Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meet Agent P

For those of you that are familiar with Phineas and Ferb, you know that their pet platypus, Perry is an undercover agent that doesn't talk {I will take five him when I am teaching, please!} Well, my daughter happens to own a stuffed Perry and I had to beg her {she's five} to allow Perry to visit my classroom to help with off-task behavior and talking out.  To encourage my firsties to exhibit positive behavior I introduced Perry to room 103!  Perry seeks out kiddos that are quietly working and remaining on-task.  He will only sit at your desk if you are quietly working...he is pretty much a big deal in our room.

Indoor Recess...grrrr!

Well, I am so tickled that I found a great little way not to cringe when it's time for indoor recess.  Meet my new best friend....Hullaboo DVD Game.  I just whip this little DVD into my computer and use my SMARTBoard {love my SMARTBoard!} and my little kiddos are active and busy for 25 minutes. 

 {Active little feet!}
{My kiddos are also learning about animals while playing...BONUS!}

Sharing with Parents

I wish that I could always capture special moments in my classroom by pulling out my camera, but we all know that is just not going to happen unless it is planned.  I maintain a blog for my kiddos and their parents and I enjoy posting slideshows, videos, and photos of my kiddos so that their parents can see what exactly we do in our classroom on a weekly basis.  I typically use Animoto {loves}, Slide, and Smilebox to create goodies to share with parents.  We recently completed "The Raisin Experiment" {I do this experiment every year!} I scored big when I found a sheet designed for this experiment from What the Teacher Wants {love these girls!} This time, I used the sheet from What the Teacher Wants {I like it better than the one I created a while back.}  We discussed this experiment in more detail than the simple video I made using Animoto.  I post little treats like this and my parents are so appreciative since they are not always able to volunteer in the classroom and witness first hand the craziness of first grade. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Suggestions, Please!

Could you please share some reading resources that you use and share with your parents.  I have a few kiddos that would benefit from additional reading support at home.  I have given my suggestions and recommendations, but I am curious what items and resources you share with the parents of your firsties.  Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Giveaways Galore!

Oh my goodness, I am so tickled about these amazing giveaways...
{Oh, the possibilities with this $100.00 gift card...thanks to Natalie and Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants.}
My favorite gal, Miss Babbling Abby from The Inspired Apple has teamed up with Takara from Thirst for First.  This team up is giving away Let's Get Poppin' with Adjectives {packet created by The Inspired Apple} and an Air it!

{I am always inspired by Miss Babbling Abby!}

Diana and Kelly from Made for First Grade is giving away their Circle Story Unit {it's a 135 page download...I so want this!}

Mrs. Saoud from Primary Graffiti has teamed up with Kasey from Doodle Bugs Paper.  This team up is giving away a portfolio created by Doodle Bug Papers {way cute!}


Ms. Durning from Second Grade is Splendid is giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift certificate {you can always find goodies at Amazon!}
Lindsey from The Teacher Wife is giving away a $10.00 Barnes & Noble gift certificate.
Well dear followers, that is six giveaways that I have come across.  Best of luck if you are trying to win these goodies too.  I am just going to have to have a giveaway when I reach...wait for it...100 followers...I appreciate my 52 followers since I just started my teacher blog just a month ago.  Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leprechaun Traps

I L-O-V-E St. Patrick's Day!  This year my little nuggets are creating leprechaun traps to set in the classroom.  We read and discussed the book, Leprechaun on the Loose {the perfect book to start the creativity flowing!}  Each day this week, something "odd" has happened.  For instance, on Tuesday the green pen was missing from our SMARTBoard.  On Wednesday, the green pen was returned, but all of the other pens were missing.  Then today, all of our green markers were missing.  All of my kiddos have been very determined to find the missing pens and markers, even going so far to create detective teams during recess.  {Seriously, they are using their recess time to "look" for our missing items.}  You should hear the discussions, and I just keep giggling to myself!  Anyway, here are a few examples of my kiddos' leprechaun traps.

{See that red button? If you push it, it lights the box up inside...very appealing to a leprechaun!}
{This trap is very sneaky, those green shamrocks are hiding a hole...look out!}

As students bring their leprechaun traps into the classroom, they get to choose where they want to set the trap and noone else is allowed to use that same spot {gets them motivated to finish their trap and bring it into school.}  We will be turning this into a writing activity...the kiddos will be using transitional words to explain how their trap works.  Of course, I will then use a Flip cam to record them reading their writing or we may use VoiceThread

Check This Out!

