Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Madness

Seriously, how much madness can one day hold?

  • Woke up to thunder and lightning during a massive rain storm
  • Nearly hit a tree and our gate backing out of the driveway
  • I picked up my kids from the hallway in the morning and was greeted by a raw, smashed egg exactly in the middle of where my class sits...but NO ONE knows how it got there
  • I teach in a portable...with no walkway cover..and we had to walk back and forth 6 times today...during torrential downpours...with 2 umbrellas...and 17 kids
  • After lunch the electricity went out...during computer time...for 45 minutes
Thankfully the electricity came back on before dismissal.  Unfortunately the rain hasn't stopped.  I'm glad today is finished!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

Valentine's Day can get quite crazy in 27!  In my personal life Valentine's Day is not a huge deal, we usually stay home, have an out of the ordinary dinner (this year it was juicy steaks, cheesy potatoes, salad and a little high-class vino) and that's about it.  But in 27, we jazz it up a bit.

I purchased Doodle Bugs Teaching's Valentine Crafts! product from TpT.  It has three crafts for $3.  So worth it!

I thought this was a really cute coincidence.  Their two little owls are making googly eyes at each other, just like they do.  We used extra large lunch bags (50 bags for about $2) which worked out perfectly.  I made the name cards with these free valentine themed frames and Word.  I showed the kids my example and we wrote the how to instructions before making the bags as a reinforcement of our functional writing.

Next, we sorted and graphed conversation hearts.  The super cute graph template and analysis sheet is from The Daily Alphabet on TpT.

Before passing out the hearts, we talked about different ways we could sort the candy.  Most kids chose to sort by color, pretty quick and easy.  Two of my over achievers sorted by the sayings on the hearts!  High five for challenging your awesome brains!  We had to (literally) cut and past two blank graphs together to get enough spaces, but did my heart beat with pride!

We created a class book from Cupcake for the Teacher's "Love is..." free printable.  Seriously, love is finding this seller on TpT!  Great stuff.  My favorite  is "Love is...holding hands crossing the street so you don't get hit by a bus." That girl cracks me up!

The printables are in color, but I printed the cover in black and white and colored it with markers.  We don't have access to color printers at my school.  When the kids were finished I glued their page on purple construction paper, stapled the pages together, glued on a red binding and glued our colored cover to the front.  Easy peasy.
For six and seven year olds we see a lot of dramatics in 27!  I adore my "Hurt Feelings" mediator!  She has has the long, curly hair.  I don't know why Pink Kitty and Brown Stripes are upset with each other.  It could be anything from he accidentally touched her to he told her one of her math answers was incorrect to he said something unkind to her.  Thankfully the Hurt Feelings mediator can take control of the situation, listen to both sides and offer a suggestions on how to avoid the situation in the future.  She's amazing and very highly respected.
 Pencils are like gold and diamonds in 27.  One of the little valentines I gave the kids included a Valentine's Day pencil with a name flag.  It warmed my heart that they understood the play on words.  I love this time of year in first grade.  Everything is really starting to click.

I hole punched the flags and slid the pencil through then secured it with a sticker.  It worked OK, but if I do it again I'll make the flags a bit bigger and laminate them for more durability.

At the end of the day the kids passed out valentines and ate a cupcake (one of the kids brought them as her valentines to pass out).  Not a bad day. =]

100th Day of School Activities

The 100th day of school and I have a love/hate relationship.  I know the students love it and I enjoy doing a lot of the fun 100th day themed activities.  However, it always comes at a time when the kids have long since past the glow of Winter Break and are looking towards Spring Break.  Expectations get higher, lessons get tougher and tempers get shorter.  This year's 100th day was action packed.  So much so it spilled over to the 101st day of school.
I can't figure out why this picture is rotated.   I saw this 100 painted dots activity on Pinterest via this blog.  I created a simple sheet and added a challenge (circle groups of 5). 

Of course, the kids *LOVE* art, especially anything involving paint.  This was a center at the small group table.  I put out paper plates and mixed the paint in front of the kids.  I was surprised how many of them didn't know which colors can be mixed to make new colors.  Instead of using cotton swabs I had them use pencil erasers to make 10 dots of each color.  It worked out really well and cleaned up quickly. Bonus...the washable paint came right off the erasers, which are still usable!

We also made "We would/wouldn't like to have 100..." charts.  This idea was totally stolen from Doodle Bugs Teaching.  Her charts are way cuter than ours, but this is an activity I will do again in the future.

 One of my favorite 100th day activities was "Roll to 100" which, again I jacked from Pinterest via this other blog.  I reconfigured the recording sheet a little. 

We also read One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczez.  I cut 100 black squares from construction paper, spread them on the floor and had groups of students rearrange the "ants" as we read the story.  I didn't get pictures, but that's another activity I will carry over to next year.