Sunday, April 27, 2014

We Adopted a Fourth Grade Class During Testing!

Last year our school decided to have our younger students 'adopt' an older class during the week of testing.  We did it and it turned out great!  

Kelley over at the Teacher Idea Factory created this wonderful free pack FULL of fun ideas called State Testing Adopt-A-Class Project & Ideas for you to do to support the older kiddos who are taking important tests.  

Last year it was such a hit that we decided to do it again this year.  My kiddos were so excited to make cute little gifts for the 'big' kids and write them good luck letters.  They got even more excited when I told them that they would get treats from my new first graders when they are in fourth grade.  They don't realize how important those big tests are, but that's okay.  Ignorance is bliss!  :)

There are so many ideas in Kelley's pack, but we chose just a few.  The way our school decided to do it was the Kindergartners adopted a third grade class, the first graders adopted a fourth grade class, and the second graders adopted a fifth grade class.  

Our fourth graders are only testing on 2 days, but we made 3 days worth of treats and wrote letters to go with them.  

Here are some pics of what we made for our adopted fourth graders: 






I also have a gift ready for their teacher who I'm sure is very stressed.  She likes to walk and bike in the summer so I filled this cute cup with coffee and chocolate...what every teacher needs!  :) 



Does your school do anything to cheer on the testing kiddos?  If so, I'd love to hear about it!  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Night Before Easter Pack and Spring Freebie

Today is Friday Eve!  Isn't that exciting?!?!  :)  

My student teacher shared that with my kiddos today and I thought that was cute.  

I wanted to remind you of my Night Before Easter Activity Pack which is full of important first grade activities.  My kiddos have already used a few pages and loved it!  They especially liked the cryptogram.  :)




I also want to share my April Word Search Freebie from this pack!  You can click on the picture below to go download it!  Hope your kiddos enjoy!  :)



I need a cute craft activity for my kiddos next week....looking for some great ideas so please share!  :)

I have some more freebies to share soon so make sure to come back and download them!  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Currently

Hello April!!  I am soooooo glad you're here!  :)

We are supposed to be on Spring Break this week, but because of the polar vortex visiting several times along with lots of snow we are making up snow days this week instead!  Boo!!  

Today is the nicest day we have had all year so we went out for an extra recess today.  It wasn't long, but it was much needed.  I'm sure you can understand!  :)

Ohio gives us 5 snow/calamity days and we had 8 this year so we have to make up the extra 3.  Tomorrow will be our last day before our '2 Spring Days' on Thursday and Friday.  I am looking forward to a little break, even though it will be too little.  

We have tried to stay busy this week and honestly, my kiddos have been great.  I think they may have even forgotten they're supposed to be on spring break.  I didn't forget though....  

I'm also excited to be joining Farley's April Currently.  Make sure you go join the party too!  



My Hubby and I love The Big Bang Theory...'nuff said!  

I'm loving that it's April and hopefully the weather will finally get nice...it's been a loooooong winter.

I wish we had our entire Spring Break off.  I guess I should be thankful for our 2 days though.  

I want some Reese Cups...love my chocolate!

I really need to do some spring cleaning.  The nice weather makes me more motivated to do it, but it is definitely not going to happen tonight!!  :)

My school hours are technically from 8:00-3:30.  My kiddos are there from 8:20-3:00 and I am there before 8:00 and after 3:30.  I hardly ever leave by 3:30, but this week has been an exception.  Our last day is May 30 which means less than 2 months.  I know it will fly by and be over before I know it.  I have so much I need to do before the end of the school year to get ready for next year.  

I need to do some spring/end of the year cleaning at school too!!  

Well, I'm off to go check out some other Currently's!  You should too!  :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

More Important Than St. Patrick's Day Gold Freebie

I know it's past St. Patrick's Day and I know I've already shared our fun leprechaun hats, but I have another cute craft I want to share with you so please forgive me for being late!  

Part of the reason I'm late is because I haven't had my voice in a week so I missed a few days of school and then my uncle passed away unexpectedly so I was out of town over the weekend.  :(

I was searching Pinterest when this picture caught my eye:


St. Patrick's Day craft

I thought it was so cute and it was something I haven't done before so I clicked on it.  

It took me *HERE* where I thought the entire idea was adorable!  The kiddos had to choose one person they thought was more important than gold and they did such a great job.  To get in more practice with commas, I had them list 3 reasons why that person was more important than gold.  

Any time I can squeeze in a little practice with commas and a cute craft, I am all in.  

Here is how they turned out!  I think they are so cute.  We only have 4 colors on ours because I couldn't find orange or green streamers.  We even hung them up in the hall even though it's a little late.  Hey, at least it's still March!  :)





We've also been doing some spring activities so I'll be back soon to share those too!  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Great Learning and Break Break Videos

I am not feeling well.  I have missed a couple days of school this week and I hate missing school.  I feel so guilty when I'm not there.  

However I have. absolutely. no. voice.  You cannot teach without a voice.  It was going on Monday, was gone by Tuesday and I haven't seen it since.  :(

I am hoping it comes back soon.  Really soon.  I miss it!  

Since I feel out of the loop with school I wanted to share some great videos I found with you.  I love to use brain break videos and my kiddos love them too.  They need them throughout the day.  

You can follow my Pinterest First Grade Video Board  by clicking *HERE*.  

