Sunday, October 30, 2011

Printing on Post it Notes

What would I do without Pinterest? I most likely would have never found this:

Customized Post It Notes! Holy. Cow. I can see ALL kinds of uses for this tip!

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business posted it on her blog with a link to the instructions here. She also has a lot of other great ideas. Even though I don't teach kindergarten, I just might use some of her ideas.

Free Clip Art

Mrs Patton's Patch just shared a great resource for FREE clipart.

The Scrappin Cop
Mrs Patton has more details on her blog. It looks like there is a small commercial fee to use them on Teacher's Pay Teachers or Teacher's Notebook. Go check it out! I'm going to.

Mrs Patton's Patch


To kick off our plant unit, I thought it would be great fun to start off with how the nutrients for the plants get into the soil. What better way than to bring in some WORMS! We almost had more fun than our class Christmas party. I even had another teacher come and see what all of the noise was about. It was great.

To start with we read a book about worms, and I had the kids "Think, Pair, Share" about what they learned from the book. Then we watched this great youtube video on GIANT worms! Holy Cow! (Since we can't watch youtube videos at our school, I downloaded it using keepvid.)

Then I gave all each group this chart (click on the Earthworm anatomy link at the bottom) to study the anatomy of a worm. Each child was given a worksheet (I used the picture from the poster) so they could label the external parts of a worm.

Finally I brought out the stars so the kids could really check them out. I gave them magnifying glasses to get up close and personal. Then the kids had to draw their worm and write an observation about it.

After our observations we gently placed the worms in a jar so we could create a habitat for them to live in our classroom.

If you ask my students how the nutrients get into the soil they will proudly tell you, "WORMS POOP IT OUT!"

Class Wish

I just saw this post over at Teaching Blog Addict about how ClassWish is giving away free books. I had heard about Donor's Choose, but not ClassWish. I thought I could use some free books, so I went to check it out. I quickly got side tracked and set up a class wish for some of these:

which are just about the best pencils ever. The ones we are supplied with at school are about to give us all heartburn. These babies would make my day go just a little smoother. I can't wait to see if my wish is granted. Now off to figure out how to get those free books!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Brace

We all saw this great pumpkin brace (scroll down a bit) on pinterest, and immediately wanted to do this with our kids. We couldn't find the instructions, so we made up some of our own.

Here is what we came up with.

For the "whole pumpkin" each student will need: 1- 9x10 orange construction paper, 1- 1x2 brown construction paper. I had the kids cut their own pumpkin out, add the stem and then glue it on the left hand side of a 12x18 piece of black construction paper.

For the "parts of a pumpkin" each student will need: 1- 2x9 orange construction paper (skin), 1- 2x9 orange copy paper (flesh), small handful of shredded orange copy paper (pulp), 1- 3x4 white (cut multiple seeds from), 1- 1x2 brown construction paper (stem/peduncle). As we put the "parts of a pumpkin" side together, I showed the kids a cross section of a pumpkin we had left over from some of our pumpkin investigations from the day before. It made it easier for me to reinforce the different parts with the real thing in front of them.

Here are the words we used to label our pumpkins.

This is a definite addition to my yearly pumpkin unit. It was sooooo much fun!

Read for the Record

Did you participate in Jumpstart's "Read for the Record"?

We did! Check out the world record we helped to set! 

How do you pick partners???

How do you pick partners in your class?  
This is one of the many things I use to help my students find a partner.  It is so slick to have the students pull out their paper and find their home base partner.  It is quick and easy, and I don't have to think about who I should pair with who.  Just a little hint about having your firsties fill this out.  Have them do it one at a time.  I explicitly modeled it for them too.  Have the students find their home base partner first.  When they find their partner, they switch papers and write their name on their partners paper on the home base line.  If you have an odd number you have the odd man out come to the dug out.  The odd man gets to pick any partnership they want to join and then they will be a group of three. 

Do you Label...

  So I decided I needed to do some new labels in my classroom.  I have sort of a polka dot and star theme going on.  I labeled my crates.  I attached the labels with some ribbon that I tied into a bow.  I got this idea from Lory.

