February 24, 2015

Cinnamon or Synonyms?

Cooking in the classroom?
Using food to teach?

What could be better, especially when your talking about something as yummy as...cinnamon rolls!?
In our case it's more like 'Synonym Rolls'.

We started off by reading this book, great for teaching word meanings.

And we made an anchor chart to accompany it.
It chose words (in the left column) and they had to come up with the right column of words.

Each kiddo got one of these sheets which are free over at The First Grade Parade!
{click on picture for link}

We recorded the first few together and the last few on their own.

They picked their favorite synonyms and put them on their 'synonym roll'.

Together we made a pan full of rolls!
Too bad they didn't smell as delicious as they looked!

February 19, 2015

Ready, Set, VERBS!

 What can YOU do?
Well we can learn about verbs, and that's just what we have been working on the past few weeks.

I introduced verbs by reading the fabulous book by Ruth Heller 'Kites Sail High' and using my anchor chart.

We also watched Brainpop Jr. {LOVE}.

To cumulate our verb lesson for the day, each student had to come up with a verb they could do.
The challenge, no 2 people's could be alike!
They thought I had lost my marbles, until we actually started thinking of all the things we could do!

They each got to write their own verb next to their name.

Another activity we did later in the week was read 'Snowmen at Night'.
We recorded all the verbs they snowmen did throughout the book.

From our chart or from their imagination, they had to choose 2 verbs, illustrate them with snowmen and include the verb in a sentence.

These turned out super cute!

If you are interested in my verb anchor chart, it is included in my Glitz and Grammar Anchor Chart pack!

February 17, 2015

Meet my Friend Silent E

It's about that time...time to make the switch from short vowels to long vowels.
By now my firsties have a fabulous understanding of the short vowel sounds. 
One may think they would come from Kinder with a mastery of them, but that's just not true.
So we hammer it in for 6 months! 

So when the introduction of Silent E comes, here's how I roll it out!

We love to sing!
So a song it is!

I found this last year on Jodi's blog Fun in First Grade I absolutely loved it.
Check out even more ideas over on here blog HERE.

Next up we watch a little Brainpop Jr. because well who doesn't like Annie and Moby!?!?

Time to get up and moving. 
So we play a game that where we change the sound of the vowel from short to long.

With our a partner, we then go on a word hunt where they have to find 2 words that follow the pattern {A_E}. They record them on a sticky note.

Last, we come together and share our words as a class while recording them on our anchor chart for the word pattern.

This FREE practice page below goes along with the game I mentioned above.
Students add a Silent E to the word, change the sound, and use it in a sentence.
Perfect simple assessment!

February 11, 2015

Hey Mr. President {mini-unit on sale}

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 9, 2015

Spreading Love and Kindness {Freebie included}

Spreading love and kindness can never be a bad thing.
It makes people smile, may give them hope, can cheer up a bad day or inspire them to do the same!

I love the spirit of Valentine's and having the kids show their love, compassion and kindness for others.  
Today we did just that! 
We had a brainstorm first of words that are associated with Valentine's Day or just love in general. 
Here is what my smarties came up with. 

We then read Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch (so cute btw) and added more lovin' words to our heart chart.  
Next, I had them visualize someone in their lives that they truly love and I handed them this:

Inside, they had to write 4 reasons why they loved the person they chose. 
Thit week, part of their homework was to deliver it to that person (if possible) and read it to them. This question melted my heart, "Mrs. Griffith, how will I get this book to Jesus?"  I LOVE moments like that!!

I have uploaded the book to my TpT store for free so race on over and grab it up! 
Just click on the picture below. 

To show our kindness for others, we made another similar chart.
Our discussion:
What does being kind look like?
They came up and wrote their thoughts on this "kind words" heart shaped chart.
Their responses:
You have awesome...
Thank you...
I like how...
Yes Sir/Maam...
Being helpful...
I love it...
Good Job...
Each time I catch someone exemplifying a kindness trait this week, I plan on putting their name on a sticky note with the trait they showed and sticking it around our chart.
My goal is to have every ones name up there by the end of the week (fingers crossed)!