This is a phonics video that has a lot of vowel teams which my kiddos need!

We are getting ready to start shapes and this video is a great review/introduction for shapes and solids.  I love their videos! 


This video is about pronouns.  I used it last year and even my boys were asking me to play it.  They love trying to sing it fast enough to keep up with the song.

We also LOVE our brain break videos:


My kiddos love this one! 

And, of course Mario is a hit too! 

My kiddos always get excited when we take a couple minutes to watch these videos...especially at the beginning and end of the year when they are extra wiggly!  

If you have any other favorite videos, please share!  I'm always looking for new ones!  

I'm going to go lay down and watch some basketball.  My bracket is already destroyed and the games just started.  So much for winning my billion dollars!

Hoping my voice is back tomorrow...fingers crossed!  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shrinking Leprechaun Hats!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  

I had a lot of kiddos wearing green today!  And of course we had to have the conversation about not pinching someone because they weren't wearing green....yikes!   

But we did celebrate with Lucky, my Leprechaun friend.  We started on Friday by decorating Styrofoam cups as leprechaun hats.  I told them there was a legend that said if you leave your hat on your desk a leprechaun will visit and shrink your hat down to his size!  

You can definitely tell who still believes in magic and who doesn't when you have conversations like this!  :)  

We left the hats on our desks on Friday afternoon and this morning when my kiddos came in they were so excited to see their shrunken hats with treats underneath them and a note from Lucky the Leprechaun!  I had a couple kiddos absent on Friday so they didn't have a hat to shrink, but they did still get a treat.  I think it's because Lucky saw their name tag and knew a kiddo sat there.  :)

Then this afternoon we found a secret message that Lucky had left us.  He left shamrocks all around the room with numbers on them like this: 
This shamrock was on our bookshelf! 

My kiddos had to put the right word on each line to find out the secret message.  First grade is just so much fun!  

This whole activity really didn't take long and it kept me from making messy leprechaun traps!  If you would like to do these activities next year, you can click the picture below to go purchase this pack from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business!  
Lucky Leprechaun and the Incredible Shrinking Hat Project

I have done this for a few years and my kiddos always have so much fun with it!  

The real magic was done at home in my oven, but it didn't take a lot of time.  It only takes a few minutes in the oven for the cups to shrink to leprechaun size.  I do recommend practicing first with plain cups to make sure you have the right temperature and time!  I also wrote my kiddos' names on the top so I knew who they belonged to.  

Here is what they looked like before going in the oven.  

Here is what they looked like as they shrunk!  And, please forgive the messy oven door....for a woman who doesn't cook much it sure gets messy quick!  :)

Here is a picture of what they looked like on my kiddos' desks this morning!

We also used some of the activities out of my Night Before St. Patrick's Day Pack today and will use more this week!  It's a FREEBIE on TpT so make sure you download it this week to use!  :)

Click on the picture to go download it!  

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  I hope you didn't get pinched today!  :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Leveled Reading Comprehension Passages

A couple months ago I was on the look out for some comprehension passages for my kiddos.  For one of our second and third 9 week assessments our kiddos had to be able to read first grade passages and answer questions citing text evidence.  

This is hard to practice when you don't have printable passages that they can highlight and write on!!  

So my search began....

Then I found Anne at Common Core Connection and I was so excited!

She has created leveled comprehension packs for reading levels C through J and they are wonderful!  Most packs have fiction and nonfiction stories and they all have 4 multiple choice questions with each passage.  

To help with text evidence, I have my kiddos underline or highlight their answers in the story to prove their thinking to me.  I have also added some written response questions to the back of their question page.  Due to lack of time I just quickly write a few questions and draw lines for answers.  These don't come with the stories, it's just something I added for my own kiddos!  ;)

This practice has helped my kiddos so much.  I have used these stories for morning work, in guided reading groups, and during Daily Five.  They would be great for homework too!  I have seen a lot of growth from all of my students and it's fabulous that each kiddo is reading stories on their own level.  I differentiate the questions with each story and it's great practice!  

As you can tell I highly recommend these reading passages!  

I have bought all of them.  Here is what her Level I and J pack looks like:


Reading Comprehension Passages for Guided Reading Levels I and J
Click on the picture to go purchase this pack! 

This pack has a lot of nonfiction stories.  My kiddos love reading these stories and then sharing with me what they learned...win-win!  :)

Here is what it looks like after my kiddos are done:  






I just noticed on that third question he should have started his answer with 'My favorite fact is'....oops!
  
My kiddos have to underline their answers.  This story was done independently.  I have asked several written response questions on the back to help with writing answers in complete sentences.  We call it restating the question.  We do it in reading and math (story problems) to help us know how to find the correct answer.  

To keep track of which stories I have used I have printed them all and put them in a binder.  I have them categorized by levels and I keep a small post-it on the next story so I always know where I have left off.  It's not a fancy system, but it's easy and it works for me!  

I also created a cute cover for this binder and I am sharing it with you.  Whether you have purchased these packs or have others, you can always use a cute cover!  I included 2 different covers that have one with first grade and one without since you can use these stories with several grade levels depending on your students' needs. 

Click on the picture to download for free!  

If you purchase these passages I hope you like them as much as I do!  They have been such a huge help with my kiddos!  :)

The weather is finally nice and my hubby is on his way home so I'm going to go enjoy my Friday evening.  Have a great weekend!