Monday, November 18, 2013

Science- Circuits

This has to be one of my favorite science activities!! CIRCUITS!  The first graders love the "light bulb" moment... literally, when their light bulb turns on for the first time! Although, circuits is a difficult topic to teach first graders- I found this is actually one of the easier concepts for them to understand, even my lower EL students really flourished!

I started by giving them the three tools they needed and asked them to simply light the bulb... after 15 minutes of frustration- I gave a few hints. After a few students got it, most followed shortly after!

If you haven't done this in your classroom- I highly recommend it!

The next day, I gave them a worksheet from our focused instruction guide that gave them pictures of different circuits they needed to try. If it worked, they circled it- if it didn't, the crossed it out. Another extremely engaging activity that challenged the students at their level.


Exploring Shapes!

Our Math Focus is SHAPES!
Last week I had students explore shapes and how different shapes can be composed of other shapes.

I love the different results each student had! 

This was an extremely engaging lesson for the students! They loved the hands on activity and how each result could be different... and that's okay!

I hope this helps you with your shape lessons! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Owls Shapes and The Shape of Things :)

The math unit we are working on is on SHAPES!

To kick it off we did this awesome Freebie Silly Shaped Owls from Classroom Freebies.

We started off last week by making the owls and later this week we will be filling out the owl shape packet.

Since my room is owl themed, I couldn't resist this awesome intro to shapes! 

They turned out great!

To kick off this week we read:

It is a cute book the takes shapes and makes them into everyday objects. 
An example is:
A square is just a square until you add some windows and a door. Then, it is a house. 

So, I had my students replicate this themselves. 
I made a template of each shape on Word and typed up a sentence starter that the students just needed to fill in. 

It let students use their imagination and also identify shapes in everyday objects. 

Here is their completed work:

I really enjoyed combining these two ideas to introduce shapes to my class! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

PALS- Reading

My district purchased the PALS- Reading Strategies Program to assist students to gain an overall better understanding of decoding and be more confident independent readers. Best of all it is mainly peer lead.

Here is a link if you are unfamiliar with the program and want it at your school:

 Here are some of my students doing their PALS reading!

I pair partners with a high and low- the high reads first. It is a coach/student approach and the students are very found of it. They love when it is time for PALS reading!


Monday, November 4, 2013

A Little Halloween Fun!

Since I have so many students who do not celebrate Halloween in my classroom, we had a Harvest party instead- celebrating all things Fall!

However, the students really enjoyed a few activities we did, that were geared more toward the Halloween holiday.

The first was the poem, 5 Little Pumpkins, we made a chart together first and the students got to make their own to take home after. It was a huge hit! They loved it!

Here is the chart we made:

I found the Freebie template for the words and pumpkins from another Awesome blogger here:

Here is the link to the Freebie the students made to take home:

Another easy activity that we did was read Scaredy-Cat, Splat! I added my own jack-o lantern and I hot glued both his pet mouse and the spider he finds in the book on it. (I also filled it with small candies that I gave out at the end) and the students Loved It!

Easy ways to add some festive cheer!! Enjoy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just Another Manic Monday

I found this poster floating around on FB...

Felt it was fitting for this lovely Monday! HA


Thursday, October 24, 2013

ELL Support

As you know from my earlier post, I have a high need for ELL support in my classroom.
After long debate on how to help my students feel like they have an understanding of what their job is in the classroom, I decided to set up a table with visuals and a first this => this diagram of sorts.
Here is the end product:

Since I implemented this, I have noticed a huge improvement in behavior and work produced. The students feel confident in their work and have a more solid idea on what their task is.
I like that all I need to do is point at a desired table behavior and the language isn't a barrier. I also have a pre-filled out template of what a finished product of their work should look like in the visual pocket chart so my students KNOW that they are completing the task or assignment correctly. This has been a lifesaver!!

I also have a new comer who benefited from a personal visual schedule.

Here is the visual schedule we made this student:

Now, the student has their own picture of them completing each of the days tasks. All I have to do now is point at the next step.

I would LOVE to hear from some of you on how you are reaching your ELL students!!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pete The Cat - Groovy Button Subtraction

Pete The Cat
Groovy Button Subtraction

I decided to use Pete The Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons to introduce my first graders to subtraction.

They Love... Love... LOVE, Pete the Cat, so this was a win-win!

Here is a fun freebie from another blogger that is a great resource:

I used some of her freebies for practice sheets for my students to reinforce their learning.

My favorite, however was her shirt template. She used them as work mat for centers, which I am also going to do in the future, but to introduce it I put my own spin on it.

You can find the template here:

I had the students make their own Groovy Button shirt to show a subtraction number sentence.
 -The students got to choose their own groovy buttons and which button they wanted to POP! off.
I had all the student color their shirt yellow to match Pete's.

I was so impressed with how hard they were working and how fabulous each product turned out! Even my lowest students had a GREAT turn out with this assignment.


Summer Time is Over!

