Saturday, January 30, 2016

Five for Friday: Freebies for February

Where did January go?  It is unbelievable how quickly the first month of this year came and went.
Before February gets in full swing, I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share some favorite February freebies I'll be using over the next few weeks.
Let's get started...

Groundhog Day Freebies
We'll make these simple and cute prediction groundhogs.  Students can predict whether or not they think the groundhog will see his shadow by adding a sun or a snowflake in the groundhog's hand.  You could also pair this little craftivity with a writing prompt instead of the sun or snowflake.
Click on the picture for a FREE copy of this craftivity.

After Mr. Groundhog makes his prediction, we'll be tracking the weather for the next six weeks with My Groundhog Weather Tracker.  Students will record the groundhog's prediction and the daily weather.  At the conclusion of the sixth week, students will compile their data and analyze it to determine if the groundhog's prediction was true.
You can have a FREE copy of My Groundhog Weather Tracker, by clicking on the picture below.

Super Bowl Freebie
 We'll make my Super Bowl Friend craftivity sometime this week before the big game.  Students will predict which team they think will win.  The helmet colors will reflect their predictions blue/orange for Denver and blue/black for Carolina.  Students will either write about their predictions or they will practice writing their spelling words on the football themed recording sheet.
If you would like a FREE copy of my Super Bowl Friends Craftivity, you can click on the picture below.

Valentine's Day Freebies
Another activity we'll be using in February is my sight word center, You've Got Mail.  Students have to crack the secret code and match it to the correct sight word.  After matching all the cards, the students will complete the recording sheet.  This fun little center is from my Classroom Cupids  {10 Literacy Centers for February}, available at my tpt store.  You can click here for more details.
If you would like a FREE copy of You've Got Mail, click on the picture below.

Another freebie you may want to snag is my message heart graph and pattern printables.
These activities are always a favorite.  Students will sort (by color) and graph candy message hearts.  They will also use the message hearts to create various patterns.
My kids adore working with candy.  It makes math time feel like playtime.
If you would like a FREE copy of message hearts printables, click on the pictures.  

Presidents Day Freebie
In my class, we usually take time in February to do some shared research about George Washington.  After we learn some important facts and details about his life, we create a class bubble map about him.  The bubble map will us with the writing for the craftivity pictured below.
If you would like a FREE copy of of my George Washington {A FREE Writing Craftivity}, click on the picture.

Mardi Gras Freebies
Mardi Gras falls on February 9th this year.  Most of my students do not know what Mardi Gras is.  So I like to do a little something in class for my kids to learn about the traditions involved with this holiday.
We'll have read some books, have some kings cake, and make these Mardi Gras Kids spelling art projects to display in the hall.

We will also do some Mardi Gras themed word problems in math using my Mardi Gras Math {A FREE Math Mini Book}.

If you would like to have a FREE copy of either of these activities to use with your students, click on the pictures.

February has so many fun learning opportunities.  I hope some of these freebies will be useful to you as you start planning for next month.
Thank you for stopping by and thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting Five for Friday.
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Put On Your Hat and Mittens: Literacy Activities with Jan Brett's Classic Winter Stories

Hi Friends.
All this snowy weather really puts me in the mood to enjoy some Jan Brett books with my class.  She is one of my favorite authors and illustrators.
On our short week returning from Christmas break and the next short week (due to snow days), we read The Mitten and The Hat.  We used these two books as jumping off points for some Mitten and Hat inspired literacy activities.
We, of course, had to compare and contrast these two stories.  We worked as a class to brainstorm a list of ways these stories are alike and how they are different.  Students completed their own Venn diagrams using our class list.

After finishing the Venn diagram, students picked their favorite of the two stories.  They wrote about it and explained their choice.  Then, they illustrated their favorite part of their story.
If you would like a FREE copy of these printables, just click on one of the pictures or click here.

Our class just happen to be finishing up our study of long vowel sounds, spelled vowel-consonant-silent e.  I made a Real Word/Silly Word sort with a hedgehog theme to reinforce our work with this pattern.  I printed enough sets of this literacy center for the whole class to work on at the same time in partner sets.
It was a quick little assessment that let me know how well my young learners are reading with this pattern.
If you would like a FREE copy of Hedgie's Word Sort, you can click on the picture or click here.

