Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fall Color Theory

I love art! I am always so sad that we usually only DO art and hardly ever get to LEARN art. So this year I made a point to start the year with color theory.

We began very simple with primary colors and secondary colors. We read some great books that tell about the different kinds of colors.



We also watched a couple of YouTube clips as well.



This next one is my personal favorite. We watch and sing along  to it about three times a week :)



But, I admit I have a soft spot for OK GO... I mean, have you seen their treadmill music video for Here It Goes Again? Look it up. It's awesome!

Anyway...

We just finished learning about color mixing this last week and with some inspiration from here and here, I came up with our Color Mixing Fall Basket.

The students were given plates with the three primary colors. They also had fruit patterns (two apples and a pumpkin) and two paintbrushes!


First we washed the pumpkin in yellow paint. Then we dipped, just the tip of our paint brushes into the red and did a second wash over the pumpkin! And like MAGIC it became orange!

You should have heard all of the OOHHS and AAHHS! First graders are amazing :)


After we painted our apples, we switched brushes and began work on our leaves. We started with another wash of yellow and then dipped our brush into the blue and did a wash over, one last time.

Color mixing by doing a wash is MUCH, MUCH easier than having them mix the colors on their plate.


When all of the paint was dry, we cut out our pieces,  assembled them into our baskets and added some detail with a black crayon (basket lines, leaf detail, pumpkin lines). I also had them curl a green pipe cleaner for the pumpkin vine and tie a bow of twine, that were hot glued on during lunch!

Our finished baskets! Boo... cell phone pic :( But you get the idea!
I can't wait till next week when we learn about warm /cool colors and monochromatic colors!



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teacher Week: Now Teach!

How do I keep it organized? I'm still asking myself that! LOL

Here are some of the ways that I manage all of the craziness that comes with teaching multiple subjects.

1. Lesson Planner- I am a product of the tech age, but I just can't swing an electronic plan book. I tried a couple of years ago and realized I missed writing things down. For whatever reason- I prefer a pencil and paper. I used to by the pre-made books from school supply stores, but found that making my own works wonders! Getting it all into the plan book keeps me organized for the week and day by day.



2. Pacing Guide- My school has a general pacing guide for our language arts program only. I develop a pacing guide- I use the term pacing guide loosely, as things always come up and I adapt- each year to organize my units cross-curricular. This has been a huge help in keeping my year organized.



3. Daily Tubs- Most teachers have some way that they organize the days work. I keep mine here. I LOVE this thing! I holds whatever it is we will be working on for the day.


4. Bins, buckets and baskets- A place for everything and everything in its place- well sort of... I attempt to keep things, especially books and manipulatives in baskets and sorted. I makes gathering the kiddos manipulatives or guided readers a ton easier.



5. Themes- I tend to consider my year in thematic units based on our area of study at the time. Organizing by theme gives me the greatest opportunity to incorporate all subject areas at one time. I also organize my read aloud books in themes for quick finding.

6. Binders and files- I keep all of my thematic, science, and social studies instructional activities, worksheets, and craftivities organized by month in binders. I love to quickly flip through the binders and see the activity through the plastic sleeve- no need to open a file folder. But, I keep all of my language arts goodies filed by Treasures units in file folders in a filing cabinet- less to examine and easily marked by Treasures week.



These things work best for me.. for right now at least! LOL I am always on the look out for a new or better way to stay organized and ready to teach my kiddos! What do you do?


Don't forget to check out some other organization tips at Blog Hoppin!


Teacher Week: Classroom Digs!

Let's just start with a picture...


Yep. That was a mere 11 days ago.

9 days ago it looked like this!

Oh No! So much worse! But as the saying goes... It always looks worse before it looks better! And it did. It took me 6 full days to get it altogether and it is finally done :...almost ) Woo Hoo! Have a look! P.S. I used my phone to take pics :( Be warned... lol

guided reading area- my read alouds are hidden behind the curtain
behind my guided reading table- thank Abby M. for the cute posters! I'll be putting the kids' pictures on the green board.

My desk area and calendar zone. There will also be a weather graph and number/ word of the day

where I put our spelling and vocabulary

sounds and letters :) DO you have to hang these? They take up SO MUCH SPACE!

listening center- I have three cd players and three different books :) Journals go in the baskets and those are our rhythm sticks!

The library!

math manipulatives- some are here, others are stored in the closet

Toolbox ( our character education program) and small group game storage

our computer center (I'll probably hang some fabric around the front of those tables to hide the cords) and where I hang art work

One of our workstations- that is the 1st set of task cards hanging below- I'll have a post on that next week :)

Our writing center (papers, pens, date stamps etc...)  is just above our independent reading book boxes

Where I hang writing and two other workstations
And their desks- I didn't take a whole class pic, because they are still a mess! I have all their things stacked, waiting to get my kids names so I can label!

Well there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the tour :)

Don't forget to stop by Blog Hoppin' to check out other fab rooms!




Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Week: Meet the Teacher!

Hey Hey!

I'm Melissa. I teach 1st grade in California. I began teaching in So Cal, but when district budgets got icky, my husband and I made the big move to Northern Cali. I switched schools last year and this will be my second year at my current school. It is a great place and I am loving it! This year marks my fifth year of teaching, all of them have been in first grade. I LOVE firsties! They are such fun to work with and I get to see SO much growth over the course of the year. I am excited to see what this year has in store!

When I am not "doing school" I love relaxing with my husband and friends, catching movies and shopping. No kids or pets yet, so there is a lot fun for me and my hubby- vacations, camping, mini golf! We are super goofy and I love it! We live pretty far from our families, so anytime we have a chance we head to So Cal to see them and visit Disneyland! I recently took up running and am totally enjoying it... working toward a 10k in October!

Hubby and I at the Wild Animal Park-awesome safari hat right? :)
I started blogging a couple years ago when I came across a bunch of 1st grade blogs. Honestly, I thought, I want to do that... So I did. It turns out blogging is like having this whole other set of colleagues that I get to work with. I appreciate all of the inspiring and inventive teachers out there and am SO thankful that they blog too.

I blog because I love to showcase the different activities that my class does and some of the ways I try to keep it all organized. I try to keep it from being a running advertisement for my TPT and show off the FUN that's going on in my room! I have a whole new set of "things" planned for this year and I am very excited to share my journey with you.

I am glad you came by to visit and I hope you enjoy reading my posts!

And... check out some other awesome teachers through this linky...


See you tomorrow!





Saturday, August 10, 2013

A New Year, A New Look!

Hi Everyone!

Did you have the most fantastic summer? I sure did, but it is all about to end as I begin district meetings next week! EEK!

But, to be honest, I'm ready :) I think...

So... to go with a new school year, I thought I'd try out a new blog design. I am SO glad there are fabulous designers out there who offer up free blog designs and tutorials! It makes my life SUPER easy! Thanks TCBOB!

And since I found a little something for free, so should you! Here are some labels that I just added to my room. They are a bit random... but, I was updating my writing center and game storage (I'll post pics soon!) Click HERE or any of the images to download!

 

 

 

 

I'm working on a few more and I'll get them up as soon as I can :)

I'll be back in a couple of days with a little more info on what's happening my 1st week at school, my classroom photos and a little task card fun!

I'm off to enjoy my last (tear) weekend of summer!