Monday, April 23, 2012

Animal Life Cycles

Well we've just finished our unit on animal life cycles in science, and we're just starting plant life cycles. Personally, I prefer teaching about the animal life cycles, but that's just me. ;-) I suppose plants are interesting to the kiddos since there is a lot you can do with experiments and such.

Anyway, we learned all about human, frog, butterfly, chicken, and honeybee life cycles. The students love this unit, especially as most of them are genuinely interested in animals. I was saved sad (for the kids only) this year, because we did NOT do the baby chicks. It was just too much with this big group, and with the way everything fell schedule wise, we just weren't able to do it. Oh darn. For those of you who don't know me, I have an abnormal hatred of birds. Weird I know, but when you have had tons of birds poop on you (I know, I know, it means good luck in England - well guess what, I don't live in England) or fall and die in your driveway, they kind of freak you out, ha!

In addition to reading tons of books, watching a United Streaming video, making/writing some of our own life cycle books, and some various other projects, we did a couple of neat things that turned out very well. The students did a great job on these butterfly life cycle pictures, and this was an idea I had found in Mailbox magazine a few years back. I slightly tweaked it so the students were doing their own writing, but otherwise the idea was in Mailbox.

These fabulous chicken life cycle projects were tweaked and modified from an idea that Rachel at I Heart Crafty Things had posted, and I actually found it on wonderful Pinterest. It seems that quite a few people have found this great project! :-) Here is a direct link to her original post: Original Chicken Life Cycle Project and you can see below how ours turned out in comparison (definitely not as fancy, but still cute!).

Happy Monday to all of you! Someone mentioned to me today that there are only 4 more Mondays left, and that is just crazy to me! The year is absolutely flying by, and we're really entering our "busy season", so I will try not to disappear too much. :-) 

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Busy Busy Teacher's Life :-)

Not that I'm assuming anyone out there in the blogging world is waiting with bated breath for my next post haha, but I did realize today that I haven't blogged since last Thursday, and I just wanted to assure everyone that I haven't forgotten about you all, but this week is just flying by somehow!! :-) Anyway, here is a confession. I have a couple of students with some serious behavioral and emotional issues, and some of the fits that they throw (never at the same time - it's like they tag team them) are very "trying." As in I "try" to stay calm and zen-like, and while I do succeed (98% of the time), I have been searching like a madlady for ideas to use to help them. One of the things I try to emphasize is that it is ok to be frustrated/mad/upset/etc..., but how you deal with that and express it is important. One of the kids gets upset over anything and everything, and it's like trying to play Minesweeper as far as guessing what will set him off. Anyway, while my school and district have provided support, I am still needing something more. Pinterest has been an awesome source of calm down ideas like the glitter jar and other sensory activities, but I need some just plain old strategies. That is where you all come in. I am going to try to make some "choice cards" for what to do/strategies for when he gets mad. For instance, "When I am mad, I can count to 10." So what do you all think? What are some good/appropriate strategies/choices for kiddos to choose when they are upset or angry? I will be happy to share the choice cards when I'm completed, but I'm just trying to get some ideas right now!!! :-)
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dice Match Game with 10-Frames

Happy Thursday! I'm ready for the week to be over. :-) We are in the middle of our graphing unit at school, and this morning students got to graph jelly beans at 9:00am. Needless to say, the sugar got to my kiddos, and they were bouncing off the walls. Holy cow! Anyway, here is a new 10-frame activity for you. The Dice Match Game with 10-Frames is a game I created to help students learn to recognize numbers on a 10-Frame. To play, pairs divide 10-frame cards evenly between themselves. Students will take turns rolling two dice and adding them together. Whoever has the 10-frame card that matches the dice roll sum will record the dot and 10-frame patterns on his/her recording sheet. The first person to fill his/her recording sheet is the winner! If a student rolls an 11 or 12, he/she just rolls again. To find other 10-frame games/activities, and to get this game with the 10-frame cards, please visit HERE for a full version of the 10-Frame Math Pack. In the meantime, enjoy this free download of the recording sheet! To download the recording sheet, you can either click one of the pictures below, or you can click to go to my TpT store.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Tag You're It!

I've been tagged by 2 awesome ladies - Donna at Math Coach's Corner: Got Math and Cynthia at 2nd Grade Pad. Here goes! :-)

* Post these rules* Answer the 10 questions that the tagger posted for you* Create 10 questions of your own to ask the people that you're about to tag* Tag 10 people and link them with your post (and let them know they've been tagged!)

The first one is Donna over at Math Coach's Corner: Got Math

1. Have you always wanted to teach? Yes, I have always wanted to be a teacher and have loved working with kids for as long as I can remember!
2. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be? I have always really wanted to go to Australia - I would either do that or go back to the Amalfi Coast in Italy, because it was BEAUTIFUL!
3. Dogs or cats? DOGS!!! ;-)
4. How many different grades have you taught? 2 - 1st and 2nd
5. Are you more or a book or movie person? Book!!! I love going to movies, but I fall asleep during them quite often, and I always end up liking the book better anyway.
6. Describe a student who particularly touched you. Why? Being at a Title I school and seeing the students I work with, quite a few of them have really touched me, but the couple super special ones that have stuck out have all amazed me with their tenacity of spirit and their willingness to open up and let me in. Knowing that you've "opened up" a tough student and have made a difference and connected in some way is the most special feeling in the world.
7. If you found a spare $100, what are you likely to spend it on? Either a nice steak dinner or deposit it into the bank account.
8. Do you have a guilty pleasure TV show? Heck yes, but the question didn't say to name it, haha. ;-) I'm too embarrassed!
9. What famous person would you most like to have dinner with? I wish I could have eaten dinner with Harry S Truman - he is fascinating to me. As far as someone alive, if my husband would allow it, I wouldn't mind having dinner with Mark Whalberg, ha!
10. What's your favorite stress reliever? Hands down getting a massage!!!

