Sunday, September 30, 2012

Place Value and Patterning fun!

Well, it has been quite the busy week in first grade!  We had some visitors from St. Thomas University who came to observe some of the fun things we do at Herrera.  We finished up our TPRI testing, yay!   We continued with place value, and moved onto everyone's favorite--patterns!  We had our first fundraiser, a cotton candy sale--huge success!  

Here are a couple of things we did with place value.  I found this activity from Babbling abby....LOVES her!  Basically, each kiddoodle got 2 jumbo marshmallows, 2 rounded toothpicks, some froot loops, and a recording sheet.  We also started out writing our numbers with white boards; this gave us a little more practice before we got to the recording sheet.  Who doesn't love practice when food is involved?!  I called outnumbers, "3 tens, and 2 ones."  They had to build the number on their marshmallow-toothpick creation using froot loops.  If that was my number, they would stack 3 FL on the "tens" marshmallow, and 2 on their "ones" marshmallow.  Then, they wrote the number.  Pretty simple, and they were all successful!  The next day, we moved onto hundreds-tens-and ones.....BIG TIME(and it meant THREE marshmallows!) *gasp*

For patterns, this was pretty much review from kindergarten.  We got into growing patterns, and a few more complicated patterns.  Then, I let them build using some spooky halloweenie things from the dollar store.  I let them use the ipods to take pictures of their patterns--that's how we recorded them.  Who'd have thought that plastic cockroaches and eyeballs could be so entertaining?!

Lastly, a workstation makeover for any magnet type station you might have.  I used my build a word and sorting centers.  Usually, I have them working on cookie sheets--either hung on the wall, or at thier desk.  Today, I taped them underneath their desks (which are metal) and they were able to sort upsidedown.  I would make sure you go over proper behavior, but mine didn't have any issues--they just thought it was the best time ever!!

have a great week!  Oh yeah, is it wrong that I'm blog-stalking Farley....waiting for her October currently?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Workstation Idea!

So, here is my Made it Monday, er, Tuesday idea.  It's a workstation for my kids to practice those mystical high frequency words.  In my district, our first graders have to know 100 sight words by the end of the year.  So that means practice, practice, practice!!
     I thought of this as I was wandering through Target this afternoon.  Basically, I pimped out everyones favorite childhood game. I bought a Chutes & Ladders game ($10) , took my trusty sharpie, and sight word list to simply write one word in each numbered space.  I'm going to have the kids play it by saying each word as they move up and down the board--not just the one they land on.  Hopefully, this new game will bring some quality practice time and a little fun to workstations this week! Sure to be a classroom favorite :)

     If you've been wondering where I've been.  I have been up to my eyeballs in the Hurculean task  of putting together my leveled take home book library.  (Pictures and story to follow soon)

What about you, so you have any fun games to practice high frequency words that your kids love?!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Scoot

Notice my little man here is wearing a tie..LOVES IT!
No, that's not what I'm talking about.  It's a game, silly!
This week, on top of  TPRI testing (yay for them putting the app on our iPads); we're covering beginning place value  in math. It's the first big concept we've learned, and I think my kiddos are doing a bang up job on comprehending this topic.  We started out with counting cubes, just making sets of 10s and ones on a sorting mat.  Once they grasped that, up went the counting cubes and out came the food!  Pretzel rods and mini marshmallows to be exact.  I gave each one their baggie of "tens and ones" and we figured out which would be the 10 and which had to be the ones.   I would call out a number of 10s and then ones; they had to build it on their sorting mat, and then skip count to figure out my number.  They got lightning quick at this near the  end of the game, and even began to connect that they really don't even have to skip count.  My favorite quote from one of mine "Geez Miss Curtis, why can't I just tell you I have 4 pretzels and 3 marshmallows,,,it makes 4-3,  instead of skip counting--that's way too much work!"   
click to download the freebie packet! 

Another game we've played is the place value scoot.....the STAR of this post!  This is a game I'll play with all sorts of topics.  Place value was just the first to pop up!  First, we move all the desks into 2 long tables, that way I'll have 2 groups moving around an easily identifiable path.  I've tried playing it without moving the desks & it was not pretty!  Basically, I print out and post a problem on each students desk.  I give everyone a recording sheet, and they start working the problem that is posted at their desk; making sure to record the answer in the corresponding number on their recording sheet.  Then, I say "on your mark, get set, SCOOT!"  They take their papers with them, and scoot one desk to their right (we prefer to move in the derby direction in my room!)  They work through that problem, and record the answer in the appropriate space; waiting for the next scoot direction to move again.  I love it cause it gets them practicing those math skills, and they love it cause they get to get up and move around every few's a win-win!     

Saturday, September 8, 2012

First Linky Party: What's your favorite reward or Incentive to use?

thanks to the 3am teacher for the frame!!

With first graders, it's all about motivation.  While I really try to instill that intrinsic need to do your best; there are always a few who will benefit with a little outside motivation.  I have a few that I use...I try to mix it up so no one gets bored. 

click picture to claim your freebie!
  My favorite right now is actually one that a colleague of mine learned about in a training, thanks Mrs. Garcia!  It's called "My Personal  Best."  It's played similarly to the superbowl square game.  You decide what behaviors you're looking for, and to reward the students that step up to the challenge; they get to write their name on a mini post-it & choose whichever square they like to stick it to.  On Friday, or whenever we fill it up; I have them draw a number and a letter & whoever's name is in that square....DING DING DING...they're the big winner!  I usually choose 5-6 students, but this is a great lesson on being a good sport AND probability.   So far, it's worked really well.  The kids would do anything for a sticky note (provided by the school,) and I'm not buying a million prizes! Assembling is easy, I created the board & it's a freebie in my TPT store.  Just print out and glue together.  I included blank squares to piece together, but I'm way to impatient for that--I actually bought a blank calendar and cut off one column to make it 6x6 squares.  It's an instant grid!  Then, just laminate & you're ready for the kids to show you their best!!

