Friday, March 29, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away, Make Way for Earth Day (A Math Box FREEBIE)

Hello friends.
Today is day nine of possibly the ugliest spring weather on record.  March is coming to an end and next week I will put out new math boxes (math centers, math stations, math tubs . . . whatever you want to call them).  I change out my boxes monthly.  Since Easter is not in April this year, I'd like to stay away from Easter themed activities for my boxes this month.  I'm sure my first graders will not really care either way.
One activity I plan on using is an Earth Day themed box to practice missing addends.  If you click on the picture below you can have a free copy of this activity.
There are sixteen equation cards, sixteen addend cards, and a recording sheet.  The recording sheet can be a stand alone worksheet if you want.  The clip art is from Scrappin Doodles.

I have my fingers crossed that as we move into April we will see some nicer weather.  Last week we had our egg hunt at church.
A  with her buddy  A  at this year's egg "hunt"
I absolutely shouldn't call it a hunt.  Our weather was rainy and yuck, so we had to stay inside.  Our youth station themselves around the church and handed out candy filled eggs like it was Halloween.  The kids were just as happy, but the parent paparazzi was not.  My pictures this year are not nearly as sweet as when the hunt is outside on a sunny day.  But, we still had a nice time.
I hope you and your families have a blessed Easter and enjoy your time together.
Email me if you have any questions.  If you would like another free Earth Day themed activity for your class, you can click here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Little Work, a Little Play, a Free Number of the Day (Plus Getting Acquainted Linky)

First day back on the beat and our school system has K and 1 scheduled for some of our big standardized assessments this week.  Awesome planning.
Anyway, I try not to think about those things too much.  All and all the first day back from spring break went well.  My first grade sweeties were Tired with a capital T and hungry.  Have you noticed how difficult it is for them to wait for lunch after they return from breaks?  But, they will get back into the swing of things soon.
This week I plan to introduce a little change to the Number of the Day work that I use for morning work two or three times a week.  I try to change it up (just a little) every four-six weeks and add a new skill we have covered.
Below you will find some pictures of the Number of the Day early spring update.  The bottom portion of the page has been changed from tally marks to adding and subtracting multiples of ten.  The back side option is a complete the 120 chart/roll and color activity.
You can click on the picture below if you would like a free copy of this printable.

If you would like the other versions of my Number of the Day page, from earlier in the year, you can click here.

So there's the work for today, now here's the play . . .
Latoya Reed of Flying into First Grade is hosting a Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party with ongoing "getting to know you" topics.  This week's topic is The Noun Game-name your favorite person, place, thing, and animal.  Forgive me, I have to bend the topic just a smidge and make the favorite person-favorite people instead.
My Favorite People
That's easy, my family.  
 I really love spending time with them.
My Favorite Place
Is my neighborhood.
We live in a neighborhood with mostly historic homes.  Ours was built in the 1940's.  I love the character of older homes (minus the closet sizes).  We have really great neighbors and we are within walking distance of a yummy bakery and the park.  
My Favorite Thing
Is my computer.  I can create on it, correspond on it, get my news on it, and shop on it.  I'm sure there are lots of tricks that I do not know how to do on it.  But, I don't care.  It still serves me well.
My Favorite Animal
Is my dog Lilly.  Shhh!  Don't tell any of the other animals.  She is my eight year old cockalier.  She is half cocker spaniel and half cavalier king charles spaniel.  She gets along with other dogs in the neighborhood and tolerates everything my daughter can dish out.  She is a total love sponge.
Thanks for reading.  Be sure to check out some of the other links at Flying into First Grade.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Just Fooling: An April Fool's Day FREEBIE and My Two Truths Reveal

Since Easter is in March, I thought we might need a fun little craftivity for display in April.  I decided to go with April Fool's Day.  Every teachers' favorite holiday.  R i g h t ?  I made this craftivity to try to channel some of that first grade April Fool's Day energy in a positive way.

Click on one of the samples below if you would like a FREE copy of this pattern.

