May 28, 2015

A Little Team Appreciation for the End of the Year

Orange" you glad it's almost the end of the year!?
No really...aren't you???

There's still so much going on in our first grade classroom but I know my firsties, myself, and my teammates are all ready for a much needed break after a long hard year.
So I picked up this cute freebie from A Cupcake for the Teacher's blog and slapped it on an orange pack of gum for my lovely team members.
Click on the picture below to snag this freebie for your EOY gifts!

Did you catch my post yesterday with parent volunteer freebies?
Show some appreciation for them too! 

May 27, 2015

Perfect Gift for ANY Parent Volunteer

My teammates are always amazed by how much I delegate to my parents.
I am always sending things home for parents to help out with.
Whether it's tracing, cutting, labeling, etc. I like for them to feel like they are a part of our work.
AND it makes things easier on this teacher right here!!!
For those moms who are willing to lend a helping hand, I like to get them a little gift of appreciation at the end of the school year.
I head to Bath & Body Works to pick up some smell good hand soap.
With those in check, some baggies, ribbon, and my free printable......

Here is what I turn them into...

"Thank you for your helping hands!"


Check out the FREE printable below for your EOY parent gifts!

Check back tomorrow for a FREE gift for your team members!

May 26, 2015

First Grade Keepsake

I can't guarantee this is an easy end of the year project BUT I can guarantee that your kids will love it
Hands down!
{Pun intended}

It's our first grade tradition to make an end of the year pillowcase keepsake.
I start off by sending home a note for each student to bring back a white, new, clean pillowcase.
(The clean part is most important!)
{Click picture to download}
Just in case, I take load them up (literally) into my washer to make sure they are all clean.

If you have parents who love to volunteer their time to help, this is definitely a helping activity!
I purchase these transfers. I found them at Wal-Mart.
On these, I print the poem below.
{Click on the words to download the printable poem}
Talk about precious.
I honestly have not ever ironed on a transfer to a pillowcase.
(This is where mom help comes in)
I send them home for a mom to iron on and she returns them.
Next step, painting day.

***IMPORTANT: You must mix the paint with a textile medium in order for the paint to stick and not wash off. We mix the two together in bowls.
We lay out each pillowcase and put wax paper inside.
This prevents the paint from bleeding through.
19 kids.
19 hand print on each pillowcase.
You do the math.
(See why you need moms?)
After drying, students walk around and sign their names with a sharpie.
That evening I take the pillowcases home:
Roll them up
Tie with ribbon and add a cute nametag.
{Click picture to download}

During our awards ceremony, I pass them out as they take on the look of a wrapped up diploma.
So long first grade!

May 21, 2015

My Room is NOT Cluttered!!!

Are brains are stuffed full of NEW knowledge!
We can read books.
We can write books.
We can add and subtract numbers.
We can count coins.
We can preform science experiments.
My room is definitely proof of all that.

If you know me then you know I LOVE me some anchor charts.
They absolutely cover every possible wall, nook, and cranny in my room.
And what's better than showing off what we know!?

Let me show you just how much I love them!

At the end of the year, the charts I don't have laminated and won't use again next year, I send home with my kiddos and they go nuts for them! 

May 18, 2015

Mentor Text Monday: Making Inferences

My firsties vocabulary this year has been out of this world!
I just love hearing use the same statements on their own that I do when I read a book aloud...
"This reminds me of..."
"I infer..."
"I wonder..."

Such great thinking going on in their little brains. 

This week we read a book called Never Take a Shark to the Dentist.
This books calls for a perfect lesson on making inferences. 

I talked them through the first few pages.
Then I started calling on students to make inferences.
On the last few pages, I let the voices inside their brains do the talking.
Here are some of the responses I got:

This book we a great review on inferring for us but it would also be a fabulous one to use for introducing the comprehension strategy! 

May 11, 2015

Mentor Text Monday: Making Connections

The end of the year is full of so many fun activities but I like to keep my little firsties' brains fresh on the comprehension strategies we have learned throughout the year. So for the next few Monday's, I'll be sharing with you a fun read aloud and an activity to accompany the book and comprehension skill. 

Making connections are simple to do, especially when EVERYONE has a story to tell! 
And I'm not one who likes to stop and let everyone share their connections either. 

So when I saw this genius idea from Teaching in Tapas, I implemented it immediately!
Whenever I'm reading and my students have a connection, they simply make this hand signal, hold it up, and I acknowledge them by shaking my head.

You can imagine all the connections made with this week's story: Friends.

Before I started reading I gave each student 3 sticky notes. Throughtout the book, if they  had a connection, they would write their thinking down on one sticky note. Their goal was to fill up all 3 by the time I finished the book. 

We put their connections on manila paper and then they illustrated them. 

"This story reminds me of my playing with my friend."

To make sure their voice was heard, they chose a partner and each of them shared their favorite connection to the story.

Check back next week for an activity for inferring!

May 7, 2015

Prepositions and Plants

Prepositions and plants, plants and prepositions!
Just a little of what we've been studying...along with alliterations (hence this posts' title).

So, prepositions in 1st grade has this teacher like......

Can't we just focus on nouns/verbs/adjectives!?!?

As I'm chugging along teaching prepositions, I know I had to make learning about these "words" more interesting...enter craft time! I incorporated a template for a butterfly I found on Pinterest (duh!) and turned it into our "Preposition Pals"!

They accompany our plants in the window well!

Speaking of plants, we have been knocking learning about them out of the park!

Once we knew exactly how to take care of them and what their needs were, it was time to plant!

We take time out of our day to observe the changes and record them in our observation log. 

They come in with excitement to check their plant each morning! Here is where we record our findings.

You can find it in my TpT store.

Don't forget to snag 2 FREEBIES for your plant unit {HERE}!

May 5, 2015

I Love You Because...

Mommies are such special parts of  our lives!
From cuddles to coaching, she is always there (mine included).
I want my student's mommies to feel extra special this year.

I found this adorable idea on Pinterest and could not pass it up because I know if I were a momma, I would adore it!

All I had to do was prepare the backdrop!
I printed out the words "I Love You Because", each letter on one sheet of paper and hung it to the backdrop.

During Writer's Workshop, we brainstormed reasons we love our mother's.
Each student got a whiteboard and marker and wrote down their personal reason.

We loaded up and headed down the hall where I took each of their pictures!
I know I won't be receiving one but I am darn sure excited to send them home with my firsties for delivery on  Friday!!!