Snowman Packet and Fine Motor Skill Phonics Activity

Friday, December 30, 2011 No comments
I can't believe it is already time to start switching my brain from thinking "vacation" to thinking "school".  I have been staying up late and sleeping in.  Now, I'll have to adjust back to going to bed early an getting up early. *sigh* 

I finally completed my snowman packet :
I have a freebie from this packet mentioned further down in this post and you can check the whole packet out in my TpT store by clicking on the link below:
Snowman Hodgepodge of Math/Science/Literacy Activities

I have been trying to come up with some activities for a few of my students who need more fine motor practice.  I have been researching this topic a little since I seem to be having more and more kiddos who do not have age appropriate fine motor development.   One theory suggests that babies are not getting enough "tummy time" due to the fear of SIDS.  Whatever the reason, it is something I need to address in my classroom.

Since I will be doing my snowman unit when we go back on Monday, I decided to focus this little activity with digraph ow (long o sound). 

Students will use tweezers to pick up foam pieces with blends on them and place them on the magnet beside digraph ow.  They will then blend and read the word and then record it on their recording sheet.

If you want to make something similiar to this, then you will need these items:

permanent marker, wide popsicle sticks, magnetic tape strips, and foam sheets

FYI: all these items can be purchased at Wal-Mart (the foam sheets are sold at the Dollar Tree also)

You can grab a copy of the recording sheet HERE

If you do use this idea and blog about it, I ask that you link back to this website.

Happy Teaching!

Liebster Blog Award

Sunday, December 18, 2011 3 comments
I was so suprised when I logged onto my blog this morning and found that I had been nominated for the Liebster Blog award by Johanna Tackitt over at Fanatically First Grade .  What a sweet little suprise to make my day!  Thank you so much Johanna!

The goal of this award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. 
(That is definately me!)
Kind of awesome!
The rules are:
{1} Copy and paste the award on your blog.
{2} Thank the giver and link back to them.
3} Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

I would like to share 5 up-and-coming blogs that I follow who have under 200 followers.

Jaymee at Adventures of First Grade  has some cute Christmas Subtraction stories posted on her blog.

Jens OT for Kids  is a blog that has occupational therapy ideas to promote fine motor development in children.  I have used a couple of her ideas that are working for one of my students.

Jill at Mrs. T's First Grade Class has an addition combination activity that I like.

First Grade and Fancy Free  is a blog written by 3 teachers.  I really like the "bathroom pass" idea written by Kasey.  It can be found in the September Blog Archive list.

Little Miss Hypothesis is a kindergarten science blog and since I ♥ all things science,
this is must!

I hope you find some inspiration at one of these blogs.  Happy Blogging!

Snowman Venn Diagram Freebie

Saturday, December 3, 2011 3 comments
Here is another Venn Diagram Freebie!  This time students will sort the snowmen that have hats, scarves, or hats and scarves. 

You can get a copy below.

I just posted my new sorting by attributes unit, 
"Snowman Thinking Activities",  in my TPT store.
You can get it for $2.00. Just click on the title of the unit above and it will take you there. 

Christmas Marshmallow Graph/Addition

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 1 comment
Here is an activity we will be doing next week that involves graphing and addition. 
I bought these 2 different bags of marshmallows and put them into individual baggies for each child.

And made this graph to go with it.:

Grab yourself a copy and have fun!

Gingerbread Writing and Words with Multiple Meanings

Monday, November 28, 2011 1 comment

Gingerbread Writing:
Use prepositions/prepositional phrases to tell where the gingerbread boy/girl is located.

You can get a copy of the handwriting paper HERE
Last year I found some cute and colorful gingerbread men stickers for students to stick on their picture.  I couldn't find them this year but did run across these at Mardel's:

This week we are working on words with multiple meanings.

  (This last one cracks me up - His sentence reads "My daughter hit that ball with that bat."  He is 6 years old so I don't know why he chose to write "My daughter".)

I made these into student booklets by stapling together the title page and 5 copies of the recording sheet. 

The students are doing one page a day this week for their morning work. 

You could also use this for an antonyms, synonyms, homophones, etc.   
When you get your copy, I included a title page for an anotnym book and a synonym book.
You can grab a copy HERE

Gingerbread Venn Diagram Freebie

Monday, November 21, 2011 1 comment
I did this Venn Diagram with my students last year and will be using it again this year.  I actually use it as a center activity.