The clip art is from Scrappin Doodles.  As far as the recording sheets there is a spelling practice page option and a writing option.  I plan on using the writing assignment this year.  The students will write about an April Fool's Day prank they have pulled on someone else or a prank they have been the victim of.
Just in case my sweet students are limited as far as their April Fool's Day prank experiences, yours truly has a pinned prank planned that is perfect for a first grade class.
Behold, The Brown E's . . .
All you have to do is die cut some upper case and lower case E's out of brown construction paper.  Place them in a baking pan and cover them with aluminum foil and you have your April Fools Day prank all ready to go.  This pic above is from a Lesson Plan SOS post.
In addition to the writing and the pranking, I'm also using April Fool, Phyllis! by Susanna Leonard Hill.  This story follows Phyllis after she predicts a blizzard on April 1st, a prediction no one believes.  The story is really fun and the illustrations are lovely.

Since we are on the subject of April Fool's and tricks, it is time to reveal my two truths and my lie from Latoya Reed's Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party. 
Mine were:
1.  I am pretty good at carving pumpkins.  I came in second place at the state fair this year for my entry.
2.  I teach group fitness classes.  I have been an instructor for just shy of twenty years.
3.  My front porch is a minor celebrity right now.  It is featured on a local television commercial.

My two truths are numbers 2 and 3.  
I started teaching group fitness classes when I was a freshman in college.  Next year, it will be twenty years of instructing.  (Please don't do the math.)
My porch is on a local bank commercial.  Our porch is only shown for about 15-20 seconds of the commercial, but our spot took hours to shoot.
My lie (of course) is number 1.
I would love to be able to do some artful pumpkin carving, but I must admit I usually lose interest by the time we get to the carving portion.  So, I usually stay simple. 

Thanks to those of you that stopped by and made a guess.  I'm looking forward to seeing more reveals this weekend.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five for Friday: March 22, 2013

Today is the last official day of spring break.  ( s i g h )
Time to focus on something less depressing, like five random things that make me smile.  Welcome to Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday!

Number 1  on my list is Donald J. Pliner's Fifi sandals.  I have a few pairs of these and they are really comfortable to wear all day at school.  It is hard to tell by the picture, but they have a really neat asymmetrical design.  All of my pairs have held up really well.  I'm looking forward to warm enough weather to bust these new silver ones out.  (If you are not a metallic shoe gal, they also come in black and brown).
Number 2  is Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple Water.  It is fizzy.  It is sweet.  It is  y u m !  There are several different flavor choices if coconut pineapple is not for you.
Number 3 is J. Crew's new Perfect Shirt in citrus print.  J. Crew's quality is always spot on and I really like the print on this shirt.  Did you know they even give teachers a 15% discount in stores (not online) if you bring in a valid school ID?
Number 4  is a little preview field trip.  We stayed in town for spring break this year.  So we had to keep ourselves busy with some local activities.  We swam at my club, went to the park, and had lunch with some friends.  D took a day off from work and we went to a little ranch.  We are taking our first graders there in a few weeks and I wanted to check it out.  There was a drive through safari where we got to feed the animals.  We had a really fun time.  The zebra in the pic even had a baby with her.  I hope our field trip goes as well.
Number 5  is something every parent (or potential parent) of a young child should know about, American Innovative's Teach Me Time Talking Alarm Clock.  My sweet little  A  would be up at 4:45 a.m. every morning if it wasn't for this great little clock.  You set a time for it to come on as a nightlight.  Then you set another time for it to change from a yellow glowing light to a green glow.  Green means go.  A  can get up if the light is green.  If she wakes up at any point and the light is still yellow, she has to stay in bed and try to go back to sleep because it is not time to get up yet.  This clock is genius.
So there it is, my first Five for Friday.  Thanks for reading and have a great evening.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Good Egg: A Free Writing Craftivity

Happy Wednesday friends.
Spring Break is half way through.  So I took a couple of hours this afternoon to visit my classroom and get my ducks in a row for next week.  Our little St. Patrick's Day activities are on display around the room.  But, as soon as we get back it will be the week of Easter.
As I prepped my room, I pulled out some of my Easter read alouds and added some Easter themed books on CD to our listening area.  One read aloud I have lined up for next week is Jan Brett's The Easter Egg.
Don't you just love her?   
If you do not have this book in your collection run, don't walk to your computer (wait, you are already at your computer) and order it now.  This story follows a young bunny as he tries to decorate the winning Easter egg so that he can accompany the Easter Bunny on his deliveries.  It is a really sweet story and of course the illustrations are to die for.
I made a really simple writing craftivity I plan to use in conjunction with this book.  Students will decorate their eggs and write a description of the egg they made for the Easter Bunny.
If you would like a free copy of this writing craftivity just click on the picture below.
If you do not have this book, you certainly can still use this activity with your students.  They could decorate their eggs and describe them (much the same as the sample above) or you could make this a "How to Make Easter Eggs" writing assignment.  I'm sure you can think of something fab.
Email me if you have any questions.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted: Two Truths and a Lie

