!

I wanted to come up with something sweet, simple, and creative for my firsties' magnificent mothers! I thought it would be fun to buy some white carnations and let them pick a color, or their mom's favorite, and dye them!

I put together this FREEBIE to go with it.

I plan to print out the tags and have the kids tie them to the flower. There are 3 different patterns, each with the same poem...by {ahem} myself! I'm sort of proud, so please don't ruin my moment, ha!

"I dyed this flower just for you, because my love is ever true!"
If you would like to download, head over to my TpT shop. Please be kind and let me know what you think with some feedback.

We are definitely also using A Cupcake for the Teacher's Mother's Day ice cream adjective craftivity.

So. stinkin. cute!
What kind of activities do you have your class put together for mom? The more suggestions, the better!

April 27, 2013

Six for Saturday

So I'm a day late. I hate being late...but a night with the girlfriends of dinner and shopping definitely won over a blog post late last night! Despite being out 2 days this week to help out with STAAR testing (I told a colleague I would rather have been tied to some of my firsties instead of stuck giving this dumb test), we had a great week in 1st grade!

Instead of the regular 5 for Friday, I added one more picture to make up for my lateness....so it's 6 for Saturday!

We started our perfect plant unit this week by digging up some plant schema to see what we already knew and of course, activate our prior knowledge!

We did a little observing to see how much our plants grew this week. 
 If you missed out on my Perfect Plant Observation Log post with the 2 freebies click {here} to check it out!
A Cupcake for the Teacher inspired me to make a similar anchor chart after we discussed ways we could reduce, reuse, and recycle. We also put a "pledge" of one things we can do to help save Earth around the edges! They loved it!
If you missed out on my Earth Day post with the a craftivity freebie click {here} to check it out!
In math, we learned about time all week so before our test Friday, we did a little review game of Time BINGO!
Mother's Day is just 2 weeks away! Holy smokes batman! I created another freebie. Be on the lookout on the blog post tomrrow for a cute, easy, and simple activity to do with your students. Here's a peeky!

And the most exciting part of all.....drumroll please......we O-FFICIALLY started our summer countdown! WOO HOO! 28 days.....


Head on over to Doodle Bugs for her super-fun linky to see what has been happening in classroom all across the country this week!

On another note, if you haven't heard...I'm on Instagram! Follow me here (click on the pic below) for the latest happening in my classroom and life in general.

Enjoy your weekend friends!

April 23, 2013

Shapin' Up our Shape Attributes

I know I'm not the only one who has officially started their countdown to summer...or am I? We have 33 days and counting! This week was our review week before report cards are due, so I took some extra time to plan some {much needed} fun, hands-on whole group activities for math.

Reviewing previously taught skills and concepts is sometimes hard for me to do.  I find myself pressing on to the next skill that needs to be taught. A lot of my reviewing is done through math tubs where they play games and/or centers while I work with small groups.

I wanted to share with you an activity we did to "shape up" our ability to identify shape attributes! Yes, I just said that...ha!

I pre-cut out shapes (2 triangles, 2 squares, 2 rectangles, 2 circles) and had the students help me name the shapes. We dug down deep into our schema {I'm talking beginning of the year y'all} and discussed what attributes of shapes were: corners, sides, etc. 
I put them into groups and had them grab a pencil.  For each shape they visited, they had to write down one attribute about that shape, and if it was already written, they had to come up with something new.

Since there were 2 of each shape, they returned to the shape they started with and I paired those two groups up to compare what the class had written on their shapes. Of course, I had them share with the entire class because I love to see their little brains teach one another...yes, they get more out of it instead of hearing the words fumble out of my mouth for the thousandth time!

Are there any "go-to" activities you use that get your students thinking? I would love to hear about them!

April 21, 2013

Awesome Alliterations in April and Instagram!

While I'm stuck inside all sniffley, stuffy, sneezy and all-out miserable I thought it would be a great time to catch up on some blogging and update you on our week (pre sickness). We have been going all out this month writing different types of poetry. Each week, I choose a different style of poetry. We discuss, practice, and write our own piece for each type.

This pass week we focused on alliterations. These, by far, have been my kiddos favorites. I shared some well know alliterations {more like tongue twisters for me since our writing block is at the end of the day when my brain is fried} like "Peter Piper....." and "Sally sells sea shells....".  Of course they had heard of them before but had no idea they go by the big, bad name of alliterations.

