Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lorax and a Memorable Moment

With the movie version of the Lorax coming out this week, I thought a lesson dedicated to this great Seussy classic was in order. So here is what we did. We read the story and then made an anchor chart about the story's four elements. This is a really great story to talk about problem and solution because there isn't a clear solution, it is one that really makes students think!

We also talked a lot about cause and effect. Again, this story is perfect for this discussion because one cause has multiple effects. After our discussion, both whole group and partner, the students completed this independent practice page. You can get it here for free (because I love our readers!).

Then, I had the brilliant idea to incorporate an art project! We made truffula trees. This turned out super cute. For the background we took old crayons and took the paper off then rubbed them horizontally. It made a really need textured sky. Then we used feathers for the tops of the trees.

Memorable moment of the day: So it has been one of those days. You know the ones that seem to inevitably happen right before Parent Teacher Conferences (ours are next week). The ones that leave you exhausted. Well, one of my special friends came back from math rotations without his shoes and socks on. Yep, barefoot. Just walked on into the classroom as if this is what he does every day. Come to find out, he took his socks off during math and put them on his hands like gloves. Then proceeded to wave them around other students' faces. Then he began to kick off his shoes so they would hit other students. Awesome. Can tomorrow be Friday please?!

Anyone else have these types of wonderful moments lately?!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quick Giveaway ~ Fingers Crossed!

The super cute First Grade Delight is having a quick giveaway! Head on over and enter! Also show her some love, she just passed the 200 followers mark. Yippy! Click on the button below to head over to her blog.

~ Katie and Rebecca

Our First Bloggie - The Liebster Blog Award

We were so excited to find out that the lovely Melanie over at First Grade Brain Sprinkles awarded us the Liebster Blog Award. All we can say is "Thank you!" and we love that we found out on Monday - totally makes a Monday so much nicer! We are so happy that our fellow teacher friends are enjoying out blog!

We are loving being apart of the teacher blog community and we can't believe we have gone so long not being apart of it! So here's what we need to do - share the love with 5 other bloggers and comment on their blogs so they can accept this lovely recognition (and hopefully we can highlight their blogs so other friends can enjoy them as much as we do!). Here are the blogs, who have fewer than 200 followers, that we really enjoy.

Tammy over at 123 Teach With Me
Trisha at First Grade Frosting
Keri at Teach Play Smile 
Sarah at The Eager Teacher
Tammy over at Forever in 1st

Rebecca and I just want to thank you ladies for sharing all of your wonderful ideas!

~ Katie and Rebecca

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Tip for Tuesday

I went to the glorious Target after school yesterday to pick up a few things I forgot on my Saturday run and naturally I came out with more than I went in for. Please tell me I'm not the only one with a borderline unhealthy Target obsession...

One thing I did go in for was a pack of Zoo Pal paper plates. (I am teaching the lowbie group for math this topic and they really need some help with understanding the conceptual side of addition.) As I put the plates in my cart I thought: blog post! I didn't want others in the aisle to think I was a total weird-y for taking a photo of the Zoo Pals plates on the shelf, so I refrained until I arrived a school this morning.

Because they have 3 separate compartments they are perfect for use with small manipulatives. We start by representing a part in each small compartment and then joining the parts in the large compartment to make the whole.

I used these plates when I taught kindergarten and I always use them at the beginning of first grade when we work on addition. (And I guess at the end of February since I am teaching the sweet lowbie group this topic.)

Does anyone else have a simple little tip to share? Katie and I would love hear your great ideas!!


Another Seussy Freebie...Happy Monday!

Friday afternoon with five o'clock looming (that is the time we get kicked out of the school) I was taking down all of my Valentine decor and getting greenified for March (priorities, I know!), when I came across these darling Suess hat cut outs in my cupboard. I knew at once I needed to do something with them....dun dun dun...a Dr. Seuss rhyming word hunt! Since my firsties have a thing for word hunts, this was just the ticket.

Since your cupboard is probably not hiding some adorable Seuss hat cutouts, I made some for you. Print them out on card stock, laminate them, and hide them around your room. Run a copy of the recording sheet for each student and ta-da! How's that for a quick and easy word work center?

Happy Monday!

Get your free copy here!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Leap Year Sale, Vowel Pairs, and a FREEBIE - We love the Weekends!

Good morning! Well, this is kind of the kitchen sink of all blog posts, but here we go! Teachers Pay Teachers is having a great sale on Feb. 29th! Yep, it's a leap year. And I feel pretty silly that I didn't even know it until yesterday. Clearly I look ahead! :) So, in honor of getting one extra day this year we will be hosting a sale at our store! The catch, it is just for the one day, but EVERYTHING is on sale for this special occasion! Want to know who else is having a once in 4 year sale? Check out this linky over at Tunstall Times, just click the picture below!

