Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Learning About the Seasons

I love the seasons and weather. It is by far one of my favorite science units. Now... that being said, can I just say it is hard to talk about the seasons where I teach. I mean really... it pretty much looks the same here year around. Sure we have a few leaves change, but nothing like the pictures and books describe, so the seasons are actually difficult for my kids to really grasp. But we push on anyway with pictures and descriptions of the way places look in the various seasons.

So...to start off this unit we read two books: A Tree For All Seasons and Watching the Seasons and created an anchor chart to show what we know so far about the seasons.
Throughout the rest of the week we will be working in our seasons and weather science journal and creating our own trees for every season.

If you do the seasons also, have a look at our journal... it's a freebie!Click the pic below!
Clip art and fonts by DJ Inkers and Miss Tiina

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Friday!

Well it is officially fall and I was expecting boots and sweaters to be entering my wardrobe rotation... but, I don't believe that will do in this 90 degree weather! Maybe with some wishing this weekend we can at least get the temperature down to 70... I mean really it that too much to ask for!

So even if mother nature isn't quite ready to celebrate just yet, I have begun to bask in the glory of fall and the anticipation of all things October...spiders, bats, scarecrows, pumpkins and so much more! To get me started I put together this sums matching math activity to go with my week on spiders. The kiddos sort the spiders and flies and match them to the correct web...isn't that simple :) Feel free to enjoy this activity along with us!
Check back soon to see how our weather unit gets going! Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wild about Charles Tiger

This week's HM story was Charles Tiger which I just adore. If you aren't familiar, it is about a young tiger who "lost" his roar and ends up finding it under a rock with a spider (he is scared into roaring ). The kids think the story is funny and the illustrations are darling, so of course we needed a matching project.

After debating between a paper plate tiger face and a few other ideas I settled on drawing out a tiger and having the kids marble paint on him. Let me just say, best decision EVER! The kids had never marble painted and just thought it was "soooo cooool" and they came out great. See how we did it...

We started with marbles, black paint and a copy paper box lid. The kids put their tigers in and tilted the box so the marbles would roll all over their tiger for some crazy stripes.

After their stripes were added they laid them to dry on butcher paper.

And this morning we added wiggly eyeballs, whiskers, a nose, and a mouth. Like so...

Some came out looking a little like Garfield rather than tigers, but they are cute non the less! And to keep it aligned we wrote about something we lost and where we finally rediscovered the item. Most of the kids lost and found a toy in their writing, but by far my fave was the kiddo who lost her money and found it under her mattress! HA!

If you get to do Charles Tiger, you might just find this printable helpful... enjoy!

 Have a happy Wednesday night!

What's In My School Bag...

Today I am linking up for a bag party with Abby at the Inspired Apple to tell what is in my school bag! To tell you the truth, I like to carry an assortments of bags to and from school depending on what I will be doing. But the are definitely two I rely on the most!

The first is my everyday bag (and it's my favorite). It is a treasure that I brought home from London while I was on my honeymoon. It is nice and big and made of a poly canvas so it stays upright when needed. Plus, it has a map of my favorite vacation destination!

Today it is surprisingly light! It is parent conference week and I am actually getting a lot done at school... YES! So... I have my idea notebook with plans for our Charles Tiger art and my upcoming weather unit as well as a book of phonics games I am going to change, adapt, and "cutesify" for my kiddos.

Stuffed in the pocket of the bag are a few essentials... pens and pencils (why they are winter themed, I have NO idea!), a dollar store find, a stamp for student papers and some word cards that need to be laminated.

 And amidst it all is my giant water bottle and a lunch bag!

On days when I need to bring it "all" home, I take my giant Fossil bag with me. It is usually my airplane carry on, but it does double duty on busy work weeks :) I love it for the funky pattern and the zillion pockets (even one for my cell phone).

Since it is not in rotation this week it is hardly full, but of course there are a few straggling items (as I can never keep a bag entirely clean and empty). As I opened it this afternoon It was equipped with a pair of heels I wore last week and had to ditch after school when my feet we killing me, water bottle caps that I am saving for a project, writing tools and stickies.

Ahh... teaching bags,  I do love them so : )

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Math Tubs!!!

We kicked off math tubs this today! I was very excited to do this. I haven't done math tubs before, so this will be a fun adventure this year. It is a good thing all of you bloggers out there are up to sharing your ideas, because they have made planning math tubs much easier!

I am going to do tubs on four days of the week (not on our early release day... there just isn't time). I have groups of five or six and they meet a new math tub each day. Today was day one and they had so much fun...

This game came from the brilliant Mrs. Carroll at The First Grade Parade... our school isn't hip to color printers so I used some fabulous note cards and a sharpie to write the numbers... The kids were practicing their number recognition and counting skills. They read the number, clipped the correct number of pins and had a partner check.. and easy no-fuss tub :)

 This tub matched up with our math lessons this week.. Roll, draw, add! The kids rolled the dice to provide the first number, drew the subsequent pictures, and added them together. They did the provided problems on the front and made their own on the back.

My kids just love patterns! We have been discussing AB, ABB, and AAB patterns, identifying the A and B as well as the pattern unit. At this tub they patterned, traced, and recorded the info!

The last tub (of which I did not get a picture of... darn!) The kids used number cards to order least to greatest. Each child in groups of three (or four) chooses a card then they work together to order. I had an aide to check their orders. Simple...I love simple :)

And to end with some exciting news for or school this week... author T.E. Watson (I Wanna Iguana) is coming for a visit. We will be attending an assembly on Thursday. The kids are super excited to meet a "real author"... pics to come :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Short A Time...

After a great long weekend it was fun to come back and jump into short vowels this week. We are starting with short A. I introduced this fun word building game to my students today. It's like scrabble flash... (I love that game!). I got the tiles from the Target dollar spot. I separated the color tiles and used the red ones for the vowels (to match our HM sound spelling cards). The are tons of word possibilities, which makes it a game that they can play again and again.
The baggie isn't classy, but it does the job of keeping the game contained :) Click HERE to get the corresponding Making Words game worksheet.

And a little something extra that we are going to play tomorrow... short A memory! A bummer to cut, but fun to play in partners.
click to download!

Enjoy the rest of your week and the this lovely warm weather!

Friday, September 2, 2011


We headed down the final stretch of our back to school apple unit. We have just a couple of math games to do next week, but I wanted to share a few of the fun activities we did this week! The kids were so excited to learn all about the apple. We started with the basics... the parts of the apple. I made a giant apple that we could put labels on. We did it multiple times so they could learn the vocab.. and they did :)
To go with this activity we completed an apple brace map.Click on the picture to download!

Up next was the life of an apple sequencing. We made a life cycle wheel and then did a pictures and writing activity. This project came at the perfect time... just in time for Back to School Night! Our hallway looked great with the writing pages and apple art courtesy of Mrs. Kilburn's Kiddos.
Click to download!
 Some fun sponge painting action!

and a cute finished apple!

We finished this week up with an apple tasting and graphing activity. We explored an apple using our five senses (the idea courtesy of a fellow blogger out there), a picture graph of our favorite apple, and an analysis worksheet.
I just love this! I will probably do this for a few others this year... pumpkin, gingerbread...I thought "tastes like candy" was pretty funny...

You can download these too!

Well that was quite a lot and we're not done just yet. I have to say I am about "appled" out... ha!