Well, I must say my long term break from blogging and teaching comes to an end! 
I began teaching at a new school this fall and needed some time to play catch up before diving back into the blogger world. However, I am excited to be back!
Here is a short breakdown of events:
Summer- Was wonderful, enjoyed time with the family. It became a little stressed toward the end, as plans for the new school I was suppose to work for fell through.  I was hired through the district and now needed to be placed at a different school within the district- just to mention- it is a HUGE district. I had no idea where I would be or what grade I would teach. This was a very uneasy time for myself and my colleagues who were going through the same thing. We were all interviewing for the same openings at the same schools- I am so glad we are all so supportive of each other- or else that could have been ugly! I miss working with them terribly!!! They are all amazing teachers!
In the end it all turned out- we got placed, and so our new journey begins!

Fall- I was placed in 1st grade!! WAHOO!! I couldn't have been more excited! This is the grade I was made to teach.
However, the honeymoon period ended shortly as I found out I have a class of 32 first graders- this mix included; Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), Special Ed, ELL, and 6 New Comers whom have never been in a school setting with no English....
Okay... after getting my barrings,  realizing this was my reality... and these children deserve the best I can give them, I started to jump in head first. 
I meet with different groups at the school to help with supporting the needs in my classroom and I must say- the faculty at my school has been so supportive and helpful- I would have drowned without them! I am thankful for the support the staff has given me to help prepare me for these challenges. However- next step is to gain actual support IN the classroom- with this many students I need extra bodies in the classroom!!

Now- you can understand what took me so long to get back!


Thursday, June 13, 2013



What a busy end of the year! But, who's isn't?! 

Here is the 'KOOL' send off I gave my students! I found the cute straws at Target and the adorable printable is a freebie from the blog Just Another Day In Paradise! 

I also made a poster of pictures and laminated it with a letter on the back to the students about how special they are. It was a collage of pictures we've taken throughout the year. 

Enjoy your Summer Vacation! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Soaring into 2nd grade!

As an end of the year project- we made Hot Air Balloons that will soar us into second grade! 

Take a look! 

They turned out great! I saw the idea and put my own swing on it! 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Summer Reading!

Half Price Books has a fun little summer reading
program with intensives for student who are reading! 
Check it out! 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A New Daily Update For Next Year

Good Afternoon!

I don't know about you, but I am getting ready next year!

I use a behavior chart with my students that goes as follows:

Star Student
Great Day
Good Choices
Ready To Learn
Time Out 
Parent Contact

I use a clip chart to move each student according to their behavior throughout the day.

To keep in touch with parents I use a 
Daily Update sheet that goes in their homework folder. 

I remade it for next year- I want to have a month at a time instead of a weekly update. I also wanted to have a reading calendar on the back. Please feel free to use one or both if they work in your classroom! I left the grading scale blank- so you can fill it in as it works with your grading system. On a side note- I know most of us have to print things in Black and White- I do at my school and this looks great in gray scale!

Let me know how it works for you! :)

Click the Picture to download! 

I want to Thank Cora Made Design for the Calendar Template! You can find it here:

She has Tons of cute stuff!

Enjoy your day!  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day Freebie!!

Happy May Day!!

It is LITERALLY snowing right now... haha 

Great Day to celebrate a spring festival! 

Anyway- it is still good to spread the happiness spring time can bring!

Today was a testing day for us and we didn't have a lot of time to do a May Day celebration. 
However, I still wanted my students to be aware of the special day and bring some cheer home!
Being the sleeting/snowing weather sure isn't bringing us smiles right now! 

So- I made an easy and simple May Day cut and paste basket activity!

Here is a step-by-step on how to make the basket!

First, be sure to leave the white spaces shown when cutting:

Next, cut out each flower as close to the edge as you can:

Then, you will glue the flowers to the white space:

Lastly, tape the handle to the back:

Now your BEAUTIFUL, yet simple, May Day Basket is complete! 

Here is the Link to the FREEBIE!!!!

As always, Enjoy! :) 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rumor Has It...

Hello Teacher Friends!

Rumor has it that Chipotle will be doing a Bogo for Teacher Appreciation Day May 7th! 

Let's hope these rumors are TRUE!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Bean Update!

Our beans are taking off! They are huge!
I am so pleased they are growing so well! 

The students love watching their progress! 

The flowers we planted are also starting to sprout! 

We had a beautiful weekend! 
Dare I say-- I think spring is finally here! 
The temperature was actually in the 70s this weekend! It was wonderful!

Enjoy your day! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Snow.... Brings May Flowers?

Good Morning! 
Well I must say... this was an interesting drive to work on April 23rd!!

Winter Wonderland!

To celebrate Earth Day I found a wonderful activity from Mel D. at

Here is what we did with it!

It turned out so cute! 
I put them up in the hall for the school to see! I love the writing activity that came with it. 
It really tied in the main idea of Earth Day! 

Enjoy your beautiful day! 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Snow Day in April!

Good morning!

Well this morning started out as any other. I woke up, got ready and headed on the April snow covered roads to go to work. Luckily, I have e-mail on my phone and the little "banners" will let me know the subject of the e-mail just sent without me having to read it.
Ahh to my lovely surprise- I see NO SCHOOL TODAY! What- in April!
I will take it... Welcome to Minnesota!

Here is my what my deck looks like today... although a snow day is wonderful... I would sure like a sunny springtime deck instead! 

In case you need a smile today... Here are a few posters I ran across that made me laugh!

Enjoy your day!