Secondly, I have been meaning to post about my ee/ea vowel pair activity but haven't gotten around to it until today. You might have seen earlier how my kiddos and I acted out vowel pairs (which they loved, by the way).

We in my search for some ee/ea vowel pair activities and supplements I found nada so I made some! With the help of KPM Doodles (love her!) I made my own short story staring "Sleepy Sheep". If you are in need of some ee/ea review/lesson ideas, please check this out at our TpT store.

Lastly, my amazing team and I rotate our math students based on the skills they need (brilliant, right?!). Well, I am working with the extension group and we are reviewing doubles, doubles plus 1 and doubles plus 2. I made this quick Go Fish game staring some of my favorite Dr. Seuss characters Thing 1 and Thing 2. Here is a freebie for you as well - I think it works wonders, especially when I hear my kiddos saying "Do you have a card with the first addend of 9?" Brilliant!

Have a splendid Sunday!
~ Katie

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pin Permission Granted!

Needing permission to pin on pinterest? Yep, looks like it! Thank goodness to all of our fellow bloggers out there, we would have never realized this without them! We will now make sure that what we pin to our pinterest page comes from blogs that have provided permission. If you have any questions about this, head over to Corkboard Connections, there is an excellent post regarding this pinterest fine print awareness!  For all of our wonderful blogger friends, you are more than welcome to pin any of our things!

Happy Pinning!
Katie and Rebecca

Friday, February 24, 2012

Seussy Freebie

Time for a confessional: I was the child who wouldn't try anything. If it wasn't part of my four food groups-- bread, cheese, French fries, or sugar...I wasn't interested. Since this is a confessional, I'll be really honest , I resembled the guy in Green Eggs and Ham. My daddy, you ask? Let's just call him Sam-I-Am. I don't know what frightened me more, actually trying the new food or having to retract a stubbornly stated opinion regarding the food in question. My daddy often said, "try it, you'll like it," but usually I just made a face and refused.

Green Eggs and Ham, was one of my favorite bedtime stories (along with Dr. Seuss' ABC's and Imogene's Antlers, if you must know).  I think I liked it so much because I identified with the main character. So, as a salute to Dr. Seuss' birthday and my childhood love of the book Green Eggs and Ham, I made a class book page freebie. Enjoy!

ps Thanks to KPM Doodles for the Clipart and Kevin and Amanda Fonts for Peas for the font!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things LINKY Party

I couldn't help but join this fabulous linky party that I stumbled upon at Kindergarten Lifestyle. I know that, as teachers, we are bombarded each day by the cutest, strangest, silliest and often times most insightful sayings or quips from our students. This year, I have a couple of creative - linguistically and personality wise - students that I have had the pleasure of teaching. Yesterday one my kiddos was struggling with some of our end-of-term testing so we were going through each test one-on-one and here is what he said during the comprehension portion:
Though he struggles with most things, he is one student that has found a special place in my heart and definitely makes me smile each day. These are the moments, and the students, that make me love my job!

What is your favorite teaching moment or student saying?
~ Katie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And the Winners Are....

Thanks to all of our wonderful followers who entered our Lucky Literacy Centers Pack Giveaway. Now for all the winners....

Congratulations to:
Melanie at First Grade Brain Sprinkles
Tammy at 123 Teach With Me 
Tanya at First Grade is Fantabulous!

Our wonderful winners were selected using the random number generator (isn't that the coolest tool?!) Thank you to all who entered! I hope everyone is having an amazing start to their week!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Delicious Start to a Day Off

Picture courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe - her picture is way cuter than mine!

Is everyone loving the 3-day weekend as much as I am?! Oh my goodness, sometimes the stretch from winter break to spring break seems so completely long. It definitely makes these little 3-day weekends such a blessing!

Well, it snowed here and nothing helps me get through a cold snowy day like baking cookies. Who doesn't love cookies?! Rather than making something that we always do, I combed through the baking blogs to find something different and oh my stars I am so happy I did! I stumbled upon Mel's Kitchen Cafe and she has the most delicious recipe for S'mores cookie bars! There are only a few things I love more than S'mores so I knew this was the recipe for my hubby and me!

I hope everyone else is having a splendid time off! I would love to hear what you do with your 3-day weekends?

~ Katie

Ps. Don't forget to enter our Lucky Literacy Center Pack giveaway! We are announcing the winner tomorrow night!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Giveaway - Lucky Literacy Centers Pack

Ta da! We are proud, and super excited, to host our very first giveaway. We just finished our Lucky Literacy Centers Pack and we are so stoked that we just had to host a giveaway so 3 lucky winners could enjoy this pack as much as we do!

But how can you win you ask? It's simple! Just follow us on our blog and leave us a comment, and that counts as one entry. If you want to up your chances of winning, also follow us on our TpT site and leave us a comment that you do. Simple!

