Monday, November 28, 2011

Wow! Really???

When I logged on today to try to think of what I was going to blog about, I was greeted with a great surprise!!! Christine over at Hopping Into First Grade awarded me the Sunshine Award!

 I am still completely amazed that anyone would even want to hear what I'm doing in my classroom, let alone give me an award.  Thank you so much, Christine for your thoughtfulness. Click on the link above to run over to her blog now to check it out!

Now, onto the rules:

1.  Thank the person who awarded you (yep, did that)
2. Blog about it(check)
3. Answer the questions (will do)
4. Pass the award on to 10-12 bloggers, letting them know you awarded them the Sunshine Award (this is the hard part - there are so many good ones...)

The Questions
  • Favorite color:  yellow
  • Favorite animal: Cardinals - they were my grandmother's favorite bird and when I see one, it makes me think of her.
  • Favorite number:  4 (wanna know why? It's the only number that has the same number of letters in its name!)
  • Favorite drink: Cherry Coke Zero
  • Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
  • Passions: Pinterest (oops!  I guess that would be more of an addiction).  Truthfully, the only thing I would really classify myself as passionate about would be the Lord.  He has done so much for me, I want to do everything I can to draw closer to Him.
  • Giving or getting presents:  Can I pick both?
  • Favorite day: Sunday
  • Favorite flowers:  tulips
Now to pass it on:
First Grade Learning Stars
A Teacher's Touch
Fabulous in First
First Grade a la Carte

Castles and Crayons

Teaching First

Chalk Talk

First Grade Blue Skies

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nikon Coolpix s6100This Thanksgiving has just begun and already it's turning out to be great! My Mama is visiting from Kentucky, we have our Black Friday strategy all mapped out, the gift I'm making for my secret blogging buddy is turning out great, and I got some great Christmas presents! No, I'm not confused, I know I'm a holiday early, but my mom and my husband are both really bad at keeping secrets (which is why my husband usually shops on Christmas Eve). I collect cookie jars and my mom gave me a cute tiki hut cookie jar that plays the theme to Gilligan's Island when you open it. Now I'll know whenever the kids try to sneak a cookie, lol! My mom gives her gifts now because she wants to see us open them (and since she's in nursing school - yep, went back to college at 61), she won't be here at Christmas.
My husband, on the other hand is just bad at keeping gifts. He asked if I wanted my Christmas present now. I told him that I only wanted it if it was a new camera. His response, "It's in the bottom of my toolbox!" This is the awesome new camera I got:
Check it out here:

Nikon Coolpix S6100

So now I can take awesome pictures of all of our fun Christmas activities (and things I make from Pinterest, of course). 
I hope your Thanksgiving is as great!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Christmas Plans Begin...

Since we're off this week, I'm hoping to get all of my plans for the month of December done. We only have about 3 weeks, and I'd like to have it all done by the time we get back. As I go through my files, I'll be making some gaes to use in our math and literacy centers. One of the things I want to work on this month in math is patterns. I really thought my kids were doing well with patterns, until I gave them some M&M's to make patterns with. I don't know if they just rushed through it or (because it was the week before Thanksgiving) they just didn't care, but apparently, we need some review. I found these Christmas clipart pictures on an old Mailbox sheet.
Christmas Patterns

I'm going to print out a set to color and laminate to use with my small groups. After we work on making the patterns together, I will put the pictures in a center and allow the students to make their own patterns.  I'm planning on copying the recording sheet front to back and giving the kids a sheet of pictures they can color, cut apart, and glue on the recording sheet to show their patterns.  I hope this is something you can use.  Check back for some more Christmas ideas/activities coming soon!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ahhhh!  Thanksgiving vacation...sleeping 'til 8, catching up on blog stalking, and planning.  Oh, yeah, I can't forget spending time with my Mama (who is visiting from Kentucky), Thanksgiving dinner, and SHOPPING!  For those of you who still have to work this week, I'm sorry. 

