Sunday, May 1, 2016

Doing the Frog Hop

Oh how I love teaching about animals! We have had so much fun learning about frogs and their life cycle this week. We started the week off with this super cute book called, "I Don't Want to be a Frog!"

We made a T-Chart and listed why we would or wouldn't want to be a frog.

Then everyone drew a frog and wrote their ideas in a speech bubble.

They turned out really cute and it was a fun way to discuss opinion writing.

We also learned about the frog life cycle. We started out by sequencing it together with these posters and then created these little frogs!

The leg and eye placement on this frog had me laughing! 

 They turned out so cute and required very little prep on my part! Just copy on colored paper and done!

Of course we added some frog themed activities to our literacy centers too. Each of these activities include a recording sheet too!

Students matched each lily pad sentence with the correct frog punctuation mark. Next, they practiced writing their own sentences to match each punctuation mark. It was a great review activity!

We also sorted parts of speech with this pocket chart activity. 

All of these activities can be found by clicking the unit below! : )

We have tadpoles in our classroom too! We have these really cool wireless microscopes on my campus that we have been using to see the tadpoles up close. I can hold the microscope while students watch on their Ipads and take pictures! It's amazing!

P.S. We also learned about the fish life cycle and I attempted to hatch fish eggs with my class too. I received some fish eggs from a science training I went to and unfortunately their fate was pretty grim. Let's just say "I took them to the pond..." : ( On the bright side, I made a little freebie in their honor. RIP little fishes!  Download this fish life cycle craft for free HERE! ; ) 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

THE Adjective Fashion Show

After reading Hope King's ebook, Set the Stage to Engage I knew I had to add an Adjective Fashion Show to my lesson plans this year. We already taught adjectives in the fall, but my students needed another good review so this was PERFECT. I took Hope's idea and I created a lesson to really meet my students needs and keep them engaged! WIN-WIN!

It was super easy to transform my room into a fashion show. I just moved the desks into two rows facing each other with a red carpet in the middle, a.k.a. red butcher paper. AND word to the wise, tape it down! I forgot, insert embarrassed face here. I bought a fashion show song on iTunes for 99 cents and added a microphone from the party store and we were ready to boogie!

 We started the day with a little pre-assessment to see who remembered what an adjective was! I placed index cards at each students desk and put a big picture of me dressed like a silly goose on the Smartboard. They wrote adjectives to describe me!

Pretty soon it was fashion show time! I did something extra special and let my students sit on top of their desks. They used their white board and wrote as many adjectives as they could think of as each person strutted their stuff. 

They were so precious!

After the fashion show ended, I created a little response page for students to show me their learning!

They drew themselves on the front and listed some adjectives to describe themselves. 

You can download this response sheet for free HERE! : ) Have fun! 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

You just can't hide that TEXAS Pride

I'm not going to lie, when I was hired to teach First Grade, a Texas unit was the first thing that popped in my head! In First Grade, students are taught the symbols of our great state! One of my most vivid memories from First Grade was learning about Texas! My precious first grade teacher did such a great job of making the different places in Texas come to life with her stories. My favorite was her story about going down the Rio Grande River in a kayak and flipping over in the water. We made this little book all about Texas and I still have it 20 years later. Our Texas unit also overlapped with Open House, so I wanted to make sure we had lots of fun learning to share with our families! 

We kicked off our Texas unit with a class book! I love a good class book! Each student illustrated a page or two for our Texas Alphabet Book.

Here are two of my students reading the book to their parents at Open House.

Use this to make your own alphabet book!

Our next Texas project was a Texas Scrapbook!  I created this interactive Mix and Match Texas Scrapbook to teach my students about our great state. It includes tons of different Texas symbols, people, places and facts for students to complete.

I really wanted this scrapbook to be interactive and allow students to research. On this page students used Google Earth to label different cities on the state. 

For the cover I took a picture of each child in their cowboy gear! We colored a  cowboy hat and just attached it to a sentence strip! 

I used manila folders to bind the scrapbooks together and let students decorate with star stickers. I also added raffia ribbon on the sides for a cute touch. They loved reading these scrapbooks to their parents at Open House. 

We also wrote cowboy and cowgirl stories! My students pretended that they were a cowboy or cowgirl and wrote a story from that perspective. 

And of course we had to add a craft to go with our writing!

They turned out so cute and they were a hit at Open House! The craft and other writing prompts are available HERE. 

Students also decorated a boot at home and brought it back for our bulletin board! 

We also made this little WANTED posters to hang in the hallway. They drew themselves as an outlaw. #precious

I think my favorite Texas project was our Texas Weather video! I love when I can integrate various subjects and technology! We were learning about weather, so I thought it would be fun to give weather reports for different cities in Texas. We used a green screen to record our weather reports and then used iMovie to add picture backgrounds to match each city. 

Students used the Weather Bug app to look up information for their city and write a script. The fun microphone prop came from the party store! This green screen was created using a large piece of green fabric. 

We LOVED watching our finished project and sharing it with parents! They were so impressed with our use of technology and all of our Texas knowledge! : )

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Outer Space and Beyond!

Oh how we loved learning about objects in the sky! Space is always one of my favorite things to teach about because the kids just eat it up! I have been on a flip book kick lately, so I created this flip book to hit our standards and get us through the unit.

You can check it out HERE!

I am lucky enough to have 11 iPads in my classroom and I just love integrating technology into my lessons! My students created a stop motion video using Oreos and paper to show how the moon changes. This project took us about 3-4 days to complete. First, we started by creating a background for our movie. The students used paper to create an earth and a sun.

Next, the students made each phase of the moon using ores and popsicle sticks to scrape the frosting. They put them in the correct order on a paper plate so they would be ready for filming!

Finally, we used this app to create the videos. Stop motion videos are created using a series of pictures. Ours were very short, but the kids loved the activity and caught on to the app quickly. After each pair completed their video, we created AR codes to go on their background posters so we could share them in the hallway!

 I found this lesson idea and materials from Erintegration and I made it fit my first graders!

Of course we kept a moon log and took turns watching the moon each night.

We wrote about the moon too!

Hands down, our favorite part of the unit was trying astronaut food! It's amazing what you can buy on Amazon! I ordered this three pack of ice cream and we devoured it!

I just broke it into little chunks and we tried each flavor. Here is the mint chocolate chip. It really was yummy!

 We also loved learning about groundhogs or woodchucks last week! PebbleGo is my favorite research tool for younger students! It has great pictures, information. videos and text features.  Usually, my students just write facts about different topics, but I really wanted to challenge them t search for specific information. I created this easy print and goFREEBIE to go with the PebbleGo woodchuck section. I hope you can pin it and use it with your class next year!