This is my favorite thing in my classroom right now.  I purchased one for my kiddos play room to store all their toys.  I liked it so much that I had to get one for my classroom.  I got it from IKEA.  It is a little pricey, around 110 dollars for the shelf and the totes.  The reason I love it so much, is because the totes slide into groves like a drawer.  They are so sturdy and you can pull them out from either side.  So this little gem is sitting in the middle of my room.   I have the oak one for my playroom at my house and I like them a lot better.  The grooves are built right into the wood.  The white one I got for my classroom has plastic grooves, that I had to screw in.  This makes the totes harder to slide in and out. 
These are my reading boxes for guided reading.  I have an aide that comes in to help with two of my groups.  There is a box for each reading group and the orange one is for the books we remove from their browsing box.  I like all my students to have around 5 books in their browsing box to practice during read to self.  
AaaHhhh, My writing,  this is my favorite thing to teach.  I love it...  This is their writing crate.  They put all of their finished work in this crate.  Each student has a colored hanging file.  I conference in groups, and this is the way I call them to conference.  If they have a yellow folder, they are in the yellow group.  Their personal writing folder is also the same color as their folder in their crate. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Book Find

 I wanted to share a book that I just received from Amazon. I love books that not only have great information but also color photographs. I love being able to actually "see" ideas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It's always good to celebrate "great days" with those cute kids! It is really helpful for those that are needing to work especially hard to learn rules and procedures. . .they need the reinforcement even more

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happiness is . . .

As children born in the 1960's, my brother and I grew up witha series of Peanuts books that included, "Happiness Is a Warm Puppy". That phrase still comes to to my mind as an adult when something just "catches my heart". Two of mine:

Happiness is . . . when my son comes home from college for the weekend.
Happiness is . . . walking into my house and experiencing that "ahhh, I love my home" feeling.

I thought it would be fun to find out what makes our students happy as individuals. Do we know? I don't but  I should.  Also, WhAt makes YoU happy? Let us know!

Click here to download "Happiness Is. . ."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nouns and Verbs

HaPpY ThUrSdAy!!

As Becca mentioned in an earlier post, we use the book, Month by Month Trait Based Writing Instruction by Walther and Phillips.  It has a lot of great ideas and recommended read alouds. One activity is about Nouns and Verbs and helps the kids to learn the difference between a noun and a verb and involves matching the noun and verb that makes sense. I wanted it to be fun and inviting and something that the kids could match up on the floor or in a pocket chart.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Parent Fun!

What is something that parents love about my classroom blog? What is something that ALL parents love? Seeing photos of their children at school! We had a field trip today and this afternoon I put something together. . .  I used the My Memories Suite Digital Software and it was so quick and easy to work with! GREAT news, in about a week we will be having a GIVEAWAY on this blog, of the same software, which is a $40.00 VaLuE!
CLICK HERE for a PeEk!

First Grade banner!!

So I was blog hopping a couple of weeks ago and found myself looking at one of my favorite blog The First Grade Parade. She had a link to Schoolgirl Style which had these adorable banners. So I decided to make one for my classroom. I used Photoshop to make my banner and it only took me about thirty minutes. I decided to make a really simple one. Here is a picture of the banner hanging in my classroom.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Wow! I can't believe it is Monday tomorrow-AlReaDy! The weekend sure went by fast. (Hmmm, that always seems to happen) Hope yours was great! Just for fun, here is a practice page for writing numbers from 1 to 50. Oh, and if you've enjoyed any of the stuff I've put on Teachers Notebook, please consider leaving a rating. Thanks a bunch! (sorry that black line is showing in the picture, it won't be on the download)
Click here to download Writing to 50. 

Grandma and Grandpa went Trick or Treating too!

Isn't it funny how children think grown ups were never children themselves? They find it hard to believe and yet love to hear about what parents, teachers or grandparents did when they were young. Here is a little activity that the kids can do with either or both grandparents!

Click here to download from Teachers Notebook!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Digital Fun

 I have been trying out the My Memories Suite Scrapbooking Software. I'm having lots of fun trying out  a variety of things. I have a blog called Focus Forward where I post layouts and quick pages that I have done. I have made a few since yesterday with My Memories. I am posting a little note that I made for my first graders and put on my classroom blog, Funtastic in First . . .

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Seeds!

Click here for printable.
373 of them to be exact! Today we counted our pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin we cleaned out yesterday. We made a poster out of orange bulletin board paper and grouped the seeds by 10's and 1's. We put the seeds into tiny baggies. This is what it looks like: ( I am also including the link to the printable for the title and numbers.)

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