Monday, November 16, 2015

Thankful Alphabet Freebie

I am so thankful for YOU! Thanks for visiting my poor and somewhat neglected blog.Are you counting down the days until Thanksgiving Break? Me too! I am so excited to have a whole entire week off for the first time in my teaching career. Wahoo!

I wanted to stop in and share this little Thanksgiving freebie with you! Challenge your students to complete the Thankful Alphabet! Students will try to think of something they are thankful for using each letter of the alphabet. This would be a great addition to a writing center or a timed activity for extra fun.

Click HERE to download it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store! : )

Gobble, Gobble! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Recap...

I just love October, but it FLEW by! I'm having to recap the entire month!
Stellaluna is always a favorite read aloud and it's an easy story for students to retell. First we used interactive writing to create a flow map of the story. A few friends added the illustrations. It's always a special treat to be a "chosen" illustrator. 

We created these bats to sequence the story. 

Everything you need for these bats and additional writing activities  can be found HERE. 

We have been also working hard to master nouns, verbs and adjectives. We came up with lots of adjective to describe spiders and created this little craft to coordinate. 

It was super easy and really helped my kids to get the hang of using adjectives to describe a noun. We also read some non-fiction spider books too! Kids love to learn about creepy things!

I added this Noun and Verb Sort to our word work center after introducing it whole group. The kids loved it! It could also be added to your writing centers for students to use the words in a spooky sentence. Download it HERE for free!

And of course no October is complete without some pumpkin investigation activities! I created this simple investigation page and students brought their own pumpkin to complete the different activities.

Our favorite was definitely learning that a pumpkin floats. 

I am always looking for books that encourage text to text connections. We compared the characters in Spookley the Square Pumpkin and The Haloweiner using a Double Bubble Map. 

Of course we had to make Spookley too!

This October I also marked Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum off my bucket list! It was like pumpkin heaven! If you are in Texas, you must check it out!

Hope you had a great October! : )

Monday, September 21, 2015

Apple and Five Senses Fun

It certainly doesn't feel like Fall here in Texas, but I am definitely in the mood. I love incorporating apples into our Fall learning! This week we were learning about how scientists use their five senses to make observations. My apple activities tied in perfectly! 

We kicked off our Five Senses Unit with a scavenger hunt around the school. We recorded what objects we saw that could be observed by one of our five senses. It was fun to get out of our classroom for a little bit!

This scavenger hunt is available HERE. 

We also wrote poetry about apples using our five senses. Bubble maps helped us think about each sense and descriptive words. 

We then created poems:
Apples look...
Apples sound...
Apples feel...
Apples smell...
Apples taste...

We also used our five senses to observe the ever popular apple eruption! This activity was definitely a keeper! The kids LOVED it and were absolutely devastated when it was time to clean up and move on. We will have to find something else to erupt soon.

This wonderful apple eruption recording page came from my friend, Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies. 

Look at those excited faces! ; )

Our math tubs also had some Apple Addition activities. I created these activities with first graders in mind. 

I think these apple word problems were my favorite. I think we will solve these problems whole group too! Building word problems with manipulatives is HUGE. 

These centers really reinforce anchoring to 10. 

I always add two sided counters and have my students build the problem again. 

We can match addition problems to addition sentences too.

Finally Friday was applesauce day! 
I have used this machine

for the past few years to peel and core the apples. It has been great, but this year my world was rocked! Meet your new applesauce best friend:

I am still amazed by this machine! One of my classroom moms brought it in and it was so great! She picked up the apples earlier in the day and cooked them. Then you just stick them in the machine and it separates the seeds and skin from the pulp. The kids can help crank and push the apples through the strainer.

 The kids mixed their own cinnamon and sugar in their applesauce bowl and ate it all up! YUM!

More (simple) apple activities can be found in my Apple Unit BASICS or in these apple blog posts. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Back to School

Goodbye August! 
I  spent this weekend recovering from the First Week of School and really from the entire month! Here is a quick recap:

We FINALLY moved into our new house! I never knew I could love a house so much. We can't wait to spend many happy years here, if we ever get everything unpacked... 

This month, I lost my precious Grandmother. I was lucky enough to be able to drop everything the week before I went back to school and spend a final week with her. I will treasure this time forever. She was a teacher and a librarian and provided me with my first gradebook when I decided I was going to be a teacher at age 5. 

I have always loved sharing my passion for education with her and that's something I'm going to miss so much this school year. 