I was introduced to Triptico by our awesome technology specialist, Mrs. Wit {thanks, Mrs. Wit!}  Take a look at this blog entry that talks about Triptico.  Triptico is a free desktop application that actually includes 14 different gadgets that will work well on an interactive whiteboard. The gadgets include timers, word magnets, team scorers, student magnets, and more. Before you can download the app, you have to create an account and choose a username. Next, you will receive an email with your password. (I found my email in my "junk" folder.) Then you can go back to the site, login, change your password, and download the app.

Spelling Activities

If you are looking for a spelling activity for your firsties to complete independently, you could use Wordle to create a spelling collage of words.  My kiddos love this site and it is very user friendly for our little firsties.  Also, if you have a SMARTBoard, you may want to consider checking out Spelling City if you haven't visited this site.  I usually have a game from Spelling City ready to go on my SMARTBoard so that it gets my little ones motivated to complete their morning seat work before we are ready for our calendar/morning meeting activities.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Math Activities in the Morning

We have been learning how to tell time in math, I have a few little firsties that really needed to have some extra one-on-one time, so in order to find that "extra" time I decided to set up three 10-minute centers in my classroom this morning.  I arranged my students into three groups and each group traveled to a center for ten minutes.  One game that I have been using in my classroom that last few years in Stop the Clock {if you haven't come across this game, your kids are going to love it!}  I introduced how to play using the SMARTBoard and we typically start our math session with a few rounds before we start our lesson for the day.  Kiddos love trying to beat the winner from the previous day.  So again, one center was playing Stop the Clock using our laptops. 

The second center was playing Time Flies {love this game} created by What the Teacher Wants.  My kiddos really enjoy this game and ask to play it at recess {ummm, of course you can practice telling time during your recess!}
{I told you they love it!}
{My kiddos like playing boys against girls.}

Lastly, the third center was an independent worksheet to show me what they know.  Using these three quick centers allowed me the time to work with my kiddos that needed some extra one-on-one.  What math centers do you use in your classroom?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

These are just a few of the many activities that we completed to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday. 

The activity of Horton Hears a Who was not completely my idea.  My colleague {Mrs. Ferringer} showed me an activity similar to this {I'm not sure were it originated, however we did some tweaking of our own.}  We read and discussed Horton Hears a Who, next we watched the short video {25 minutes} and then we got busy constructing our Hortons and completing it with a writing prompt {If you were a Who, what would you tell Horton?}
{Pretty cute, right? I wrapped floral tape around Q-tips for the stem.} 
 {The pink pom-poms came from my mother-in-law, she is a retired teacher.  She gave these to me several years back...they have been in my craft box for awhile and Bam! I found a use for them.}
 {And of course the's a Tic Tac!}
{I love the eyes on this Horton!}
{The "speck" up close...I have come up with several ways to use a Tic Tac.}

Next activity...Bartholomew and the Oobleck {I love this story!}  This story helped me introduce adjectives.

I read the story, Bartholomew and the firsties really enjoyed the pictures in this story.  We discussed story elements and then our Oobleck experiment began.  I don't really follow a recipe to make Oobleck {I make it every year and now know what the consistency should be.}  I did use one box of corn starch for my entire class of 19 firsties {just the right amount for each kiddo.}
{water + corn starch + green food coloring = Oobleck}
{This is not the best picture of myself, but I do typically wear a science lab apron and goggles for the fun factor of science experiments.  I got my science lab apron and goggles from my sister...she teaches high school name the science and she teaches it...thanks, She-She!}
 {Exploration begins!}
{He is SO excited right now!}

I didn't take a picture of our brainstorming web of adjectives that we came up with...don't you just hate it when you can't get all those pictures taken? 

{I had my firsties write three adjectives that they felt best described the Oobleck.}

{Seriously, I don't know why I can't get some of my pictures rotated...grrrr!}

{I like how the green, background paper looks like gooey Oobleck.}

{I love having their work hang in the classroom.}

You know how I like to have window, we made stained-glass Dr. Seuss hats for our window.}

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Free Morning Activities Coming Soon!

I have read many blogs and some of you are asking what we {first grade teachers} do during the morning seat work time.  I will be posting some of my favorite independent games and activities, perhaps you will like to use them in your classroom.

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. B