Saturday, March 26, 2011

100 Followers GIVEAWAY!!!!!

WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!! I'm pumped about this post!!! In honor of my first 100 followers and as a way to say THANK YOU, I want to have a little GIVEAWAY fun!!! I'd like to give one lucky follower my Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies, Hippity Hoppity, and Spring Math and Literacy Center Packets!!! That's a total of 32 centers!!!! Click on the pictures for more information and previews of the packets!




You have 3 chances to win!!! Make a post for each of the following to enter:

  1. Follow my blog.

  2. Follow my TpT store.

  3. Post about this giveaway on your blog (feel free to use my blog button).

The contest will end at 9am on Friday, April 1st. Random generator will be used to determine the winner!! Have fun and good luck!!

Fraction Kites, Shadow Puppets & 101 FOLLOWERS!!!!

Hey Everyone!! I'm so excited!!! I have 101 AWESOME followers!!! WOW!!! I'm going to post a GIVEAWAY to celebrate later this evening, but first I wanted to share a couple of fun things I did this week with my kiddos...
Fraction Kites!!!

We reviewed several skills in math this week! I love having time to go back and extend/refine concepts! I planned a special day for us to go back over fractions! We watched a cute little fraction BrainPop video, worked with fractions on our Smartboard, and made FRACTION KITES!! I can not take credit for this cute idea, my team member is the creative one who inspired me to do this with my class. All you need are different colored triangles (4 for each student), string, and tissue paper(for the cute little bows)! I let the kids create their kites using whatever color triangles they wanted to use. Then they had to show me the fraction of each color in their kite and write about it on their "My Fraction Kite" writing paper. Didn't they turn out adorable?!!?!! To download the fraction kite writing paper, just click on the picture of it!!




This is completely unrelated to fractions, but my firsties had so much fun with it that it's a MUST SHARE. In science, we are learning about light and shadows. To reinforce the concept of shadows, we made ShAdOw PuPpEtS!! Fun stuff, I tell ya! I gave each child a piece of white cardstock (reg.paper would work, too) to draw what they wanted their puppet to look like. Then they cut it out and taped a popsicle stick to the back of it! When all the puppets were ready to go, we went outside on a beautiful sunny day and checked out the shadows they made!! SO.MUCH.FUN!!! and E.A.S.Y!!! Look at how precious they turned out!! When they came back inside, they completed a graphic organizer about their shadow puppet.

Click the picture to download the Shadow Puppet graphic organizer!


Happy Weekend!! Be on the lookout this evening for my 100 Followers Giveaway!!! I'll post about it as soon as my little one goes to bed:) Again, THANK YOU for following my blog!!! Did I mention y'all are AWESOME?!?!?



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tweet! A Sight Word Game

My students love "Popcorn" inspired sight word recognition games! I have so much fun making them to fit different themes/holidays!! Here is one that I made to go with my Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies Center Packet. It's called "Tweet!"!! Students get with a partner/small group and pull the sight word cards from a bag/container. If a student reads a word correctly, they get to keep it. If they read it incorrectly, they miss their turn and put it back in the bag/container. When a student pulls a "Tweet!" card, they have to put all of their cards back!!! SO much fun and great sight word practice for your sweet loves!!! Click on the picture to download it!!!

I'm SO excited to almost have 100 followers!! 15 to go and it's time to celebrate with a fun giveaway!!! WooHOOO!!!

Giveaway!!!

The First Grade Sweet Life is having a wonderful giveaway! Go on over there right now for your chance to win a $20 giftcard to my FAVORITE place to buy graphics....the one and only Scrappin' Doodles!!!!


Woooohoooo!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies" Math and Literacy Centers!!!!

I was so happy to finally finish up my Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies Math and Literacy Center Packet this weekend!! It includes 10 centers (5 math & 5 literacy) and is on sale at my TpT store right now for only $6.50! Thanks so much to everyone who has already purchased it!
Click on the picture below to check it out!!



I also have my Spring Math and Literacy Center Packet on sale right now!! It includes 12 (6 math and 6 literacy) centers for only $6.50. Please click on the picture below to check it out!!
Happy, Happy Spring!!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blooming Sentences Activity!

