September 27, 2013

Forget Hump Day...It's Friday!

What's all the excitement about "hump day" for anyways? Isn't Friday much more exciting!? You get to take a looksee back at what you accomplished (or lack there of) and forward to the weekend!
Here's a few things we accomplished this past week:
I had my students create a rhyming flipbook for a simple assessment. I thought this was too cute not to share! Disregard the spelling...take a look at that "kish" picture! Priceless!

I love teaching making predictions! It's so fun to stop in the middle of text, have student's predict, then come back and meet at a later time to share predictions and find out the ending.

Scares me to death that some of my littles still don't know their letters and sounds. We practiced matching uppercase and lowercase letters when we met in reading groups this week.

What's not to love about money when you're a kid? It's so fascinating! We talked about a coin a day and glued these cutesy poems in our math journal afterwards.

I'm an aunt!!!
Introducing Miss Brooklyn Elizabeth. After 3 few hours of sleep Monday night, this stubborn girl had this teacher dog tired come Tuesday...well worth it though!

September 25, 2013

Hands on Skip Counting

 I'm so thankful our district got rid of math textbooks! I mean, who wants to teach math lessons  using awful workbook pages day after day?? Not this teacher. We had a blast learning and practicing our skip counting last week.
Most of my firsties come knowing how to count by 10's, about half proficiently counting by 5's, and maybe 1 or 2 who can count by 2's...which is pretty much like pulling teeth. Since it's going to take us awhile to "get good" at counting by 2's, that's what we started off our week with.


I sent home a note a week prior to beginning skip counting requesting each child bring a pair of clean socks.

Click on the picture to download the freebie!

 The following day we devoted to skip counting by 5's. I passed out manila paper to each student, had them trace their hand, number their fingers, and cut out. We glued them on a large chart, counted, and labeled them as we counted by 5's as a class.

We glued this freebie in our math journal and labeled these hands. What a great tool to use to practice!
Click on the picture to download the freebie!

Our most fun day of all was learning to count by 10's {which most already knew so I had to make it fun!}. Cup stacking was big at our school last year, so what better way to practice counting by 10's. I bought enough cups so each student could make their own set.

Together, we labeled each cup from 10 to 100.
We practiced stacking our cups. 
Best of all, we had a counting by 10's cup stacking competition!
AND got to take our set of cups home to practice!

September 20, 2013

A Peek at Our {First Real} Week

 We finished up our place value unit with a few games. This one is called "Roll & Record". Super simple...roll a 'dice in dice' and record the number in the box. Draw a picture using tens and one to represent. Talk about a hit!
This week we were alive and kicking! It was our first time to fully implement our daily routine `meshed together with our reading group rotations and we totally *rocked* it out! Y'all, this teacher was SO proud of my firsties and how well they handled the transition.

We dove into matter this week. This experiment was such a great way to show how matter takes up space. They were amazed by how the water moved! Oh the little things in life!

We began our skip counting unit too. Most of my kiddos are pros at counting by tens so I decided to challenge them a bit with a cup stacking challenge! HUGE hit!
****Post with freebies to come next week!

 Here's how we practiced our skip counting by 2's. I will definitely need to leave these up for awhile. Good thing they are all clean!!
Be on the lookout next week for a post dedicated just to our practices of skip counting with lots of freebies!
Enjoy the much deserved weekend!

September 13, 2013

I Made it to...{Five for} Friday!!!

PTL that this week went by f-a-s-t! The way it started out, I wasn't sure if I would survive or not...but I did. Here's a peek inside my classroom this week.

We discussed character and setting and followed up with a cut and paste activity.

Sorting was the name of the game during our afternoon block of time. 

We played several place value games this week. For this game, partner 1 dropped a cube on the 100's chart while partner 2 made the number the cube landed on using tens and ones! Super fun!

Sorry for the blurry picture.
We learned how to put our stories into pages on a book!

And this is how we all felt during Read to Self by Friday!


September 12, 2013

My Week in Anchor Charts!

Hi, I'm Lindsay and I'm obsessed with anchor charts!'s really an obsession. I have a WHOLE classroom wall dedicated to anchor charts.
 I'm not sure if its because I like to draw, or make them look cutesy, or pretend I'm cool like Cara...but it's true. I love anchor charts!
Here are a few I made this past week to use for instruction.

What's a Scientist?
{Inspired by Cara @The First Grade Parade}

 Character & Setting
{Inspired by Abby @The Inspired Apple}
Rhyming Words
{Inspired by Me}
If you want to see more of my anchor chart obsession, head on over to the "Label Love" tab on the sidebar to see previous posts!

September 11, 2013

Beginning Writer's Workshop

 "Oh, the dreaded Writer's Workshop block of time"....these were my thoughts after the first week of school.  I was beyond worried after the first week was full of non-stop talking. How would we ever be able to make it through our writing time successfully??? Then, this week, they walked in like little angels. No talking, following directions, I thought I was in a dream!
Here is how our first week of Writer's Workshop really played out...
Day 1
To get our "writer's minds" thinking, we brainstormed with our tables things that make us special, things we like to do, etc.  After a class share, we took on the wonderful Cara Carroll's idea from The First Grade Parade and made heart maps. 

You can find Cara's original post here.
Click on the picture below to download a FREEBIE of my heart map. 
I really thought I must still be dreaming. 20 minutes of silent working...can this be real? We will see if it happens again tomorrow or if they were just tired from the 3 day weekend.
Day 2
After our success of day 1, I was pumped to start day 2 of WW! Our district uses Lucy Calkins model to teach writing. Our first minilesson was all about 'Choosing a Topic & Beginning'. I modeled, using my heart map, how I would go about choosing a topic. After a topic is chosen, students are to work in the following order:
1. Draw a picture.
2. Label the picture.
3. Begin describing picture in sentence form.
My example for them was all about my cat, Mac.
{No judging my quick sketches allowed!}
Here is what a working student example looks like:
At the end of WW, I introduced our new "turn-in" system inspired my writing idol, Susan from T.G.I.F. Instead of students keeping their work in a folder, I have them turn it in daily to 1 of 3 colored trays.
Red stands for still in progress {adding to the picture or words}.
Yellow stands for editing {revising, etc.}.
Green stands for complete {ready for teacher to grade}.
After a few practice rounds of turning it into the correct trays, I think they finally have the hang of it!
Talk about rockstars...they did it again, 20 minutes of uninterrupted quiet writing time! This really could become my favorite time of our day!
Day 3
We started off WW by reviewing the steps we learned yesterday on how to complete a story writing piece. On our first full day of writing (yesterday), I had a few friends who decided they were finished with their first piece. I knew this was the perfect time to teach a minilesson on what to do when you "think" you are done. I snagged this freebie (when it still was one) last year from Maggie's Kinder Corner.
Simply put, after modeling the 3 steps myself, I had students return to their desks to do one of the 3 things:
1. Add to the picture.
2. Add to the words.
3. Start a new piece.
AND, to my surprise every single one of them went back and added something to their paper.
 {Insert: PROUD teacher moment!!!}
Day 4
Today I let students work on finishing their very first piece of writing for WW. Many of them did so and even started the process from the very beginning on a new piece!
This truly has become my favorite part of our daily routine. This group of students have completely changed my outlook on WW. I can't wait to see how each and every student blossoms into a writer this year!