Saturday, February 21, 2015

Another weekly melting pot...and some new stuff!!

Good Saturday friends!! Another long post coming your way, hope you can make it to the end!!!
Let's dive right in!

We had the 10,000th 100th day of school recently! The teamies and I did rotations for the kiddos. We each had a different activity planned and each class rotated to the different classes for about 25 minutes. My activity was fun and easy. It required glue, cheerios, crayons/markers and their counting skills to 100. I let them decorate the page anyway they wanted...some got really creative (as seen below) this child created the number 100! Then they glued and counted cheerios onto the sheet. You could change it up and do something like fruit loops also. They enjoyed it! 

 We also celebrated Abraham Lincoln's 206th birthday! 
They made birthday cards for him. 
Some of them were hilarious. We had watched Brainpopjr. and one of the questions at the end was "What was Abe's nickname?" "Abe the Babe" was one answer choice and they thought that was chuckle-worthy. So some of my friends included that on their cards. 
"Did you have cats or dogs?" I mean a legitimate question right? haha

 Living and nonliving in Science: 
My teammate made these little posters (you can visit her shop here) and then my kids each got a picture of either a living or nonliving thing and they had to stand and say "My picture is a _____________. It is _______________ because it (eats, breathes, grows and changes, reproduces etc...or it does NOT eat, breath etc....) Then they put in under the correct category. I also had the rest of the other students give a thumbs up or down if they agreed. I like having them do this because it not only works on the obvious objective Living/Nonliving but also practices oral response, using content vocabulary and talking in front of others. This is good practice and also helps my ESL students hear others speak as well as build their confidence. We make sure to celebrate everyone's response so they feel comfortable. I also like having them stand to answer so they can "Be Proud" of their answer whether right or wrong. 

We are starting poetry this week and it kicked me into gear to finish organizing my poetry posters. I have had them on hangers for years but finally categorized them. (I also do this for all my anchor charts) It makes it SO easy when I am pulling resources for the week or nine weeks I can access it FAST!

Once they were sorted by nine weeks I put a label on each hanger to tell me which word families they addressed. 

I found a hand written anchor chart online and decided to create an actual "fill in" poster to blow up on the poster maker! I agree with creating the charts WITH the kids but I also like making things time efficient. That is why almost all of my anchor charts are "fill in". The kids still are adding the content with me but I have already pre-added some things that can help immediately and I know I would not be able to draw myself or take forever trying to make it OCDiva worthy.

Get it HERE

This is an intro to poetry chart. We will fill in the "Tells a (story)"  "Appeals to feeling and senses"
The pictures are there to help aid any of my kids that are very visual, ESL, or need help with reading skills. (I found the hand written inspiration  from Pinterest and not sure where it came from before that. :/ I tweaked a bit for my classroom )

I also created this to make on the poster printer for us to fill in together as well. It will help with brainstorming with a guide and then put it all together. 
Get it HERE

Some other activities:
We learned about Ben Franklin and as I was grading a paper, one of the facts looked like it read "He made lights for his homies" hahaha- I mean technically true right? Cute!!
We also discussed seasons and I gave groups of kids season picture cards and sorting titles. They had to work together to sort the cards into the correct season category and then write a sentence for each one
EX: In the Fall leaves change color and fall off the trees. 

Sequencing: This is always once of those things that can be easy or hard for some. To practice I gave each pair of buddies a set of sequencing cards (bought from Really Good Stuff) and a sequencing recording sheet. They had to put them in order first and then write the order using the sequencing words and complete sentences. 
We have taken that skill and moved into our just right books. This is proving to be a tad more difficult. Some want to write every sentence straight from the book and I have to model how you may have to combine some things in the story or leave out some as well. I know eventually it will come easier for them, it is a harder concept at their age since its almost like summarizing and condensing certain pieces of information. If you have any ideas on how to make it easier and a little less stressful haha PLEASE share!!!

 V-Day came and went.....s-l-o-w-l-y and sugary - 'nuff said?

Last but not least- we redecorated our master bedroom :) My sister has her degree in interior design and a "doctorate" in creativity ;) She texted me one day asking for a picture our room and then the ideas went from there!! It took us over a month to get it done mainly because my hubs was out of town when I painted and he was the OCD one about the corners and seams of the walls and let's just say I was ADD when it came to taping...did I mention I LOATH painting. So after getting it painted our bed sat in the middle of the room for weeks until the tree's came in the mail and then waited a little longer to have the sister come over to help with the trees..we have like 9 1/2 foot ceilings so it was not easy...if I twittered...#neveragain. I actually painted the leaves myself to match the coral in the bedspread. I am really happy with how it turned out and it makes it so much more "homey". 