Check out this cute flower activity! It reinforces naming, describing, and action words, as well as writing super sentences!! The kiddos LOVED it and it made our hallway look so SpRiNgY!!
To do this each student will need:
3 pink petals
3 red petals
1 yellow circle (stigma)
1 green long, skinny rectangle for the stem
2 green shaped leaves
**I wish I had a pattern to post, but my AWESOME parapro just cut out the shapes!!

First, the students picked out a naming word and wrote in down on the yellow circle/stigma. The child in the picture picked "friends".
Then, they wrote 3 describing words for the naming word on the pink petals.
Next, they wrote 3 action words for the naming word.
After that, they wrote a pronoun for their naming word on each of the leaves.


Finally, they wrote a "super sentence" on the stem. I asked my students to include at least one of the describing and action words on their petals to tell about the naming word (subject).
Didn't they turn out sweet?!?! I made butcher paper grass for them "grow" in!!!!


Now, my hall is ready for SpRiNg!!! Wooooohoooooo!!!!

Happy 1st Day of Spring to Everyone!!!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty's Day Fun!!!!!

Happy St. Patty's Day, Y'all!!!! My kiddos and I had a blast this week!! Today was the cherry on top!!! Here are some pictures that pretty much sum up how much fun we had together!!!
My classroom was smothered and covered in St. Patrick's Day themed centers.

In the H.O.T.S. (Higher Order Thinking Skills) center my little leprechaun lovers compared and contrasted themselves to a leprechaun. I saw a lot of really good deep thinking going on when they were doing this!!!


Read the Room- I smacked these precious little leprechauns all over my classroom walls to give my students practice with words containing the vowel pairs /ee/ and /ea/! They loved it!!!


Rainbowtastic Word Problems- In this math center, my students read each St. Patrick's Day themed word problem and solved it on their recording sheet. This was awesome since one of our standards this nine weeks is solving word problems. I was able to see who got it and who needs a little small group attention!


Making Words- My students made words with the letters from "Happy Saint Patrick's Day" at the pocket chart center!!

Shamrock Toss- This game is a classroom favorite!!!Students dropped two counters (green leprechaun coins) on the toss board and make number sentences with the numbers the counters landed on!!



Lucky Leprechaun Writing Choices- The kiddos picked a St. Patrick's Day writing choice and made the cute leprechaun book(on the right) to write in. They turned out so well!!!



Lucky Money- In this math center, my firsties found the matching fair trades on the pots of gold!

Shamrock Synonyms- The kiddos matched the synonym shamrocks in this literacy center!!! Fun and great practice for them!!!


Leprechaun Round Up- This math center reinforces rounding to the nearest ten and my sweet ones loved it!!!



Today, we graphed our Lucky Charms....YUM!!!


And we had a "Green Tasting Party"!!! Double YUM!!! My room was filled with precious green smiles:)


Look at what those sneaky leprechauns did to our room while we were at the library!! Can you say H.U.G.E. M.E.S.S?!?!?!? Goodness gracious, those little people can wreck a room!!!The kids loved every minute of it!!! We spent a good 20 minutes cleaning it all up!!! Totally worth all the hard work...so much fun!!!



Look at the adorable footprints they left everywhere:)


What was your St. Patty's Day week/day like? I'm sure many of you are as exhausted as I am right now!

Happy Friday Eve!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Awesome Giveaway at What the Teacher Wants!!!

Holy Smokes!!!! What the Teacher Wants! (one of my favorite blogs) is having an AwEsOmE giveaway!!! Go over there ASAP to have a chance at winning a $100 giftcard to The Container Store!!! I sure could use more storage containers in my classroom:) *fingers crossed*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Grade Fun Dr. Jean Giveaway!!!

Check out the giveaway happening over at First Grade Fun and enter for your chance to win a Dr. Jean cd!!! Congrats to Ms. Van Orman for reaching 200 followers!!! How exciting:):):)

YAY for a new blog makeover:) and BOO for new url issues:(

Hey Everyone!!! I'm loving the blog design Cara created for me!!!! It's perfect and makes coming over here and posting even more fun:) On the downside, I tried to change my url to crazyforfirstgrade.blogspot.com and realized that it's WAY more complicated than I thought it would be! Turns out that changing your url is easy...I was able to keep all of my awesome followers (yay!), BUT (here comes the yucky part)the news feed wouldn't show any of you my new post ....double disappointment for me! I love the news feed and want everyone to know what's happening over here sooooooo.....I changed back to my old url for now. Sure enough my latest post popped right up in the news feed for everyone to see when changing back over.