You can snag your free copy HERE!

I have had a request for my "Thinking Activities" I have in my TpT store using different themes so I created "Gingerbread Thinking Activities".  Here is brief explanation and preview.  Students read clues using different attributes to figure out which gingerbread man.  There are activities for whole group, small group, centers, and independent practice.  You could also use the same pictures to teach sorting objects according to specific attributes having children list/tell the sorting rules they used.                                      

You can pick up a copy of these activities for $2 in my TpT store.
Click on the following link:

I am currently working on similiar projects using a Christmas tree and snowman theme.  If you have any themes you would like to request, I am open for suggestions.

Thanksgiving Art

Monday, November 14, 2011 No comments

I have lots of art to show on this post and in case you are wondering, no, we do not do art all day.  I have 5 centers set up in my room and one of them is the art center.  Students visit that center once a week.  So, to explain, we made the Indian the first week of November, the Pilgrim boy/girl the second week of November, and this week, students are working on a turkey.

Indian (body is made from a small lunch sack and each lunch sack will make two):

Pilgrim boy/girl:

Paper plate turkey:
This would look really cute painted and if I did this whole group, we would paint them.  Since it is a center, we don't have time for paint to dry.

I loved the writing that Mrs. Carroll did with her class at The First Grade Parade so I had to do it with my class. 
The students had to write:  I have a ____ but a pilgrim boy/girl did not.  They really turned out cute.

Then one of my wonderful coworkers found a cute turkey activity on Pinterest so we did this little art project for homework.
(we sent a feather home with each child and they were told to decorate it any way that they wanted and then we placed them on our class turkey)

Native American Homes

Monday, November 7, 2011 No comments
Are you familiar with these books?
I love to use some of these drawing lessons with
themes we are studying. 
I used the "Draw Write Now Book 3" to incorporate lessons
 on Native American Homes.

We have been learning about the different types of homes that Native Americans lived in, focusing on those that lived in North America.  (Most of my first graders thought Native Americans only lived in tepees because that is what they are familiar with.)

We learned that Plains Indians lived in tepees.

 Indians of the Northwest Coast lived in plank houses.

 Indians of the Southwest lived in adobe houses.

Woodland Indians lived in longhouses.
By the way, there is a great video on United Streaming that actually takes you on a tour inside a longhouse.

And Indians of the Southeast lived in wigwams.
(And even though this picture was saved on my computer in the upright position, everytime I uploaded it to my blog, it turned it sideways.  Sorry - don't know what I'm doing wrong.  The others worked just fine. GRRRRR)


My New Blog Design

Thursday, November 3, 2011 No comments
I am super duper excited about my new blog design.  I ♥ it! 
Jen over at Finally in First  and  Dream Team Designs designed it for me using a scrap kit that I picked out (Fly Lady Bug by Artgal). 
Jen used her expertise and put it all together in a creative, super cute way and it turned out better than I expected!  I am such a lucky gal to find these creative people!  I ♥ my blog!

Scarecrow, Skeleton and Halloween Stuff

Sunday, October 30, 2011 No comments
The last couple of weeks have been super busy!  We have been learning about scarecrows, pumpkins, and skeletons. We took a field trip to Disability Resources Pumpkin Patch where we went on a hay ride, listened to a story and picked out the pumpkin that we carved on Fri.

 I am going to share some fun activities we have been working on.  (My personal favorite is the pasta skeleton that was in the art center this past week.)

We had our Halloween parties on Friday so I am hopeful for a calm Monday, however, "with Halloween only hours away", I am sure that's wishful thinking on my part.  "Drat", said the teacher. 
If you don't recognize my play on words, you need to check out the book  Big Pumpkin by Eric Silverman.

A great book for a story elements activity:
A closer picture of each part:
We have been learning the attributes of
pattern blocks in math.
So we read the book
Harriet's Halloween Candy by Nancy Carlson

and then we sorted pictures of Halloween candy based on particular attributes.  Then students finished the sentence "I sorted my Halloween candy by . . ."  I think they turned out well and they showed some serious first grade thinking going on.

On Monday, I will be doing my "Thinking Activities Using Scarecrow Attributes" that I have posted on TPT.  You can check out more info. about it HERE.