The second one is from Cynthia over at 2nd Grade Pad. 

1)  How long have you been teaching? 7 years
2)  What college did you get your teaching degree from? Good ol' William Jewell College
3)  Who are the family members who live in your home? My husband, my dog Ringo, and myself!
4)  Do you have any pets and if so, what are their names? See above. :-)
5)  What is your biggest pet peeve? Rude people
6)  How long have you been blogging? Since last summer off and on, but really seriously since January/February
7)  What grades have you taught? 1st and 2nd
8)  What is the worse thing that ever happened to you in your teaching career? Hmm... I've had lots of embarrassing things happen, as I'm an incredibly clumsy person, but probably the worst thing that ever happened, is that in my 2nd year of teaching, I "forgot" about a student who was in the safe spot, and he fell asleep, and I took my class to dismissal without him. It was AWFUL - I felt HORRIBLE, and I never made that mistake again! Please don't judge!!! ;-)
9)  What is your least favorite thing about teaching? The sheer number of hours I put into my job :-)
10)  What will you do this summer while on break? Relax, swim, read, sit on Pinterest, travel, clean the house, cook, DIY projects, and start planning for next year! 
 Ok, here are the questions for the blogging friends I am about to tag:
1. What would you do if you couldn't teach?
2. What is your favorite sport and team?
3. What do you do to "get you through a rough day?"
4.Where would your dream home be?
5. What is your favorite thing to do to relax? 
6. What is your favorite season and why?
7. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
8. Describe a student who has particularly touched you and tell why.
9. Regular Coke, Diet Coke, or Neither?
10. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you while teaching? 
Here are the friends I am tagging:
1.  Michelle at The 3am Teacher
3. Amanda and Lisa at Stories from Room 114
5. Rebecca at Darlin' in First
8. Amanda at First Grade Garden
10. Jeannie at Lessons of Literacy
Looking forward to reading all of your answers! :-)
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Time Math Pack - Hour and Half Hour

Check out my new product on TpT! It is called Time Math Pack - Hour and Half Hour, and it contains 6 games/activities to help students practice their telling time skills. :-) You can view this at my TpT store; just click the picture below, or click HERE!
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Telling Time to the Hour and Half Hour - Ladybug Partner Bingo

My students have been practicing and learning all about how to tell time to the hour and half hour. We started our unit with a little anchor chart.
We've spent time in both math and instructional focus, honing our awesome time telling skills! The students have worked so hard, and they are really getting good at this skill, even if only so they can practice telling time so they know when recess and specials are. :-) I created a game, Ladybug Partner Bingo, to help the kiddos continue to practice telling time to the hour and half hour. To play, each student gets a game board and some game markers. Cards should be shuffled and divided between the partners. Students take turns drawing a card and reading the time. If the student has the corresponding digital time on his/her board, he/she puts a game marker on the ladybug spot. If not, the card gets put in a separate pile. When all the cards have been gone through, students will take the separate pile of cards and reshuffle them to continue play. Students will keep going trying to fill their ladybug spots. If a student gets the card that says FREE SPOT, he/she may choose to place a game marker on any spot on his/her ladybug. The student who fills his/her ladybug first is the winner! You may want to laminate the game cards and boards first (at least if you're anything like I am and don't like things getting "torn up" ha). Enjoy if you can use it! You can download by clicking any of the pictures below, or you can go to my TpT store to download - HERE.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sight Word Caterpillars

The students have been working so hard on learning and using their sight words this year. Students got a chance to make these little sight word caterpillars, and they turned out super cute! The kiddos got to choose a few sight words that they were learning, and they wrote the sight words on the caterpillars' bodies and used the words in sentences. What a fun way for students to practice what they've learned (and a great kickoff to our lifecycle unit in science)!

I'm not normally the corny type (at least I try not to be, ha), but our kiddos are kind of like these little caterpillars. They've been crawling their way through 1st grade, growing and soaking up food bits of information. By the end of the year, they will have turned into beautiful butterflies, full of knowledge, and ready for 2nd grade! :-)
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Another Great Linky Party

Donna, over at Math Coach's Corner, is having another great linky party! And who doesn't just love a fabulous linky party? Check it out for a list of different teaching blogs that are organized by grade level!!! Click the picture below to head on over to the party and find new blogs - don't forget to add your own!

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Multi Blog Giveaway!!!

I am so excited to announce that I am participating in a multi-blog giveaway this week with 6 other fabulous bloggers!!! Many thanks to Cynthia over at 2nd Grade Pad for inviting me to participate. I feel so unworthy as I'm kind of just starting out with my TpT store! :-) Anyway, you can win some amazing items from these ladies! The items from my store that I'm including are my Spring Butterfly Math Pack and Roll a Sight Word - 1st Grade List. It is super easy to enter the drawing - see the rules below.

1.  One entry for following all 7 blogs.
2.  One entry for following all 7 TPT stores.
3.  One entry for blogging about the giveaway and giving a link to Cynthia's blog.  (Feel free to copy the first picture showing all the blogs from above.)
Feel free to leave me some comments, but in order to "count", you will need to leave a comment for Cynthia for each of the 3 chances to win, letting her know that you are  following all seven blogs, stores, and that you blogged about it.
The winner will receive a free item from each of us! The drawing is next Sunday, April 8, 2012, at 7:00pm. Good luck! Below are all the wonderful items you could win:

Happy Monday!!!
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