Here's the deal....I want a new url, but don't want to have followers who can't see what I'm posting in their news feed! What should I do? Any suggestions???


Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Think Dots Choice Board

I love using "Think Dots" choice boards in my classroom! The activities on each choice board are differentiated by levels and interests. My little loves have so much fun with them:) They roll a die with a partner and complete the activity if it is one that interests them. They have to complete at least 3 activities. When they complete one, they color the box and put their recording sheets (or whatever they used to show their work) in their math folder. Since this is a very student directed activity, I act as a facilitator and just circulate the room monitoring/helping as needed. I usually give the choice boards towards the end of a unit for extending and refining purposes. Click HERE to download a  Money Think Dots choice board!

I love, love, love these plastic storage drawers! They make having materials for several activities a piece a cake!!! I just put everything the kiddos will need for each choice in a labeled drawer!

As higher order thinking and differentiation become more and more of a focus at my school, I have found these choice boards really helpful. When I first started using them, my students and I went over the expectations and modeled how to complete each activity. Please don't get discouraged if the first, second, or even third time you do a choice board is a little crazy...trust me, it will get much, much better!!!

For more resources and information on a TON of awesome differentiated activities check out this awesome website- http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/

Happy Friday Eve!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

AN EXCITING BLOG ANNOUNCEMENT & TpT 10% off coupon code :)

Hey Everyone!

I'm beyond excited to announce that the awesome, Cara Carroll, will be giving my blog a much needed makeover in the very near future(a week or so)! Check out her blog designs at OH SO SPOILED. I admire her work so much & can't wait for my "new look". With a new look will also come a NEW BLOG NAME! When I originally set up my blog, I didn't do a good job of looking to make sure that my site name wasn't already taken or similiar to others. Turns out, Fun in First is a very popular name, which is awesome because first grade is so much fun, but I don't want to confuse anyone at the same time:) With much going back and forth about my new name, I've finally decided on one that fits me better, " Crazy for First Grade".....perfect, huh? My only worry about this is that I could possibly lose my sweet follower/visitor friends b/c my url will change & I don't want that to happen at all! When Cara's done designing and ready to get things looking a whole lot better here, I will post another announcement letting everyone know what my new url is before I actually change it over:) I've had a ton of fun sharing ideas with all of you and look forward to continue doing so in a much cuter space :) :)

FYI -TpT is running a 10% off special ALL WEEK with this coupon code- G2R2M :) Awesome!!! I have a few wishlist items that I can't wait to use it for:) Please check out my TPT store if you are in need of St. Patrick's Day and/or Spring centers. I love creating centers that are easy to use, but engaging and fun for my students! My packets include printable centers and games with coordinating accountability sheets! As mentioned in an earlier post, I finally have my Spring Math and Literacy center packet up and running over at TpT, but for some reason my preview isn't working right now. I've contacted TpT to get help with that so please know it will *hopefully* be attached soon. Here is the downloadable preview if you want to check it out.


Since my Spring packet is finished, I'm now working away on my next math and literacy center packet called "Bugs, Birds, and Butterflies". These centers will be really cute to use when you get tired of bunnies, chicks, and eggs...ha! What skills are you working on in you classroom that you could use a center for? Let me know:)


Hope you have a super Sunday and a GREAT week!!

~Anna Brantley

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Favorite Things

The wonderful Jodi at Fun in First Grade started a Favorite Things Linky party and I've been wanting to post my favorites all week. Finally, I have "me time" to do it!!!


1. Starbuck's Breakfast Blend Coffee = LOVE! Seriously, I can't function in the morning without it!

2. Reality TV! It's my guilty pleasure...my very favorite are the New Jersey Housewives:) I'm also a huge fan of the other housewives, Jerseylicious, Jersey Shore, Wife Swap, etc.

3. Dansko clogs- These shoes are soooooo comfortable! I don't know what my little teacher feet would do without them:) If you are on your feet all day, they are a must!!!They come in a variety of cute styles and patterns! I like the black because they go with anything:)

3. Moroccan Oil hairspray- Not only does this hairspray hold your "style" without weighing your hair down, but it also gives a nice shine and smells sooooooo good!