The Hat influenced our practice with adjectives.  My firsties still have a ways to go when it comes to identifying and working with adjectives.  Any practice that we can get with adjectives is needed.
With this simple activity, students had to match the correct adjective with the correct hat.  Just like in the Real Word/Silly Word sort (pictured above), I printed enough sets of this literacy center for the whole class to work on at the same time in partner sets.  However, this activity would be great in small group or in whole group with a pocket chart or by adding magnets to the backs of the cards.
If you would like a FREE copy of Happy Hats Adjectives, you can click on the picture or click here

As an extension of our work with adjectives, we made our Winter Kids for display in the classroom.  Students designed their own hats and then wrote about them.  Writing about their original hat deigns gave students the perfect opportunity to use adjectives.
If you would like more details about this writing craftivity, you can click one of the pictures or click here.

There are so many ideas for using The Hat and The Mitten with students.  You may already have your own stockpile of activities and resources that you love.  If not, I hope some of these activities will be a help to you.  Also, if you visit  Pinterest, there are loads and loads of Hat and Mitten activities to choose from.
Thanks for visiting and have a great week.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ringing In the New Year, Classroom Style

Are you a New Year's resolution person?  Well, I am.  I have had the same resolution for the past few years.  Start going to bed on time.  I'm sorry to say, like many resolution makers, I've already broke it.  We were in school a total of three days this first week back from winter break, I did not go to bed on time once.  Oh well...I'll try again next week.

During our three days back this week, my firsties rang in the New Year with style.  We did some retraining, some reviewing, and some fun New Year's themed activities.  Here's a peek at a few of the New Year's resources our class enjoyed.
We built background knowledge by reading the few New Year's themed books I've been able to get my hands on.  For some reason, there are not very many of them. 

We read P. Bear's New Year's Party by Paul Owen Lewis.  This book is a counting book about the animals arriving to Polar Bear's party.  (If you would like a copy of a free activity I used with this book, a few years ago, you can click here.)
We read Squirrel's New Year's Resolution by Pat Miller.  This story is super cute.  It does a good job explaining what a resolution is.  It follows Squirrel as he tries to figure out what his resolution should be by asking the other forest animals about their resolutions.  I like reading this book in class just before we do any resolutions writing or set any goals for the New Year.
Another New Year's themed book I shared with my first graders was The Night before New Year's by Natasha Wing.  This edition of The Night Before... books is true to form as it stays consistent the pattern of The Night Before Christmas, but inserts the symbols and traditions (this time) from New Year's.  It's a great jumping off point for students to share their family traditions for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
New Year's Day (Celebrations in My World) by Lynn Peppas and New Year's Day (Holiday Histories) by Kathryn Imler are two nonfiction explanations of New Year's.  They are a great way to explain traditions and facts about this holiday.
Shante Keys and the New Year's Peas, by Gail Piernas-Davenport, is a wonderful book to use with your young learners.  This rhyming story tells the story of Shante as she visits neighbors to borrow some black-eyed peas.  She learns about different New Year's traditions from around the world from her neighbors.  I love this book.

Throughout the week, as we read these stories, we created a New Year's anchor chart to display and reference in class.

Having the anchor chart helped students with a couple of writing assignments they completed about New Year's.  One of the writing assignments went along with a cute New Year's craftivity we completed to share our resolutions.  Our New Year's Kids look totally cute as a hallway display and the kids love, love, love the blowouts.
If you are interested, this writing craftivity is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers story.  You can click on one of the pictures for details.

We started our January math and literacy centers this week.  Some of the centers are New Year themed.  The one pictured below is a review of the short and long a sound.  
It's amazing to me how improved my students are with centers at this point in the year.  They are so much more independent and willing to problem solve each month.  It's really rewarding to see.

Below is a FREE New Year's math center that I've incorporated during our center time during the past couple of years.  Students practice matching the numbers that are 10 more, 10 less, 1 more, and 1 less.  If you would like a free copy of this center to use with your class, click on the picture below.

Another free New Year's math resource you may want to check out is my Out With the Old and In With the New: A Happy New Year Math Mini Book.  This little booklet features word problems that review some of the skills that we've covered so far this year.   I'm all about holiday inspired math mini books as we continue to learn how to tackle word problems. 
I've updated it for 2016-2019. You can click on the picture below for a free copy of this booklet.

Although New Year's Day has past once we return from break, I still really enjoy finding ways to integrate it into my classroom.  It makes the beginning of the second semester start on a really positive note.
I hope you had a great first week back from break.  Thanks for stopping by.
Cheers to a great rest of the year!