Now go spread some love and kindness!!!

February 6, 2015

Five for Friday with a Freebie

Friday's in February = Fabulous!

Here's a peek at what we did this week!

These 3 guys made their appearance this week. 
I use them as a behavior management technique during this month.
Find out more {HERE}.

 I keep my kiddos Valentine's simple.
A tag, a candy, cha-ching...done!
Download the FREEBIE {HERE}.

We celebrated being 100 days smarter on Thursday.
Cara's 100 day pack was a miracle worker!
My kids took ALLLLLLLLLLLL day to complete 8 stations and it was actually peaceful
Did I mention it was FREE! I big puffy heart her.

We began our word study of long vowel sounds with a silent E pattern.
We turned words with a short vowel sound into a long vowel sound by adding a silent E to the end!

Last but not least, one I'm pretty dang proud of.
I finished my first Whole 30.
Yes, it's life changing.
Yes, I'm sleeping like a baby.
Yes, I have energy ALL day.
Yes, I have NO food cravings.
Yes, I lost inches.
Read it. Do it. You're worth it!

February 5, 2015

February Products *On Sale*

Do you do Math tubs?

Then this post about my February themed products is just for you!

My kids LOVE math tubs (centers....what do ya'll call them??).
 I feel like I get in trouble when we miss a day of them, oops! 
 I put some special {love} into these math tubs...which for my kids means getting to use candy. 
I can already hear the..."Can we eat them?".....questions.  So, of course, I had to buy some extra... 
(minus the ewey-sticky-dirty-germ contaminated) candy hearts for them to eat!
There are 7 math tub activities included in this packet.  
The following math skills are covered {graphing, fact families, patterning, skip counting, odd/even numbers, fractions, and a number recognition game}.
 Check out more details below!

Here's what's in the packet:
*Robots Love Fractions (equal parts)
*The Wise Owl's Fact Families
*Candy Heart Patterns
*Candy Hearts Battleship
*Who Holds Your Heart (graphing)
*Monster Math sort (odd/even numbers)
*My Heart Skips a Beet (skip counting)

Recording sheets are provided for every activity!

We all need a few simple print-and-go activities stashed away for teaching moments or emergencies.
My Fabulous in February pack has you covered!

These pages can be used as practice pages, morning work, small group, etc.

Grammar Practice Pages:
Fix My Mistake
Describe that Monster (adjectives)
Describe that Candy (adjectives)
Handful of Hearty Nouns
Loving those Nouns and Verbs
Sweet Sentence Punctuation

Phonics Pages:
Assorted Hearts (silent E)
ABC Order

Reader's Response Sheets:
Text to Text Connections
Beginning Middle End
Ruby Valentine Saves the Day (Plot)

Poem: The Valentine Postman

Here's to hoping February is full of love and kindness.

You can catch both of these products in my store this weekend!

February 3, 2015

A Very Ducky Management Technique

I know my kiddos truly are sweet...deep down inside.
But that's not always true around "hyped" up times of the year.
Such as the month of Valentine's day (or so it seems).
So what do I do to keep them their sweet little selves? Call in the ducks.
Yes, call in the ducks!

Not only was it the VERY first thing they noticed when they walked in this morning (they are like hawks I tell you) but that was the very first question out of their mouth.
"Why are their ducks on your desk?"
Here was my game plan.
Whenever the ducks (aka the teacher) saw someone who was on task any time throughout the day and making good choices, that duck would come join them at their desk. The duck could move back to my desk at any time, or to another friend's desk if they were making even better choices.

The best part...if the duck was on your desk at the end of the day, you get candy from the candy jar
you get a "super student" ticket for the day!

{If you want to learn more about my ticket system click HERE.}
It seemed to work like a charm today. As we ease closer to Valentine's day, I'm hoping the idea will withhold its magical powers.
Who ever knew spending $1 on ducks at Target could be such a brilliant idea!