We will be announcing the winners on Tuesday evening. Good Luck! Thanks!

~ Katie and Rebecca

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Day Recap & Vowel Pair Activity

Such cuties - they definitely have a part of my heart!

It has taken me a while to recover from yesterday's festivities! The kiddos had so much fun and my room mom and parent volunteers hosted a fabulous Valentines party. They even had a cute cupid arrow shooting contest using straws and Q-tips (the arrows) and aiming for different sized bowls. Genius! With all of the sugar draining from my system slowly - I still feel so meh - I thought I would post a bit of our vowel pair kinesthetic exercise from today.

Over at Learning with Mrs. Parker her kiddos were learning about vowel pairs by becoming a vowel pair. Brilliant, no?! So we watched the awesome Between the Lions clip and talked about how "when two vowels come a walkin', the first one does the talkin' and the second one says nothing at all." I paired each kiddo up and gave each student a letter from a vowel pair. Then, the students linked arms and the student holding the first vowel said the long vowel sound while his/her partner said nothing. Then they switched! They absolutely loved it!

So fun!

~ Katie

Sunday, February 12, 2012

For the Love - A Sale on our Valentines Literacy Pack!

With Valentine's just around the corner, we are sending you all some love! First and foremost we are having a sale on our Valentines Literacy Pack. From now until Tuesday, it is a wonderful 20% off! Rather than $5 it is $4 - just for you!

Also, we are putting the finishing touches on our amazing march leprechaun/lucky pack. Once it is up we will be hosting our very first giveaway! Can't wait!

~ Katie and Rebecca

Saturday, February 11, 2012

100th Day Celebration

We just celebrated our 100th day of 1st grade (I think we are a bit behind most elementary schools). Thankfully it fell on a Friday so we were able to really have a lot of fun!

The week before, we read "100th Day Worries" and I proposed the challenge to the kiddos to find a collection of 100 things. Boy were they up for the challenge! The students brought in collections of pennies, silly bands, cereal, jelly beans, etc. The cutest part was there were 5 students that brought in edible collections and they wanted to share it with the class. This is one of the many reasons I love teaching first grade - they are so sweet to each other!

After students traded collections, they counted their goods by putting them into groups of 10. When we finished this activity we decided to go on a mini field trip. I saw on one of the wonderful 1st grade blogs that they had this students estimate where they would end up if they took 100 steps. Clearly first graders have no concept of distance because I had students estimate that we would end up in China, Las Vegas (we are in Utah), one of the student's home, Italy and then finally the voice of reason, one student proposed we would end up on the playground. That we did!

As a parting gift, I gave all of the students this note with a Smartie attached to it. You can download the note here.

~ Katie

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Before, Between, After - A Tic Tac Toe Adventure

To help our kiddos understand (and review) the concepts of before, between, and after, Rebecca had a stroke of brilliance! Why not do a Tic Tac Toe board with the numbers. This was a huge hit! The students loved it and he best part? They were practicing their math skills! Fabulous!

This game can be modified to fit what ever level of difficulty your students need. I have attached two versions. Just click the link and it is yours!  Let us know how your firsties like it!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What I Love - A heart-filled Link up

The lovely Kimberly at Funky First Grade Fun is hosting this adorable linky party! As I sit here with the hubs watching the super bowl I couldn't resist a little blog reading! If you want to join the link up, then head on over to Funky First Grade Fun and grab the picture and join the love!

I decided to join in the fun too! Without any further ado... here is what I love...

~ Katie and Rebecca

Channel the Animal Linky Party - Day 1

Unhook with a Book

Here are some of my favorite animal books:

A cute story about a goldfish in a bowl that gets too crowded, but the unlikely friendships he makes

A classic story to use about finding who you are - and great fiction text for a bat unit!

Amazing book to teach inference! Plus the kiddos get a good giggle out of it!

Anything by National Geographic or Discovery Kids - excellent for expository text and of course amazing photographs!

Mo Williams is a genius! The Elephant and Piggie series is an absolute hit in my classroom! These books are amazing for teaching expression!

~ Katie

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Valentines Freebie - Scrambled Words Center

With only a few short days until Valentines, Rebecca and I decided we needed yet one more Valentines center. We found this really great Valentines heart-shaped eggs in the dollar bin at Target (is that a teacher's best friend? I'm sure by now my hubby hates hearing "oh, we have to check the dollar bins" each and every Target run we make).

We typed and laminated some Valentines words and cut them apart, putting each word into its own egg. Our kiddos are loving this new take on our scrambled words center. As an extension, we challenge our kiddos to see how many words they can make using the letters from just one egg. Download this freebie here or head to our TpT store to download it (remember to check out our Heart-y Literacy Centers Packet as well!)