Here are a few activities we had fun with this week:
We have been learning about adjectives the past six weeks, so this activity from the amazing Cara Carroll, fit perfectly into our plans! Read her post about alliterations {HERE}. Each students came up with an adjective that described them and started with the first letter of their name. Some needed assistance from their peers (who described some of them well...needless to say) and a few came up with theirs on their own.
My friend Seth, who says he is selfish, needed a little less than 3 seconds to think of his. Seth is selfish.  Then asks the question "Mrs. Griffith, what does selfish mean?" My answer: "Selfish is when you don't care about anyone but yourself." Seth's reply: "Oh, well that doesn't describe me at all.  But I still like the word!" Needless to say, that's what we wrote on the chart!
Here are a few alliterations put into artwork.

Another day, I put some magnetic letters in a paper bag and had each student pick a letter. I told them that with this letter, they had to make an alliteration sentence using at least 5 words that started with the letter they picked. Here are a few pieces of their work:

"Larry lobster loves lattice and lickerish."
"Allgader Alley like Allyson allgader and Allyson allgader like apples."
I wanted to leave you with a few good reads for teaching alliteration to your students.

I've had an Instagram account for awhile now, just haven't really put it into use yet. I take so many pictures in the classroom and now have a great place to share them!

Follow me @fortheloveoffirstgrade

I'm off to enjoy this beautifully gorgeous day from the window behind my couch!


April 18, 2013

Saving Earth One Student at a Time

So finally after a week of my kids sneezing, coughing which has been more like hacking, and sniffling...my body has finally started the trend too. I'm guessing it felt a little left out?? Talk about horrible timing----field trip tomorrow anyone? Yes, that would be me! My bed better treat me well tonight.

Since we will be gone tomorrow, we will be Earth Daying (yes, it's a new word) it up next week. I've put the Earth Day craft we tackle into a freebie for you! So, if you are the opposite of me and plan at the last minute, then this post is just for you!

My example isn't quite exactly up to par. I colored mine with marker=boring. I make my firsties use rip or tear art for the Earth. Then after we do a few of the following activities (listed below) they fill out what they can do to help keep the Earth clean, etc.

Of course we also read a few books, do a few sorting activities, act out a little recycling, blah blah blah. And we definitely remake this A-MA-zing anchor chart from A Cupcake for the Teacher! Talk about adorbs!

If you want to pick up my little craftivity, click on the picture below, download on TpT and leave me some feedback.
 Happy Friday friends!

April 15, 2013

My Little Book of Landforms *FREEBIE*

Last week we set out to learn all about the types of landforms. After seeing some posts from other teachers on volcanic eruptions and such, I'm feeling a little bit lack luster (sigh).But if my kids don't know how *uncool* I am I guess it's all good! Needless to say, my kids learned a lot and had a fun time making our landforms craft on Friday. You know it's good when you hear "This is SO cool!"


I desperately wish I could share with you the template and the printable labels we used, but unfortunately, both came from our grade level AIMS magazines which, of course, has a copyright. But I thought this would be a great visual if you wanted to take it and make it your  own.
  I had a parent pre-cut and trace all the parts. We started by gluing the ice caps onto the dark blue background. Next, came the mountains (dark brown), valley (grassy green), desert (tan), light brown (plains), blue (ocean). We  put a label saying "My Earth has ______" on each landform. The kids thought this flipbook was beyond cool! They couldn't wait to take it home and show it of.
 Here's a picture for all the anchor chart lovas out there! We recorded our schema (on Monday) and new learning throughout the rest of the week on this anchor chart.

Each day we talked about a different type of landform and used this {FREEBIE} to help us out.

 Lemme break it down for you: in this freebie, there is a glossary to write down the definition of each type of landform. ALso included are pages for each type of landform where my kiddos wrote down 3 facts using these sentence starters: ______'s can, _______'s have, ________'s are.

Once we covered each type of landform (all 5), I had them decorate the cover with an illustration of their favorite type of landform we learned about.  Head on over to my TpT shop to download this freebie. In it I have included a blank glossary and a blank facts sheet in hopes that you may customize it to fit your teaching needs!

April 14, 2013

Plants + 2 FREEBIES and a SaLe!

