Sunday, September 11, 2011

Number sense and number words fun...

So at the beginning of the year we all want to see what exactly our new sweet babies know.  Well,  I have found two fun ways to check for number sense as well as number words.

I am not going to lie that I totally stole this idea from Mrs. Carroll over at The First Grade Parade.

Students use the giant number cards to clip that number of clothespins onto the card.  Well to give it an extra "umph"  I added number word cards to match the numbers.  So the students will have to match the number word to the number then clip the accurate number of clothespins onto the card.

Next,  while on pinterest, I saw the cutest activity for number words.  This is the original picture I found on pinterest and below it is my version of it for you to download.  All your students have to do is recognize the number word and glue the accurate number of Fruit Loops/suckers onto the octopus legs.  I added two things of seaweed into the corners so we could have the number words one and two.  So I had a parent cut out pipecleaners for them to use for the seaweed.

Click on the picture to check out her blog.

Please feel free to share if you have any other great ideas for number words or number sense.

Enjoy the freebie!

Addition Fun!

For the past couple of weeks we have been learning addition and thanks to pinterest and all of my fave blogs I have found several games and activities to use in my classroom.  Now I want to apologize in advance for not having any true pictures from my classroom for this post...I never seem to remember my camera.  However, I wanted to share some of these ideas with all of you.

First, we began with an introduction to addition.  We watched the Basic Addition Brain Pop and created an anchor chart for word clues used with addition.

Here are the words that were part of the vocabulary listed in our curriculum.

We made an anchor chart that looked exactly like this one from The Teacher Wife:

We use Thinking Maps at our school and I made this as a type of circle map for my kiddos to find the word clues for addition.  They will just cut and glue all the word clues for addition.

We also played several different addition games from various blogs.  Here are the ones we used.  Click on the pictures to see what other great things these blogs have to offer.

Hope you all enjoy!  Please feel free to comment with other great ideas for addition!

Map it out!

For the past two weeks we have been studying map skills.  So as I was on my newest addiction, pinterest, I found the coolest way to teach the differences between a neighborhood, city, state, country, and continent.

 This is the original picture from pinterest that I saw the idea from.
You can find this original posting here...Finally in First

I began the lesson discussing all of the different types of places you could find on a map.  Then I pulled up google earth and showed them our school on the map (we used it as our neighborhood circle).  We talked about how small that one little dot was compared to the whole Earth.  As the circles got bigger, we typed into google earth our city, state, country, continent.  It was so neat watching Google Earth getting bigger and bigger each time.  The kids really enjoyed it.  We drew something to represent each circle.  Then we discussed how we are just really a small part of the whole world. 

Although I do not have a picture of our circles (forgot my camera), they are fairly similar to the original picture.  I have added a link to the map circles I created in order to do this project.  Feel free to download them (just click the picture below), I just ask that you become a follower first.  I copied the circles on different colors of paper like above as well.

Rotation Stations

This year I decided to really buckle down on my stations and thanks to all of these wonderful blogs I have been printing and laminating station after station.  As a first year teacher last year, I did not understand just how difficult "creating" stations would be.  I felt challenged every day to come up with something more than just a "worksheet" activity.  Well since this is my second year this year, over the summer I got organized and got several things in order. 

First, I started by making a car magnet on Vistaprint.  The magnet sticks to my board and my students can see what our daily stations are.  This is what the magnet looks like:

Then each student has a blue station folder with their station "schedule" in a page protector.  The names of my stations stay the same but the activity is what changes.  My students keep all of their station work in their folder for the week then on Friday if they have finished all of their work, they can have fun friday where they get to do game like activities.  They have to turn in their folder into a crate that has hanging files in it with their number on the tag.  This allows me to make a quick check to see who is not finished.  My students LOVE it and so do I!  They are very organized and try extremely hard to finish all of their work by Friday.  If they do not get finished, they have to finish up on Friday.  Once they complete everything if they are behind, they can join in on Fun Friday.

Part of my daily stations is computers.  Last year, I was not organized at all with monitoring where my students went or what they did on the computer.  So this year, I created a daily schedule for them to follow.  The schedule was printed out and laminated then I used contact paper and made a make-shift mousepad.  My students can follow the schedule just by looking under the mouse.  I also use now instead of porta-portal.  It allows me to organize the sites by day and lets my kids see a quick picture of what they will do.  If you have never heard of it you need to check it out.  It is FABULOUS!

I also wanted to show you all how I organize all of these wonderful stations I have found on blogs.  I, of course, print them all off and laminate them.  I use manila folders (big and small) and put a short little description on the cover of it.

Then, I put a small sticker on the back of each piece of the station game to match the envelope.  That way if they were to ever get mixed up or misplaced I could quickly see which one does not belong.

