Saturday, April 19, 2014

Freebies Aplenty and Math Centers for May

I just wanted to pop in and share a few things we've been up to this past week. 
We took full advantage of the four days this week leading up to Easter.  We read loads of lovely Easter themed books and worked with Easter inspired literacy and math centers.  We also had a little friendly partner competition seeing which team could correctly spell the most words using the letters in Happy Easter.  
Each set of students got a carrot with the letters for Happy Easter inside.  I gave them fifteen minutes and one recording sheet.  The winning team spelled twenty three words.  Pretty impressive.  For their efforts they got a box of peeps. 
Click on the picture below for a FREE copy of this activity.

One of the books we read this week was Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Duck Rabbit, which inspired us to go a little old school with a Duck Easter Bunny craft.  I love this craft.  We start by making the duck on one side and then flipped it over to create the bunny on the other.  My first graders are always amazed when they finally see the bunny appear.  So fun!
If you would like a copy of this activity, click on the picture below.

After we wrapped up most of our Easter inspired learning, we went ahead and made our Earth Day writing craftivities.  Since Earth Day is on Tuesday, I really wanted to get our projects up in the classroom so we could enjoy them.

We started by brainstorming ways to help the Earth and then the students wrote what they can do to make the world a better place.  After they completed the writing, we made our Earth Day kids.  You are welcome to have a FREE copy of this pattern as well, by clicking on the picture.
I have more Earth Day activities planned for next week, but this one's a favorite and helps my young learners start thinking about simple things they can do to help the Earth.

Finally, can you believe May is less than two weeks away?!  This year has absolutely flown by.  If you are planning ahead, you may want to check out my new math center packet Flower Power {10 Math Centers for May} available at my tpt store.

If your students are like mine, they need constant review of the math skills we've covered, because . . . out of sight, out of mind.  Activities in this packet are seasonally inspired and include work with skills such as:  addition, subtraction, place value, time, money, number comparisons, fractions, fact families and more.  Click on the picture for more details.

Well, I've got to go put my Easter Bunny ears on now.  Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Easter!

Friday, April 11, 2014

This Is the Way We Write the Room (Three Write the Room FREEBIES)

It's really not my intent to be a once a week blogger.  But it's that time of year at school when all systems are go and in a blink, Monday becomes Friday.  It's also a great time of the year to mix things up a little bit for young learners.
We haven't "wrote the room" in a while, so I put together a telling time write the room activity for math early in the week.  We were wrapping up our work with time to the half hour and this activity went over really well.  My firsties thought it was fun and I thought it was a wonderful assessment tool (every o'clock and thirty time was somewhere in the room).
If you are interested in using this activity with your class, click on one of the pictures for a FREE copy.

Since our time write the room activity was such a hit, I was really excited to pull out a nonstandard measurement write the room activity I used last year with (one of my favorite books) Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy.
I love to kick off my unit on measurement with Measuring Penny.  It is a great introduction to measurement since it covers many types.  Every year my students really love this book, with this year's group being no exception.
I used Measuring Penny as an inspiration for a  write the room activity where students use dog bone rulers to measure different Penny related pictures.  You can also use the picture cards with other measuring units, like cubes, paper clips, and even rulers.
For a FREE copy of this activity, click on one of the pictures below.

We also used write the room for a review of r-controlled vowels.  I printed various ar, or, er, ir, and ur word cards and placed them around the room.  With clip boards in hand, students sorted the words on their recording sheets.  I actually used it for morning work one morning, since we ran out of time to do it the day before.  It was a great way to start the day and awesome practice.
As a side note, any of these activities could work as a center as well.  Just don't post the cards around the room.
For a FREE copy of this write the room activity, click on one of the pictures.

Yes, I might have went a little overboard on writing the room this week.  But once I got going, it was hard to stop.  It's a fabulous way to get students moving and can be used with any subject.  It's my goal to use this format once a week for something.  If I come up with anything of interest, I'll be sure to share.  So . . .  check back :).

Friday, April 4, 2014

It's SpringTIME (Plus a Free Bunny Craftivity)

Room 8 has been hoppin' this week.  On Tuesday, we started our new literacy and math centers for April.  My kids are always so excited to see what's in-store for them.  I love seeing the progress they have made over the course of the year, since each month's centers grow more challenging.
If you are not using centers in your class, I encourage you to starting looking around at resources and thinking about how they could work for you.  I love them because they allow for continuous review, a chance for some movement, and for collaboration with others.  They are totally worth the time it takes to set them up.

Tuesday was also April Fool's Day (every teachers' favorite holiday:) ).  In class we read some April Fool's Day books, did some writing, and made a craftivity.  Surprisingly, the kids were really pretty controlled with their jokes.  I, however, pulled a pretty good one on my sweet, gullible, little firsties.
Our class spelling test is always on Friday.  After group time, I announced we were going to have our spelling test that morning instead.  I handed out tests and began to call out the words.  Number one was April.  Number two was Fool's.  At that point they're on to me.  And number three was Day.  They went crazy when they figured out what was going on.  I'll definitely use that one again.

In math we continued to work on telling time. We did lots and lots of hands on practice using model clocks.  Students also identified time I showed on my big clock and recorded their answers on white board paddles.  
I created an anchor chart so we could work on some time vocab.  It's hard to tell by the picture, but I used a brad with the hands so that they are functional.

At the end of the week, I read one of my favorite Easter themed mentor texts, The Easter Egg by Jan Brett.  (If you do not have this book, you have to check it out.  It is wonderful).

It is about a young bunny, Hoppi, who is trying to create his first Easter egg to give to the Easter Rabbit.  He sees all of the other bunnies working on their eggs and he can't decide what kind of egg to create.  As the story continues, Hoppi chooses to help another forest friend instead of completing his Easter egg artwork.  Hoppi's selflessness is eventually rewarded in the end.
The message in this book is so special and the artwork is tremendous.  The Easter Egg is exactly what you would expect from Brett.

The Easter Egg can be used for many classroom activities: comprehension, retelling, context clues, inferencing.  It inspired us to create out own Hoppi artwork that will be brightening up our classroom for the next few weeks.

If you would like a FREE copy of this bunny pattern, click on the picture below.  It's a very simple project that is perfect for spring in your classroom.  It's always so fun to see how students' personalities shine through in projects like this one.  I wish I had taken more pictures of some of the eggs, especially the boys' eggs.  One had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and another one had a surfer being chased by a shark.  Too funny!

I also used this book for a writing assignment last year.  This writing assignment would work really well with the bunny craft.  If you are interested in reading more about it, click here.

Thank you so much for stopping by.
Have a great week.