Saturday, October 3, 2015

Apples Galore

One of my favorite back to school units is apples. I normally try to save this for the last week of September to complete a cross-curriculum unit, plus have some cute stuff ready for our yearly Open House. This year, our open house fell on September 30th so it was perfect timing.

To begin our apple applicious fun, I start by sending home a permission slip. I know our district and state are very finicky about food.

Apple Testing PermissionWe always begin with the “great” apple investigation. This year after completing the investigation, we make a cute art project after learning about the different parts of an apple. This was a quick and easy craft. I whipped a template up and ran it off on red, green, and yellow paper.


Our first taste test, was the apple variety test. I always buy red delicious, golden delicious and granny smith. I make an oversized chart to correlate with my freebie which you can find here.

original-336185-1[1]IMG_1240I whipped up these apples after I couldn’t find our apple ellison die cut in the school. I searched for three days and finally gave up. I actually liked how these came out with the brown stem and green leaf!

IMG_1239I sliced the apples using my handy dandy apple slicer from pampered chef! I love that thing!! I don’t know how I ever survived before with out it! I gave each student a small plate with each apple variety on it! After completing the sampling, I urged each student to select their favorite apple variety.  They wrote their name on the apple and glued it on the correct tree. We completed our data sheets to correlate with our results.

IMG_1242IMG_1241The above sheets can be found in my freebie above. 

Next, we did a sampling of apple juice and apple cider. This is always the funniest. I am shocked how many firsties have never had apple cider. 

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For our final apple food project, we made applesauce. I simply cut up all the apples we have left, add a small amount of apple cider and let it cook on low for several hours.


We did several data sheets for our apple activities. I simply shrink some of the sheets down to go along with an idea I had for an open house project.  I used some sheet from Reagan’s cute Apple Science and an idea from Mrs. Kamp from a second grade project I did several years ago.

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I love art projects and I adore directed drawings, especially by precious firsties. This was such an easy “first” directed drawing activity and I was super proud of my first graders and their drawing talents. Here is a sample of a few.

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Our outside wall is all ready for open house!!

IMG_1273Well, another open house is in the books! Our next project will be learning all about the seasons and Christopher Columbus!!! Going to prep for the game!! Go Vols!!!

Spell It Out

Hey y’all. Hope everyone is well! It is a rainy and quite chilly Saturday her in the Ohio Valley, but I am trying to stay productive. I am finishing up another Spell It Out Pack and getting ready to watch my VOLS!!

My school just adopting a new reading program, but we needed some help with spelling and grammar since we didn’t adopt a program to cover all the curriculum for RLA. Our upper grades adopted Houghton Mifflin Journeys so we did utilize as much as we could. I personally found the journey’s spelling units to be quite lacking. (How in the world do you test kids on six words?) This caused me to “think” about how I was going to implement and teach spelling with no material. After creating a personalized list of words with the help of several great minds, was had the basics… a word list. Immediately, I knew I had to do something pretty quick to help my firsties learn the key skills they would need to become better readers and writers. I started creating activities to correlate with the word lists and some centers to help reinforce the spelling skill for the week.

Introducing SPELL IT OUT!!

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This new series gives you a list of skill words, supplemental sheets to use in class or for homework and center activities to assist during your literacy skill stations.

The printable pages include
A Word List
ABC Order
Word Search
Shape Boxes
Fill in the blank
Word Sort
Word Scramble
Spelling Test Sheet

Center Activities Include
ABC Order
Word sort
Fill in the blank
Unscramble the word

short e

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Keeping track of it all!

Keeping track of it all... How do you keep track of your kiddos behavior in your classroom?? I use a daily agenda to help keep parents informed of the weekly happenings in the classroom. For a few years, I used a front and back version.  image image

This had a place for our weekly spelling words, a spot for the daily behavior earned, notes, signature spot, and a weekly happenings. A few years ago,Ladybug's Teaching Files do an awesome post about how she color coded her library. As soon as I saw the colored dots, a light bulb immediately went off and I knew this was the perfect solution to my  problem. Prior to finding the "colorful dots", I used these groovy colored peace stickers from teacher created resources in their daily agendas!!! Peace Signs Mini Stickers Valu-Pak Image

Well, lets just say I was constantly buying new packs because I was running out of green (yikes! $$$$$)  I stuck a colored dot and added a number code to the behavior section.


This helped me track daily behaviors, but also informed parents as to why their little angel earned that color for the day. I am a promoter of you need to take ownership of your wrong doing. (You did it- then own it was one of my famous lines my kiddos heard. One thing that troubles me is when a child “thinks” they do not have to follow the rules and guidelines.

Well, after a little bit of searching, I finally found all of the colors I needed to make these magical dots work with my classroom behavior management. I even found a nifty holder!!

dot it labels

(I am truly IN LOVE!!!!)

The company was amazing to work with and I had my products in a few days.

Well, as they say… all good things must come to an end. This past year, my school purchased spiral bound agendas for every child. At first, I wasn’t sure how I would adapt. (Change is not my favorite word!!) Even though, it was not “my agenda” that I was used to, it worked!!

agenda new agenda new full page

PS What’s up next… I will be showing you my clip charts and my certificates!!!

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for up to date happenings in my room!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's all about to change...

Change is inevitable. I was always one that didn't like change, but throughout the years, I have learned that change will happen and it is easier to mold with the change then to buck it every step of the way. This year our Reading series was up for renewal. My district voted on Journeys, but we quickly found out that our first graders would be implementing the "Success for All" Roots program to collaborate with our Kindergarten "Kinderroots". At first, I wasn't so sure about this...I thought the program itself was remarkable and was very intrigued by the facts and wealth of information I learned, but I was hesitate for one reason...IMPLEMENTATION.
Programs must be implemented correctly in order for them to work and succeed. I voiced my opinions and even though some thought I was anti-SFA, I truly was on-board all the way. My main concern was truly just the implantation. Would we have enough staff members to make the program successful? Would the groups be leveled? Would we have a cap on the number of students per group. These were just a few questions that circulated through my brain, but in the end I have to say I am excited!! I truly believe this will be a successful program at my school. I look forward to the challenge of learning the new program and watching the students soar right before my eyes. Isn't that what it's all about? Making sure the students have all the tools they need to be successful?
Well, with that being said one of my favorite things about the SFA program is the cute partner buddies. I love this idea. I created a freebie to help anyone using SFA or any Reading Series.
This freebie includes display signs for the classroom.
The signs will help the students know who will read first!
The mini cards can be used as desk tags, folder tags, etc. I plan on printing the I'm a and then the partner cards back to back and laminating them.
This will help me but will also help a sub if necessary.
These oversized cards can be used in a variety of ways throughout the day or during reading. I plan on printing, laminating, and attaching to a paint stick. I will also be making these for the inside of their reading folders too!!
Hope you will be able to use this freebie!!
What reading program do you use????

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