Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun in P.E.

We get to go to P.E. with the lovely Miss Anderson on Mondays, so be sure your child wears appropriate footwear! She is literally the best P.E. teacher in all the land (and my very best friend outside of school). I love to watch and join in on their fun activities. Today was stations - balancing peacock feathers, juggling scarfs, and hula hoops.






I am not good at hula hooping. :)





Scholastic

Last month I read about how to earn 6,000 Scholastic Bonus Points. Six thousand points would be amazing! I've never had a book order over $20, but I figured it didn't hurt to try. Luckily, we had Back to School Night the first week of school, so I talked to the parents about this great opportunity. I suggested the Bob Books, along with about 10 additional recommendations. I told them that if we made our goal of $200, I would give every child in the class one free book. I was surprised by how receptive the parents were. They ended up spending over $330! I couldn't believe it! I was so excited and ended up with about 7,500 Bonus Points. I bought an ABC puzzle, some scholastic dvds, books for everyone in the class, and so many more books for our classroom!

Here's a picture of the free books for the class and the student orders - minus one who's mom picked it up in the morning. I forgot to take a picture of all my new, awesome books!


The kids were so excited to choose their own, free book, and I was happy we were able to do it. A huge thank you to all the parents who ordered! We couldn't have done it without you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Party!

On Wednesday we combined our color party, Lucky party, and my birthday!

We reviewed one color a day since the beginning of school. Everyday the children wore the color of the day, we sang a song, and learned a poem, and used these color books.

The whole class works together to earn a Lucky party. For every good thing the class does (work quietly, follow the rules) I put part of the letters on the board to spell Lucky. When the work is spelled, I draw a star on the board. Once they have three stars, we have a party! I usually bring a special treat and we play some fun/educational game. Since we were celebrating the colors, I made rainbow jello jigglers (they lost a bit of their jiggles by the time we ate them) and we played colors bingo. It was a great time!

It was also my birthday on Wednesday, which was even more fun. They are such sweet children and made it a really fun day! The whole class behaved so well (the best gift of all!). They gave me gifts, sang to me, drew me pictures, and gave me lots of hugs! All in all, it made for a really fun day!







They ate/slurped until the plates were clean!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Fun!

Today was a fun filled Friday!

We read the book, "Stone Soup". We predicted what would happen next, and then summarized after we read. Then we made our own soup! We pretended to put in our favorite vegetables. Then we put three magic stones in. The class thought it was the best soup they ever had. Some comments were, "This is so delicious! Can you tell my mom the recipe?" "This is even better than Wal-Mart!" Ha. So cute! Little did they know it really was Campbell's Vegetable Beef soup purchased from Wal-Mart!

We went to the computer lab for the first time this afternoon. Today we played on Starfall. In the future we will play Math Facts in a Flash, Accelerated Reader, and some of the links to the right.


S is for Sunflower


We made these adorable sunflowers to hang in our classroom.


Sweet girls!


Funny boy!


We went to the library. I read a story while a few children at a time exchanged their books.

We finished off our day reviewing sight words with the "Meet the Sight Words" videos. I love these movies. They show small clips for each sight word, and turn the word into a fun scene. The class LOVES them. One boy asks all day long when we will watch them. Unfortunately for him, we don't watch them everyday. He gets pretty disappointed!


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Week So Far

Here's a little peek into what we have been doing this week:

We have been reviewing the letter names. Each day we do 2 - 3 letters. We read a poem with that letter, sing a song, listen for words that begin with the sound, and practice writing the capital and small letters.



O is for Ozzie Octopus. The children made their own Octopus completely of O's! Then they circled all the O's in words and glued them to his/her arms.





We counted, graphed, and compared the letters in our names.



Our lunch schedule was switched this year, so the children go to recess first, and then come back in for lunch. With this new schedule, they are allowed to come back to class as soon as they finish their lunch. To get the whole class back usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes. In order to keep control (or attempt to!), I play a book for them to watch/listen to as they come in. Those of you in my area, go to our city public library website and click on the link halfway down the page for "Tumble Books". You will find hundreds of books! The words of the story are highlighted as they are read aloud. They are educational, and so much fun!

This one is "The Boy in the Drawer" by my favorite author, Robert Munsch. He's Canadian which makes me love him even more!

We finished practicing our numbers 1 - 10. For each number we sang a song, practiced writing them on the Smart Board, and then practiced on papers.




One of our goals in first grade is to write to 100 in 3 minutes. We practice all year long, and when someone gets to 100 before the timer goes off, they get a jaw breaker! The frogs under the Smart Board are what we use to keep track of our progress. At the end of 3 minutes, I have them circle where they were with a crayon, and then we keep going for however much time is left in Math (5 or so more minutes). The beginning of the year starts off slow, but most everyone is able to make it by the end of the year. The only students I've had who don't make it, are those who sit and stare and don't try. I've told my class that as long as they try their best every time we practice, they will make it. And if someone has been trying and can't seem to make it, I still give them a jaw breaker at the end of the year.




