February 29, 2012


Today we began our Space Race.  The kids each colored in a rocket and put it by Pluto.  In order to move to a new planet, they must read three books (which is their fuel), write them down, and bring the slip back to school.  They earn a small treat if they move to a new planet.

We're starting on Pluto (which is now a dwarf planet).  Pluto is dark, cold, and the smallest.  It is the furthest from the sun.  The treat for leaving Pluto will be a freeze pop.

February 28, 2012

Liquid Observations

We looked at different liquids today.  The kids worked in groups, made observations, and wrote properties for each.  Here they are at work.

February 18, 2012

Winter WELLness Day

Most think of the day before vacation as dragging out and being a difficult day to get through.

NOT US!  Today we celebrated Winter Wellness Day.  Our gym teacher, Ms. A, and others put together a fun filled day with TONS of activities that got the kids moving around.

We participated in hockey dribbling...

An obstacle course...


Movin' with Jack...I love their faces!!


And they made healthy snacks.

We ended the day completing a winter word find and an assembly.  ENJOY your vacation and see you soon!!

February 16, 2012

Silent E Work

We've been working with Silent E.  Today,  I had the kids break up into teams and write as many words as they could with Silent E.

They worked well in teams and both were really close.  One team had 14 and the other had 16.

Here they are at work!

New Class Jobs?

OhHhhhh, those boys!!  Josh, Tommy, and Jack thought it would be a RIOT to add some new jobs to the board for the kids to do today!!

Each morning I write what they need to do when they come in.  My jobs are simple....
1. Unpack
2. Sign in
3. Read to Self

The kids were quite excited to find this new list on the board.

February 15, 2012

Lemons, Lemons, and more Lemons

Oh I had to do it again!!!  We had lemons to try and I had my camera right in hand.  Here they are.  Quite candid!!

February 14, 2012

100 Days Smarter

So on Sunday I found myself with the nasty flu bug!  Lets just say I spent a lot of time hugging my toilet (graphic, I know) and cloroxing at the same time.  Oh, I rarely get sick so I wasn't at all impressed.  The assistant principal has even begun calling me Ralphie.  Great!

Aren't all teachers Super Heros?  Well,  I thought so and I believed I could make it to school on Monday.  I mean, 100's Day on Monday and Valentine's Day on Tuesday.  I couldn't miss those!

Plus making sub plans takes too much time...it's easier to just be there.  Also, our team planned activities to rotate through and I had taken my art activity home to prep for Monday.  I knew no matter what I had to drive to school in the morning to drop things off and seeing my commute is almost 30 minutes I thought I should just stay.

I got to school on Monday completely on FIRE!  Literally on FIRE!!  Not the type of fire where you're multi-tasking, every thing's in fast motion, and organized for the day.  It was the type of fire where you're actually taking off your sweater (I live in Maine) to try to cool down.  That's when I knew I wouldn't make it.  I guess every Super Hero has his/her day.

I never call in so I guess it's sometimes okay to just let go.  I knew I'd have a great sub and the kiddos were in good hands.  Plus everyone seemed to be telling me to go home.  I'm thinking they REALLY cared or I looked REALLY bad and they didn't want to catch it.  I got to enjoy part of the morning with the other first graders and then went home to SLEEP!!

I feel much better today and was able to enjoy Valentine's Day.  If only my voice would come back.  I've had laryngitis for about a week.  Ugh, not complaints though.  The kiddos have been so good.

The kids went on a Smarties Hunt.  I hid them around the room.  Apparently I miscounted because they could only find 90.  I'll blame it on the illness!!

Who wouldn't want a picture on themselves on a $100 bill?  I've done this every year and the kids get a kick out of it.  We have a color printer so when I laminated them they turned green.  Yikes!!  They look a bit like Lady Liberty.  They had to write what they would do with $100.

February 9, 2012

SsHhhhhh, Don't Tell Your Child You Read This!!

SssSShhhh....you can keep a secret right?  The kiddos didn't want me to post about this but I just had to share.  We wrote our Valentine's Day postcards today.  The kids LOVED IT (even though most were begging to have Writer's Workshop).  This class just loves to write.

Here are a few examples.  Check the mail but PLEASE, OH PLEASE be surprised when it arrives in the mail.

Valentine Day Holder Directions

So in case you're wondering how the kiddos made their Valentine's Day holders I thought I'd add some direction.  Hope you can follow them!!

First, get two large pieces of construction paper and fold in half to find the center line.

Then fold the bottom corners up to get the bottom point of the heart.

Take the first piece of construction paper and fold it down so you create the part where the kids will write their names.

Fold back the corners and staple.  I also staple in the middle.

Have the kids use a pencil to draw the top part of the heart.  I told them to make two mountains and then cut.

Hope this helps!  The best part was it was quick and they had more time to decorate!

February 5, 2012

Tower Building

We've been learning A LOT about solids.  The kids have been working with solids and discussing their properties.

On Friday, they were given a challenge.  They were given a piece of cardboard, rubber bands, straws, tinfoil, and other objects that were in baggies.  Working with a buddy, they had to build a tower.

Here are some examples.  I had to give some clues on how to use the rubber bands and tinfoil.  Some groups were able to build a free standing tower!!

Snowflake Symmetry

On Friday, the kiddos worked with symmetry.  They created snowflakes from white shapes I had cut out.  Here an example.

February 3, 2012

Writing Checklist

Here's the Writing Checklist I introduced to my class this week.  Grab a copy if you can use it.  I'm still debating on if I want to simplify it but for now I'll see how it goes.

Writing Checklist

February 1, 2012

A Mini Celebration in My Head While the Class Worked

Ever have one of those days when you get a moment to sit back and take in all the hard work you've put into your kiddos and the curriculum?  Well today, I had that moment!!  

While the kids were working I sat back and watched them diligently working during Writer's Workshop.  LOVE those moments when everyone in your room seems to finally get the routine and expectations.

Today our mini lesson was reviewing ALL we've learned about what good writers do.  We talked about having detailed illustrations, a catchy opening, meaty middle, and wrap up sentence.  

I still have some writers who write 3 or 4 sentences and think their story is done.  I pulled some books from our library and we looked through them.  We looked for openings, middles, and the ending sentences.  A light bulb went off for some and they realized that most of the writing took place in the middle.  

I also introduced a Writer's Checklist.  I told the kids that when they were done a story they would now be responsible for looking over their work.  No more, "Oh, you forgot a capital"...or "Where's your ending punctuation?" from me!  They would now be checking their work and then writing their names on the board to meet for a more formal conference.  

I'll continue to do Drop In's (which is something new I've been doing this year) but I'll begin sitting with students at the jelly bean table to conference with them.

Well, I had kids filling pages (and staying on topic) today and they understood the Writer's Checklist.  Can't wait to see how tomorrow goes!!

Here are a few samples.  Look at all their hard work!!  One PROUD teacher here.