Sunday, April 15, 2012

Earth Day Poem Freebie!

I am having an Earth Day theme this week to teach my first graders about the importance of taking care of our Earth. I am also trying expose my first graders to more poetry this month in order to celebrate April's National Poetry Month.

In my pocket chart center, students will be using this activity. I found a poem online at this website. Students will use the poem and put the words in order to build a poem match. Once the poem has been put in order, students have a fill-in-the-blank recording sheet to find the missing words of the poem. I have done this activity several times over this school year and my students are becoming very good at it.

Hope you enjoy this freebie! I will take pics of my students using this activity this week and upload them to give you a better idea of how this center works.

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My TPT Store!

I am excited to say that I have officially sold my first item on TPT! I am soooo thrilled and excited! I have all these thoughts of things that I can create and hopefully people can use these items in their classrooms. That has been my goal since I started teaching. I have dreamed of either becoming a librarian or to go work for an education publishing company where I could write lesson plans and make activities all day. I love writing lesson plans. I am crazy. I love it even more this year since I have discovered Pinterest and teacher blogs. Who knew there was all this great stuff out there?!

I am currently working on synonyms and antonyms in my classroom. Last week to introduce these two concepts I used Cara Carroll's ideas over at the First Grade Parade.( I have to tell you... this woman inspires me so much.) We made Synonym Cinnamon rolls and really just had a blast. I so regret not taking pictures. I really have to remember to do that more. So now that we have worked on it together as a group I am going to put reinforcement activities in my literacy centers this week and maybe for the next couple of weeks depending on how well we do with this concept.

I will be doing a quick butterfly theme this week, mostly done in centers, (since there are only 4 days this week.... who had a 4 day weekend this weekend? This girl sure did!). I created a pocket chart matching activity (told you previously... complete pocket chart junkie) that will be requiring students to look at word pairs and decide if they are an antonym or a synonym pair. Then students will be recording their answers on a recording sheet. It really melts my heart when students refer to their work as a recording sheet. (They do listen to me. Score!) So... if you would like to take a look at my little activity please click HERE to check it out on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I also uploaded a sequencing activity that I used with my students during my Laura Numeroff author study. First off I used Erica Borher's If You Give Author Study packet (which was fabulous! Loved the cupcake word problem craftivity!) for most of my center activities for the week along with my group activities. I also created a pocket chart sequencing activity where students read the big book If You Take a Mouse to School. This book actually came with our reading adoption and was meant to be read a few weeks ago according to my Treasures curriculum but I like to save it for my author study week. This activity was loved by my students. They had fun pretending to be the teacher and read the big book to the other students (or group members) then sort the story together and finally independently. I always try to have an independent practice with all my centers to make sure they know what they are doing... and to hold them accountable for that time. Please take a look HERE for this activity.

As always.... please share my information and Pin anything you like. I would love to have my followers on my blog and at my TPT store.  Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Good Luck Smarties!

Here in Texas it is STAAR  testing season. We just had our first round this week of 4th grade writing tests and 5th grade math and reading tests. Let me just say that even though I teach first grade... testing days are stressful for us too. The air is just stressful. We have to keep the students absolutely silent in the hallway. Lunch has to be quiet in the cafeteria (yeah right!). No recess and no specials and did I mention absolutely no break from the kids at all? Long. Days. The first day flies by and you get so much done since you have no break... but the second day drags and you think it will never end. I was not pulled to test a small group this time... Praise the Lord. I would much rather be in my own room teaching then staring down a 4th grader taking a test and counting ceiling tiles while I actively monitor.

At my school, the younger grades adopt one of the older grades classrooms and we made them encouraging posters and incentives. In years past I have had my first graders make the older kids a fun little postcard that says you are going to do a great job or something to that effect. I will be doing that the next round of testing.  But this year I was inspired by Pinterest yet again to create something a little more fun.

First I made these (My first edition to TPT!! Go download it is free!) little cards by using Kevin and Amanda fonts and Graphics From the Pond. (Both were free!). Then I took 3 smarties candies and put them in a cellophane bag, tied it with some twine, and Voila! I had a little bag of encouragement for my 4th grade smarties.

 We also make little posters to hang outside in the hallways and I went with my smarties theme.... Here is my little creation...

 In the past I have made posters with an elephant "stomping" the TAKS. (We no longer have the TAKS test in Texas. It is now the STAAR test. WHATEVER) I have also seen football fields where students were "scoring on the test!" 

I hope you enjoyed my first ever freebie on TPT. Please pass on the word and follow my store here.