Tuesday, September 8, 2015

200th Post! and math groups

This is my 200th post! Can't believe it! It's been such a fun journey!

Now ... down to business. I live in central VA, but am NOT a Virginia Tech fan! My family is from Ohio and my granddad was an Ohio State graduate, making it easy to become an Ohio State fan early on! Love this picture from the end of the game last night!

Okay ... now really down to business! :)

I have taught 1st grade for the last 6 years, but there's been a bit of a change this year due to the closing of a school nearby. We have many new children, which tipped numbers in our first and second grade classes. I am teaching a combination first/second this year. So, there's been a huge learning curve on my end!

Math goes like this ...
 We come in from lunch and read a book together. It's going to change in the upcoming weeks from my reading to them to them picking their own book.
 Calendar and Math Wall goes together. I have a calendar helper, who gets to choose someone to help him/her with the tasks.
We split into grade level groups. Thankfully, our guidance counselor is teaching math with me this year! She's amazing and I'm blessed to share my space with her daily! We each take a grade level and go!

This week my second graders are working on rounding. We jumped into our unit by watching this video.

Then we read and talked about this book, Coyotes All Around, a MathStart book.
We are working in our interactive notebooks ... notes went into our notebooks.
 We colored and cut out our flowers to put into our notebooks.
 We glued down the center of the flower so we could lift up the petals to write the number each is rounded to.
 Here's what it looks like when we lift the petal flap.
Today was the first day of rounding. By the time we finished the first flower, my kiddos were rocking it out and could do the second flower on their own!

Click on any of the pictures above or HERE to download the activities we put into our interactive notebooks today!

Happy short week of school, y'all!

Monday, August 31, 2015

How Do You Do Birthdays?

Celebrating birthdays at school is extremely important! It is a way to show your children they are valued. You don't have to spend a lot of money ... we already spend a lot of $ ... to make it feel special to your little ones.

I always begin at the dollar store and rarely use candy or food since I prep my birthday bags at the beginning of the school year so I don't forget anyone's day!

Bubbles - they come three in a pack!
My children love the wristbands they can earn throughout the year. These are fun to get for your birthday!
 Do you know those great stickers that many pediatricians have to give out to their kiddos? My youngest especially loves them! I kept the back of the sticker after our last visit to check out how to get some of these for my students. SmileMakers has an amazing supply of various stickers! I found these birthday stickers - 100 for $5.99 - so they will last for several years! Click on the picture below or here to check out their supply!
I found these fun bags at Hobby Lobby this summer!
 Everything gathered on my table, ready to assemble bags.
 First bag ready to go!

I would love to hear how you celebrate birthdays!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Setting up the *new* classroom

We have several new teachers coming to our school this year, due to a school closing nearby. So ... I moved classrooms. Since I've been teaching summer school, I have been able to unpack, organize, arrange, and rearrange.  Here's what it looks like so far.

I found magnetic hooks in the spring and they are perfect for hanging my sight word cards on and placing on the air conditioner! I need to get some more for my sight word phrases!

Tubs of books and a "friend" to read to! Along with our 3 school wide rules.

Inside my closet. Most classrooms in our building have a closet. This will be my first year to share a closet - to the left of this first picture is my teaching partner's space! 

This is also inside my closet - across from the counter in the above picture. I'm trying to take advantage of every inch of space since I will have 25 desks in my classroom!

One of my favorite ideas is to tape my crafts to the inside of the cabinet doors. They stay there neatly so I don't lose them from year to year.

Another one of my crafts, along with a peek into one of the cabinets with books.

I still have 17 days until returning for our first professional development day! Hope you have longer than I!

Monday, May 4, 2015

What we've been up to (with a new freebie!)

I can't believe it ... we have 14 more school days! Since we have already administered our end of the year reading and math assessments (and today I finished PALS!), we are reviewing.
Administering PALS tests
I decided to purchase Bubble Gum Math Timed Addition Tests by Fluttering Through First Grade (from their TpT store) to work on fact fluency. My first graders have completely embraced it!
Addition Math Facts Timed Tests- Bubble Gum Math
I changed some of the elements to make it work in my classroom. I used these file folders I already had and found large library pockets at my nearby teacher supply store. The children keep their completed quizzes in the pocket. As they master a quiz (with 100%), they get a "bubble gum" sticker, labeled with that quiz to place in their gumball machine. 

 After I check their quiz, I grab the next quiz from my box and place it on the top of their stack and slide everything back into the pocket. I'm amazed how my struggling children are embracing this and so excited about math!
In case you can't find large library pockets nearby, click here chevron large library pockets to see these pockets.

I just opened a Teacher's Notebook store!
My Bug Punctuation Write the Room is a freebie there! There are 12 sentence cards, along with a recording page, to mark the correct punctuation mark.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 6, 2015

VA is for Book Lovers

VA is for Book Lovers!

I am thrilled to be joining my fellow Virginia bloggers for a blog hop that embraces our love of reading! Each of us is happy to share a book and resource that we LOVE to use in the classroom for this very special hop. Not only that, but you'll find a book giveaway on each page of the hop, with a super huge giveaway at the end!

My love for reading comes naturally.  I remember sitting especially with my mom and grandma and a pile of books.  Summers meant endless trips to the library to explore and be involved in the various activities.  

As a teacher, I have a sickness ... a book purchasing sickness, that is.  I cannot leave Barnes & Noble empty-handed!  My bookshelves are stuffed full of books ... some I allow my students to touch and others are hands off!

I LOVE the "Old Lady" books that accompany the different holidays.  With St. Patrick's Day coming, I wanted to share There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover!, by Lucille Colandro.  Her books are perfect for story recall and sequencing, as it repeats throughout the book.

This blog hop is special because each of us on the hop are giving our readers a freebie to accompany her book choice, along with a chance to win a copy of that book!  Click here to grab a freebie for my book.
Click here to enter to win a copy of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover!
To celebrate our love of reading, Virginia bloggers have also put together an additional mega-giveaway. One lucky winner will win ALL of the books (that's 19 wonderful books) in our hop! Each blogger will send you the book they've talked about. Imagine receiving 19 wonderful books for free on your doorstep and sharing them with your lovely students! Be sure to finish the hop to have a chance to win all of the books!
Tales From a Naturalista Teacha
Click here to visit Karmen at Tales from a Naturalista Teacha.  She is featuring one of my favorite books for elementary students!

Thanks for stopping by!  The winner will be announced on Monday for the book!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Sunday Scoop! {March 1}

I am linking up with the ladies at Teaching Trio for my Sunday Scoop!

Here it is!

Stay tuned for a blog hop later in the week!

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's Penguin Time!

Happy Wednesday!

My fellow VA blogger and friend, Carla, from Comprehension Connection, has a linky on Thursdays to focus on sharing ideas for different themes.  This week's theme ... penguins and Arctic animals!

I LOVE our penguin unit each winter!  Here's the link to my penguin post from last year.  

I found these adorable stuffed animals to bring in for penguins and polar bears.  The kids loved having them!
Here's a fun things for your penguin unit.
"Cool Compound Penguins" freebie - a fun craftivity for compound words!
Cool Compound Penguins
And here's my Penguin Pals task card packet.  It includes 6 math centers perfect for first graders!  It's in the giveaway on Carla's blog, so be sure to check it out!
Penguin Pals: 1st Grade Math Centers