January 2012 | Peace, Love, and First Grade


 This week we worked on transition words and sequencing.
To introduce transition words, I like to use How To stories.
In true transition word fashion this is what we did:

First, we read several stories about snowmen.

Then, we brainstormed things we would need to build a snowman.

Like that LOOOONG arm?  Don't you just love First Grade art??

Next, We created a Transition Word Tree Map.

After that, we completed How to Make a Snowman Flow Map. 

Later, we broke into groups and chose a How-To topic. 
Some groups did this better than others...

Finally, we created How To charts.
Each group crafted how to make a certain item out of construction paper
and then wrote sentences to match their artwork.
They loved this because even the pumpkins who don't consider themselves
artists were able to make big contributions!

BTW: I did not give them patterns for this activity,
and these kiddos know their teacher loves borders! HA!

How to Make a Butterfly

How to Make a Robot

 How to Make a Flower

 How to Make a Tree

Close up-"Then you make two black lines and two red circles for the antennae."
Somehow one group was left off...and need to post more close-ups!

We presented our charts to our classmates and our sweet Kindergarten classes!
They were super proud of their final products! I am super proud of them!

Have a relaxing weekend, friends!


We've spent the majority of the year learning and practicing
the process of addition and now subtraction.
A lot of people say if you just keep playing games, etc, the kiddos will learn their Math Facts.
Then why do we hear upper-grade teachers say, "They don't know their facts!"??  Hmmm...
After the process is learned there comes a time when 
you just have to MEMORIZE them.  

Well, we have started working really hard on retaining our addition facts.
Some of my sweeties are doing a great job, others need a little push! 
So...today we made this incentive board.
One little friend has been out this week. We saved him a spot!

I decided to let my kids make their own gumball machines.
(just because I love their sweet artwork, and this was a quick one)
They wrote their names on blank labels. A little bit of a glare on this one.

We will add gumballs as they master their facts.
Some of them are still wondering how the gumballs are going to stick...so precious!
I'm looking for a real gumball machine in the meantime! 

We are having a great time with winter activities,
although it sure doesn't feel like winter here!
Next week we start a Polar Animal unit-one of my favorites!


Happy New Year!!

We've been back in school for a few weeks now, but this is something
we did our first day back! We read this fun book.

We then talked about our goals for the New Year.
We used The Glyph Girls cute art activity.
This was my first Glyph Girl project, but I know we'll do more!
 This is what we came up with:

Love those pants in the corner!
While they were working on these,

I heard the words - tights, leggings, jeggings, and pajama jeans!!
So funny!

If you knew my kiddos, you'd know they truly look like their "New Year's People."
That's what they call them.
They love how tall their people are!

The kiddos used patterns for the head, hat, hands, and feet but cut the legs, streamers, and dots themselves. At the beginning of the year, we taught our students how to cut shapes using TLC , and now they are really good at it.
The kids usually cut out heads, but these had necks attached.
A little bit more complicated...

Hope your week is great!


 I could not decide if I wanted to show the world my clutter or not!
But putting it out there sort of makes me accountable, right??
I have to clean this 20+ years worth of mess! 

This is my room from the door. I love the colors but not the mess!

 The next pic is the left wall from the door. You see my Daily 5 table, clipboards in the red bin, a pocket chart, and my homemade bulletin board. More about that later...

Here's the Daily 5 table! Needs new labels. 

Same wall from the other side of the room. I had to move my Word Wall from the magnetic board when they installed my Smartboard. Not crazy about the Word Wall on the door.
I want the kiddos to be able to take the words off  to use.

Reading Center on a Friday afternoon-enough said!
Yes, that animal is hanging on the lamp!

Computer in the corner. Guess I could have pushed the chair under...
All those cords get moved back and forth from my MAC to my PC. Yes, they do!

I am fortunate to have a HUGE closet/cubby room!
Thank goodness we can just shut the door!
And, yes, those cubbies are about 6 inches wide.
NOT designed by teachers... 

A few things I've accomplished:
1) Behind the door: I moved their Daily 5 board back here. Seriously, we don't need that out in the open all day. We aren't truly using CAFE yet, just the wording, so this is a good place for the chart. I also keep the brooms and dustpans back here on 3M hooks. Perfect. They may be the only things in the room that are always in place!! And sidewalk chalk is there for now!

2) I also love my homemade bulletin boards. Our school is only 8 years old, and this was just one huge off-white wall to start. We are not supposed to put tape on the wall which poses a problem for Deep South humidity.  So...this past summer, I stapled (yes, I did) some black paper on the wall and bordered it with two different colors. My sweet principal said as long as we can't see the staples, we're good! The borders are just rolled up long strips of butcher paper. Love the way the black pops!

            I have a lot of work to do to get this room where I want it.
Hopefully, getting there will be half the fun!!