We sat down together and looked for a quote to put above the headboard. There was not going to be any "kiss me goodnight's" in this room. Sorry it seems a bit played out. #blunt. We came up with 
"My beloved is mine and I am his." Song of Songs 2:16
We thought it very appropriate and true :)

The pictures on the right wall I happened upon in Hobby Lobby and thought they would match and ended up looking just like the bedspread!! The hubs went on that trip with me #blesshim. 

You still with me ;) if you are air high five you made it through another OCDiva post and all my fake hashtags. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something interesting!!!

Have a BLESSED week ahead! 

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 This verse has rung true this month for me. Two of my teammates have experienced loss all in the same time frame. Knowing that I can gain strength from my savior to hopefully be able to spread that to them has been really important. Nothing I can do or say will make it easier to deal with or cover the hurt. Only God can do that , but He can use us to help. God's timing and will is always for a greater purpose, most of which we can not process as sinners and humans.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop!  Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love.  You will also have the opportunity to enter to win TpT products and/or TpT gift certificates by entering using the rafflecopters included in each post.  Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop.  Just click and you will be taken to their posts.  We hope you love what you find.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Hey Friends! Welcome to my part of the world! I have been teaching first grade for 6 years and love it!! I also taught 2nd grade for 1 year. I am a "tad" OCD...ok well maybe a tad more than a tad ;) I have gotten better since marrying my husband (who I met online "Christian Mingle" maybe you have seen the really works!) I really enjoy spreading God's word and getting to share the joy in His love. 

I live just outside a smaller town...although anything in or around Houston is not small anymore. We moved a little further out last year to get more of the country vibe but now they are building and it is starting to go away.
We do have a little downtown area with antique stores and such and I love going down there because it reminds me of the tiny town I grew up in down south. 
I also love my church. My hubby and I have been beyond blessed to get plugged into a church so inviting and full of God seeking people. "Making it easy for people to find and follow God" is their mission statement and it couldn't be more true! 

Since I love organization so much, I like finding fun new ways to help manage my classroom and also create more independent learners for my littles. 
Enter the "Fun Friday" coupons

I put their magic number on the easel on Friday morning so they know which assignment I am still missing and they can get turned in. This saves me digging through desks and repeating myself a million times...(almost)

How I use these:1st grade is a pivotal year. We have so much to cover in a small amount of time. In my class we work really hard every day of the week. However, I do like to declare Friday a “Fun Friday”. Basically if my kids work really hard Monday –Friday morning they can earn their way to Fun Friday that afternoon. If they have finished all the work I have asked to be complete on time by Friday and their behavior has been good then I give them a “Fun Friday pass”. They love coming in on Friday morning or even after specials on Friday to find a pass on their desk. Once Fun Friday begins they bring me their pass (coupon) and can begin their “Fun Friday”. Some options I have are: free draw-playdough-legos-puzzles-computer-Ipads-games etc. Hopefully you can find these useful as well to motivate your students!

I do print and laminate these so they can be used over and over J

I also love teaching about the body and my kids really enjoy all the activities we do as well. After teaching the brain they get a brain template and we staple it onto a sentence strip. They color the brain and then glue macaroni on top. I always tell them the macaroni represents all the new things we have learned in first grade so far. They seem to think that's cool. After it dries we make a hat out of it and they wear it during the day. 

Another project I have been doing for awhile now is the body shirt. (I blogged about it last year) We ask the kids to bring in a white t shirt. We use their hand to create the different body organs we have studied. They look so cute when they have the shirt and the hat on!

I love freebies and try to create and share them when I can! One thing we teach in first is the food chain and animal interdependence. My kids adore this topic! So I created these freebies to help them practice the concept. 

They use the pictures to create their own food chain and then write about the process. I like to integrate as much as possible. 
Click here for this one!

This second one includes a poster to help them understand vocabulary as well as categorizing. 
Click here to download.

Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

One more thing before I go: My friend Julie who is also a teacher creates the cutest clip art and fonts! I asked her to make some Texas clip art for a product I am working on. She did AMAZING! I am SO happy with the package she created and I bet you will be too!! Just in time for Texas blog hop too!! She has black and white, color, and a combo of both. Go take a look at it along with her other super cute stuff!!! 

Click here for the Texas pack

Have a BLESSED weekend!!

"In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you." 
Romans 12:6

What a powerful verse! There are many times I feel inadequate and question my abilities. Whether it be as a teacher, spouse, sister, daughter, friend etc. But when I read this verse it reminds me that God has bestowed on us gifts that are unique to each of us. We will not and can not be great at everything, but we can use His particular gifts given to us to the best of our abilities and not to waste them.