Hi again.  This week's Getting Acquainted linky party topic is Two Truths and a Lie.  Tell two things that are true about yourself and one thing that is not.  I've played this game at a faculty meeting and it's pretty fun.  It's easier to guess the lie when the person is sitting in front of you telling her truths and lie.  Doing it online might be tricky.
Here goes . . .
1.  I am pretty good at carving pumpkins.  I came in second place at the state fair this year for my entry.
2.  I teach group fitness classes.  I have been an instructor for just shy of twenty years.
3.  My front porch is a minor celebrity right now.  It is featured on a local television commercial.
Now you get to guess my lie.  You can leave your guesses in the comments below.  Check back at the end of the week to find out my answer.
Good luck and be sure to check out the Flying into First Grade for more Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party fun.

*UPDATE:  click here to find the reveal to Two Truths and a Lie.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Count Down to Easter and a Math FREEBIE (Adding Multiples of 10)

Easter is really early this year.  It is in March, just about two and a half weeks away.  At my house we love doing countdown calendars.  We have a countdown calendar for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Last night as we were getting out our Easter decorations,  A  asked if we have one for Easter.  Of course, we do not.
But good news, look what I found on Pottery Barn Kids.
A countdown to Easter basket!  I'm pretty happy.  A  will certainly enjoy it.
Since we are now on the countdown to Easter, I wanted to share a Easter themed math activity I'll be using in my class to practice adding multiples of ten.  The activity has twelve equations and twelve sum Easter eggs.  There is a recording sheet that you can also use as a stand alone printable.  The clip art is from Scrappin Doodles.
Click on the picture below if you would like a FREE copy of this activity.
If you would like another freebie that addresses this skill, click here to see my 100th Day Yes or No Way.
Besides Easter, I'm also on another countdown . . . the one to spring break.  Two more days and I absolutely do not need a countdown calendar to keep track of that date.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My First Linky Party: Let's Get Acquainted

How exciting, my first Linky Party.  It is hosted by Latoya Reed at Flying Through First.
This one is perfect for me.  It is based on initials.  I get to share three things about myself related to my initials.  I love monograms.  I actually have to refrain from using them.  I am on board with any excuse to use initials.
Mine are  A M M .
1.  A is for ABC.  My favorite show, Modern Family, is on ABC.  I have bought every season that has been released on DVD.  Modern Family episodes help ease my boredom on my elliptical.  I can not decide which character or one liner I love the most.  But, why choose?
2.  M is for MARRIED to my first sweet heart.  I met D when I was in sixth grade.  We actually met at the school where I teach now.  We "went together" in middle school and I got to wear his Swatch Watch.  We dated some in high school, but not in college.  We got together just as I was leaving town for graduate school.  He is my best friend and a fabulous dad.  Who knew that my sixth grade self had such good judgment?
3.  M is for MARATHON.  OK well really it was a half, but for me it was a marathon.  I am a casual runner.  Up until that point I had never participated in any type of race.  My neighbor asked me if I wanted to do the Las Vegas half marathon with her and we did it.  I don't know if I want to do one again.  But, I made it!  My sweeties at school were really impressed with my medal.
That was fun!  Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Economics 101 (Why Buy the Cow If You Can Get FREEBIES?!)