Any spare moment this month was spent in my classroom. Luckily, I had lots of sweet friends who helped me get it all ready! Moving schools, grade levels, towns, and classrooms is a big job!

I also switched roles from Kindergarten Teacher to First Grade Teacher! Here are a few pictures of my classroom.

I decided to add some extra math to my math tubs! : ) These will be a freebie in my TPT store soon!

I passed out circus animals at Meet the Teacher. Roar!

This cupcake stand worked perfectly for my classroom wish list! : )

The first week of school was a blur and I somehow didn't end up with as many pictures as I wanted! My first day of school photo booth was a hit.

This back drop was almost the death of me. I redid it AT LEAST 6 or 7 times, but it sure did look cute for my First Day of School pictures.

We took some silly pictures too with these props!

We spent most of the week completing our First Week of First Grade books! I hope they will be a special keepsake. 

AND, it's not the First Week of School without some Pete the Cat! We read "I Love My White Shoes" and made a class book to go with the story. My kids LOVE to read class books!

This week we also discovered that we are scientists!

This super simple FREEBIE is perfect for young scientists. It will be the first page in our science journal. Click the picture below to download it from my TPT store.

Enjoy the last few hours of August! : )

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Back to School with H-E-B

Today I am sharing some of my favorite classroom finds from my favorite grocery store, H-E-B! They have a great back to school section and I had so much fun shopping for my classroom.

Doesn't this just make your teacher heart SO happy?!?

First up is new teacher supply bins! I can't stand starting the year unorganized. H-E-B sells these great bins in a 3-pack for $2.97 and I love the fun colors. These will definitely help me keep everything organized. 

I also found these big storage totes! I use them to hide items I don't use very often.

They also come in lots of other fun colors for under $5!

One thing I really love about H-E-B is that they have in-store coupons. The coupons are put right with the item, so it makes it super easy to find great deals. Plus, you don't have to remember to bring the coupons to the store with you. Somehow I can't ever make that happen...

Almost all of my teacher essentials had a 50%-off coupon to go with them! 

Speaking of my teacher supplies, I like to keep them all together in a school box. However, I have lots of supplies so I need a giant school box. 

I LOVE these extra long school boxes! They still fit in a desk, but you aren't having to jam everything inside. They can even hold rulers or other long supplies. H-E-B had also had a HUGE selection of Mr. Sketch products. Packs of 4, 6, 8 or 10! 

My Mr. Sketch markers didn't make it in this picture because I was sniffing them! ; )

Student supplies are really important too! I like to have supply buckets in the middle of each table for my students to use. Each supply bucket has colored pencils, crayons, pencils and markers.

H-E-B has great prices on supplies for teachers and parents too! I can get everything I need for only a few dollars per table! : )

I found these great cups to store supplies in! They fit perfectly in supply caddies and keep everything looking nice and tidy.

H-E-B carries two different sizes of cups in lots of fun colors!

I chose red and blue cups to coordinate with my classroom!

 Glue sticks are one of those things that I don't like to keep out for constant use because they  look too much like lip gloss. If you have ever taught Kindergarten you know what I mean... ; )

Instead, I keep glue sticks in these same supply cups and just pass them out as needed. I loaded up on glue sticks for beginning of the year activities. 

H-E-B also carries magnetic paper. This stuff has saved my life! I used it to create cute labels for my filing cabinets and center choices for my white board. I love that it doesn't leave the sticky tape mess, AND I can move it around at any time. I can think of a million ways to use this great product. 

I found this great bright red metal bucket at H-E-B for my students to keep their water bottles in. I used the magnetic paper to add the label! : )

At the beginning of the year, I spend a lot of time teaching each center in our classroom. It is really important that my students know the expectations of each center and where they are located. H-E-B carries Astrobrights paper in bright primary colors to match my room! I used this fun paper to really make my center signs POP! 

In my centers, I like to keep students moving and grooving!  I often use clip boards in my writing center for read and write the room activities. It really helps young writers to have an alphabet chart to reference as they write. In the past, I have used tape to add the alphabet to clip boards, and it just doesn't hold up. : (

 I was so excited to find Internet Shipping labels at H-E-B and new clip boards. I just printed an alphabet chart onto the label, and stuck it onto the clip boards. 

I know these are going to hold up MUCH better!

H-E-B was definitely my one-stop shop to get my classroom back to school-ready! 
Click HERE to find the store closest to you. Happy Back to School!