   I also took all of the activities that were numbered and hole punched the corner so I could put them on a ring.  This helps them complete the activity in the same order as the recording sheet.

So how do you organize your stations?

Classroom Discipline

 I had somebody ask me about my form of discipline in my classroom.  I have several things going on it my room so we will start with my clip chart.  Last year, I created this system using a worm.  My students received a ticket every morning for getting their agenda signed.  Then at the end of the day they got to get a sticker from my treasure chest for keeping their ticket.  The ticket served as a warning and if at the end of the week they had all 5 tickets the could go to the treat drawer.

This worked fine for my first year but I quickly realized that my behavior worm only monitored bad behavior instead of both positve and negative behavior.  By mid year, I had added an apple for my kids to clip up to which really changed the behavior of my classroom.

So this past summer, I sat and thought what I could do for the upcoming year.  Although I loved my worm, it was not exactly what I wanted.  Then I was blog stalking and saw a post from Jodi over at Fun in First Grade where she had created a clip chart on Vistaprint.  I GENIUS!  I could actually create EXACTLY what I wanted and make it EXACTLY how I wanted it to look.  So here is what I am using this year.

It is PERFECT!!  My kids have responded so well to it too!  My chart is a large banner from vistaprint.  It is fairly big but I think it is a good size.  My students can clip up or down however once they pass the yellow/friendly reminder they cannot clip up anymore.  I have not had any MAJOR issues with behavior (knock on wood) so far this year. 

I also created a sort of money earning system in my classroom as well.  I bought small paws of four different colors.  Each paw is worth a different amount: 1, 5, 10, and 25 (sound familiar??).  My students can earn paws throughout the day for positive behavior and I can take paws for negative behavior.  Then at the end of the week my students can shop in our classroom store (just a shoe organizer full of goodies).  I forgot to take pictures of it but my students LOVE it!  It really encourages them to stay on task as well as to be on their best behavior.  Each students receives a paw first thing in the morning for having their agenda signed and if my students clip up to red or orange they can earn extra paws.  It is a GREAT system.

These are the paws I used to create the "money" for the store.

Also to encourage "Paw"sitive behavior we use a "Paw"sitve push pin chart.  Students earn push pins if I see them doing something I feel is positive for themselves or others.  Then the students can earn passes once they reach 25.  There are three different passes to earn: computers instead of morning work, rolly chair for the day, or lunch with Mrs. Walker.  They try VERY hard to earn them and it encourages very positive behavior to one another.
  Last but not least we have a "Penny Pizza Party" jar (sorry no pictures).  Instead of brownie points, my class can earn pennies for a pizza party.  They have to work together in order to earn pennies.  It is a class effort not and individual effort.  I give pennies for various things throughout the day.  Once we reach the pepperoni line my students will earn a pizza party.  They cannot wait!  I will try to post pictures this week.

Classroom Tour

WHEW!  What a first month of school!?!?

It has been extremely busy around these parts and I have neglected my blog something horrible.  Lucky for all of you, my hubby is playing golf today so that means I have time to catch up!

I just wanted to start out by giving just a few pics of my classroom.

Welcome to my "Panda"monium....

This is a picture from my desk looking towards the door.  I forgot to do from the door to my desk (imagine that!).  The BIG cut outs on the wall are anchor charts for us to add to throughout the year to teach synonyms, antonyms, compound words, pronouns, homophones, and multi meaning words.  I also have a GIANT question mark on the wall that has all of the "question words" on it.  These work great for a constant reminder to my kiddos!

Here is a look at our birthday cupcakes.  The candles have their names and birthday on them.

Here is our calendar area.  It is not as fancy as some I have seen but it works for us. 

This is our word wall and I just LOVE it because of all the little pandas!

This is our bathroom door that we use to display our work on.  The kiddos love seeing their work around the room.

Above our door is a cute little set of friendly reminders about using our manners.

I created this challenge corner for my early finishers.  It has several different extra practice sheets that have been previously taught.  The students can complete three of these challenges during their extra time to earn positive push pins for the chart (see post here).

Our class rules are listed on the paws....

This is my reading board I created using all of the cute animal helpers.  It sits right behind my kidney table so I can refer to it daily when we read in small group.

 That was a quick little tour around our room.  Nothing fancy but it works.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Oh my sweet teacher friends, I am so sorry to neglect you.  I have been OVERWHELMED with school and getting organized.  I am planning Math this year and we just adopted a new curriculum so I have been a little busy.  BUT thanks to all of these awesome blogs I have gotten so many great ideas.

  I was just wanting to let you all know that the hubby will be playing golf on Sunday so I will be able to catch prepared for several posts as well as freebies!

Thanks for following!