I thought I would share what we've been doing the last couple of weeks.  We've been learning about Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.  Scholastic has awesome resources for teaching about this topic.  Visit The First Thanksgiving on Scholastic and check it out!  We also read these books:
Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl - Thanksgiving Books for Kids
These books are great for teaching about the daily life of pilgrim boys and girls.  I haven't seen this one, but I've heard it's good, so I may have to check it out:

On the Mayflower - Thanksgiving Books for Kids
After reading the books about the pilgrim boys and girls, we venn life then and now.  Finally, we write about whether we would or would not like to be a pilgrim.  My plan was to take really cute pictures and post them here, but this has been the year of camera issues.  This summer I ran over my camera (yeah, you heard me right) and although the camera is still functional, I can't see what I'm taking a picture of.  So, I have to take the picture and then download and if it's not right, then take another one and download get the picture (no pun intended).  Now, however, I cannot find the cord which I need to download the pictures.  So, no cute pictures for you!  I have been lucky enough this year to have a great mom with a great camera who lets me use it whenever I need it.  I just didn't think to take the pictures before we left for Thanksgiving vacation.  Oops!  So you'll just have to picture the cute Pilgrim writings hanging on the wall.  I promise to do better in December (hopefully Santa will bring me a camera for Christmas!).
Happy Thanksgiving All!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Catching Up

    I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post, but life has been cuh-ra-zy, if you know what I mean. Between school leadership meetngs, RtI paperwork, lesson studies, church meetings, etc. I haven't had time to breathe, let alone blog! Thanks to my sweet blogging buddy Rebecca from Teaching First for checking in on me!  If you haven't seen her blog, jump over there - she's got some great ideas and an awesome TpT store.
    Anyway, I thought I would catch up on some of the things we've been doing in our class.  In my last post, I mentioned that we were doing some fun bat activities.  We used some of the ideas from Fun in First Grade.  We grouped and counted mosquitoes and even made life sized bats.  Jodi at Fun in First Grade was kind enough to share cute signs that gave the wingspan of the flying fox and bumblebee bats.  The kids really enjoyed seeing the true size of the bats and these activities really made the learning stick! Here are some photos of our bats:

(Please excuse my drawing.  I teach first grade because they are the only ones that think I can draw!)

We then made a think map to show our learning:

Which I had to hang upside down from our cabinets (of course)!

We finished out our owl unit and (with a little help from the teacher across the hall), we created a think map showing our learning about owls:

To finish off October, we had a wonderful Halloween party.  We made Spooky Stew:

We also made nutter butter ghosts and jack-o-lanterns:

We then moved into November with lots of turkey activities!  Our Red Ribbon week kicked off on Halloween with a western theme.  Don't worry, I won't post the pics (or the video) of me line dancing at our school assembly (Yes, I heard your sigh of relief), but know that I had enough school spirit to do front of everyone...including the superintendent, asst. superintendent, and school board chairman. 
Anyhoo, we had a door decorating contest and it had to be something with a western theme.  Western theme? Wait a minute...this is November and I wanna do turkeys and pilgrims and all things Thanksgiving.  So, I had to be creative.  And, since learning time is so valuable and never to be wasted, we turned a math lesson into a math/art lesson so we could make door decorations.  I took a turkey I got from the Mailbox magazine and made 4 turkey feathers for each turkey.  Each child got a turkey and a flash card.  They had to use the numbers on the flash card to write the fact family numbers on the belly of the turkey and the number sentences for that family on the tail feathers.  It was fun and the kids enjoyed making them.  Check out our western turkey door:
A couple of kids made cowboys an we used some yellow rope from one cowboy looped around a turkey.  We didn't win, but hey, the kids had fun and got some good math practice, so I'm good with that.
Finally, I saw that some people had done a turkey disguise project, so I decided to try it this year.  Here's how they turned out:

Turkeys disguised as: a rainbow, a surfer, and a flower.
Turkeys disguised as: a peacock, a karate student, and a spice cabinet

 Turkeys disguised as: an army man, Batman, and an M&M (the M&M was soo yummy, someone ate off it's foot, lol)
Turkeys disguised as: a bush, a police officer, and a girl eating turkey (if you lift up the clothes, there is turkey on the table).  The kids had lots of fun with this project.  I'm so glad that I have such involved parents that will take the time to sit down and work on projects like this with their child.
    So, there you go!  You are now officially caught up with all that has been going on in our room.  This week, we'll be working on pilgrims and Indians.  I try not to do the same projects every year, but these cuties I found at The Virtual Vine are a must do each year:

These take a couple of days to do, and I use peach colored glass gems that I found at Wal-Mart for the noses.  They worked out great, because they are flat on the bottom, which makes them easier to glue.  Only one more week until Thanksgiving vacation!  The best part - my mama is coming for the week!!!!!  Have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving!