You Know You Teach First Grade When ...

There's a Linky Party over at The Inspired Apple.  I love a good party!  The topic is "You Know You Teach First Grade When..."

1.   You can decipher and read all kinds of "inventive spelling."
2. You get more excited than the 200 children in the school supply aisle at Walmart in August.
3. You sharpen no less than 30 pencils a day.
4. You get called mom or {yikes} grandma at least five times a day, and it's not coming from your own flesh and blood children.
5.  You HATE barbeque sandwich day at lunch because of those 1st grade smiles afterwards.
6. You LOVE Dollar Tree!
7. You have truly wanted to be a foster parent for a number of your students that are having a rough time at home.
8. You have way too many school t-shirts, {School spirit, Autism Awareness, ISTEP prep, Kickball, ...}
9. You are constantly wondering if you have head lice, especially after spotting students killing them with their markers on their desks. 
10. You cry a little bit every June when you send your "school kids" off for the summer because no matter how 'difficult' a child was during the year, you have fallen in love with them.



There is nothing like dollar store inspiration.  Last night, I found pinwheels at Dollar Tree.
  I kept looking at them, thinking, "I know I can do something with that."  So, this morning I wrote questions on each section to use after reading a fiction story. 

After we read our story from our basal today, I picked up my pinwheel and spun it.  Then, I stopped it by grabbing a section.  I asked the students the question that I grabbed.  They loved this!  I think these could be used for a number of things.  I also thought I could pull off the handle and use it as a game spinner.  There is even a groove that would fit a paper clip so it would be perfect for a game.

I would LOVE to hear any other ideas for using these.
Also, don't forget to enter to win my April Reading Supplement Packet.  I will be announcing a winner tomorrow night! 

April Reading Supplement Packet

Hey everyone!  I just finished my April Reading Supplement Packet and posted in on TpT.  Here is a sample for each week.  Click on the picture to download each sample.
The Farm



So, here's the deal.  I will be giving one of these packets away on Wednesday, March 30th.  You have four chances to enter to win.
1.  Be a follower and leave a comment letting me know that you follow.
2. Follow my TpT store and leave a comment letting me know.
3.  Blog about this giveaway and then leave a comment letting me know and a link to your blog in the comment section.
4. Grab my new button and post it on your blog and then let me know.

AND of course, a HUGE thank you to everyone that has purchased these packets in the past and for all the amazing comments I have received.  Goodluck and I'll announce the winner Wednesday night! 

The Water Cycle

We continued our work with weather today by talking about The Water Cycle.  I read them a book and drew a picture of the water cycle on the board.  Then each student created their own picture of the water cycle. 

After making our pictures of the water cycle, we made water cycle headbands.  I LOVE these.  I found this idea in a magazine somewhere a couple of years ago and I think they are so much fun. 

 Cut out 4 colors of 2x6 pieces of construction paper for each child.  I also cut out a 2x6 piece of white paper for the cloud and a 2x6 piece of yellow paper for the sun.  Have students label each color and glue the sun to the evaporation paper and the cloud to the condensation paper.  Then staple them together in the correct order.



We began discussing precipitation today.  I wrote the word on the board and had students say the word with me a couple of times.  Then we talked about the different kinds of precipitation.  I wanted the students to become familiar with the word, so we did a making words activity.  I passed out the letters for PRECIPITATION to each student and a recording sheet.

  Next, we completed a sentence to describe four types of precipitation and drew a picture for each.  Download by clicking on the picture.
Yesterday, we discussed wind and filled out the cloud charts together as a class after reading two nonfiction books about wind.

Then we filled in our information page about wind from the weather book I posted on Monday.
Tomorrow we will be discussing the water cycle.  I have some fun activities to do with my students so check back tomorrow :)



We started our unit on weather today.  We began by discussing some words that come to our minds when we think about weather.  I created a list on chart paper.
Next, I had each student choose a word to write and illustrate on a raindrop for our Weather Words bulletin board in our classroom.

Next, we thought of some things that we already know about weather and listed them on the sun.
After discussing some things we already know about weather, students wrote on their own page what they already know about weather.  This is on the second page of The Weather Book.  Click the picture to download.

For the weather book, we will keep adding the third page to our booklets everytime we discuss a new weather topic.  For example, when we discuss wind, the students will write something they already know about wind before the lesson.  After the lesson, they will write something they learned about wind and draw a corresponding picture. 
I will be posting more from our weather unit throughout the week.


A teacher on vacation

On Thursday, my husband and I left the girls with grandparents and flew to Orlando for my husband's business conference.  I was so nervous to leave behind my girls, but they were in good hands and they were SO excited to spend time with get spoiled by grandma and grandpa.  It was so nice to get away with NOTHING to do.  Weird, but nice :)  So, on Friday, before my husband's conference started, we headed over to Universal Studios and checked out Harry Potter and Dr. Seuss.  The teacher in me was definitely coming out as I wandered around the Dr. Seuss area telling him all about the Dr. Seuss stories and the characters.  I just kept telling my husband "I wish I could bring my students here.  They would LOVE it!"  I know this would never be possible, but it would be so magical for them.  But, pictures will have to do.  Just thought I'd share some pictures from Dr. Seuss.


Classroom Pics Linky Party

There's a fun Linky Party over at Always First GradeI LOVE seeing what other classrooms look like so this is such a great idea.  Here are some pictures of my classroom.
This is my carpet area.  I LOVE my carpet.  This is where we meet to do calendar, read books, and do whole group instruction for reading.

Speaking of calendar...this is my brand new calendar.  I seriously just got it last week.  They decided they wanted all the 1st grade classrooms in our corporation to have the same calendar so they bought these for us.  It's great!  It has everything you would need including a daily Math problem that my students are just eating up.  They love them!  Gotta love that :)

My focus wall is over in my calendar area.  We are required to have a focus wall in our classroom.  Some of them are really elaborate, but I thought this was simple and useful.  Each morning during calendar time, we review our weekly skills in all subject areas.  Then at the end of the week, I just change out the sentence strips.

Here is my small group table.  I pull over small groups to work on reading and math.  I have some wall space behind this table that I use for anchor charts.

Speaking of anchor charts, these are two of my favorites.  Our full time substitutes made these for everyone last year.  I think they are great!

Here is my classroom library.  I NEED to desperately relabel my bins.  They have fallen off or been destroyed.  I am doing that this weekend ;)

Here is another view of my reading area.  I used to call it the Reading Beach and I had a plastic pool full of books.  But, I just didn't have space in this room.  It's a very odd layout.

This is the entrance to my room.  We do not have doors so I wanted something fun and inviting.  I put up this blue bulletin board paper and went with an ocean theme. 

Just some more views.
I love this schedule I bought last year from Really Good Stuff.  I had two autistic children last year and it was really beneficial to them to have a visual.

My sink area. 

I love having these individual cubbies in my room.  They are SO convenient!

Here is a view from the back of the room. (Shout out to The Inspired Apple for the Adjective bulletin board).

Another view from the back of the room.
Here is my behavior clip chart that I keep on the front of the board.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my room.  Can't wait to see yours!!


No more..."What book? What page?"

Nothing seems to irritate me more lately than hearing my students say, "What book are we suppose to be getting out?" and "What page?"  This wouldn't be an issue if I hadn't already told them 25 times.  One BIG problem is that almost all of our books are red. I don't know why they don't make all the books a different color and then we could just say, "Get out the yellow book."  Anyways, here's a quick solution to the problem.  I copied the front cover of all of our books and clipped the stack of paper covers to the board.  I tell the students ONE TIME which book and what page.  After that, I place the correct book cover on the board with a magnetic clip and write the page number underneath. 
This also works great for those students that come back mid-lesson from Reading Recovery or Speech or the Resource Room, or so on and so on. They don't have to ask what everyone is doing.  They can just look at the board.


If I caught a leprechaun...

Here is a bulletin board I just put up for Saint Patrick's Day.  The students wrote about what they would do if they ever caught a leprechaun.  Then I took a picture of each child with their arm stretched out.  They colored a leprechaun and I stapled it to their hand on their picture.

These would have been SO much cuter if the pictures were printed in color ink, but we aren't allowed to use color ink anymore.  It's too expensive.  Boo on budget cuts :(

And on a completely different topic, I never got around to posting our Oobleck pictures.  They had SO MUCH FUN!

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