Now for the PAR-TAY.  What's your favorite way to reward  your kiddos?  I can't wait to see and hear about all y'alls  great ideas!   And if you're still reading....the first 3 people to link up can have their choice of ANY 1 item from my TPT store!  Just leave me a comment with your choice :)

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Friday, September 7, 2012

TBA Open House Week Ketch-up!

So....I know this is hard to believe, but I'm kinda behind on Open House Week.  Oh the Horror!  I'm going to post some bulletin boards, AND a freebie for freebie Friday!
Thursday: Bulletin Boards
I got this!  Here are a few of my current boards.....
 The owls are for my helpers and behavior clip chart.  The snapshots board is to display those lovely IB Learner Profiles.  We're going to add poloroids of us displaying these traits later on, as they are introduced.

And here's our Husky, Hector welcoming all my Firsties to a brand new year!!

Now Friday.  Freebies?! bout a Pete the Cat letter-word-sentence sort?  My kids love love love Pete; so I've been creating all sorts of Pete-like products to use in class here's one of the latest ones. Just click the pics to rock your way all the way to my Pete sort. 
And now, you've stuck around long enough.  Here's one of our activities this week.  The kids really loved it.  It was a read and write the room with the HFW from our Reading street Story, Sam.  They feel so grown up when they get to grab a clipboard, and wander (with a  purpose) around the room. You can find the original here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Long weekend, 1st week recap, and Sept currently.....

Can we do this every week, please?!  I know, everyone hates  to hear teachers whine, because "you have 3 months off in the summer."  If they understood the half of what we did, and what little we got paid....I think there'd be a whole lot more holidays :)

Anyways.  Last week.  Whoa.  I have a very "active" bunch.  25 kiddos to be exact.  We did all sorts of get-to-know you, diagnostic tests (yuck,) and learning routines and procedures.  Next week, we're gonna dive into that curriculum; and also start the Daily 5--I'm soooo excited!!  But here's a Cliff Notes version of last week.
We read a whole lotta back to school stories.  My kiddos favorite: Pete the Cat (of course!)  They love, love, love Pete!  We went to the authors website, and read our book along with the online version.  They were singing that song all week!  I was going to save the other Pete books for sequencing activities, but I might have to sneak-preview them next hopefully prevent a complete mutiny on the bounty.

We completed the Kissing Hand scavenger hunt, with QR codes.  LOVED IT!  I set them up in groups, and gave each group and iPod or iPad, and we all went together around the school looking for clues.  I can't stress enough how easy these QRcodes are, and how engaging they make activities.  Once we found the clue, they would take turns scanning the code, and once every group had the page open--I would help them read it & we searched for the next one.  One stop was our principals office.  We were all pretty calm, but he has rockstar status in our school--everyone needed a hi-five.  AND as we were using our "sneaky feet" to move quietly out of the office; he brought out the light saber.  WOW--instant hype!  That was all I heard about for the rest of the afternoon--"Did you know Mr. Principal has a light saber?!"  "But Miss Curtis--it lights up AND makes noise....can we get one?!"  All in all, QR code hunt.....huge hit!

We also needed practice with identifying letters and sounds.  I decided to help them get some wiggles out in the process. We went outside and sat on the curb of our basketball court.  I brought my big magnetic letters out, along with an alphabet go fish game.  I put the letters about 20 feet away, and gave each one a word.  They had to decide what letter that word started with & race to go find it.  LOVED IT!  They'd get back & share with us what they found, and go put it back for the next person.  Clean up was a breeze too.  I just gave everyone a word at once & told them to find the letter & put it back in the letter drawer. I have a feeling I'm going to be looking for alot of these more active games this year!

It was a long week, and I'm glad I have this long weekend to catch up on sleep.  What fun activities did y'all do on your first week back?
and of course....sept. Currently with Farley:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

First grade Through the Looking Glass

Yeah, no first week reflections here.  Well, maybe tomorrow. 

I've been super busy with this new clip art I'm OBSESSED with....Alice in Wonderland!!  I put together a unit to go with our first reading street & envision objectives.  I only did 4 centers, because we're just introducing the concept of workstations to my lovelies next week.  You know how that steps.  Anyways, our main focus next week with our story, Sam, is letter recognition--M, S, and T, beginning sounds, and the dreaded high frequency words.  Envision takes us into the world of simple addition to 10 and number sense.  So, my workstations will focus on those objectives.
click on picture to take you through the looking glass and into my TPT store :)

 For letter recognition, I put  together a picture sort.  I am going to put the sorting mat on a cookie sheet & put little magnets on the back of all the pictures for my kiddos to sort the beginning sounds.  Then, HFW they will unscramble some very simple sentences, and record their findings next to the picture on their recording sheet.
Math is matching number sentences with pictures that correspond to those numbers.  That way they are counting and working on that one-to-one correspondence. I thought they could write the number sentence on a recording sheet, and then draw their own picture to illustrate the problem.  And lastly, number order to 30.  Put the cards in order, and record your findings!

Check em out....I hope you love Wonderland as much as I do!