Friday, April 29, 2011

Maybelle the Cockroach and Mystery Box

Hello all,
I typically like to use my Mystery Box {from the fabulous Babbling Abby at The Inspired Apple} on Mondays, hense...Mystery Box Monday, but my kiddos are really struggling this week after just coming back from our Spring Break! order to maintain my sainty today {Friday} we are going to have a Mystery Box activity and I would like you all to meet my friend, Maybelle.  This particular writing project/activity was created by Mary Carole Strothers, a Discovery Education Teacher {not me!}  I was introduced to sweet Maybelle by another awesome first grade teacher, Mrs. Blazoksy {you can check out some of her projects here.}

Maybelle is a cockroach {I know gross, right? But, she is pretty cute with her little bow.}  Just in case you are wondering, Maybelle is indeed fake!  My kiddos are going to be reading Maybelle Goes to Tea and Maybelle Goes to Soup by Katie Speck.

My firsties are each going to get an opportunity to take Maybelle home for a visit.  My firsties will document her visit to their home in a journal and will also include some amazing photographs {I can't wait!}
{Click here for the journal paper.}

Monday, April 18, 2011

Super Reader Card

Here is a card that I use with my kiddos during the week to ensure that they are indeed reading their weekly story to a partner.  We have very strict rules in the classroom about partner reading.  It's funny because I have heard my kiddos say, "I'm not signing your card because you didn't read the whole story to me!" {I'm such a proud mama!}

Jelly Bean Fact Families

Here is a math activity my firsties completed today as part of our Easter centers, this was a great activity to reinforce fact families.

My kiddos completed eight fact families.  I put two different, colored groups of jelly beans in a numbered egg {times eight}.  My firsties drew and colored the jelly beans in the egg and then completed the fact family in the box to represent the jelly beans.   If you would like a copy, CLICK HERE!

Colorful Nests

Aren't these eggs beautiful?  We had a great time decorating eggs and I love the brown bag nest. 
So, this is what how been consuming my energy for all school related items...
I know I mentioned that I would have a Lemonade unit posted soon, but here is the deal...due to the drastic cuts to the state education budget for the upcoming school year, my district has been a teeter-totter for furlough talk, program cuts, and a district wide payfreeze.  Spring Break starts in 23 hours, 45 mins and I can't wait to find time to get back to creating some super cute units.  If your state is facing drastic budget cuts to education, I would love to hear from you.  I'm curious how other districts are handling this ugly reality.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Can I offer you a glass of lemonade?

I am so tickled to have almost completed my first little packet of goodies geared around "Lemonade!" I am so tired of the snow here in PA {Yes, it's April 6th and it snowed today, another day of indoor recess...grrr!}  Anyway, just thinking of lemonade makes me smile and think of the warm, glowing sun that I am so desparate to see.  When I come back, I will be posting my first packet to TpT and also a giveaway!  Stop back and check it out!  :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

How Cute Are These?

Dye-ving Dudes
I am SO making these little guys when we decorate/dye eggs during Easter centers.  The idea is from the magazine Disney Family Fun {love it!}

First Graders HEART Mo Willems

We have been busy working on an author study on Mo Willems {he's famous for the pigeon books}.  My little firsties fell in love with his books after we read Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!

This one book led my little readers asking for more Mo Willems books and how could I deny them?  So...we read every Mo Willems book from the school's library and read them again and again and again.  We compared characters and author's purpose among the books.  After reading Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!, we read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog.  I came across this helpful drawing tool from an old issue of Time for Kids magazine {glad I saved it!} it helped the kiddos perfect their pigeon illustrations {so easy, by the way!}  OK, now I can't find the picture of the drawing tool from Time for Kids {as soon as I find it, I will make a link for you...sorry about that.}  Here are a few pigeons drawn by my little firsties...

So, then my kiddos got busy writing a new version of Don't the Pigeon... {they did such an awesome job!}  We actually turned their writing into talking pictures using the site, blabberize {this is a great tool for digital storytelling and it's free!}  If you want to see or hear our talking pigeons, visit our classroom blog HERE
Mo Willems has an offical website with some super duper games and activities, visit the Mo Willems site. 
I scored big when I came across this little number at This and That Library blog...
{click on the image to make pigeons out of cardboard tubes/rolls}

{Here is an example along with two DVDs that went along perfectly with our study.}

Although, Mo Willems is famous for his pigeon books, he also writes many others.  The next two characters Piggie and Gerald {the elephant} were also loved by my firsties.  
{You have to check out the Piggie and Elephant Dance Game...your kids will love it!}

Oh, one more pigeon art goodie...pigeon them!!

And lastly, I found two great files to use at the SMART Exchange to use on the SMARTBoard...I love free stuff!