Sunday, February 27, 2011

Green Eggs and Ham Activity

You've probably already finished planning all your Dr. Seuss activities but I'll share one I'm doing. My kids will do this activity in stations this week after reading Green Eggs and Ham.

I cut out pictures of food from magazines and grocery ads (great to do with the Sunday newspaper). I glued the pictures on half of an index card and wrote the name of each food. My kids will sort the cards on a Venn diagram pocket chart into thses groups: foods that are green and foods that I like.

If you make this be sure to find plently of green foods.

And here's the form the kids will fill out after sorting.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

7 Things About Me

Thanks so much Elisabeth at The Adventures of Miss Elisabeth and Cindy and Tanya at The Kindergarten Corral (who also work across the hall from me!) for giving me this award. I've gotten so caught up in this blogging thing and i'm loving it!

These are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

So here are 7 things about me:

1. This was me this morning in Navarre Beach, FL. Sadly, I had to come back home because we have school tomorrow to make up for a snow day (luckily we only had one snow day while the rest of the world had about a billion). You can't tell but I am majorly sunburned and have the worst raccoon eyes I've had, ever. I'll be made fun of tomorrow I'm sure.

2. I've been married almost 4 years and these are our babies, Hurley (a lab/pit bull mix, we think) and Paisley (a strange looking fox terrier/poodle mix). This picture is totally staged. They are becoming better friends but Paisley's the boss of this house.=)

3. I have a major sweet tooth. I love York peppermint patties and M&M's (and I love that my initals are MM, very fitting).

4. I didn't realize how bad my camera was until I started this blog. I want to apologize for all my grainy pictures, but I can't afford those fancy cameras you guys have! Either that or I'm I terrible photographer.

5. I love arts and crafts. I like painting and making crafty stuff. I've painted onesies and t-shirts for friends and my dream is to have a "Crafts and Drafts" business! I'll lead the craft, you bring the draft.

6. I played sports in high school and I still have dreams about being on the court, usually I'm missing my serve in the dream=( I wish there was an adult volleyball league. I need the exercise!

7. When I turned 21 I was on The Today Show. My college roommate and I took a trip to NYC for our birthdays (3 days apart) and got to talk to Al Roker on TV. I think I just stood there and let her talk. I'm turning 30 in a few short weeks and I want to celebrate in a special way- anyone have a great idea? I'd love to hear about how you celebrate.

I'm sending this award to my new friend Erin over at Eberharts' Explorers.

It's so late and I need to get to bed, so I'll send this award on to more bloggy friends tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Neat Desks, Everyday!

You may already know this trick. My kids (most of them anyway) have kept their desks neat everyday for the past three years!! This pic was snapped today during PE- pretend you don't see the trash on the floor.

At the start of the year we discuss what a neat desk should look like and I draw a diagram that shows the inside of a desk and we label everything to show where it should go. All books, notebooks, and folders are stacked on the left. Notice there are no papers anywhere! The pencil box goes on the right. Each day after the kids leave I put the "Bee Neat" box (our school mascot is a bee) on the neatest desk and they get to enjoy the contents the next day. Inside the box is an egg with silly putty and a squishy ball. They may only play with it when they have finished their work.
It works like a charm! Sometimes the kids even pull out the old diagram of a neat desk to check. This may sound very picky and I'm really not. But if you show the kids exactly what you expect they can usually meet the expectation.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Publishing a Class Book

My kids have been working on writing "stories" (more like essays) recently. We worked on sticking to a topic, writing a main idea, adding detail sentences, and then using a closing sentence to wrap it up. We modeled our writing after The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown. If you've never read this book it's really great for talking about the main idea and details.

So now we're putting our ideas together and making our own Important Book. The exciting part is that it's getting published! If you don't already know about Studentreasures Publishing then check it out. You have to register way in advance, like in the summer, but they'll publish a class book for you for FREE!!! I've done it before and the books turned out great. Parents can order the books (a little pricey) but even if they don't you get a free hardbound copy for the classroom. My kids are so excited to become "real authors". It's very motivating for them to see their work in an actual book.

Here's the book my kids made two years ago (same as what we're doing this year).

I'm so proud of their work!

I've got some organizers we used saved on my computer at school. I'll try to remember to upload them tomorrow to share with everyone.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine from the Teacher

This is the 2nd year I've made my kids heart shaped crayons for their Valentine from me. Last year I melted the crayons on a cookie sheet and cut them out with a cookie cutter. It was a little messy and took awhile becuase I had to keep washing the cookie cutter each time to get the extra waxy mess off. So this year when I saw these heart shaped ice cube trays at Target I thought they'd be perfect molds. I've seen tons of tutorials for doing this on other blogs so it looked easy peasy. But a word to the wise- these trays are not made for heating in an oven! You can definitely see where the edges started drooping. And we had some pretty nice fumes in the kitchen for awhile. Oops, now I know. But they still turned out cute!

Helen Keller

Every year we study the life of Helen Keller and the kids are always intrigued and amazed by her struggles. These are a couple of the activities we did to learn about how she communicated using sign language and Braille. To make their names in Braille I drew black dots and they glued split peas on top -an idea from a very old mailbox magazine. Now, after 113 days of saying "hands off the walls", they want to rub the signs by every door we pass. I especially like the way they pretend to really read the Braille and know what it says- at least they can really read the signs!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Spelling Activity

This week my kids practiced their spelling words using these little guys that I picked up at the Dollar Tree last week.

Each heart has the scrabble tiles to make one of our spelling words. You could also use letter beads or cut up paper letters. The only trick is to be sure the kids don't open a few at once and mix up the letters. But they did well keeping them in the correct heart this week. So we'll do it again next week and maybe the whole rest of the month. Here's the recording sheet for this activity, just click the picture to download. I might make a new recording sheet and ask them to add up the points for each word.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Phoneme Friends

Here's the worksheet I made for my kids to record their work. Cross your fingers this works- this is all new to me!
Click the picture.

And here's a copy of the little critters I used to make my phoneme friends.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Made a Blog!

I'm so excited to be blogging (and really impressed with myself for figuring it out!) So hello world, I'm Melissa. I teach 1st grade, obviously, and I love reading other blogs so I thought I'd try and contribute. I've been silently stalking many teacher blogs and "stealing" wonderful ideas. I feel like I owe many of you some ideas in return (not sure I have any great original ideas though).

I totally loved the monster gift bags that Babbling Abby used to make a word sort. My dollar tree didn't have the cute bags she found so I made these little guys. I've seen tons of classrooms with sound muncher type things so this is my attempt at that. I introduced these "Phoneme Friends" in the work with words station this week and they were a hit!

These are made out of old Crystal Light containers (does anyone else hoard plastic containers?). I cut a little slit in their mouths for the kids to stick the words in. The labels are just sticky notes so I can change them every week.

These are the word cards and the directions.

And I had the kids record some of the words on this sheet. I saw a sheet very similar on someone else's blog but I can't remember due to the numerous awesome blogs I've been lurking around lately. And here comes my favorite part...

They fit in the drawers that hold my work with words activities! Yea for neat storage!
I have the critters and worksheet saved but seeing as how I'm new to this whole blogging thing it may take me a little while to figure that out! I'll share as soon as I learn how.

And that's it for my first post. I feel so accomplished!!