4. Haribo Gummy Bears- YUM! The Best Gummy Bears. EVER.

5. Weight Watchers - I joined back in July and have lost 33 lbs! I'm only 4 lbs away from reaching my goal and becoming a lifetime member, which means I'll no longer have a monthly fee...yay! Good-bye baby weight:)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rounding and Money Practice

We've been reviewing previously taught skills in math this week. Yesterday, we worked on rounding to the nearest ten. Here's a game I call "Drop and Round" that my students LOVE! All you need are counters, 100 charts, marker boards & markers! Students drop a counter ( I like to use the small clear counters shown in the picture) on the 100's chart. On one side of the marker board, they write the number their counter landed on. Then they write the nearest ten on the opposite side of the board. You can pair your kiddos up or let them play independently. This week, I let my students play this independently while I walked around the room to observe/take notes. It was a nice formative assessment!
Here are a few pictures.....




Below is the recording sheet that was used to play these games. Very easy- have your students fold a piece of white paper into sixteenths....in each box they write a number and it's nearest ten (they wrote the nearest ten in colored pencil to make it stand out).

Today, we practiced counting money and making fair trades. We played two different games - "Money Drop" and "4 ways". They are very similiar to one another.


Money Drop- Students drop a counter on a 100's chart and turn it into an amount of money. For example, John's counter dropped on 66 so he would use 66 cents. Once they have their number, they show it in four different ways on their Fair Trades Board (a large piece of laminated construction paper divided into four sections.



Four Ways- I give each student a coin combination card. They count the coins and write the amount on their board. Then they show that amount in four different ways on their Fair Trades Board.


Lastly, I want to share something with you that has nothing to do with money or rounding...ha :P! I'm almost done with my "book basket project". I had a few AWESOME classroom volunteers help me sort my books last week. I found the baskets at the $tree....All I have left is a w.h.o.l.e lot of labeling....thank goodness, I love labels:) Anyhoo, I'm so excited about this and had to share:) Can't wait to show you the finished product next week!!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! Thanks so much for visiting! I'm so close to my goal of 50 followers this week! 15 more and I'm there....Please share my blog with your friends! THANKS:)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bartholomew and the Oobleck!



This is one of my FAVORITE Dr. Seuss books to read to my first graders. It's about a young boy named Bartholomew who must rescue his kingdom from a sticky substance called Oobleck! After reading the story with my kiddos, we make Oobleck. Here is the easy recipe- 2 cups of cornstarch, 3 drops of green food coloring, and enough water to make the mixture thick like the texture of pancake batter. I usually mix equal amounts of water and cornstarch, but make sure you mix it in slowly. Once the Oobleck is made, I give each child their own sandwich bag full of Oobleck and let them explore it, which is oh so much fun. Every year, Oobleck is a BIG HIT! Knowing that Dr. Seuss would want us to have fun on his birthday, it's the perfect activity!!!

Some fun things we do with the crazy green stuff are...
  • Discuss how Oobleck is a solid and a liquid- we call this a "soliquid" :)

  • Oobleck does not bounce.
  • If you make an Oobleck ball and throw it in the air, it will lose it's shape and become flat in the air.
  • Oobleck can be molded in a container, but it loses it's shape as soon as you take it out.

  • If you fill a balloon with Oobleck, the air forces the Oobleck back out.

  • When you leave Oobleck outside in the sun, the color evaporates, it turns hard like cement on top and is like jelly on the bottom.


I also made a graohic organizer for my sweeties to illustrate, write describing words, and a sentence about Oobleck. Click on the picture below if you would like to download it.


I'm SO excited about reading Bartholomew and the Oobleck on Tuesday!
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

This weekend had been quite busy with a wild toddler, lesson plans, and a bunch of grad school work, which means that my Spring/Easter center packet was put on the backburner for a bit...can you relate? I will get it posted later this week:) If you need centers for St. Patrick's Day, you can go grab my St. Patrick's Day Math and Literacy center packet on TpT HERE for only $5.00 right now!

I hope you all have a fabulous week! Thanks for following my blog and supporting what I do! Please feel free to share it with any of your teacher friends!
I love, love, L.O.V.E my followers:)