I'm thinking all of our cold spells are gone {maybe I shouldn't hold my breath??} in south Texas. Spring seems like it is in full swing, so that could only lead to one thing...a plant study! One of my favorite science units to teach is plants. The kids LOVE getting to plant a seed and come in every morning to see what it has magically done overnight. It's the first place they visit before they even  unpack. They totally freak-out when they see the first root, leaf, etc.!! So fun to watch. If only we could hatch chicks this week....sigh!
Last year I used this observation log with my firsties and it worked out great.
For this unit, we observed our plants for a total of 10 days (excluding weekends). By the end of this time frame, they actually grew rather tall. Each day, we observed what our plant looked like and drew a picture on the picture observation sheet. We then turned to our daily observation page, wrote the observation date, number, and wrote 3 sentences about the changes we saw.

At the end of this packet, there is a place to sequence the steps of the life cycle of a plant: How a Plant Grows. This is a great way to assess what they know at then end of the unit.
This packet is posted in my TpT store and will be on sale for 3 days. So snag it while you can!

You can also find these two freebies if you have stuck with my ramblings this far! There are 2 graphic organizers.

The first is a plants can-have-are chart. The second is a life cycle chart. Pick them both up {HERE} and {HERE}.

Have a fabulous week friends!
I will also be giving this packet away to one lucky person who does the following:
1. Follow my blog AND TpT store
2. Pin this to Pinterest
3. Leave me a comment below with your email address.
Contest ends Tuesday!

April 11, 2013

Must Read Mentor Text: Grammar---Two Bad Ants {Inferencing}

Last week we were rockin' out inferencing in our classroom! Each day we read a book and did a little making inferences activity to go along with the book. There were some great books I talked about in {THIS} inferencing post, but one definitely stood out as a book I want to share with each and every teacher who teaches this reading skill. So I thought it was time to link up with Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Text Linky!

Two Bad Ants

Two Bad Ants is about two ants who take a journey from their "home" to a very unfamiliar place where they get caught up in all kinds of trouble. The best part is, the author never tells you where the ants are. He leaves it to the picture clues (and of course your schema) to infer where the ants are. Talk about a perfect way to stop mid-book and have your kids make some inferences. I also found this freebie from All That Glitters in First Grade. I ran to tell my team the news of this book, and if I could, I would run and tell you too! It is that good!!!

If you have a text to share, be sure to follow the link below.



April 8, 2013

The Adventures of Inferencing

I have taken my class (not voluntarily of course) on an inferencing adventure! If you've been reading my blog for any period of time now, you know that I absolutely love to make anchor charts to introduce any and every topic. My inspiration for the "Making Inferences" chart came from Mrs. Richardson's Class.

Essentially, schema plus picture clues leads to making an inference. It took my firsties awhile to catch on to the new "lingo" but after some great activities they were inferring like champs I tell ya!

I would be a lot less great of a teacher if it weren't for the ideas of others who have inspired me. I introduced the concept of making inferences through a little thing called the Mystery Box....ooooooo! {Thanks to good ol' Abby for this one} I put this thing out and about in my class a few days before the lesson and the kids were drawn to it already (so my plan)! After debuting the anchor chart, I gave each of them a clue (4 different ones handed out randomly).  They had to copy down their clue then roam around the room finding other friends who had the missing clues they needed. Once they had all 4, they read them and then made their inference using the clues and their schema. They LOVED this so much, we had to do it again a few days later. A GREAT way to introduce the topic!

 Throughout the week we also read a few David Shannon books (one of our favorite author's). Duck on a Bike, No David!, and David Gets in Trouble are great read alouds to have conversation about making inferences.

 Another great inspiration from{Mrs. Richardson}....making inferences with David. Of course you've gotta add the craft! Too cute!

I wanted to leave you with a book that just blew.me.away. with it's ability to teach inferencing. I stumbled upon this book when googling inferencing ideas. Needless to say it is now one of my favorite books!!

It's about two ants who take a journey and get caught up in all kinds of trouble. The best part is, the author never tells you where the ants are. He leaves it to the picture clues (and of course your schema) to infer. AN ABSOLUTE MUST! I cannot stress it enough. Pure inferencing perfection. Go check it out now!
{I feel like I'm yelling...but it's really THAT good!}