That's a little taste of what our week has been like. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


My Everest

I had planned on posting more classroom pictures and activities tonight, but left my parent permission slips at school. I'll try again tomorrow! But for now...

I bought this mailbox this year. I was so excited to finally bite the bullet and buy the one I wanted. My first year I just used an old one my school had. Then I bought a cheap one at Staples, that basically fell apart last year. I am in LOVE with this one. It is made entirely of wood. Sturdy, and a nice blue color. It shipped to my house and I attempted to put it together. I figured it couldn't be that difficult...



Boy was I wrong! I got to Step 2, and then gave up. :)



I took it to my school the next day and my wonderful custodian* assembled it for me.



And since you can almost see my desk area anyway, I figured I would post a picture of that, now that it is clean and organized.



I use the blue basket for the class to put their homework and class work in. I was so excited to find this basket at Porter's. It matched the mailboxes perfectly! The brown basket on my desk is for notes from parents, lunch money, picture money, etc. I don't always look through the blue basket, so I need to have a place for important papers. Sometimes notes would get buried in the basket... especially if it was a crazy, hectic week.

I use the black hanging file organizer for sub info and my materials/copies for the week.

The larger stuffed frog is used for decoration, and for my most favorite game to play with the class. I call it "Frog Ball". It is a simple and wonderful game. Everyone sits on top of their desk. They pass the ball around. If they talk, miss when I think they could have caught the ball, or throw a bad throw, they are out. It is amazing how well they play this game. Back when we had more time in the day/year, we used to play it for birthdays. Now I'm saving it for those days where I feel myself losing my patience. They children love it, and it gives me a few minutes of silence. :)

The time-out desk is beside mine. When a child gets to red, they get a piece of paper and a pencil and start writing the saying that is there. This gives them something to do until I am able to come talk to them about the problem.

Under my desk is the "Busy Buck Store". I use Busy Bucks as my reward system. I pass them out to children I see following the rules. I also give them a Busy Buck for any work finished during Workshop (our independent work time - more info to come). They turn in papers, and if they are correct, nice, neat, and have a name, they get a Busy Buck. They also have to give me one Busy Buck in order to go to the bathroom and if they burp (or any other bodily noises done on purpose). When we have extra time in Math, I let them count their Busy Bucks. We have a Busy Buck Store once a month. I have all kinds of items for sale - toys, candy, books, stickers, etc. When they choose an item, I have them count out the amount for me. It ends up being a fun and educational behavior management system. My favorite so far!

*A word of advice to all you teachers out there - Get on your custodians good side! I always try and clean as much of my room as possible before he comes in. I give him thank you treats throughout the year, my class knows his name and writes him thank you letters at the end of the year.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Surprise!

I had the best surprise yesterday. Our secretary had ordered Nicky's Folders and didn't tell me! I was so shocked and ecstatic when they arrived! They are the best homework folders I've ever seen. And really, for a dollar a piece, the only downside is you have to buy at least 100 each time. I put all the papers in and assembled them yesterday and was SO happy to send them home with the children.

Front Cover



Inside

I put dots on each side so they can put their papers in the right side independently.

Back Cover

This is the sign off sheet for our reading homework.

I've literally never been so happy in my entire life!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birthdays

Happy Birthday, Christian!

September 2nd

This one is a little late. I had to get permission from parents before I could post any pictures and/or names. Christian's mom said it was okay to post both, so here is his birthday picture!

In the future, if you see some birthday shout outs with or without pictures/names, it's because of parent's permissions.

It was a little hectic getting ready to celebrate a birthday on the second day of school, but we did it and still had a great time. Due to the budget cuts this year and our school's shortened instruction time, I don't get to celebrate birthdays as much as I want to. My birthday is literally my favorite holiday and I love to celebrate! This year the children will get to wear a crown all day, be sung to in the morning, and bring treats (optional).

Instead of the traditional birthday song, we sing:

You've had a birthday, shout hurray!
We want to sing to you today!
One year older and wiser, too.
Happy Birthday to you!


They are still allowed to bring treats if they want to, but we will just eat them while we work or play an educational game. I used to love to play fun games at the end of the day. Some favorites were frog ball, freeze dance and musical corners. At the end of the day, they get to take their birthday bag home. I glued on the cupcakes they colored on the first day of school, wrote their name and birthday, and added some colorful ribbons. I also staple a card to the bag. Inside they will find (parents, keep it a surprise from your child!) a bookmark, candy, stickers, pencil, and a book! I usually give Junie B. Jones to the girls and Magic Tree House to the boys. I buy them with my Scholastic points, so I don't spend a lot on them. I think it is a great way to get books into their homes. I love birthdays!