Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring everyone! I love this weather! We have been *SO blessed* here in Northeast Ohio with AMAZING summer-like weather for the past few weeks! Yesterday we welcomed Spring with 80 degree temperatures and it continued today! It is just gorgeous out! So, to help get in the mindset of Spring, we did a little journal activity to incorporate Spring words.

We thought of as many Spring words as we could as a class.

Then, students drew a sky with 10 fluffy clouds in their journals and wrote 10 Spring words inside each one. They had lots of fun drawing, coloring and writing! It was a short, fun activity to integrate Spring into our day!

Have a blessed day and Happy Spring! :)


Monday, March 12, 2012


Today we worked on learning about capacity! It was kind of a tough day, considering all of the new lingo that goes along with the concept [quart, pint, gallon, cups - even capacity itself!] So, to help my first graders get at least some grasp of the concept, we made Gallon Guys and Gallon Girls!

As you would assume, the boys made Gallon Guys and the girls made Gallon Girls. I had used this in the past when I worked as a Title One Math Coach for third and fourth grades, and didn't think I would be using in first grade, but when we came upon our measuring unit in our curriculum this year, it was a perfect fit to teach my little ones! It worked really well and was a great visual for how many cups in a pint, pints in a quart, and so on.

We'll see how they do on some assessment worksheets, but with the answers they gave me to verbal questions today, I'm confident they all will do fabulous!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Word Work Mania!

One of my favorite parts of the Daily 5 is Word Work time! I love finding new ways for my students to practice our words and phonics sounds any time they can.  Today, we had 2 students absent, and it's Friday, so I decided to delay my math activity to Monday and break out lots of materials for the remainder of the day (which really was only a half an hour).

Some students used alphabet stamps....
I created a sheet to accompany this activity. My students were using regular computer paper or writing paper and it was such a mess! I had to create something scaffolded and more organized. This is what I came up with! [Spelling Stampers is available in my Word Work Activities packet].

Other students used bendy stix to create letters and words...

A bunch used letter tiles (their favorite!)
I found that the tiles can be noisy on their desks, so I bought felt and cut it into large squares for themt to lay them out on to reduce the noise (a little!)

Other students broke out spelling words I had used when I taught at a different school last year.
I just recently introduced these and they are becoming a fast favorite of the class! They were quite labor intensive when I first made them (printing, cutting, mounting and laminating - I'm particular!) so I'm glad they are putting them to use!

One other student broke out my latest addition to our (quite large) Word Work section... I saw this on Pinterest and modified it a tad...
Using clothespins to spell out spelling words. Another growing favorite!

Lastly, some students used puzzle pieces to spell words...
I can honestly say this was my own idea! I didn't find and adopt or modify it from anyone! It hit me one weekend when I was off scrapbooking with my mother-in-law (yes, we get along QUITE well!) Anyhow, I was just sitting there and saw her puzzle punch and it just hit me! Why not let students make spelling puzzles.  I have tons of letter stickers that are just left over, not enough to spell out one whole word any more, so I used those and lots of scrap paper to make tons of puzzle pieces! It's one of my favorite, but it's not a huge hit with the kids :(

They seem to go in waves of what they like to use during Word Work time. The bendy sticks were a hti for a while at the beginning of the year, then fizzled off and almost NO ONE used them, and now they're a hit again! Oh well. As long as they are loving to make words, I'm okay with that! I can definitely say that there is a plethera of choices in my Word Work section and my students LOVE it :)

Hope you found some new ideas!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Into the Unknown...

As you can see, my blog is a bit, well, plain.  I've NEVER blogged before! This is quite the work in progress, and to make matters worse I don't have internet at home (yet!) I've been following blogs, like The Inspired Apple (LOVE her!) and creating fun activities on TpT so I thought it was about time to create a blog of my very own. Here's a little bit about me (in case you're wondering!):  I am a 1st grade teacher and LOVE what I do! I say that teaching is my lifestyle, more than it is my job, or even career. This is my first year full-time, so it's a bit overwhelming but I am loving every second of my life right now. I teach in a Christian school (which I had never really considered in college) but it's better than I could have ever imagined and the people are fantastic. I love having the opportunity to minister to children about Christ!  I am married to my best friend, Dave, and we have a puppy dog named Reagan (the cutest pup ever, if I say so myself!) We live in Northeast Ohio and strangely, we love it here! We have 15 acres and a small house (in progress!) I'm super excited to share my journey with you into my first year with my own classroom and all the fun things I do with my 14 fabulous little learners!