Aaah, the week before spring break.  We have sprung forward, so now it's staying light longer.  We had a really beautiful weekend with lots of warm sunshine and were able to get outside.  It was really great.  Things are looking up.
For this last week of winter at school, we will be learning about economics.  I remember when I began teaching first, I thought economics . . . you've got to be kidding me.  But in the end, it's really not that bad.
We talk about needs and wants, consumers and producers, goods and services, as well as spend and save.  We do a good deal of picture sorting to practice most concepts.  If you would like a free copy of my goods and services sort, you can click on the picture below.  The clip art if from Scrappin Doodles.
Speaking of picture sorts, I also really like using this set of photo cards when we learn about economics.  I bought them from Lakeshore years ago and they still have them.  They are really good for whole group sorting activities using the pocket chart.
I'm sure you love children's lit as much as I do.  Here are a few of the books I will use for read aloud during our study of economics.  You can get any of these titles through Amazon.  
If you would like a little literature response to go with Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday or Bunny Money, your sweeties can make these Money Wise and Money Foolish signs.  You can question them if the characters are making wise or foolish money choices and they will hold up the appropriate sign.
Click on the picture below if you would like a free copy of these signs.  The file includes a color and a black line option.  The clip art is from Melonheadz. 
Check the pout.  That my friends has been around since  A  was born.  We always know exactly how she feels.
Anyway, I hope some of this stuff can be of use to you.  Email me with any questions.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hot Diggity Dog (A Math Box FREEBIE)

Happy Friday!
Today was our last day of our week long Read Across America celebration.  Our observance was a little late this year because our queen of RRA (Ms. G. our sweet librarian) was out of town last week.  So the good times rolled this week.
While all eyes were on the importance of reading, in math my sweeties began work on double digit addition and subtraction.  Which, so far, they have caught onto really well.  Since they are on their way with double digit addition and subtraction, I decided to start laying some ground work for an upcoming standard that I find really challenging for firsties.
Common Core math standard 1.OA.6 has to do with what I like to call balanced equations.  We started practicing them on our white board paddles.  I really talked up how challenging these equations are and you know first graders, they ate it up.  It wasn't long before they were calling out "Give us a hard one!"
We've practiced a few times with the paddles.  I'm hoping a little bit of group practice along the way will make this difficult standard more manageable.  
And yes, it is hat day.
I've been working on a few activities for when we officially take on balanced (or equal) equations.  You can have your own FREE copy of one of these activities by clicking on the picture below.
This activity includes a true and a false sorting mat, twelve equation cards, and recording sheets.
The clip art is from Scrappin Doodles and Melonheaz.
Check out this activity and let me know if you have any questions.
Have a lovely weekend and don't forget to spring ahead.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching FREEBIES for Your Class

I really love many Whole Brain Teaching strategies.  I love how management is kept in a positive tone. I love the more academic based strategies, especially "teach, OK."  I love how you can implement WBT a piece at a time, making it less over whelming.
If you have not looked into WBT for your classroom, check it out.  There are lots and lots of online resources.  I wanted to share a couple of resources with you.  One is a class set of posters with WBT's Five Rules. There are several variations as far as gender, skin color, and hair color in this set of posters.  Take a look and see if there is a combination that can work for you by clicking on the picture below.
I have created a printable mini book that you might like to use as you are teaching the Five Rules or if your students need a refresher.  Clicking on the picture above will take you to your free copy of the printable mini book as well.
I have also played around creating a variation of WBT Rules for home.  If you have any little darlings at home, you may want to check these out as well by clicking here.
The clip art is from JW Illustrations, kpmdoodles, and Scrappin Doodles.
Enjoy your week!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Solid Shape Museum (and a Math Mini Book Freebie)

Last week my firsties learned all about solid shapes.  Well, some of the solid shapes:  rectangular prism, cube, cylinder, sphere, and cone.  For math homework, they had to find items at home that are examples of each solid shapes.  On Friday students presented their findings in our shape museum.
The students loved listening to each other during these little presentations.  I loved watching them take a leadership role in class.
After all of the showing and viewing was complete, students worked on their shape museum mini book by illustrating the items they shared on the correct shape page.
You can have your own free copy of this mini book and a note to parents by clicking on the picture below.

The clip art is from JW illustrations, Scrappin Doodles, and Pink Cat Studio.
This activity is a great assessment tool.  When your darlings are up telling about their items and and related shapes, you will totally know if they have it or not.  
The pictures below show a few of the items brought in this year.  I loved the bullion cube.
This activity is simple to execute and pretty fun.  If you have any questions, please email me.
Have a great week.